Saturday, 16 April 2016
How Mum Keeps Sharp
* drinking orange juice
* not drinking alcohol (we'll get to that)
*doing handcrafts (she is always doing handcrafts)
*reading constantly (she reads while doing such 'easier' handcrafts as knitting cable sweaters)
*learning languages (she reads German novels and looks up the 15 words she doesn't know)
*putting together jigsaw puzzles
*and doing other puzzles, like crosswords
*getting enough sleep
*snacking on almonds
It would probably be better if my mother drank freshly squeezed orange juice from a blender instead of the from-frozen-concentrate she has been downing for as long as I've been alive. Meanwhile, when I say my mother doesn't drink alcohol, I mean that she has a glass of wine at Thanksgiving, a glass of wine at Christmas and then..... ahhhh....summer holidays in Europe happen. After summer holidays, life goes back to normal. My positively teetotalling grandmother also made exceptions for her summer holidays, too: when she went to a resort in the Muskokas, she would drink a Tom Collins cocktail in the afternoons. The women in my family are WILD, I tell you.
There are ways in which my mother could further improve her cognitional health, if she felt that the above was not enough.
First, she could eat more fish. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna are tremendously good for your brains.
Second, she could eat more walnuts Walnuts pack as much omega-3 as you need in a day.
Third, she could drink green tea. (At this very moment, I am drinking green tea.)
Fourth, she could drink less coffee. Although initially caffeine improves your ability to memorize, this is only after 8 oz of coffee. More than 8 oz, and the benefits cease and the drawbacks kick in.
Fifth, she could cut out processed food, especially store-bought cookies. Processed food--BAD. Sugar--BAAAAAD!
Sixth, she could give herself a NEW mental challenge, like improving her Russian. Of course, it would be even newer, more challenging and nice company for me if she took up Polish instead.
That's as much as I have learned so far, but I hope to discover others. I really like these points because they don't seem all that much work--except for learning languages, that is, and perhaps the handicrafts, and the getting up and going out to exercise--which I will now do by walking through the woods to the bus stop to take a bus to Artisan Roast to buy some excellent coffee and read another Polish Muminki story.
Update: Here is a long list of brain-boosting foods.