Granted, there are some things in life you’d like to forget.That unfortunate perm in junior high. Getting your ex’s name tattooed on your arm. The time you traumatized your daughter when she was 5-years-old by taking her to see Bambi on the big screen. For just about everything else, it’s nice to keep your memory intact. So, here’s how to do that, with a few tips we got from the researchers at Time magazine.

  • Ban the sugar. Mark Hyman, a physician and best-selling author ofUltraprevention, the Six Week Plan that Will Make You Healthy for Life, says sugar and refined carbohydrates, like those found in processed foods, cause cognitive damage and memory impairment. In fact, diabetics are four times more likely than non-diabetics to suffer from dementia.
  • Skip the edamame. Soy has its virtues, but aiding memory isn’t one of them. Researchers at Oxford and Loughborough universities in England found that eating two or more servings of soy products each day can decrease memory function by as much as 20%. Particularly among vegetarians and elderly women.
  • Schedule some down-time. This is especially true for Type A personalities – you need to put down that BlackBerry and pick up a book, or sit down and chill out to some music. It has to do with you stress levels. Research shows that stress hormones shrink your brain’s memory center - the hippocampus. So the less you relax, the more forgetful you’ll become.
  • We can’t stress this enough: Move it or lose it! As if fitting into your skinny jeans weren’t motivation enough, Hyman says that working out is like “Miracle-Gro for the brain.” It raises levels of essential neuro-proteins that lead to more brain cells, and better connections between them. For best results, he recommends 30 minutes of vigorous cardio activity, four to six times a week.