6. Drink less alcohol!
Consuming too many alcoholic beverages can be detrimental to your health in many ways and can negatively impact your memory.
Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that raises your blood alcohol levels to 0.08 grams per ml or above. Studies have shown it alters the brain and results in memory deficits. Alcohol exhibits neurotoxic effects on the brain and repeated episodes of binge drinking can damage the hippocampus, a part of the brain that plays a vital role in memory.
7. Eat less added sugar. Watch your diet!
Eating too much added sugar has been linked to many health issues and chronic diseases, including cognitive decline. Research has shown that a sugar-laden diet can lead to poor memory and reduced brain volume, particularly in the area of the brain that stores short-term memory.
A study on more than 4,000 people found that those with a higher intake of sugary beverages like soda had lower total brain volumes and poorer memories on average compared to people who consumed less sugar.
Cutting back on sugar not only helps your memory but also improves your overall health.
Try a few of these foods to help you:
- Fish oil: rich in the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both DHA and EPA are vital to the health and functioning of the brain and also help reduce inflammation in the body, which has been linked to cognitive decline. Many studies have shown that consuming fish and fish oil supplements may improve memory, especially in older people.
These fats are important for overall health and have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, relieve stress and anxiety, and slow mental decline.
- strengthen your memory by improving blood flow to the brain
- provide precursors to neurotransmitters (brain chemicals)
- form the structural components of brain cells
- protect brain cells from aging and damage
The foods good for your brain:
- Avocado: monounsaturated fats, tyrosine
- Berries of all kinds — anthocyanins, resveratrol
- Coconut oil — medium-chain triglycerides
- Cold-water & fatty fish — omega-3 essential fatty acids
- Dark chocolate — flavonols, caffeine
- Eggs — choline, omega-3 essential fatty acids
- Fermented foods — probiotics
- Green leafy vegetables — vitamins C, K, and B complex, magnesium
- Olive oil — monounsaturated fats, vitamins E and K
- Sea vegetables — iodine, vitamin B12, inositol
- Turmeric — curcumin, turmerone
- Walnuts — omega-3 essential fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, polyphenols
Add some Cocoa to your diet!
Cocoa is not only delicious but also nutritious, providing a powerful dose of antioxidants called flavonoids. Research suggests flavonoids are particularly beneficial to the brain. #JustSaying
They may help stimulate the growth of blood vessels and neurons and increase blood flow in parts of the brain involved with memory.
A study of 30 healthy people found that those who consumed dark chocolate containing 720 mg of cocoa flavonoids demonstrated better memory compared to those who consumed white chocolate without cocoa flavonoids. Research here...
To get the most benefit out of chocolate, choose dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% cacao or higher. That will help ensure it contains larger amounts of antioxidants like flavonoids.
8. Keep your brain hydrated!
It isn’t just what you eat that affects your memory, it’s also what and how much you drink. Water might just be the best brain tonic.
Did you know that your brain is 73% water and it takes only 2% dehydration to diminish your memory, attention, and other cognitive skills?
Mild dehydration causes measurable brain shrinkage with adverse effects on concentration, alertness, and short-term memory. The effects of dehydration on the brain are so pronounced that they mimic the symptoms of dementia. Research here...
How much do you need to drink?
The “8 glasses per day” rule is an over-simplification. A better rule of thumb is to divide your weight in kilograms by two and drink that many ounces of water per day. (Multiply final number by 0.295735 to get to litres).
Here is an online hydration tool to help you.
9. Mental workouts!
Just as your body benefits from physical exercise, your brain benefits from mental “workouts” as well.
Some of the reported benefits of brain exercise include better memory and mood, faster thinking, better vision and hearing, quicker reaction time, and feelings of increased focus, motivation, and productivity.
Here are just some of the many proven ways you can develop your memory by stimulating and challenging your brain.
- Turn Off the GPS: On a routine commute, your brain is on autopilot and gets very little stimulation. But taking an unfamiliar route activates the cortex and hippocampus.
The use of GPS technology is making us mentally lazy and destroying vital mental skills that have taken mankind thousands of years to develop. Research here...
- Do Neurobics: Brain exercises don’t have to be high-tech to be effective.
Dr. Lawrence Katz was well ahead of his time when he coined the term “neurobics” in his book Keep Your Brain Alive: 83 Neurobic Exercises to Help Prevent Memory Loss and Increase Mental Fitness.
This book is the granddaddy of brain exercise, written in 1998 when few people were talking about brain fitness.
10. My secret memory method!
For this to work we will need to tap into the occipital lobe and by doing a simple experiment or exercise, we will dramatically increase your memory.
It might be a bit silly but I promise you this: if you really try it and put all your disbelief one side and follow my directions, you will be able to recall a list of ten items perfectly… even in the perfect order too. Don’t believe me? Try it and don’t forget to give a mention below of how cool this method was.
Please also note: I don’t mean that you’ll be able to eventually remember all the items; I mean you will have immediate recall of each item, in the order they were given, the very instant you want them, even if I were to ask you to list them for me out of order. (For example: "Tell me what the 3rd item was, followed by the 7th and then the 10th”).
But first we will need the ‘matrix’. *Giggle... matrix. You’ll recognize it as the words from an old nursery rhyme; One two, buckle my shoe. Three four, shut the door.” etc.
As I list the 10 items (provided on the link you’ll find below), you are going to consult the matrix list and use it to create a picture in your mind.
You’ll do this by associating the item I ask you to get with one of the items given in that list.
For example, if the FIRST item I ask you to recall is a bag of potatoes, then you’ll make a mental picture of “potatoes” somehow associated with a “bun.” Make sense?
You might imagine a potato between two hamburger buns. Or maybe even picture buns in the bag of potatoes. It is completely up to you. One thing I can assure you is that the more weird the image is, the more details you will create to recall.
When I ask you to recall the SECOND item; a 2 litre milk. you should make a mental picture that places “milk” and a “shoe” together. You’re drinking milk from the shoe, perhaps? Or maybe you’re kicking that bottle of milk down the hallway with the back of your new high-heeled shoe. Again, it’s up to you.
I am using the matrix to help you organize the data I’m about to give you (the grocery list) so please DO NOT write down the list of items I ask you to buy. That’d be cheating!
Please go slowly through what I list in the audio clip so that you have enough time to really create each image. If I go too fast, just hit pause on the audio clip and then play on when you got it.
When we are done, I’ll ask you to answer the questions in the paragraph below. Again, trust me on this: if you really try it, crazy as it seems, it will work. Ready?
Are you back?
- What was the third item I asked you to buy, the one you associated with the “tree”?
- What was the eighth?
- In this order, what was item number 9, then 1, then 6?
- Which numbered item was the “hamburger patties”?
Amazed? You were successful because you actively sought to use a large portion of your brain to do something that it naturally wants to do all of the time.
Now, it’s up to you to put that newfound talent and knowledge to everyday use. You are welcome!
If you have any more tricks and tips, please feel free to mention them below in the comments section. Also don’t forget to tell me how this secret method helped you. Take care and be blessed!
The original list of all ten items (in order): potatoes, slab of chocolate, cheese, creamsoda, insense, ice cream, 12 hamburger patties, loaf of bread, blank data CDs and some 20 bucks airtime.
Sources: Wikipedia, Google, University of Missourii, BeBrainFit, Psychology Today, Science Daily, Harvard Magazine.