A strong memory depends on the health and vitality of your brain. Most of us can lose our train of thought midway through a sentence- and it’s not just about “senior moments”! Whether you’re a student studying for final exams, a working professional interested in doing all you can to stay mentally sharp, or a senior looking to preserve and enhance your grey matter as you age, there are lots of things you can do to improve your memory and mental performance-
EXERCISE OR YOGA
Exercise increases your heart rate which gets blood flowing to your brain, thus keeping your memory sharp. Running, swimming, biking – any form of exercise – for at least 30 minutes helps enlarge the hippocampus, which is regarded as the ‘memory centre of the brain’. In fact, physical activities that require hand-eye coordination or complex motor skills are particularly beneficial for brain building.
Broccoli, kale, collard greens, spinach – all green vegetables are full of iron, Vitamin E, K and B9 (folate), and phytonutrients like vitamin C which are extremely important for brain cell development. Vitamin K is known to be helpful in cognitive enhancement and increasing mental alertness.
Adding turmeric to your food can help keep your brain sharp. Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin that reduces plaques in the brain that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease. It also slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease due to its potent antioxidant properties. Curcumin also improves memory and has an antidepressant effect.
MASTER A NEW SKILL
A recent study found that adults who learned a new language showed improved memory for people’s names, among other things. Any activity that is practiced diligently, such as knitting or skiing, will likely have this effect.
The asanas of yoga promote the circulation of blood to the brain and put you at ease, various types of breathing techniques promote the expulsion of toxins and create peace. Meditation helps to relax the body and maintain the blood flow in nervous system, and enhance the brain power. Try to perform yoga and simple meditation to stay relax and cool.
CONSUME NUTS AND SEEDS
A handful of seeds and nuts may help improve your memory power significantly. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with zinc that play a great role in sharpening your memory. Brain-shaped walnuts are a good source of omega-3 and other essential nutrients crucial for brain functioning and memory skills. Sunflower seeds are good sources of Vitamin E, just sprinkle them on top of your salad to give your brain a boost. Even peanuts are packed with vitamin E, a potent antioxidant. Almonds and hazelnuts also help boost memory.
ENGAGE IN MENTAL STIMULATING ACTIVITIES
Crossword puzzles and Sudoku are your new best friend. Challenge your brain, take a different route to work, learn a new language, read a section of the newspaper you usually skip, do things out of the ordinary. Stay engaged, because mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain in shape and might even keep memory loss at bay.
GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
Poor sleep takes a toll on everything, from your job performance to your daily chores, and especially your memory. Sleep is a key time for the brain to solidify the connections between neurons, thus helping us remember more of our tasks! Get 7-8 hours of sleep everyday. If you do only one thing to improve your memory, getting more sleep should be it. If you have trouble sleeping fast, drink a warm cup of milk a half hour before hitting the sheets.