When life gets busy, hectic, even chaotic, you might notice that you start having trouble remembering things. Mindfulness is a good habit. It basically means “living in the moment,” and being present to and keenly aware of your immediate circumstances and surroundings. Mindfulness can help improve memory performance.
A certain amount of cognitive decline is bound to occur as we age. However, there has been an increase in recent decades of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other similar adverse conditions related to cognitive health. Improving memory performance is like weight lifting and aerobic exercise is to physical health. Memory building improves cognitive health.
Maintain a healthy weight to improve memory performance
Studies show that obesity and cognitive decline are connected. Obesity is a risk factor because it somehow sparks changes in the genes of the brain that are associated with your capacity to remember things.
Obesity is also a risk factor for Type II Diabetes because it can cause insulin resistance. Being over weight also leads to inflammation of the body. None of these issues are good for your brain health. If you want to improve memory performance, try to maintain a healthy weight.
Improve memory performance by getting rid of added sugars
We could likely eradicate numerous chronic diseases, including cognitive ill-health by eliminating added sugars from our diets. Eating too much processed sugar causes a reduction in brain volume. This reduction especially affects the part of your brain that controls short-term memory.
Cutting added sugar from your diet not only improves memory performance, it reduces your risk for numerous other ailments as well. If you have a sweet tooth, try to satisfy it by eating some blackberries or stirring a spoonful of raw honey into your tea, etc. These are sweets, too, but are no doubt less damaging to your brain health than high fructose corn syrup and other added sugars might be.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to poor cognitive function
If you missed this article here at Hot Mess Press, take a few minutes to read it. It explains the many benefits of exposing yourself to direct sunlight on a frequent, if not daily, basis. Sunlight is a main source of vitamin D.
Vitamin D, or lack of, is closely linked to an increased risk of dementia. Just as many people in the United States live in a chronic state of dehydration, so too are millions of people severely deficient in vitamin D. If you want to improve memory performance, get lots of sunlight and make sure you are getting sufficient amounts of vitamin D in your diet.
Exercise and sleep are equally important
When I say “exercise,” I don’t necessarily mean you have to hit the gym five days per week. I do mean, however, that you should not be living a sedentary lifestyle, especially if you want to avoid cognitive decline. Even moderate amounts of exercise can help improve memory performance.
After you’re done moving, you need to get adequate sleep at the end of the day. Being sleep deprived takes a heavy toll on memory performance. In one particular study where children were tested for memory abilities, the group who slept between the training sessions and tests out-performed the group that took their tests the same day as their training sessions with no sleep in between.
Blueberries, curcumin and more
If curcumin is not part of your regular diet, you’ll want it to be, especially if your goal is to improve memory performance. Curcumin reduces oxidative damage and build up of plaque in the brain. Alzheimer’s patients often have a lot of this type of plaque built up in their brains.
In addition to curcumin, cocoa and numerous other foods that are rich in antioxidants can help improve memory performance and avoid debilitating cognitive illnesses. Things like dark chocolate, blueberries and moderate amounts of coffee are your friends! And, don’t forget to challenge your memory on a regular basis by playing brain games. Crossword puzzles, word search, Sudoku and other activities are fun ways to keep your memory skills and brain health in tip top shape.
I’ve recently begun learning about sulforaphane. A primary source for this amazing substance is broccoli sprouts. It’s an anti-cancer, antimicrobial, neuroprotective giant. It is a superhero of brain health. You can read more about it, here. I’m thinking of learning how to grow broccoli sprouts in a mason jar. If you have done this, I’d love to hear about it!