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Midlife Memory Loss and How Not To Look an Idiot Like Me

October 30, 2020

Midlife Memory Loss and How Not To Look an Idiot Like Me


I am making a show of myself.

There are four women plus me on Zoom, none of them smiling and I have lost my train of thought.  I am meant to be delivering a high powered, tres slick presentation to them about an innovative new beauty app that I’m working as a consultant for but I have completely forgotten what I was going to say.

You see the thing is one of them interrupted with a query, a perfectly valid one, but now my brain is mush.  I tell them I have lost my train of thought in an attempt at gleaning sympathy but their faces are stony.  The menopause or even post-baby brain challenges are not in their stratosphere as yet.

 Very judgy.

 However, strawberries are coming to the rescue.

The Harvard Medical School (I’m not just reading JoJo Moyes in my spare time, quite the intellectual over here albeit their email rather than weightier books) has just come out with the key foods we can eat that really benefit memory and these are:


I thought we’d start with some of the nicer items as we all know Kale is going to be in the list and I just can’t warm to it.  Anyway, strawberries – “In a 2012 study published in Annals of Neurology, researchers at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital found that women who consumed two or more servings of strawberries and blueberries each week delayed memory decline by up to two-and-a-half years.”

Well, I’m in.  I can do two bowls of strawberries a week.  Not so much blueberries as I just don’t understand why you would eat them, they taste of nothing.

 Your Daily Cuppa

This means both tea and coffee.  “In a 2014 study published in The Journal of Nutrition, participants with higher caffeine consumption scored better on tests of mental function.”

It doesn’t mention biscuits but surely they must be included?  Can’t have a mid-morning coffee with no HobNob.

I think this list is going swimmingly so far. 


Now, I wasn’t a huge fan but if you can crack an actual walnut from its shell like the packs in supermarkets for Christmas these taste fantastic.  Also, I’ve found if you get a few palpitations from too much sugar (not that any of us would eat too much sugar) then a walnut or two calms the symptoms.  We digress.  “A 2015 study from UCLA linked higher walnut consumption to improved cognitive test scores.”  That sounds jolly good, I can have these with my strawberries for a double whammie.

Oily Fish

Now we’re back in familiar territory as all roads lead to oily fish and kale.  Want better skin?  Oily fish and kale.  What stronger joints?  Ditto.  Want to lose weight? I suspect if I was on a diet of just oily fish and kale (not that I would recommend this at all, consult your doctor etc.) then I would lose weight very fast as I just wouldn’t eat it.  Salmon’s okay, Sardines on a beach fire are nice, mackerel pate’s okay but otherwise?  Anyway, Harvard says, “Fatty fish are abundant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, healthy unsaturated fats that have been linked to lower blood levels of beta-amyloid—the protein that forms damaging clumps in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.”  That and it wants you to eat oily fish twice a week.

 Green Leafy Veg

All roads lead to Kale.  However, you could go with spinach, collards, and broccoli.  Now broccoli is do-able, but here’s what Harvard said, “Research suggests these plant-based foods may help slow cognitive decline.”  See? It only says “may” help so it’s not as essential as strawberries with their two and a half years of memory back is it?

 So, I’m including a lot more of these in my diet.  The only thing now is that while my memory is now saved, I’m sure to have bits of broccoli stuck in my teeth for the next Zoom call. If it isn’t one thing it’s another.  


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