Experts once thought the kind of brain shrinking that comes with age is inevitable. Starting in your early 20's and continuing slowly through middle age, you do lose about 2 grams of brain tissue every year. At age 80 that loss jumps to 5 grams per year.
Now there's increasing evidence that how you live your life can keep your brain healthy and plump, and your thinking sharp. Take these steps to help slow brain drain:
1. Feed your brain B's. Running short on vitamin B12 may give you trouble recalling certain words, and low levels of B9 (folate) may further sap the brain.
To guard against a shortfall, especially if you're a vegetarian, it's smart to take a B12 supplement (the RealAge daily recommendation of 25 micrograms of B12). Folate is found in many fortified foods, including cereals, breads, and pastas, so you may get plenty in your diet. Don't take a folate supplement unless your doctor tests your B12 levels first. High folate levels may mask a B12 deficiency.
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