Research based tips to improve your memory (Part 1)

By December 31, 2020 Health & Nutrition, LifeStyle

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Ever entered a room and then wondered why? You know you went in for something, but was it to grab your keys, or your headphones, or to turn off the lights? Relax. There are plenty of easy, even fun, things you can do to prevent memory loss. What has been always considered a part of growing old doesn’t have to be so any more. In the article below, Part 2 of 2, the author lists out such activities that can help you with your memory challenges. Team RetyrSmart

Research based tips to improve your memory (Part 1)

Practice Mindfulness

Chilling out can keep your memory intact. Researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara found that college students who did 45-minute meditation sessions four times a week scored 60 points higher on the GRE’s verbal exam after just two weeks.

How do you practice mindfulness? It’s the groundwork of meditation: Sit in a quiet place, breathe slowly, and concentrate on what you’re thinking and feeling in the present moment.

Eat Avocados

It’s time to join the millennials in ordering avocado toast: A 2017 study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that monounsaturated fatty acids — like those found in avocados — may improve organizational function in the brain, potentially boosting memory retention.

Add avocado to your diet, but don’t overindulge: Nutritionists say one-quarter of an avocado equals one serving. Other foods rich in beneficial monounsaturated fatty acids include almonds, cashews, peanuts and peanut butter, and olive oil.

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Play Board Games

Here’s a good excuse to revisit the high human drama of Monopoly and Risk: Researchers at the Université Bordeaux Ségalen and the Institute for European Expertise in Physiology found that adult patients who regularly played board games were 15 percent less likely to develop dementia than their non-game-playing peers, and they experienced less depression as well.

Get playing. The researchers said bingo and card games count too.

Sprinkle Some Cinnamon

Add this spice to your life ASAP. A study published in PLoS One reveal that mice fed cinnamon extract exhibited fewer symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, including memory and cognitive issues, than a control group.

Top oatmeal with cinnamon, stir it into your coffee or sprinkle it onto whole-grain toast.

Enjoy Dark Chocolate

Just like cinnamon, dark chocolate has been correlated with a healthier brain. A 2018 study at Loma Linda University found that eating just one serving of dark chocolate could boost memory, cognition, the immune system and mood.

Treat yourself to a few squares of dark chocolate regularly. Look for a bar that’s at least 80 percent cacao.

Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Here’s another reason to eat your greens (and all other colours of the rainbow): A 2018 study published in the journal Neurology surveyed 28,000 men; those who ate the most fruits and vegetables were the least likely to develop poor thinking skills. “Scientists speculated that the antioxidants and bioactive substances — such as vitamins A, B, C, and E; carotenoids; flavonoids; and polyphenols — found in fruit and vegetables may reduce brain oxidative stress, which in effect may prevent age-related brain dysfunction like memory loss,” says Harvard Medical School.

At the grocery store, see red first. Resveratrol, a pigment found in red fruit, like apples, strawberries, raspberries, and grapes, has been linked to a reduction in Alzheimer’s risk by researchers at Georgetown University, potentially boosting memory.

Eat a Diet Low in Saturated Fat

Foods high in saturated fat aren’t just bad for your heart—they also tax the brain. Why? They boost your blood cholesterol level, which forms sticky plaques in arteries. The same process that can lead to a heart attack seems to gum up the neurological works as well. In a study published in the journal Annals of Neurology, study participants who ate the most saturated fats from foods such as red meat and butter performed worse on tests of thinking and memory than those who ate the least saturated fat.

An excellent diet for your brain and heart is the Mediterranean diet — lots of fruits and vegetables, plus fish, whole grains, legumes, nuts and healthy fats like olive oil.

Quit Smoking

If you haven’t permanently stubbed out the cigarettes yet, this might convince you: People who’ve quit smoking have better memory than their still-smoking peers. That’s the conclusion of a study published in the Journal of Alcohol & Drug Dependence. Researchers think the same toxins that damage the lungs can harm areas of the brain dedicated to memory.

If you need help quitting, see your doctor. Don’t switch to smokeless tobacco or e-cigarettes.

Skip Simple Carbs and Added Sugar

Junk food can turn your mind to mush. Eating highly refined carbohydrates—like white bread, bagels, cookies and sugar-sweetened beverages—and foods high in added sugar can lead to high blood sugar, which has been linked to memory loss and dementia.

Choose foods made with whole grains, exercise and avoid empty calories to keep your blood sugar, and memory, in check.

Turns out mom was right—too much TV will rot your brain. A study published in the journal Brain and Cognition found that, for each hour a person between the ages of 40 and 59 spends watching TV, their risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases by 1.3 percent.

Turn off the tube more often. Socializing and getting physical exercise will boost your brain health too.

Drink Less Alcohol

Booze is a potent neurotoxin that has damaging effects on the brain. Researchers have found that chronic binge drinking can damage the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is crucial to memory.

Experts say women should limit themselves to one drink a day, and men to two. After age 65, men should downsize to a solo drink too.

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