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10 Tips to Sharpen and Improve Memory

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9. Eat More Brain Foods

What you eat affects your brain and memory. In fact, food provides fuel for the brain to function properly. Certain foods can even reduce your risk of dementia in old age.

eat more brain foods to improve memory

Eating an anti-inflammatory diet that is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids can make a lot of difference. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include cold-water fish as well as walnuts, spinach, broccoli, and kidney beans.

You can also consider taking EPA or DHA supplementation. A 2014 study published in Human Psychopharmacology reports that EPA-rich supplementation can help people’s  brains work ‘less hard’ and achieve a better cognitive performance .

Also, eating more fruits and vegetables that are packed with antioxidants can help protect brain cells from free-radical damage and stimulate the production of new brain cells.

10. Quit Multitasking

If you have a habit of multitasking to be more productive, stop doing it right now. It will negatively affect your memory.

quit multitasking to improve memory

Multitasking actually distracts your brain and prevents you from focusing on and completing one thing. Always remember that the brain doesn’t actually multitask. Instead, your brain switches focus from one thing to the other. This is why it is difficult to read a book and hold a conversation at the same time.

A 2011 study published n Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that multitasking takes a significantly greater toll on the working memory of older people .

Be attentive and give your full focus to one thing at a time, especially when you are trying to learn new things.

Additional Tips

• Chat more with friends. Having a conversation with another person requires your brain to complete several high-level processes at once.
• Regularly challenge your brain with new places and information.
• Mind wandering may allow your brain to better catalog and store memories.
• Use mnemonic devices to help you remember information.
• Another trick to help you remember certain things is to incorporate multiple senses into the memory. Also, try to relate it to something you already know.
• Writing down new information helps reinforce it in your mind.
• People who clench their right fists while learning new material have better recall power.
• Do not take any medication without consulting your doctor, as there are many medicines that will affect your central nervous system.

Resources:

  1. Study Shows How Sleep Improves Memory. ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/06/050629070337.htm. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  2. Gais S, Lucas B, Born J. Sleep after learning aids memory recall. Learning & Memory. http://learnmem.cshlp.org/content/13/3/259.full.html. Published January 1, 1970. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  3. Rasch BCB, Born J. About Sleep’s Role in Memory. Physiological Reviews. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768102/. Published April 2013. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  4. Erickson KI, Voss MW, Prakash RS, et al. Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. http://www.pnas.org/content/108/7/3017. Published February 15, 2011. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  5. Gomez-Pinilla F, Hillman C. The Influence of Exercise on Cognitive Abilities. Comprehensive Physiology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951958/. Published January 2013. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  6. Short-term Stress Can Affect Learning And Memory. ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080311182434.htm. Published March 13, 2008. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  7. Vogel S, Schwabe L. Learning and memory under stress: implications for the classroom. Nature News. https://www.nature.com/articles/npjscilearn201611. Published June 29, 2016. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  8. Donnelly L. Brain training games boost memory and may reduce the risk of dementia, research suggests. The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/07/02/brain-training-games-boost-memory-may-reduce-risk-dementia-research/. Published July 3, 2017. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  9. Mrazek MD, Franklin MS, Phillips DT, Baird B, Schooler JW. Mindfulness Training Improves Working Memory Capacity and GRE Performance While Reducing Mind Wandering. Psychological Science. 2013;24(5):776-781. doi:10.1177/0956797612459659.
  10. Luders E, Cherbuin N, Kurth F. Forever Young(er): potential age-defying effects of long-term meditation on gray matter atrophy. Frontiers. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01551/full. Published December 15, 2014. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  11. Miller PDJW. Vitamin D and Cognitive Decline in Multiethnic Cohort of Older Adults. JAMA Neurology. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/fullarticle/2436596. Published November 1, 2015. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  12. Kuźma E, Soni M, Littlejohns TJ, et al. Vitamin D and Memory Decline: Two Population-Based Prospective Studies. Journal of Alzheimer’s disease : JAD. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26836174. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  13. Bains GS, Berk LS, Daher N, et al. The effect of humor on short-term memory in older adults: a new component for whole-person wellness. Advances in mind-body medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24682001. Published 2014. Accessed February 14, 2018
  14. Fight memory loss with a smile (or chuckle). ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140427185149.htm. Published April 27, 2014. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  15. Kodali M, Parihar VK, Hattiangady B, Mishra V, Shuai B, Shetty AK. Resveratrol Backents Age-Related Memory and Mood Dysfunction with Increased Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Microvasculature, and Reduced Glial Activation. Nature News. https://www.nature.com/articles/srep08075. Published January 28, 2015. Accessed February 14, 2018.
  16. Bauer I, Hughes M, Rowsell R, et al. Omega-3 supplementation improves cognition and modifies brain activation in young adults. Human psychopharmacology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24470182. Published March 2014. Accessed February 14, 2018.

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