Everyone has moments of forgetfulness from time to time, especially when life is busy.
While this is completely normal, having a poor memory can be frustrating.
Genetics plays a role in memory loss, especially in severe neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. However, research has shown that diet and lifestyle can also have a huge impact on memory.
Here are 14 evidence-based ways to improve your memory naturally.
1. Eat Less Sugar
Eating too much added sugar has been linked to many health problems and chronic illnesses, including cognitive decline.
Studies have shown that a sugar-laden diet can cause poor memory and reduced brain volume, especially in the brain region that stores short-term memory.
For example, a study of over 4,000 people found that those who consumed more sugary beverages like soda had lower brain volume and poorer memories on average compared to those who consumed less sugar.
Reducing sugar not only helps your memory but also improves your overall health.
SUMMARY Studies have shown that people who regularly consume large amounts of added sugar may have weaker memory and lower brain volume than those who consume less sugar.
2. Try a fish oil supplement
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
These fats have been shown to be important for overall health and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, relieve stress and anxiety, and slow mental decline.
Many studies have shown that consuming fish supplements and fish oil can improve memory, especially in older people.
A study of 36 older people with mild cognitive impairment found that short-term memory and working scores improved dramatically after taking concentrated fish oil supplements for 12 months.
Another recent review of 28 studies found that when adults with mild symptoms of memory loss took supplements high in DHA and EPA, like fish oil, they experienced an improvement in episodic memory.
DHA and EPA are both essential for the health and function of the brain and also help reduce inflammation in the body, which has been linked to cognitive decline.
SUMMARY Fish and fish oil supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Their consumption can help improve short-term, working, and episodic memory, especially in the elderly.
3. Take time to meditate
Meditation practice can have many positive effects on your health.
It has a relaxing and calming effect, and reduces stress and pain, lowers blood pressure, and even improves memory.
Truth be told, reflection has been appeared to expand dim issue in the cerebrum. Gray matter contains neuron cell bodies.
With age, the gray matter decreases, which negatively affects memory and cognition.
Meditation and relaxation techniques have been shown to improve short-term memory in people of all ages, from people aged 20 to the elderly.
For example, one study showed that Taiwanese students who practiced meditation practices such as mindfulness had significantly better spatial working memory than students who did not practice meditation.
Spatial working memory is the ability to store and process information in your head about the positions of objects in space.
** SUMMARY ** Meditation is not only good for your body but also good for your brain. Research suggests that meditation can increase gray matter in the brain and improve spatial working memory.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining healthy body weight is essential for well-being and is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind in good shape.
A few investigations have set up corpulence as a danger factor for psychological decay.
Interestingly, obesity can actually cause changes to genes associated with memory in the brain, which negatively affects memory.
Heftiness can likewise prompt insulin obstruction and irritation, the two of which can contrarily affect the cerebrum.
A study of 50 people aged 18 to 35 found that a higher body mass index was associated with significantly poorer performance on memory tests.
Heftiness is likewise connected with a higher danger of building up Alzheimer’s illness, a reformist infection that decimates memory and intellectual capacity.
SUMMARY Obesity is a risk factor for cognitive decline. Maintaining a body mass index in the normal range can help you avoid a host of problems associated with obesity, including poorer memory.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Lack of proper sleep has been associated with a poor memory for some time.
Sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation, a process where short-term memories are strengthened and transformed into long-term memories.
Studies show that if you are sleep deprived, it can negatively affect your memory.
For example, one study looked at the effects of sleep in 40 children ages 10 to 14.
A group of children were trained for memory tests in the evening, then tested the next morning after a night’s sleep. The other group was trained and tested the same day, with no sleep between training and testing.
The group that slept between training and testing performed 20% better in memory tests.
Another study found that nurses working night shifts made more math mistakes and 68% scored lower on memory tests compared to nurses working day shifts.
Health professionals recommend that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night for optimal health.
SUMMARY Studies have consistently linked adequate sleep with better memory performance. Sleep helps consolidate memories. Also, if you are well-rested, you can probably perform better on memory tests compared to sleep deprivation.
6. Practice Mindfulness
Awareness is a mental state in which you focus on your current state by maintaining awareness of your surroundings and emotions.
Mindfulness is used in meditation, but the two are not one and the same. Meditation is a more formal practice, while mindfulness is a mental habit that you can use in any situation.
Studies have demonstrated that care is compelling in diminishing pressure and improving focus and memory.
A study of 293 psychology students showed that those who received mindfulness training improved recognition-memory performance when remembering objects compared to students who did not receive mindfulness training.
Mindfulness has also been associated with a lower risk of age-related cognitive decline and an overall improvement in psychological well-being.
Incorporate mindfulness techniques into your daily routine by paying more attention to your current state, focusing on your breathing, and gently rearranging your attention as your mind wanders.
SUMMARY Practicing mindfulness techniques have been associated with increased memory performance. Awareness is also linked to decreased age-related cognitive decline.
7. Drink less alcohol
Consuming too many alcoholic beverages can be harmful to your health in a number of ways and can negatively affect your memory.
Binge drinking is a drinking pattern that increases your blood alcohol level to 0.08 grams per ml or more. Studies have shown that it changes the brain and leads to memory deficits.
A study of 155 freshmen found that students who consumed six or more drinks in a short period of time, either weekly or monthly, had difficulty with immediate and delayed reminder tests, compared to students who had never drunk alcohol.
Alcohol has neurotoxic effects on the brain. Repeated episodes of binge drinking can damage the hippocampus, a part of the brain that plays an important role in memory.
While a drink or two is perfectly healthy every now and then, avoiding excessive drinking is a smart way to protect your memory.
