Memory challenges are quite common especially as we get older.
It is normal to forget things once in a while such as forgetting where we dropped our keys or forgetting to pick up an item from the grocery store. However, if you are a senior and discover you forget things more often than people of the same age as you, you may have a mild cognitive impairment.
Your memory problems may be considered serious if you forget how to use your phone or where your home is.
Factors that can adversely affect your memory include; stress, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, nutritional deficiencies, sleep deprivation, overactive or underactive thyroid, and certain medications.
Additional factors that could lead to severe memory problems include; depression, dementia, head injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke.
Below are some tips and good practices, to consider, if you are dealing with memory problems;
- Endeavor to maintain a well-balanced diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Stimulate your brain with mental exercises such as crossword puzzles and sudoku.
- Ensure you exercise regularly in order to increase oxygen supply to your brain and to also stimulate nerve cells.
- Ensure you are getting good quantity and quality of sleep as sleep deprivation can gradually trigger memory issues.
- Avoid the consumption of high-fat diets. Strive to replace saturated fats with healthier forms of fat.
- Avoid negative stress situations. You could also use yoga, deep breathing, or meditation to control stress.
For the general improvement of your memory, you could try some home remedies and lifestyle changes as highlighted below;
This is a deep maroon-colored veggie that offers a host of health benefits including boosting your brain performance. Beetroot is packed with beta-carotene, vitamin A and C, antioxidants, folate, and polyphenols. Moreover, it has high nitrate content which is attributed to increasing the blood flow to the brain for cognitive functioning. That’s why you should take a glass of beetroot juice before engaging in an exercise. Beetroot is effective especially in young individuals and older adults.
Avocado contains monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids which are linked to cognitive function. It’s also a rich source of vitamins A, an antioxidant that protects your brain from free radical damage. Furthermore, avocado has potassium, vitamin K, and folate which protect the brain from a stroke that may occur when a blood vessel blocks the blood from flowing into the brain.
According to a study conducted at the University of Massachusetts, an apple can help to improve your brain power. Apple is loaded with quercetin, an antioxidant that protects your brain against degeneration and, most importantly, supplies the brain with nutrients to keep it active. Not only that, an apple reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease which may interfere with the proper functioning of the brain. With this in mind, you should drink apple juice, or simply take apples, on a daily basis to protect your brain from oxidative damage.
4. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil has a natural scent/aroma that can produce objective effects on cognitive performance. This essential oil is loaded with camphor, caffeic acid, eucalyptol, and betulinic acid which provide olfactory properties that positively interact with the brain cells. Besides increasing your memory power, it will ward may inhibit Alzheimer’s disease. You can either smell the herbs in their natural form or put a few drops of rosemary oil in a diffuser and inhale them.
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, herring, and sardines are packed with omega-3 fatty acids which help to improve memory in young adults. To get a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acid, substitute meat for fish several times a week. For flavor, you could bake, boil or grill your fish. Avoid frying your fish. In fact, some studies have linked fried fish to brain damage as, often times, the oil used for frying contains trans fats. If you can’t handle the taste of fish, you can take omega-3 supplements as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, folate, melatonin, and antioxidants which are associated with better brain function. In addition to giving better concentration, walnuts protect your brain from age-related mental illness. Besides that, walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid which lowers the chances of getting a heart attack. A handful of walnuts a day can also help to fight memory loss. For these reasons, you should include walnuts in your dishes and breakfast bowls.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is loaded with medium chain triglycerides which offer numerous health benefits such as improving immunity, preventing heart disease, and boosting your memory. Also, coconut oil has beneficial effects on blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. While there is no conclusive study, coconut oil works as an anti-inflammatory which helps to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. So, if you intend to give your brain that extra fuel to carry out its daily activities, you should take 3-4 tsp of coconut oil every day. You can as well add it to your oatmeal and smoothies.
Almonds are an excellent source of lean protein, vitamin B-6, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin E which all help to improve memory function. Apart from enhancing memory, almonds help to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and are good for your eyes. For this remedy, simply soak 5-10 almonds for 8-10 hours, peel the skin and grind them. Then, boil the paste in a glass of milk and drink once every day. Alternatively, you can roast sweet almonds or eat them raw.
