In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with distractions that pull our attention away from the things we want to remember—whether it’s finishing up work at the office or studying for an exam at school. To make matters worse, age-related memory loss makes it even more difficult to stay on top of your mental game. Over 50 million Americans have some form of memory loss, with 5.3 million being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. But what if getting a memory boost could be as easy as a daily cup of your favorite beverage? Fortunately, there are natural ways to boost your memory so you can remember more and forget less.

Tips for a Natural Memory Boost

1. Maintain healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for good health, including improving your memory.

Obesity negatively affects every aspect of your life, including your memory. What Makes You Gain Weight.

Research shows accumulative evidence that excessive weight gain or obesity can cause brain structure and function changes, leading to cognitive impairment.

Obesity is associated explicitly with the frontal lobe and hippocampal dysfunction.

The frontal lobe is the anterior part of the brain located behind your forehead. It’s responsible for memory formation, emotion, and behavioral control.

On the other hand, the hippocampus is embedded in the temporal lobe (sits behind the ears) and is responsible for learning and memory consolidation.

In one study, participants with a higher body mass index performed poorly on a memory test.

Obesity has also been shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s, a neurodegenerative condition that affects cognitive abilities and memory.

2. Eliminate added sugar from your diet

The brain uses sugar for fuel in the form of glucose. However, an excessive amount of sugar may slow cognitive function and decrease memory and attention.

Researchers believe too much inflammation from sugar impairs memory.

A study published in Behavioral Brain Research found that a high sugar diet increased inflammatory markers in the hippocampus region. In contrast, a standard diet low in sugar recorded no inflammatory markers.

But luckily, inflammatory memory damage is entirely reversible, and by eliminating sugar from the diet, one can maintain a clear and better memory.

Further research shows that high sugar diets, including beverages, may reduce brain volume, especially in the hippocampal region, which is associated with short-term memory.

3. Get enough sleep

Inadequate sleep is generally associated with poor memory, among other cognitive problems. It particularly interferes with memory consolidation, which involves processing and transforming short-term memory into long-term memory.

On average, experts recommend that adults should have between 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

Other benefits of getting enough sleep include a strong immune system, increased ability to manage stress and solve problems, better concentration, increased energy levels and increased physical health.

Read Also, 6 Sleep Inducing Teas For Bedtime.

4. Limit refined carbohydrates

Just like dietary sugar, refined carbohydrates are broken down into sugar during digestion. This may increase your risk for various health issues like reduced cognitive function or decline and dementia.

In one study, consuming ready-to-eat breakfast cereal at least daily resulted in poor cognitive function than those who consumed it less frequently.

5. Include anti-inflammatory foods in your diet

Free radicals and oxidative stress are constantly attacking your brain. This causes inflammation which increases your risk of cognitive impairment. Consuming Anti-inflammatory Foods will help prevent inflammation and reduce inflammatory markers and promote brain function. See Vegan Brain Booster Foods. 

Such foods should be high in antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, and other anti-inflammatory compounds.

They include

  • Leafy greens like spinach, collards, broccoli, and kale
  • Healthy fats like olive and avocado
  • Nuts like walnuts and almonds
  • Fruits like blueberries, strawberries, cherries, and oranges
  • Spices like turmeric
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers

6. Engage in regular exercise

Research shows that regular exercise may help protect your short-term and long-term memory.

Exercise also increases memory by fighting inflammation, increasing oxygen supply to the brain, building resistance against stress, stimulating the growth of new neural connections, and releasing endorphins that fight stress. 10 Surprising Health Benefits Of Walking Daily,  8 Life-Changing Benefits Of Exercise.

7. Build healthy relationships

Research shows that meaningful and supportive relationships can protect the brain against cognitive impairment or underperformance.

Both physical affection and laughter with others increase the release of oxytocin, a “happy hormone” that promotes cognitive health and function.

8. Do brain teasers and puzzles

Brain teasers and puzzles are an amazing way to practice your memory. Sometimes it is difficult to remember words, but with these games you can challenge yourself and learn more about how your brain works. By engaging the brain, these activities help to increase focus and concentration, which can lead to improved recall of information. Additionally, puzzles and brain teasers may challenge problem-solving skills and encourage people to use their brains in new ways.

Popular brain teasers and puzzles can help improve memory by challenging people’s thinking processes and training their memory skills. For example, the classic memory game peg solitaire challenges players to remove pegs from a board one at a time using only one hand while keeping the other hand linked to the next peg. Memory experts say that playing these types of games regularly can help improve short-term memory and working memory, two important mental faculties that play an important role in recalling information. 

9. Add choline to the diet

Choline is a memory-boosting nutrient that’s commonly found in various foods. For many people, taking choline supplements can make it easier to remember things and focus during the day.

