Can you actually improve your memory? If you’re a habitual forgetter of things, you probably wish your memory was a lot better. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to give your memory a boost. Of course, using a reminder system such as setting alarms will help immensely. Or creating a to-do list will ensure that you don’t forget tasks you need to complete daily. However, what about all that vital info that you must always keep in your long-term memory?
Although it will take some effort and time, there are a few strategies that will let you get the most out of your brain’s ability to remember. Research shows that lifestyle and diet changes can have a significant impact on your memory. Here are a few:
Eat fish oil supplements
Fish oil supplements contain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), icosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are vital for overall health. Studies show that they relieve stress, reduce muscle inflammation, lower the risk of heart disease, and slow down mental degeneration. Another research also suggests that consuming fish oil supplements might improve memory in older people. Both EPA and DHA are vital for proper brain function and reduce inflammation- one reason for cognitive decline. So eat a fish oil supplement tablet after every meal or at least two times a day to improve your working, episodic, and short-term memory, especially if you are above 60.
Education enhances our memory as the brain continues to receive directions in verbal and visual formats. Students have to underline, jot down, or highlight important points while going through their coursework. Reviewing what they consolidate helps to improve their short-term and working memory.
Professionals leveraging technology to upskill and progress in their careers can also benefit from this memory-enhancing technique. This includes RNs enrolled in online masters degree in nursing, businesspeople enrolled in low entry barrier online MBAs, individuals enrolled in online doctoral programs, etc.
Exercise and meditation
Physical activity is known to impact our brains directly. According to research in the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation states, regular physical activity decreases mental and cognitive decline as we age and reduces brain degeneration. Furthermore, according to a study conducted in 2017, aerobic exercise drastically improved memory function in people who were in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Aerobic exercise will get your heart pumping and includes activities such as swimming, dancing, running, brisk walking, jogging, hiking, cycling, and much more. So, consider any of these activities and incorporate them into your routine to get your daily fill of physical activity.
Similarly, research shows that mindful meditation can help improve your working and long-term memory and brain function while reducing brain degeneration. The study consisted of people who performed activities such as yoga and those who didn’t. The study concluded that regular meditation might lead to long-term changes in a person’s brain by increasing its plasticity and keeping it healthy for a long time. So, incorporate meditation into your daily routine and do it consistently to see improvements in your memory and information retention.
Reduce your sugar intake
Sugary foods and beverages mind taste yummy at first. However, they can lead to memory loss if consumed in excessive amounts. A study conducted in 2017 in animal models shows that a diet consisting of sugary beverages and foods might put you at risk of developing Alzheimer’s when you grow older. Researchers also found that consuming too many sugary drinks may also reduce brain volume, an early sign of Alzheimer’s.
So, it would be wise to stay away from such sugary foods and beverages to help combat the risk of Alzheimer’s. Also, instead of consuming artificially sweetened drinks and foods, go for natural options such as fruits and fresh juices.
Stay away from high-calorie diets
Besides reducing your sugar intake, try to reduce your overall caloric intake to keep your brain healthy. Most research related to memory and high-calorie diets has been conducted on animals. However, a 2009 study shows how restricting food intake might help improve brain function and memory.
In the research, female participants above 60 years reduced their average caloric intake by 30 percent. In conclusion, researchers found a drastic increase in their verbal memory scores. The females who stuck to their low-calorie diet saw ever-lasting benefits. However, that doesn’t mean you starve yourself, as it could be counter-productive. Not eating enough can slow down your metabolism, preventing glucose from reaching your brain and affecting your overall health. In the end, it is about finding the right balance between the type of food to consume and caloric restriction.
There are many simple, effective, and even delicious ways to help improve your brain’s function and information retention capabilities. Exercising your body and mind and reducing the number of sugary foods and beverages you consume are a few excellent techniques. Try incorporating a few of the science-backed tips mentioned above into your daily routine to give your brain a boost and keep your memory in good condition.