We all have those moments. You misplace your keys. You walk into a room but don’t remember why you were going there. That new restaurant you tried was great, but you can’t think of its name.
Memory glitches happen. Distraction, stress, busy schedules, and a variety of other daily realities can get in the way of your brain’s processing ability. Nothing to be worried about.
That being said, whether you’re 22 or 82, it’s never too early (or late) to improve your brain power.
Good for the Body, Good for the Mind
Here’s one more reason to get off the couch and get active. Physical activity protects brain cells and stimulates blood vessels to grow in the brain, carrying more oxygen to the brain and improving your memory function. 30 minutes of walking, biking, or yardwork three or four times each week is enough to improve memory function.
Food for Thought
How you fuel your body has a direct impact on how you fuel your brain. To improve your memory, increase your intake of foods that are low in saturated fat and rich in memory enhancing nutrients. The best news, it’s all great food too:
- Mediterranean Diet: Heart-healthy and brain-healthy, a double win. Studies show that people who follow a Mediterranean diet have improved long-term and working memory, with a lower chance of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Flavonoids and Flavanols: Step up your consumption of these antioxidant compounds found in apples, berries, citrus fruits, black tea, and cocoa beans. For chocolate lovers, go for dark chocolate bars and cocoa powders that are not Dutched.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: This is the good fat that help build and protect cell membranes in the brain, found in salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, flaxseed, and walnuts. Studies have shown that even one seafood meal a week can make a difference.
Sleep is the body’s way of hitting reset on our brain. From a solid night’s sleep to power naps, sleep is an essential part of neurological well-being. It is how we form long-term memories, clear brain space for new experiences, fight off the risk of dementia, and helps with our mental recuperation.
Use it or lose it. The more active you keep your brain, the stronger your mental abilities. Stimulating environments and cognitive tasks engage your brain in a way that enhance your memory and keep your brain functioning its best. Brain games, learning a new skill, playing chess, reading a good book…any mentally stimulating activity can help keep your brain in shape.
Staying mentally fit is every bit as important as your physical well-being. With minimal time and effort, you can keep your brain healthy and your memory strong. Stay well.