How can you improve your memory?
Some people seem to be able to retain information and reel off facts and figures easily, while others might frequently struggle to remember even the simplest of things.
It’s important not to panic if you find yourself become more forgetful, as studies have shown that memory will naturally decline as we age, so it’s not always a sign of something more serious.1 Becoming forgetful can be annoying though – from the embarrassment of forgetting someone’s name to the frustration of not knowing where you left your house or car keys.
Be kind to your mind
Thankfully, there are steps we can take to improve our physiological health. While memory loss is a natural part of the aging process and can also be influenced by our genetic makeup, the good news is that there are things we can all do to ensure a healthy mental state and to improve our memories:
1. Consume less sugar
We all know too much sugar isn’t good for us, but aside from the impact it can have on our bodies, did you realise that it could impact your memory too? Sugar has been shown in studies to lead to poor memory and reduced brain volume, especially when it comes to short-term memory. So for better health, and better memory, try your best to cut back on the sugar.2
2. Eat oily fish or take a fish oil supplement
There are many studies to suggest that fish oil, which is naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids, can slow mental decline.3
If you like fish like salmon and mackerel then great! Fill your plate and enjoy them knowing that they offer memory-boosting benefits. If you don’t like, or don’t eat fish, you can still take a high-quality omega-3 supplement to reap the same benefits.
3. Take time to meditate
As well as lowering blood pressure and reducing stress, meditation has also been shown to have potential memory-boosting benefits.4
Meditation isn’t just good for your body, but it’s good for your mind too!
4. Watch your weight
One of the best things you can do for your body is keep your weight at a healthy level. This can help to avoid weight-related illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as to reduce the pressure on your joints. Keeping a healthy weight is also good for your mind. That’s because, as well as being associated with a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, obesity can change the genes associated with memory.5
5. Ensure you get enough sleep
We all know how awful it feels to be tired and how much harder it seems to function. So, it’s no surprise that lack of proper sleep has been linked to poor memory, with research showing that not getting enough sleep does actually affect your cognitive ability to remember things.6
6. Cut back on alcohol
Alcohol doesn’t just affect you in the moment, but afterwards too. Studies have shown that binge drinking can alter the brain and cause memory deficits, and repeated episodes of binge drinking can actually damage the hippocampus – the part of your brain that is responsible for your memory.7
7. Give your brain a workout!
If you want to be good at sports, you would have to train. Having a good memory is no different – your brain can be trained just as your body can! Brain games such as crosswords and sudoku are fun ways to pass time and come with the added benefit of giving your brain a challenging workout.
8. Exercise your body too
Exercise is important for mental health as well as physical health and research has indicated that it can help memory retention in people of all ages. Regular exercise during mid-life in particular, is associated with a reduction in the risk of developing dementia.8
9. Treat yourself to some (dark) chocolate
The great news for chocoholics is that cocoa is packed full of antioxidants known as flavonoids, which are particularly beneficial for your brain. Studies show that people who consumed dark chocolate had better memory retention than those who consumed white chocolate, which does not contain any flavonoids.9
Losing your memory is something that concerns many people and of course, there are many who will still suffer from this. Whatever stage of life you are at, there’s always time to do what you can to give your physiological health a boost and put yourself in the best position for retaining a strong memory.