Protein boost, weight training bolsters mind, memory

By Pauline DiGiorgio

pauline WEIGHTROOMTypically, hearing of someone using the dynamic combination of increasing protein intake and lifting weights at the gym automatically leads you to think that person is striving toward a dream buff body.

But I’m here to shed some light of how the power blocks of protein and strength training can help you stop blaming your forgetfulness on your “old age.”

Eating a healthy diet is important for general well being, but it might be even more beneficial in the prevention and delay of the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

So why consumer more protein?

Twenty percent of the human body is made up of protein, so therefore eating more will increase the proper macronutrients to make enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals work toward better brain function.

Try eating these top-rated “brain foods” for potential memory-boosting powers:

(Note: Some of the food choices also contain a bit of Omega 3 with protein, a double whammy! Omegas are amazing for focus and preventing body inflammation. Let’s try to aim for 10-15 grams of protein per meal if you are not very active; 15-20 if you are very physically active.)

— Salmon, 4 ounces equals 30 grams of protein

  Walnuts, 1/4 cup equals 4 grams of protein

— Almonds 1/4 cup equals 8 grams of protein

— Yogurt, 1 cup equals 14 grams of protein

Now for the iron-pumping doubters out there: Studies show the related effect of hormonal and norepinephrine releases that happen during exercise lead to better memory and mind clarity.

I should say here that it does not have to be a dramatic jump to become a full-blown fitness guru to see and feel some results.

Beginners can reap the benefits by starting off small and doing body weight exercises such as squats, knee bends and push-ups, which produce similar memory boosting.

So, head to a sporting goods store, grab a couple of inexpensive hand weights and YouTube an at-home dumbbell workout.

It’s as easy as that, and the hardest part is just to remember.

• Pauline DiGiorgio is a fitness ambassador and Group X instructor at Retro Fitness gyms. Questions? Email her at