Where are my keys? What was her name? These everyday memory mishaps can be a nuisance that slows you down. As we age, our memory only gets more important, so we need to protect it now.
Praised for its role in promoting prostate health, pumpkin seed oil is now being recommended as a memory booster.
Why does it work?
Discarded for years in the aftermath of jack-o-lantern carving, those little seeds hold some important stuff. Pumpkin seeds are rich in protein, magnesium and manganese, but zinc is the first important ingredient when it comes to improving your memory.
A study conducted at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, published in the medical journal Neuron, found zinc helps the neurons within the hippocampus communicate. The hippocampus is like a big filing cabinet in your brain, storing all your memories and information you learn. As long as those neurons are communicating properly, you remember where those keys are.
The other important component of pumpkin seed oil for memory are essential omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is known to boost our cognitive function, and better cognitive function means improved concentration and less memory loss. A study funded in part by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NAACM) and published in Neurology, examined 104 adults, aged 65 years and older. Researchers found those with higher concentrations of omega-3 in their blood nutrient biomarkers had better executive function.
Do I have to eat the actual seeds?
Instead of rushing out to core one of these orange gourds or downing handful after handful of salted seeds, pumpkin seed oil supplements are available in capsule, softgel or liquid form to make boosting your memory a little more convenient. On the April 13 episode of "Dr. Oz," Dr. Mehmet Oz was joined by two-time USA Memory Champion Ron White, who named pumpkin seed oil as a go-to memory booster. Ron drizzled the oil over salads and pasta.
Don't worry, taking pumpkin seed oil won't make you turn orange (looking at you, carrots), but it may keep you from finding your keys in freezer.