Tips to boost your memory

(HealthDayNews) -- If you're over 50, memory lapses may top your list of irritating problems.

But there are steps you can take to help keep forgetfulness at bay, according to the Johns Hopkins Health After 50 medical letter:

  • Treat high blood pressure. Over time, hypertension can damage brain cells and trigger mini-strokes that may impair memory.
  • Eat low-fat dairy products and nine daily servings of fruit and vegetables. This can improve alertness and energy.
  • Exercise. Physical fitness and cognitive function are closely aligned.
  • Drink moderate amounts of alcohol -- no more than about four ounces of wine, one ounce of spirits or 10 ounces of beer daily. This may lower your risk of significant memory loss.
  • If you take prescription medications, check with your doctor about their possible impact on memory function.
  • Get adequate sleep. Too little shuteye stresses the brain, which can affect your ability to concentrate, learn and recall information.
  • Stay mentally active. Learn a new language, play chess, or practice the piano.
Consumer News