Ever forget why you went into a room or step out of the shower with shampoo or conditioner still in your hair? Whether you call it a brain fart or a senior moment, it happens to everyone. But when you’re older, those episodes can be disconcerting. Relax. If you’re healthy, don’t smoke and don’t eat much processed or fried food, such lapses shouldn’t get to you.
A study from Georgia Institute of Technology points out that the older you get, the more information you’ve taken in and stored. So, when you can’t recall the name of someone you know, it’s frequently because of what the researchers called “memory clutter.”
Seems that as you sift through 60-plus years of names in order to remember one, it takes the brain a bit longer to ID the right one. If that extra time is worrying, you may react with a heightened stress response that makes it even harder to recall the name! Your forgetfulness is caused by a crisis of confidence! So, how do you avoid that memory-fogging self-doubt?
Don’t stress over longer recall times. And keep your brain firing at top speed. Exercise regularly to keep oxygen-rich blood flowing through your brain. Don’t smoke, and drink no more than a glass or two of wine daily. Stay away from artery-damaging added sugars and syrups, saturated and trans fats. Opt for anti-inflammatory omega-3s from walnuts and fish like salmon.
Then you can confidently reminisce about 1971 when coach Bill Fitch recruited Austin Carr for the now (finally!) champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.