Vicki's Blog

  • 5 Ways to Naturally Improve Your Memory

     

    A good memory is a sign of a healthy brain, as the strength of our memory depends partially on the health and vitality of our brain. If you tend to be as forgetful as me, don’t fret, read on for tips on how to naturally improve your memory.


    A Healthy Diet

    What’s good for the body is good for the brain too. Just as the body needs fuel, so does the brain. You probably already know that a diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, “healthy” fats (such as olive oil, nuts, fish) and lean protein will provide lots of health benefits, but such a diet can also improve memory. Foods that are great for the brain are slip into categories: Omega 3 fatty acids (avocados, coconut oil, salmon, walnuts, spinach, broccoli, pumpkin seeds), Fruits and veggies (leafy green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, and arugula, and fruit such as bananas, apricots, mangoes, cantaloupe, and watermelon), Red Wine or grape juice (in moderation) and Green tea are all foods and beverages that can help improve your brain power. Also, carbohydrates fuel your brain, but simple carbs (sugar, white bread, refined grains) give a quick boost followed by an equally rapid crash, so stick to complex carbs such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, high-fiber cereal, lentils, and whole beans.


    Don’t Skimp on Exercise...

    Your brain power improves when you nurture your brain with a good diet and other healthy habits.

    Get tramping through the countryside, or take up any exercise that will get your heart pumping faster for 30 minutes at least twice a week. Physical exercise increases oxygen to your brain and reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Aerobic exercise generates brain-nourishing chemicals that act like fertiliser, helping to grow new brain cell connections.

    Exercise may also enhance the effects of helpful brain chemicals and protect brain cells.

     


    ...or Sleep

    When you’re sleep deprived, your brain can’t operate at full capacity. Creativity, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking skills are compromised.  I know this to be true after pulling one to many all-nighters studying for midterms. Whether you’re studying, working, or trying to juggle life’s many demands, sleep deprivation is a recipe for disaster. Sleep is critical to learning and memory in an even more fundamental way. Research shows that sleep is necessary for memory consolidation, with the key memory-enhancing activity occurring during the deepest stages of sleep.

     

     

    Give Your Brain a Workout

    By the time you’ve reached adulthood, your brain has developed millions of neural pathways that help you process information quickly, solve familiar problems, and execute familiar tasks with a minimum of mental effort. Memory, like muscular strength, requires you to “use it or lose it.” The more you work out your brain, the better you’ll be able to process and remember information. Ways to do this include:

    • Playing a musical instrument, juggling, enjoying a game of ping pong (table tennis), making pottery, knitting, or needlework are activities that exercise the brain by challenging hand-eye coordination, spatial-temporal reasoning, and creativity.

    • Learning a few phrases in a new language. The part of the brain most likely to diminish with age. "Learning a language is good brain training, because it involves all your senses and requires constant concentration.
    • Reading the newspaper Taking a newspaper every day is good mental exercise - but only if you pay attention to what you're reading. Making a mental image of the main points of each paragraph as you read it, then repeating the gist of the story to yourself from memory. Skim it again to check that you have got it right. There are also puzzles in the paper that can help give your brain a workout.

     

    Cut down on Stress

     

    Stress is one of the brain’s worst enemies. Over time, if left unchecked, chronic stress destroys brain cells and damages the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved in the formation of new memories and the retrieval of old ones. Meditation is a great way to unwind and relax after a particularly stressful day. Hanging with friends is also a great way to destress and strengthen your brain. Relationships stimulate our brains—in fact, interacting with others may be the best kind of brain exercise. Research shows that having meaningful relationships and a strong support system are vital not only to emotional health, but also to brain health.


     

    If you do all of the above and still want to improve your memory, taking supplements with the ingredients sage, Cistanche Tubulosa, Goji, Ginkgo Biloba and lemon might help, as they have been shown to improve brain function.

     

     

     

     

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