Eating the right foods could improve your memory and concentration.

Eat bright food

Individual studies have flagged up the importance of diet to the brain, but there’s no convincing evidence that it can improve the averagely well-nourished mind. Animal studies look promising, however, and research at the University of California in the US shows that old dogs can learn new tricks if their diet is fortified with vitamins.

What might work

‘There’s probably not one brain scientist who’s not drinking red wine or eating blueberries,’ says US science and health editor Barbara Strauch.

Along with other dark fruit and veg, and fish oils, these are good sources of nutrients that fight inflammation and aging.

Also turmeric, which researchers hope may stave off Alzheimer’s disease.

What doesn’t

Too much sugar and fat. Midlife obesity doubles the risk of dementia, according to a study in the Archives Of Neurology. (If you have high blood cholesterol too, times that by six.)

Even spikes of high blood sugar, an increasing problem in middle age, when blood-glucose control deteriorates, can impair memory.

Four ways to keep Alzheimer’s at bay

Follow these simple tips to slash your chances of developing this disease.

Among fears about aging, Alzheimer’s is right up there. ‘But optimism is growing that we can reduce the risk and possibly save ourselves,’ says Jean Carper, author of 100 Simple Things You Can Do To Prevent Alzheimer’s (Vermilion).

Try these tips:

1. Eat berries every day

Their beneficial compounds get into your brain cells and stay there, helping to slow or reverse cognitive decline. Frozen and mixed are best: include strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries and raspberries.

2. Check blood pressure

If it’s uncontrolled and high, the risk of some kinds of dementia may be doubled. So cut down on salt and go to a check-up.

3. Build strong muscles

One study showed that older people with the strongest muscles were 61% less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Try 30 minutes’ walking a day, and some gentle weight lifting.

4. Do something new

When you have a new thought or experience you build brain structure and function, so turn off the TV and try dancing, painting, or a book club.