Over 55 million people worldwide are struggling with dementia, with nearly 10 million new cases every year. Dementia leads to cognitive function deterioration, leading to issues with memory, thinking, and even mood or motivation. Learning how to improve your memory now could benefit your brain health as you get older.
Not sure how to start improving memory? Give these brain health tips a try.
With these tips, you can keep your mind sharp and memory clear. Read on to learn more!
Adjust Your Diet
You are what you eat! Many of the foods we consume (or neglect to) can impact your memory and brain health.
For example, consuming too much sugar can cause cognitive decline. It’s also connected with health issues and chronic diseases. A sugar-heavy diet could lead to poor memory while reducing brain volume.
In fact, sugar could affect the area of the brain that stores your short-term memory!
Try cutting back on sugar this year. In addition to improving memory, it could benefit your overall health. You might have an easier time losing weight, which could also contribute to brain health issues.
It also helps to limit your carb intake, which can also damage your memory. Refined carbs (cake, cereal, cookies, etc.) have a high glycemic index. Your body digests refined carbs quickly, causing blood sugar levels to spike.
A diet that’s high in refined carbs is linked with cognitive decline, reduced cognitive function, and dementia.
Try to reduce how much alcohol you consume, too. Alcohol could negatively impact your memory. It alters the brain, causing memory deficits.
Alcohol also causes neurotic effects. Binge drinking repeatedly could damage your hippocampus, which plays a vital role in your memory.
Instead of sugars, refined carbs, and alcohol, add more anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. Foods like dark chocolates and berries can reduce oxidative stress, lowering your risk of cognitive decline.
Other brain health foods include curcumin (found in turmeric), cocoa, and walnuts.
Sometimes, adjusting your diet isn’t enough. You might need to supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals. Before adding new supplements to your diet, make sure to consult a doctor.
Ask a doctor to run a blood test to determine if you have any vitamin deficiencies. For example, vitamin D deficiency is very common. It’s associated with age-related cognitive decline and dementia.
In one study, people with low blood levels of vitamin D lost their memories and cognitive abilities faster than those with normal vitamin D levels. Your risk of dementia might increase if you have low vitamin D levels, too.
Talk to your doctor about adding fish oil to your diet as well. Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. Both can benefit your overall health while:
- Relieving stress and anxiety
- Slowing mental decline
- Lowering your risk of heart disease
- Reducing inflammation
Taking fish oil supplements could improve your memory. Reducing inflammation in your body could slow cognitive decline, too.
Ginkgo biloba improves memory as well. Adding these brain supplements to your routine can benefit your cognitive function and memory.
Consider adding meditation to your routine. Meditation can reduce stress, pain, and blood pressure levels. It could also improve your memory.
As we age, gray matter declines. Gray matter contains neuron cell bodies, impacting memory and cognition. Meditation could help increase gray matter in your brain.
Meditation could help improve your short-term memory, too. Your spatial working memory might improve as well. This type of memory is the ability to retain and process information about the positions of objects in space.
You can also add mindfulness practices to your routine. Though mindfulness is used as a meditation practice, they aren’t the same. Mindfulness helps you focus on the present situation by increasing your awareness.
Practicing mindfulness could lower your stress levels while improving your memory and concentration. It’s also linked with a lower risk of age-related cognitive decline. Maintaining mindfulness could improve your psychological well-being, too.
You can add mindfulness techniques to your routine by:
- Concentrating on your breathing
- Resetting your attention when your mind wanders
- Paying more attention to the present
Otherwise, consider downloading a meditation app! Try to meditate once a day to relieve stress.
Try maintaining a healthy weight. In addition to benefiting your physical health, it can keep your mind in peak condition. Unfortunately, obesity is a risk factor for cognitive decline.
Obesity might cause changes in the memory-associated genes in your brain. Your memory could decline as a result. Obesity also increases inflammation and insulin resistance, which also negatively impacts brain health.
Obesity is also associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s can destroy your cognitive function and memory.
Exercising can benefit your mental and physical health. Exercising increases the secretion of neuroprotective proteins. It also increases the growth and development of neurons, improving your brain health.
Get Enough Sleep
Aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Otherwise, inadequate sleep can lead to poor memory.
Sleep benefits memory consolidation; a process that strengthens and transforms short-term memories into lasting memories. When you’re sleep deprived, your brain could struggle to develop long-term memories.
Train Your Brain
Your brain needs a workout, too! Exercising your brain can help boost your memory. Try:
- Word-recall games
There are now mobile apps available that can strengthen your memory.
Otherwise, consider learning something new! For example, you can learn to dance, speak a new language, or play a new instrument. Learning new skills will challenge your brain while strengthening your memory capacity.
Brain Power: Learn How to Improve Your Memory Today
Learning how to improve your memory can improve your quality of life as you age. Use these tips for improving memory to determine what works best for you. With these tips, you can change and grow new neural connections, boosting your brain power!
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