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6 Easy Hacks for a Sharper Memory

3 minutes to read

04/25/2019

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As we grow older, our memory does funny things. You'll suddenly remember the name of a boy who stole your lunch decades ago in the third grade, and yet you can't remember the name of the movie you saw last night or what you just came into the room for. Age-associated memory impairment affects around 40 percent of people over the age of 65, but only around one percent of them will develop dementia each year.

According to a study published in The British Journal of Medicine (BMJ), actively working to maintain a healthy brain is the best thing you can do to prevent age-related memory loss and ward off dementia. Here are six of the easiest things you can do to sharpen your memory and keep your brain in tip-top shape.

1. Reduce your stress.

Studies show that prolonged exposure to stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline adversely affects the hippocampus, the brain's memory center. Studies have also shown that just a few days of exposure to high levels of cortisol impairs memory. Stress is also associated with depression and anxiety, which also interfere with normal memory processing, especially as we age.

Mitigate the stressors in your life and learn how to reduce your stress on the spot. Deep breathing medication exercises can help lower cortisol levels very quickly, and physical exercise is a powerful stress reducer as well. Meditation not only reduces stress but has been shown to improve the way your body responds to stress.

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2. Exercise.

Physical exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which promotes nerve and cell growth. People who are physically active between the ages of 20 and 60 have a lower risk for Alzheimer's disease later in life, according to research. Additionally, a study of healthy adults between the ages of 60 and 75 found that mental tasks like planning, scheduling, and memory improved in a group taking an aerobic exercise class but not in a control group.

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The Centers for Disease Control recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week for the best results in terms of disease prevention. That's just a half hour per day, five days a week. Walk, swim, bike, dance, or work hard in the yard on a regular basis all have positive effects on your memory.

3. Eat healthy food.

Obesity increases the risk for cerebrovascular disease, which leads to memory decline and dementia. Additionally, a diet high in simple carbohydrates like refined sugar, soda, candy, chips, cookies, and fruit juice concentrate can increase the risk for diabetes, which in turn increases the risk for dementia. The good news is that dietary changes can reverse these effects.

A mostly plant-based diet is best. Eat plenty of whole fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and whole grains. Take it easy on the processed foods and alcohol. Eat healthy fats, such as the kind you get from avocados, olive oil, and fatty fish. Fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants like vitamins E and C are also known to help protect brain health. These include blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, and broccoli.

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4. Use it or lose it.

Using your brain protects against memory loss, according to many studies. People who read, do puzzles, and learn new things have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's, and they have a better memory as they age.

Lifelong mental stimulation is essential for a healthy brain, and in fact, it may produce a greater density of neuronal connection in the brain areas associated with complex reasoning.

Strive to exercise your brain every day. Read, do crossword or Sudoku puzzles, learn a new language, pick up a musical instrument, or engage in other mentally-intense activities.

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5. Quit smoking.

Okay, so this isn't exactly easy, but quitting smoking now can reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease and improve your overall brain function. Smoking nearly doubles your risk of dementia and increases the risk for numerous other health problems that can affect memory and brain function.

6. Supplement.

A supplement that supports memory, focus, and mental clarity can help you maintain a healthy brain and improve memory and overall mental functioning. Thrive Naturals Super Brain Renew contains research-based ingredients like DHA omega 3, N-acetyl L-tyrosine, and phosphatidylserine to improve membrane structures and blood flow and fight free radicals. A daily dose nurtures your brain and promotes optimal cognitive function.

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Good brain health requires good overall health. A healthy lifestyle that includes nutritious food, plenty of exercise, and a daily supplement can improve your mental function and including your memory for years to come.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1123445

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805706

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/cognitive-health-and-older-adults

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