Do you ever forget the name of someone you've just met? Where you put those keys? Whether you locked the door on your way out? Your girlfriend's birthday? Sure you do, we all do, occasionally. But what if your memory loss and inability to focus progress and become more and more frequent?
Unfortunately, memory loss and aging go hand in hand. As of one's early 20s, the brain begins losing neurons, and the body starts to make less of the chemicals that the brain requires to work properly.
Fortunately, there's a lot that you can do to slow down this process. Below are some tips to keep your memory sharp.
1. Eat healthy meals
Maintaining a well-balanced diet is not only important for your body, it's also essential for your brain and memory. According to the American Academy of Neurology, eating fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants, such as berries, oranges, spinach, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes, can reduce the risk of stroke by 11 percent.
Another study has shown that antioxidants and polyphenols in blueberries, cranberries and grapes can help improve the ability of brain cells to communicate with each other, and lessen the brain's susceptibility to injury.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, elements such as curcumin and B vitamins such as niacin and folic acid may also help prevent memory loss, and may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease
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2. Lay off the booze
Some people don't remember anything about the previous night's party after binge drinking. Luckily for them, in most cases, this alcohol "blackout" or memory loss is temporary.
Scientists used to think that blackouts affected only hardcore alcoholics. Studies, however, have shown that this is also a common phenomenon in social drinkers. In a study of about 2,000 male social drinkers, researchers found that 35 percent of them had experienced at least one blackout in the year before the survey.
Alcohol can interfere with the ability to form new long-term memories, even after just one or two drinks. Some studies have suggested that there is a relationship between the severity of the memory impairment and the amount of alcohol consumed; the more you drink, the worse your memory loss is.
3. Exercise your body
We all know that we need to exercise to keep our muscles in shape. But did you know that working out can also help your mind?
Cardiovascular exercise can help prevent memory loss. Doctors think that this is because exercise can improve blood circulation to the brain and reduce aging-related loss of brain tissue. Brain scan studies have demonstrated that the gray matter of older men who are physically fit is in better shape than those who didn't exercise.
You don't have to run a marathon to keep your mind sharp. Mind-body exercises can also help you in the battle against memory loss. Another study showed that aging men who regularly perform Chinese exercises, such as tai chi and qi qong, have much better learning and memory capabilities compared to those who do not.
Note, however, that it's important to not overdo that aerobic routine. Exercising to the point of dehydration can actually harm memory functions.
4. Exercise your brain
Giving your mind a workout can literally help your brain grow. By keeping your brain active, you are encouraging neuronal brain cells to make new connections, which allow the cells to communicate with one another. This can help memory storage and prevent memory loss.
There are many things you can do to exercise your mind; some of them are activities as simple as doing a crossword puzzle, playing chess, reading, and staying active. There are also benefits to learning to do new things, such as playing a musical instrument, learning a foreign language or starting a hobby. The key is doing so regularly. When it comes to matters of mind and memory, it's use it or lose it!
5. Take memory-boosting supplements
Science has long acknowledged the benefits of some nutritional supplements such as zinc and folic acid, in brain development. Cutting-edge research has identified other nutrients that may help boost brain functions and prevent premature memory loss in men. These nutrients are found in Anchor Health's BrainFlex, a natural supplement for boosting memory and concentration.
Its ingredients include:
-Antioxidants that help eliminate harmful free radicals and herbs that help protect the nerve cells from damage
-Nutrients that feed the brain by increasing oxygen and glucose supply
-Herbs that aid the production of neurotransmitters, a compound used to transmit nerve signals in the brain
Supplements that can help boost your memory include:
A popular herb, ginkgo biloba has long been used in traditional medicine to boost memory. It has a powerful antioxidant property, and can help prevent damage to blood vessels in the brain. It can also help improve blood flow to your noggin and ensure optimal delivery of oxygen and nutrients to nerve cells by maintaining the tone and elasticity of blood vessels.
B vitamins are involved in many metabolic processes in the body and are important for overall health. In regard to the brain specifically, two members of this vitamin family stand out: vitamin B12 and folic acid. Vitamin B12 is involved in the maintenance of the myelin sheath, a protective cover of nerve cells that allows them to function properly.
In addition to helping prevent birth defects, folic acid is also an essential ingredient for the brain's neurotransmitters. Low levels of folic acid have been linked with memory loss, whereas people with sharp memory functions have been found to have high levels of this nutrient.
Phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylserine
These two nutrients are phospholipids or fatty acids, found in the membrane of all cells. They play an important role in the composition of cellular membrane by keeping it fluid and flexible, and they also serve as precursors of the brain's neurotransmitters. Phosphatidylserine levels decline with age, and research has shown that phosphatidylserine supplements can reverse the decline in memory and concentration.
The primary function of amino acids is to act as the building blocks of proteins. Certain types, however, also function in brain development and regeneration. For example, L-taurine is a potent neuroprotector, guarding the nerve cells against stress and toxins. L-pyroglutamine is essential for the metabolism of neurons, and DMAE, a precursor to neurotransmitters, has been shown to improve short-term memory.
An easy way to get these herbs and nutrients is from Anchor Health's BrainFlex, which contains 21 herbs, vitamins and nutrients clinically proven to improve brain functions and memory.
Be smart about your brain
Keeping your memory and mind sharp should be a part of your everyday life. Remember that regular exercise goes a long way to keeping your mind (and body) fit, and don't forget to take your BrainFlex supplement.