Two easy ways to rescue your brain

You can’t feel it, but if your blood sugar is too high, even if you don’t have diabetes, your brain and thinking power are beginning to deteriorate. And you need to make two simple changes in your lifestyle to restore your memory before it’s too late.

Experts with the Institute of Food Technologists warn that a pre-diabetic condition called “impaired glucose tolerance” can muddle your memory. But a study of Japanese octogenarians shows that eating more dietary fiber in fruits and vegetables along with exercising at least two times a week can replenish your intellectual abilities.

Louise Dye, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition and behavior in the Human Appetite Research Unit at the Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds in England, points out that blood sugar increases can hurt your cognitive powers even though you may not notice the changes. She notes that research has found that people with impaired glucose tolerance often have difficulties in cognitive tests that measure the ability to recognize words and learn concepts visually.

“(In the research) there was significant impairment in those women who were impaired glucose tolerant,” Dye says. “To me, that feels like a ticking time bomb. We need to use food – the diet and food industry – to help us shift these people back from impaired glucose tolerance. By the time they get to type 2 diabetes, the impairments are much more evident.”

The two-year study in Japan found that eating more than 30 grams of dietary fiber daily and exercising consistently improves glucose tolerance (making diabetes less likely) and boosts memory.

A few of the foods high in fiber include:

Food               Serving           Grams of fiber

Lentils             1 cup               15.6

Beans              1 cup               15.0

Raspberries      1 cup               8.0

Broccoli           1 cup               5.1

Apple              1 medium        4.4

Almonds         1 ounce            3.5

Strawberries    1 cup               3.0

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Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.