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5 ways to improve brain memory

by Tina Sendin March 24, 2020

5 ways to improve brain memory

If you were to have a superpower, what would it be?

Me – pretty simple. To have a photographic memory. 

Imagine what it’s like to read a book once and remember all the details.

But you don’t have to wait for a genie for this wish.

Luckily, there are a few hacks to improve our brain memory and get it a step closer to a superpower brain.

In fact, there are several things you can do that I’ve written this article on improving your brain memory in two parts.

 

#1 Meditate and practice mindfulness.

These two things are often associated with stress reduction and focus. But did you know that you can also enhance your memory retention by sitting down every day and saying a few ohms?

It may sound strange, given how meditation would seem to encourage our brain to go blank for a moment, right?

But turns out, it’s the opposite. Research has shown that mindfulness meditation not only reduces stress and pain but also makes memory better. [1] It can even help people – even if they have no experience with the practice at all – to recall memory in eight weeks. [2]

And because it helps us with concentration, meditation has also been proven to improve standardized test scores and strengthen working memory in only a couple of weeks. [3]

 

Working memory is that part of the brain that stores new information, like when you just meet someone and trying to remember their name. It’s something we use daily, and when we no longer need the information, our brain “discards” it. 

Most adults can hold a maximum of seven working memories. But meditation can help strengthen this and help you use working memory to its maximum capacity. [4]

Other studies have found that meditation expands the gray matter in the brain, which actually carries neuron cell bodies used for memory and other cognitive functions. [5] When gray matter shrinks, so do memory and cognition. [6]

Meditation and even relaxation techniques also boost short-term memory 20 years old and up. A study that involved college students showed that those who practiced mindfulness meditation developed stronger spatial working memory – or being able to hold and process information related to objects and space - than those who didn’t. [7]

 

#2 Cut back on alcohol.

This doesn’t just refer to the lack of memory from a big night (and suddenly remembering what happened based on photos and videos from last night). 

Binge drinking can also have a negative effect on your cognitive functions, specifically memory retention. Because it increases blood alcohol levels to 0.08 grams per ml and up, drinking too much can modify the brain and weaken your memory. [8]

 

In a study published in 2017, college students who did a binge-drinking spree (consuming over six drinks in a short period, weekly or monthly) performed worse in a series of memory-recall tests than those who didn’t consume as much alcohol. [9]

And because of its neurotoxic effects, going overboard with alcohol can damage the hippocampus, which is essential with memory. [10]

Having one or two glasses of G&T won’t hurt. The key is to just chill and take it easy with the cocktails for your super brain’s sake.

 

#3 Slow down on sugars. 

Sugar has been pretty infamous among the fitness and wellness community. And this isn’t unfounded.

In fact, studies have found that too much sugar goes beyond the crash and is connected to health issues, chronic diseases, and weaker cognitive function. 

Specifically, sugar can lead to a decline in memory and reduced brain volume for that part of the brain that handles short-term memory, as what a study of over 4,000 subjects showed when given sugary beverages and soda. [11, 12]

Now’s the best time to finally cut down on sugar!

 

#4 Try supplements.

First on the list when it comes to brain health? Fish oil. 

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil is essential for overall health. Studies have shown that it helps lower the risk for cardiovascular diseases, eases stress and anxiety, reduce inflammation in the body, and prevents mental decline. [13, 14]

Studies have also found that eating fish and taking fish oil supplements may help you get a stronger memory (and this is especially true for older people). [15, 16]

Fish oil contains EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which helps your brain function better and reduces inflammation in the body, which is said to be the reason for cognitive decline. [17]

Aside from fish oil, nootropics such as the VALI Neuroforce can serve as focus, memory, & mental clarity cognitive booster.

 

#5 Cut down on refined carbs 

Too many carbs may not be doing your memory any good. Apparently, foods like white rice, white bread, cereals, cookies, and cakes contain a high glycemic index, which makes your system digest these refined carbohydrates rapidly. The result? Blood sugar levels shooting up. [18]

Studies have also shown that a diet rich in refined carbohydrates is linked to dementia, cognitive decline, and poorer cognitive function. [19] In fact, those who regularly eat ready-to-eat breakfast cereals showed reduced cognitive function compared to those who don’t consume as much. [20]

 

Sources

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4895748/

[2] https://psychcentral.com/news/2013/06/23/meditations-effects-on-emotion-shown-to-persist/56372.html

[3] http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/03/27/0956797612459659.short?rss=1&%3bssource=mfr

[4] https://www.fastcompany.com/3028359/6-science-backed-methods-to-improve-your-memory

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19280691/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29111486

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4657094/

[8] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-improve-memory#section1

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5289570/

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3548359/

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26970578

[12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28274718

[13] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3262608/

[14] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4540034/

[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22932777

[16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4364972/

[17] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5223666/

[18] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4555146/pdf/nutrients-07-05307.pdf

[19] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25496905/

[20] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4533994/

 

 




Tina Sendin
Tina Sendin

Author




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