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Natural Ways To Improve Memory

22 June 2022

All throughout life, it’s normal to feel fluctuations in our memory and ability to recall information. Far from being a mere fact of ageing, memory loss and forgetfulness are complex neurological conditions that can have many underlying causes.

While genetics do play a significant role in determining to what extent you may be prone to forgetfulness or memory issues, particularly later in life, the diet you consume and the lifestyle you lead will undoubtedly have a great impact on this.

With this in mind, the power is shifted back into your hands. With simple adjustments to your diet and lifestyle, you may soon find your brain fog and forgetfulness a long-forgotten memory.

Here are 8 steps you can take to naturally improve your memory.

• Do regularly exercise

It goes without saying that getting regular exercise is key for your overall health and wellness. Regularly engaging in even light cardio exercise has been shown to encourage the production of proteins that contribute to improved brain function.

Research points to the fact that, at any point in life, a regular habit of exercise contributes to the overall improved function of both the mind and body. Getting in enough exercise in your midlife may even reduce the chances of developing dementia later in life. Even a short jog or cardio session a few times a week is enough to experience the effects of improved memory.

• Cut down on artificially added sugars

It’s no secret that eating too much sugar has a negative impact on your overall health. While predominantly associated with serious conditions such as obesity and diabetes, the overconsumption of sugar can also take a big toll on your brain and cognitive function - even reducing the size of your brain.

While sugar, in the form of glucose, is the primary energy source for your neurological functions, its overconsumption is detrimental to memory, even being linked to an increased risk of dementia. The WHO recommended an upper limit of 25g per day for sugar intake, in order to protect memory and overall health.

• Maintain good sleep hygiene

Without proper sleep, the body ceases to be able to perform most of its functions to its best ability. Sleep hygiene and the brain are closely related. Both mood and cognitive functions like memory recall are greatly impaired by the lack of a good night’s sleep. If you’ve ever been rudely awoken by an alarm only to spend the next several hours grumpy and groggy, you won’t need further convincing.

Health experts recommend that the average adult should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night in order to maintain peak cognitive function. Maintaining good sleep hygiene, such  as going to bed at a regular hour and avoiding screens before bed, helps the brain to gain as much rest as possible from its sleep, and leave you feeling refreshed and alert the next day.

• Moderate alcohol intake

An air filter is a great practical solution for removing pollutants from your home, as pollutants only serve to aggravate the potency of summer pollen and irritants in the air. An air filter is a great practical solution for removing pollutants from your home, as pollutants only serve to aggravate the potency of summer pollen and irritants in the air.

An air filter is a great practical solution for removing pollutants from your home, as pollutants only serve to aggravate the potency of summer pollen and irritants in the air.

• Brain training

At the end of the day, the brain is a muscle that can be trained just like any other. There are a wide variety of brain training activities that help to keep your synapses firing sharply, and prevent memory from declining. From more memory-focused exercises to fun and enjoyable games such as sudoku and crosswords, as long as you’re really working those brain muscles on a regular basis, you’ll soon feel your recall and response times speed up rapidly.

• Meditate

Mediation is a relaxing activity for the brain that greatly helps to reduce stress. Your memory recall is positively affected by the lack of stress, lowered blood pressure, and reduced pain sensitivity that are commonly achieved through meditation. Ageing is known to cause a decrease in the grey matter volume of the brain - precisely the location of the neuron cell bodies that help perform memory tasks and cognition. As you age, practising regular meditation and mindfulness may even slow the decline in grey matter - keeping your memory sharper for longer.

• Moderate body weight

Maintaining a healthy body weight is a key part of maintaining the overall state of your health all throughout life. What counts as a healthy weight for you will of course depend on your height and body type, but BMI calculators are a good reference point for what’s a healthy weight for you to aim to maintain. Many studies have shown higher BMIs to correlate with reduced cognitive function and worse performance on memory tests. A well-balanced diet and regular exercise will keep your body in shape and your mind in tip-top condition.

• Plus: Eat cranberries and cocoa

Recent research has shown that adding both cranberries (either the fruit itself or in a concentrated extract) as well as pure cocoa could have brain-boosting effects that keep your memory sharper for longer.

Don’t let brain fog get the better of you - take these steps towards protecting your memory and cognition!