SUMMARY Alcohol has neurotoxic effects on the brain, including a decrease in memory. Occasional moderate drinking is not a problem, but excessive drinking can damage your hippocampus, a key area of your brain that is linked to memory.
8. Train your brain
Exercising your cognitive skills by playing brain games is a fun and effective way to strengthen your memory.
Crossword puzzles, word recall games, Tetris, and even memory training mobile apps are great ways to boost memory.
A study of 42 adults with mild cognitive impairment found that playing with a brain-training app for eight hours over a four-week period improved performance on memory tests.
Another study of 4,715 people found that short-term memory, working memory, focus, and problem-solving improved significantly when compared to a control group when they completed 15 minutes of an online brain training program at least five days a week.
Also, brain training games have been shown to help reduce the risk of dementia in older adults.
SUMMARY Games that challenge your brain can help you improve your memory and even reduce your risk of dementia.
9. Cut down on refined carbohydrates
Eating large amounts of refined carbohydrates like cakes, cereal, cookies, white rice, and white bread can damage your memory.
These foods have a high glycemic index, which means that the body digests these carbohydrates quickly, which leads to an increase in blood sugar levels
Studies have shown that the western diet, high in refined carbohydrates, is linked to dementia, cognitive decline, and decreased cognitive function.
A study of 317 healthy children found that those who consumed more processed carbohydrates like white rice, pasta, and fast food had decreased cognitive capacity, including poorer short-term and working memories
Another study showed that adults who consumed ready-to-eat breakfast cereals on a daily basis had poorer cognitive function than those who consumed cereals less frequently.
SUMMARY Like added sugar, refined carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to rise, which can damage your brain over time. Diets high in refined carbohydrates have been linked to dementia, cognitive decline, and decreased brain function.
10. Get your vitamin D levels tested
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that plays many important roles in the body.
Low vitamin D levels have been linked to a variety of health problems, including decreased cognitive function.
A study that followed 318 older adults for five years found that those with blood vitamin D levels less than 20 nanograms per ml lost their memory and other cognitive skills faster than those with normal vitamin D levels.
Low vitamin D levels have also been linked to a higher risk of dementia.
Vitamin D deficiency is very common, especially in colder climates and in people with darker skin. Talk to your doctor about a blood test to find out if you need a vitamin D supplement.
SUMMARY Nutrient D inadequacy is normal, particularly in colder environments, and has been related with age-related intellectual decrease and dementia. If you think you have low vitamin D levels, ask your doctor for a blood test.
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11. Exercise More
Exercise is significant for generally speaking physical and psychological well-being. Find solutions from an advisor in minutes, whenever
Research has established that it is beneficial for the brain and can help improve memory in people of all ages, from children to older adults.
For example, a study of 144 people aged 19 to 93 showed that a single 15-minute session of moderate exercise on a stationary bike resulted in improved cognitive performance, including memory, at all ages.
Numerous studies have shown that exercise can increase the secretion of neuroprotective proteins and improve the growth and development of neurons, leading to better brain health.
Regular exercise in your 40s is also associated with a lower risk of developing dementia later in life.
SUMMARY Exercise has incredible benefits for your whole body, including your brain. Even moderate exercise for short periods has been shown to improve cognitive performance, including memory, in all age groups.
12. Choose anti-inflammatory foods
Eating a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods can improve your memory.
Antioxidants help lower inflammation in the body by reducing the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. You can consume antioxidants in foods like fruits, vegetables, and tea.
A recent review of nine studies involving more than 31,000 people found that those who ate more fruits and vegetables were at lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia than the individuals who devoured less of these nutritious nourishments.
Berries are particularly rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids and anthocyanins. Eating can be an excellent way to prevent memory loss.
A study of more than 16,000 women showed that those who consumed the most blueberries and strawberries had a slower cognitive decline and memory loss than women who ate fewer berries.
SUMMARY Anti-inflammatory foods are great for your brain, especially berries and other foods that are high in antioxidants. To include more anti-inflammatory foods in your diet, you can’t go wrong by consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables.
13. Consider Curcumin
Curcumin is a compound found in high focuses in turmeric root. It is one of a category of compounds called polyphenols.
It is a powerful antioxidant and exerts powerful anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
Numerous animal studies have found that curcumin reduces oxidative damage and inflammation in the brain, and also reduces the amount of amyloid plaque. These accumulate in neurons and cause cell and tissue death, leading to memory loss.
In fact, amyloid plaque formation may play a role in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Although more human studies are needed on the effects of curcumin on memory, animal studies suggest it may be effective in enhancing memory and preventing cognitive decline.
SUMMARY Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant. Animal studies have shown that it reduces inflammation and amyloid plaques in the brain. Notwithstanding, more exploration is required in people.
14. Add Some Cocoa To Your Diet
Cocoa is not only delicious but also nutritious and provides a powerful dose of antioxidants called flavonoids. Studies show that flavonoids are particularly beneficial to the brain.
They can help stimulate the growth of blood vessels and neurons and increase blood flow in memory-related parts of the brain.
A study of 30 healthy people found that those consuming dark chocolate containing 720 mg of cocoa flavonoids displayed better memory compared to those who consumed white chocolate without cocoa flavonoids.
To get the most out of chocolate, choose dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% cocoa or higher. This will help ensure that it contains greater amounts of antioxidants like flavonoids.
SUMMARY Cocoa is rich in antioxidants which can help improve memory performance. Make sure to choose dark chocolate with 70% cocoa or more for a concentrated dose of antioxidants.
The Bottom Line
There are lots of fun, simple, and even delicious ways to improve your memory. Exercising your mind and body, enjoying a quality piece of chocolate, and reducing the amount of added sugar in your diet are all great techniques. Try adding some of these science-based tips to your daily routine to improve your brain health and keep your memory in peak condition.