Small changes in diet and daily routine will help to better remember, think faster and reduce the risk of dementia.
- Eat less sugar
Excessive sugar intake leads to many health problems, including cognitive impairment. Studies show that unbalanced nutrition can cause memory impairment and a decrease in brain volume, especially in the areas responsible for memorization.
Reducing the amount of sugar in the diet will help to avoid such problems and in general will have a positive effect on health.
- Add fish oil to the diet
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic. They reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, fatigue, anxiety and slow down the decline in mental abilities.
Eating fish and fish oil can improve memory, especially in older people. In one study, participants experienced a significant improvement in memory after a year of eating fish oil. An experiment in adults with mild symptoms of memory loss has also proven the beneficial effects of omega-3s.
- Take time to meditate
Meditation calms, reduces pain, reduces pressure and increases the amount of gray matter. With age, it becomes smaller in the brain. This negatively affects memory and learning abilities.
Meditation improves short-term memory. This effect is noted in people of all age groups. A study conducted at a Taiwanese college showed that students who practiced meditation had significantly better spatial working memory than classmates.
- Keep track of weight
Obesity is a risk factor for cognitive decline. Being overweight can cause changes in memory-related genes in the brain, negatively affecting memory.
As part of the experiment, scientists observed a group of people from 18 to 35 years old and found that a higher body mass index is associated with poor memory test results. Obesity also leads to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep for a long time is directly related to poor memory. It is during a night’s rest that short-term memories transform into long-term ones.
Researchers studied the effects of sleep on 40 children aged 10 to 14 years. One group was prepared for memory tests in the evening, but was questioned in the morning. Another group was prepared and tested on the same day. Children who managed to sleep showed a 20% better result.
Another experiment found that night shift nurses made more mistakes in maths and performed worse in memory tests than their day shift counterparts. Therefore, it is recommended to sleep 7-9 hours every night.
- Train mindfulness
Awareness is a mental state in which you focus on the situation and at the same time understand your feelings and your environment well. It is used as part of meditation, but is not equal to it, since it is not a formal practice, but a habit.
Studies confirm that mindfulness is effective in reducing stress and improving concentration and memory. An experiment with psychology students showed that those who studied this technique improved the speed of object recognition.
Awareness helps to reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline and generally has a positive effect on the psychological state.
- Drink less alcohol
Alcohol has a devastating effect on many aspects of health. Memory is no exception. Scientists examined 155 college freshmen. Those who abused alcohol performed worse on memory tests than students who never drank. Due to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol on the brain, alcohol abuse can damage the hippocampus, the most important part of the brain for memory.
However, scientists believe that negative consequences are easy to avoid if you drink in moderation.
- Train your brain
Solving a variety of tasks improves memory. Crosswords, word games and even mobile applications for brain training are suitable.
A group of 42 adults with mild cognitive impairment improved memory test results after four weeks of specialized mobile phone games. Another study showed that the group that trained the brain using online programs for 15 minutes five days a week, short-term and working memory, concentration and problem-solving skills improved significantly compared to the control group.
- Eat Less
Studies show that a diet high in refined carbohydrates is associated with dementia and a decrease in cognitive function.
Scientists examined 317 children and found a decrease in cognitive abilities in those who ate more processed carbohydrates, such as white rice, noodles and fast food. Another study found that adults who eat sweet breakfast cereal daily experience worse tests.
- Check Vitamin D Levels
One of the negative consequences of lowering vitamin D levels is a deterioration in cognitive function. Deficiency of this substance is characteristic for residents of countries with a cold climate.
Studies show that memory in older people with vitamin D deficiency worsened faster than in their peers with normal content.
Motor activity is good for the brain and helps improve memory in people of all ages. This shows an experiment involving 144 people aged 19 to 93 years. 15 minutes of moderate exercise on a stationary bike improved the cognitive abilities of the trainees.
Exercise can increase the secretion of neuroprotective proteins and lead to the growth and development of neurons, which in general has a beneficial effect on the brain.
- Choose anti-inflammatory products
Anti-inflammatory foods – fruits, vegetables, tea – stimulate the immune system, remove free radicals. Berries are especially rich in antioxidants: they contain flavonoids and anthocyanins. Those who eat more fruits and vegetables are less likely to experience cognitive impairment.
- Meet Curcumin
Curcumin is part of the turmeric root. It is a powerful antioxidant that has an anti-inflammatory effect. Numerous animal studies have shown that curcumin minimizes oxidative damage and inflammation in the brain, and also reduces the amount of amyloid plaques. They accumulate on neurons and cause the death of cells and tissues, which leads to memory loss.
While there are not so many studies in humans, however, the substance is considered promising for improving memory.
- Eat Chocolate
Chocolate contains antioxidants flavonoids, which are especially beneficial for the brain. They stimulate the growth of neurons and improve blood supply to the brain.
According to studies, those who eat dark chocolate with flavonoids, can boast a better memory than lovers of white chocolate, which does not have these antioxidants.
For maximum benefit, you should choose chocolate with a cocoa content of 70%.