5 Beverages for a Sharper Memory

That glass of vino can help your memory stay sharp.That glass of vino can help your memory stay sharp.Can't decide whether to order wine with dinner? Go ahead -- it may keep your memory going strong as you grow older. What you drink could help your mind stay sharp and ward off Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Try these five brain-boosting sippers:

How old is your brain? Play this mind game to find out.

Wine

Light to moderate amounts of alcohol may help protect you from age-related cognitive declines or even Alzheimer's disease. In one study, wine drinkers were up to 53 percent less likely to suffer memory loss than teetotalers.

Researchers are still teasing out how booze helps your memory. Some say it protects against inflammation-producing proteins in the brain that are linked to Alzheimer's. Other findings suggest moderate drinking boosts cerebral blood flow by dilating vessels in the brain.

Wine is fine, but beer or even your favorite cocktail can nourish your noggin, too. Just be sure to enjoy in moderation: one drink a day for women, two for men.

Play this brain-teasing game to boost your memory and flex your mental muscles.

Coffee

That cup o' Joe is filled with caffeine and antioxidant flavonoids (beneficial plant compounds) that may slash your risk of Alzheimer's by up to 65 percent and stroke by 19 percent. Coffee also helps fend off diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. So, sip 2 to 3 cups a day. It's good for your noodle.

Prefer decaf? Look for coffee that's decaffeinated using the "effervescence" process, which leaves more antioxidants intact than other decaffeinating methods.

Tea

Not a coffee drinker? That's OK, because tea -- especially green tea -- is a brain-booster, too. Older adults who sip at least 2 cups a day are half as likely to develop cognitive problems as those who drink less. Why? It appears the tea's healthy dose of antioxidants fights free radical damage seen in the brain nerves of Alzheimer's patients.

Stay sharp with this memory trick.

Apple Juice

This juice isn't just for little kids. Research suggests apple juice may help your brain maintain its levels of acetylcholine, which helps preserve memory and learning skills as you age. Aim for a daily dose of two 8-ounce glasses of unsweetened apple juice.

Beet Juice

The juice of this dark-red root veggie is chock-full of nitrites, which help relax blood vessels to increase blood flow and oxygen circulation throughout your body. That's good for your brain (and your blood pressure). One study found that 16 ounces of beet juice a day was good for the region of the brain involved in executive functioning, which is especially vulnerable to age-related declines. You may not want that much beet juice every day, but it's a good beverage to add to your liquid lineup.

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