One of the ways you can improve memory is by eating foods high in choline. Choline is a nutrient found in animal-based foods, nuts and seeds, and green leafy vegetables. It helps to improve brain function and memory.

A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who supplemented their diets with choline had better scores on memory tests than those who didn’t. In another study published in Neurology, researchers found that choline supplementation improved memory in older adults. The study also found that older adults who consumed whole foods had better memories than those who took supplements.

What Causes Memory Loss

Depression 

Depression is a mental health condition that causes feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, low self-esteem, and sometimes anger. Memory loss is one of the most common symptoms of depression and can also make people feel worse. Depression can be caused by many things, including life events, and mental health problems.

Studies have found that people with depression are more likely to have memory problems. This is because depression can cause changes in the way the brain processes information.
One study found that people with major depressive disorder were almost twice as likely as those without depression to have difficulty remembering words they had just heard. They were also more likely to have trouble recalling the location of objects they had seen just a few minutes earlier.

Generally, depression may cause confusion and forgetfulness, making it difficult to focus on work, perform a task or think clearly.

Vitamin B12 deficiency

B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that helps create DNA and RNA. It is important for the proper function of nerve cells and for the maintenance of cognitive health.

The deficiency of B12 can lead to memory loss and other cognitive problems. In particular, deficiency of B12 can cause nerve damage and dementia.

Vitamin B12 is usually high in animal products but can also be found in other foods like mushrooms, sauerkraut, nutritional yeast, and fortified breakfast cereals. However, it is difficult to get enough B12 from these sources alone. So consider adding supplements, especially if you’re a vegan.

People deficient in B12 may also develop problems with absorption of other nutrients, including iron, zinc, and vitamins A, D, E, and K. These deficiencies can also lead to memory problems.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. This can cause many problems, including memory loss.

Memory loss due to hypothyroidism is usually gradual and occurs as a result of decreased brain function. This is due to an interference in the brain’s neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals that help communicate between your neurons, which helps you remember things. When hypothyroidism causes problems with these neurotransmitters, it can lead to memory loss.

Symptoms may include difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, and confusion. Memory problems may persist even after treatment with thyroid hormone replacement therapy is complete.

If you’re experiencing memory loss, it’s important to see your doctor for an evaluation. Your doctor may be able to determine the cause of your memory problems and recommend treatment.

Additionally, hypothyroidism may slow your metabolism, which may affect your thinking and memory.

Alcohol intoxication

One of the most common side effects of alcohol consumption is memory loss. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that people who drink can experience a range of cognitive problems, such as difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and recalling information. In fact, heavy drinking can even lead to permanent brain damage.

Lack of sleep

Sleep deprivation is a very real memory loss risk. Not only does it impair the ability to learn and remember information, but it can also lead to a decline in cognitive function. In fact, chronic sleep deprivation can even cause permanent changes in brain structure and function.

The impact of sleep deprivation on memory is especially significant when you consider that one of the key functions of memory is its ability to consolidate new information. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain doesn’t have time to properly consolidate the new information you’ve learned. This can lead to poorer recall and overall weaker memory skills.

Lack of sleep may also increase your risk of forming false memories.

Some medications

Memory loss is a common side effect of many drugs, particularly antidepressants and antianxiety medications. Some of the most common side effects of these drugs include confusion, forgetfulness, and attention problems. These side effects can make it difficult to function every day.

Elevated blood pressure

There is growing evidence that high blood pressure (HBP) may be a contributing factor in the development of memory loss.

High blood pressure can affect memory by increasing the risk of stroke, causing dementia, and causing other forms of brain damage. All of these can lead to problems with memory. For example, stroke can lead to problems with recall, while dementia can cause problems with both recall and recognition.

Studies have also shown that people with high blood pressure are more likely to have difficulty forming new memories than those who have lower blood pressure. This is likely because high blood pressure affects the function of the hippocampus, which is responsible for learning and memory formation.

While there is still much to learn about the link between HBP and memory loss, it is clear that this relationship exists and should be taken into account when managing blood pressure.

Obesity

Obesity is a major risk factor for memory loss and dementia. A study from the University of California, San Francisco, found that obesity was a significant cause of cognitive decline in people over 60 years old. The study found that people who are obese are at an increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Final Thoughts

The common causes of memory loss include depression, stress and anxiety, vitamin B12 deficiency, diabetes, alcohol, medication, obesity, underactive thyroid, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

The first and most effective step to combating memory loss is identifying and addressing the specific cause.

You can then proceed to promote your memory and brain function even further by maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding added sugar, getting enough sleep, limiting refined carbohydrates, building healthy relationships, engaging in regular exercise, and consuming foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties.

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