Keeping our brains and bodies working well doesn't always require a huge effort. Here are a few tips I've run across lately that might be worth your attention:
A handful of walnuts every day can help improve your concentration and memory, according to a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging. This seemed to apply to people in all age groups. If you're watching your weight, don't go for more than about half an ounce---one ounce of walnuts contains 185 calories.
Another study showed that older individuals who consumed three servings of milk per day had higher levels of glutathione, which is believed to stave off the effects of oxidative stress on the brain. Oxidative stress may be involved in developing Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
You know you should resist eating that big piece of cake but you feel your willpower draining away fast. Try tensing your muscles. A series of studies found that when you tense your muscles you are better at resisting temptation, withstanding pain, and paying attention to disturbing information. In the case of the cake, follow up by walking away quickly. And remember to tense the next time you start down the snacks aisle at the supermarket.
STICK TO IT!
Another posture tip: if you want to increase your persistence in solving a problem, cross your arms. A study showed that people trying to solve anagrams worked at it twice as long and solved more of them, when they crossed their arms than when they didn't. Does this translate to other tasks that require perseverance? Seems worth a try.