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‘Unforgettable’ ways to improve memory

The last time you couldn’t remember where you put your keys, did you wish you had a photographic memory?

Well, not everybody is cut out to be a Brad Williams. A Wisconsin native, Brad is an award-winning journalist and radio personality who was the subject of his brother’s documentary, “Unforgettable,” because of his uncanny ability to remember most everything. He possesses a highly superior autobiographical memory, otherwise known as hyperthesmia.

But for those of you who simply would like to improve your memory (the keys are on the dishwasher!) and keep your cognitive powers as sharp as possible, a study — across 10 different countries where folks eat various diets — may show you a simple solution. Eat a plant-based diet, starting at as young an age as you can.

Researchers, writing in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, found that “the most important dietary link to Alzheimer’s disease appears to be meat consumption, with eggs and high-fat dairy also contributing.”

So, to protect your brain and heart while slashing your risk of dementia, eat plenty of whole grains, legumes and fresh produce — foods packed with polyphenols that help reduce inflammation.

Add a healthy exercise routine of 10,000 steps a day or the equivalent. And if you want to give Brad Williams a run for his money, rev up your cognitive processing skills with a brain-training game. One option is the game “Double Decision” from BrainHQ. You can try it at no charge and then decide if you want to be a gamer.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Email questions to

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