Blueberries contain flavonoid, an antioxidant that helps to boost cognitive function, especially in old age. Furthermore, blueberries protect your brain from oxidative damage which may lead to premature aging. When you consume blueberries, you help enhance the communication between neurons for better decision making, reasoning, and verbal comprehension. Apart from boosting your overall mental health, this fruit may help to reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s. Other berries that may be beneficial to the brain include goji berries and blackberries.
10. Flaxseed And Pumpkin Seed
If you’ve been searching for a natural method to boost your memory, you should incorporate flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds in your meals. Flaxseeds possess high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid which both help to boost the cognitive function. On the other hand, pumpkin seeds have brain-building nutrients that include zinc and carotenoids. This could be the perfect combination for vegetarians.
This vegetable contains high levels of vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, beta-carotene, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and choline. These nutrients strengthen the cognitive abilities, improve brain functions, keep blood flowing well and protects against free radicals that may damage the brain. Also, one serving of broccoli supplies your body with folic acid which may help to ward off the Alzheimer’s disease. If you don’t have a sufficient amount of folic acid in your body, you could be more susceptible to depression. Thus, eating broccoli can improve your mood.
12. Dark Chocolate
Regular consumption of dark chocolate may enhance your problem-solving skills. A study suggests that dark chocolate can boost your brain performance by up to 25%. Moreover, dark chocolate is loaded with flavonoid which may help to improve the blood flow to the brain. It also improves oxygen supply to the brain and protects the brain from free radical damage. Other benefits of dark chocolate include; supporting the gut flora and helping to relieve stress. Experts recommend that you consume 300-400mg of dark chocolate on a daily basis.
Besides being an essential ingredient in the preparation of soups, onions are loaded with antioxidants which boost your brain’s health. In addition to that, onions bind harmful toxins and flush them away. It also helps to fight degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. Red onions contain quercetin which protects your body from free radicals. For best results, you should include onions in your meals especially your salads and soups.
This tiny grain-like seed possesses large amounts of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, unsaturated fats, and iron. Additionally, it contains iron and B-vitamins which help to balance the mood and protects the blood vessels. When your body lacks these essential minerals and nutrients, you may experience a cognitive delay. Quinoa is also rich in essential amino acids (lysine) which help to regulate stress and anxiety. Just like other seeds, you should soak quinoa overnight to remove the saponins before cooking them.
Honey contains antioxidants that protect your brain from free radical damage. What’s more, honey is a rich source of manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and antioxidants which safeguards your body from mental fatigue. There is also a study that has linked honey to boosting of memory in postmenopausal women. Besides that, raw honey relieves anxiety and calms the nerves giving a feeling of relaxation and rest.
This green leafy vegetable contains large amounts of fiber, iron, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, and copper which helps to improve your overall health and your brain memory. The folate component helps to reduce inflammation that may inhibit brain function. Spinach also aids in regulating the neurotransmitters which send messages to the brain cells. Some studies have also linked spinach to the prevention of dementia and reducing the effects of aging in the brain.
17. Whole Grains
Whole grains are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, complex carbohydrates, and fiber which help to release glucose to the bloodstream to pump energy into the brain. Apart from that, they enhance your mood and promote mental alertness. To boost your brain performance, you should consume foods such as brown rice, whole wheat, barley, rice, and more.
18. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds contain a rich mix of B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, choline, and proteins which are essential in keeping your memory sharp. Not only that, sunflower seeds are loaded with tryptophan which is converted to serotonin to combat depression. To give your brain a boost, simply roast the seeds and sprinkle them on top of your salads and breakfast bowls.
19. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds offer an array of health benefits including enhancing your memory and improving your cognitive function. Chia seeds are a rich source of calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, fiber, and antioxidants. These nutrients may also prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. While there is no conclusive study, chia seeds can also help to improve blood flow to the brain. To reap the rewards of chia seeds, you can sprinkle them on anything; your soups, salads, or full meals.
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