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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Lehr-Splawinski, Marketing Communications

How to improve your memory

We all experience occasional forgetfulness. At a younger age, we don't pay much attention to it but as we age, we do start worrying about it.

Some memory loss that appears throughout the aging process is normal if it doesn't cause any important interference in our daily life. Age-related memory loss shouldn't be confused with dementia, although it can display similar symptoms.

The aging process does also affect the brain. Research shows that seniors often experience a decrease in their blood flow which can impair memory and result in cognitive changes. Other factors such as a general decline in hormones and proteins which stimulate cell growth affect cognitive skills. The brain areas responsible for cognitive functions do shrink more than other areas of the brain with age. The good news is that we have the power to boost our memory by stimulating our cognitive skills, live a healthy lifestyle and consume nutritious foods. Engage in brain training, a program of regular activities designed to maintain or improve one's cognitive abilities, help to strengthen your memory, and reduce your risk of dementia

Below are some helpful tips on how to boost your memory power:

1. Maintain a moderate weight by eating a healthy diet & practicing regular moderate exercise:

Obesity is considered a risk factor for cognitive decline and like cardiovascular disease and stroke, is a modifiable risk factor for cognitive decline that is linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Even moderate exercise for short periods has been shown to improve cognitive performance, including memory.

- Choose anti-inflammatory foods such as Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts), tomatoes, leafy green vegetables (spinach & kale), fatty fish (salmon & tuna), avocados & much more. Consider the very healthy Mediterranean diet!

Antioxidants help lower inflammation in the body by reducing oxidative stress. Consume a variety of fruits like berries, green vegetables. Green tea contains powerful antioxidants that protect against free radicals that can damage brain cells. Regular consumption can slow down brain aging.

2. Take fish oil supplements to improve memory is especially important for seniors.

3. Drink alcohol in moderation: Red wine is known to boost blood flow in the brain and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

4. Reduce sugar intake - limit refined carbohydrates such as cakes, cookies, white rice & bread to reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. High-sugar diets can contribute to chronic inflammation, which can make arthritis and joint pain worse.

5. Monitor Vit D level as Vitamin D deficiency is very common,

and has been associated with age-related cognitive decline and dementia.

6. Practice meditation: research states that significant improvements in memory and cognition. Those who meditated also scored as much as 10 times better on a working memory task. Try the app Headspace to guide you and enable your progress.

7. Engage in mindfulness which is associated with increased memory performance and linked to reduced age-related cognitive decline.

What we can't impact are our genetic factors which also affect memory loss and add to a person's risk of developing a memory disease. Having someone in your family suffering from Alzheimer's will increase your risk but doesn't mean you will develop the disease. Speak to your Physician about any healthcare concern including memory.

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