Exercise has long been hailed as an aid to brain power longevity. But to ensure you’re not leaving the gas on in your ’80s, vary your workout routines now. “You’ll stimulate your brain more because you’re not using the same pathway over and over again,” says Dr Dan Amen, brain imaging specialist and member of the American Psychiatric Association.
Swilling coffee could be the perfect accompaniment to cryptic crossward puzzles. Austrian scientists measuring brain activity found that short-term memory and concentration improved after consuming 100mg of caffeine – equal to an Americano. But after 45 minutes, those guinea pigs were back to grinding dumbness levels.
Play first-person video games like Gears of War and you’ll develop stronger visual skills and make decisions 80 per cent faster than non-gamers, say experts from the University of Rochester, New York. “They can read the newspaper, recognise a scene or pick out facial features faster,” says Daphne Bavelier of the Rochester Research team, in between fragging killer aliens.
Tuck into a thosai tonight to clear the mental cobwebs. University of California researchers have discovered that curcumin – the yellow compound found in curry spice tumeric – can slow the onset of memory loss. So remember this: Don’t go shoveling down bryani instead. Only curries with a yellow tint will have the highest curcumin count.
Fat-busting snacks have the added benefit of enhancing your little grey cells. British Nutrition Foundation reports show that low-fat dried fruits such as dates are a good source of brain-boosting boron. Eat 175g of the fruit a day and you’re likely to score higher in motor skills than your raisin-less colleagues. That’s coordination.