Care for Your Brain to Preserve Your Memory

No one likes to be forgetful. While it’s normal to forget a name or two sometimes, or to misplace something right when you need it most, if your memory seems to be getting shorter and shorter, it may be time to rethink how you’re caring for your brain.

Feed it

Proper nutrition is important for overall health, but certain foods have been shown to reduce the effects of aging on the brain and may even improve memory. According to research published on WebMD, blueberries, avocados, wild salmon, and various nuts and seeds are some of the foods known to boost brain function.

Blueberries can help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may help guard against Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other conditions associated with age. Avocados are also great for brain health as the monounsaturated fats improve blood flow and lower high blood pressure, which could otherwise have a negative effect on cognitive abilities. Wild salmon, nuts and seeds all contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are key to good brain function.

Exercise it

A good round of cardio will get your blood flowing, which will speed delivery of vital hormones and chemicals right to your brain. The extra boost from regular exercise has been shown to increase the size of the hippocampus, which controls learning and memory.

Teach it

As adults, our brains have developed millions of neural pathways, which are key to processing and recalling information. However, these paths will eventually stop growing unless they are continuously stimulated. The best way to do this is to take up a new hobby or activity that requires learning something new.

Energize it

There’s no question that music stimulates the brain. While researchers are still trying to understand exactly how our brains process music, studies have consistently shown that listening to music can lower blood pressure, reduce pain and ease anxieties, and it also has the ability to boost mood, mental alertness and even memory.

Entertain it

Scientists are starting to understand the impacts that regular social interaction can have on our brains. Close relationships and large social networks may be the key to maintaining mental health and reducing the risk of brain-related diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. However, the quality of such social interaction is important, as positive interaction that includes laughter and stimulating conversation seem to have the most beneficial impact on memory and cognitive function.

Give it a rest

Studies have shown that certain brain events responsible for fusing memory take place during deep sleep. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation has become a public health epidemic.

Even just one night of poor sleep can affect our ability to focus and maintain clarity, but regular loss of sleep will do more than make you feel a little foggy, as it can lead to loss of long-term memories. If you are not getting at least the recommended seven to eight hours every night, you could be putting yourself at risk for brain-related health issues as you age.

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