It might be surprising some of the everyday things we can do to help our memory. I did some research and compiled some of them here. Harvard Medical School says that mental decline as we age is one of the most feared consequences of getting older. I know that’s true for me.
But there are things we can do to help prevent this and take control. Let’s dive in and look at some holistic and natural ways to help memory.
- Healthy Diet – I know, I know. We hear this every day. But what you put in is what you get. A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and good fats including DHA/EPA (Omega 3s), medium-chain triglycerides (MCT Oil) and grass-fed butter or ghee. And some protein. Grass-fed beef and chicken are the best sources of meat.
Eating lower carb and cutting out gluten is extremely important for brain health. It is now found that gluten causes inflammation in the gut and brain. Check out the link below.
I’ve also read in several places that leafy greens are especially good for brain health.You know how great you feel after eating a delicious salad. I can feel the difference in a short period of time! Fish, nuts and flaxseed have Omega-3 fatty acids that have an anti-inflammatory property that helps slow brain function decline in older adults.
Related Article: Does Gluten Cause Inflammation?
2. Get Organized! – The less clutter we have in our homes, the easier it is to think. It might be daunting to ‘take it all on’ at once’. Try just doing a few things at a time. If it doesn’t need to be sitting where it’s at, put it away or find a place. Sometimes we need to take a fresh look at a room, a table or a counter and decide if some of the things we tend to ignore really need to be there. Is there a better spot for this? Be present.
Mayo Clinic also recommends keeping to-do lists and using a special notebook, calendar or planner to jot down appointments and tasks.
3. Sleep – Get enough sleep. Mayo says that we consolidate memories when we sleep so we can recall them easier. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a day. It definitely changes how I function. Read my article on getting to sleep easier here.
4. Exercise! – Exercise helps pump up our blood and increases circulation. Even short spurts of exercise are shown to increase brain function and memory.
Related Article: Does Exercise Help Brain Function?
Harvard Medical School says:
Research shows that using your muscles also helps your mind. Animals who exercise regularly increase the number of tiny blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich blood to the region of the brain that is responsible for thought. Exercise also spurs the development of new nerve cells and increases the connections between brain cells (synapses).
5. Keep Your Mind Active – Do crossword puzzles, play online games, learn to play an instrument, take a course in something you’re interested in at your local adult education center, community college or senior center. Maybe you could start your own blog! Learn a new language. Do crafts you enjoy or learn a new one. Volunteer at a local school or community organization. Read.
6. Socialize – Get together regularly with family and/or friends. This helps to prevent or help depression and stress which affect your memory. In fact, research has shown this is one of the biggest factors in preventing Alzheimer’s.
7. Don’t Abuse Alcohol – Everyone seems to agree that excessive drinking is a major risk for dementia and increases memory loss. Harvard and Mayo say that if you do drink, limit your intake to two drinks a day.
8. Take Care of Your Emotions – Take care of yourself. Good mental health and restful sleep are helpful. While a lack of those doesn’t predict memory issues, they certainly help keep you on track.
9. Avoid Tobacco – ‘Nuff said.
Everything here is natural.. and easy! I think we just get lost in our everyday routines and forget to take care of the little things. I hope this gives you some ideas of how you can incorporate small changes in your routine and help your memory and brain health!
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Harvard Medical School: Harvard Health Publishing (2018). https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/12-ways-to-keep-your-brain-young
Mayo Clinic: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (2019). https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/memory-loss/art-20046518
Wong, C., Verywellmind.com (2018). https://www.verywellmind.com/natural-ways-to-improve-memory-89291