Reposted from Medical News Today
By Hannah Nichols
Anyone can improve their memory, unless they are experiencing memory loss as part of a medical condition. Whether you want to ace your science test, enter the World Memory Championships, or preserve and enhance your memory as you age, we have some memory-boosting tips that may help.
Memories are the building blocks of our internal biographies. They tell us what we have done during our lifetime and who we have connected with along the way. Memories play a vital role in making us who we are as human beings, which is why age-related memory loss can signify losing our sense of self.
Many people worry about declining memory and thinking skills. But what makes some individuals experience memory loss over time while others remain sharp? Genes contribute to how intact our memories stay, but so too do lifestyle choices.
Eating a healthful diet, getting regular exercise, keeping an eye on our cholesterol , blood pressure , and blood sugar levels, and not smoking have all been shown to protect memory. In the same way that muscles become stronger with use, memory and cognitive skills do too.
The age-old proverb "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" does not apply to the brain; it can adapt and constantly change, even into old age. Your brain has the potential to create new cells and neural connections if it is provided with the right stimuli. The brain's ability to change, grow, and improve throughout life is known as neuroplasticity.
Your daily habits influence how well your brain works. There are many steps that you can take to harness the power of your brain's ability to change and improve your memory. Here are Medical News Today's tricks to help you fire up your brain's recall and retention.
1. Eat a brain-boosting diet
The body needs fuel to function properly, and this holds true for the brain, as well. Eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones can be an effective strategy for powering your brain and keeping it fit and healthy for life.
Mediterranean diet The Mediterranean diet may protect against cognitive decline and improve memory.
The Mediterranean diet is ranked as one of the most healthful diets on the planet. It is based on an intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, healthy fats — such as olive oil, nuts, and fish — and lean protein.
Research indicates that the Mediterranean diet prevents major chronic diseases and helps you to live longer. It has also been shown to have a long-term positive impact on cognitive function and is linked to less cognitive decline and improved memory and attention.
The consumption of extra-virgin olive oil, which is a major part of the Mediterranean diet, has been found to protect memory and learning ability as well as safeguard against cognitive decline.
Ketogenic diets have gained public attention for an assortment of health benefit and weight loss claims. Ketogenic diets are low in carbohydrates and high in fat. Drastically reducing your intake of carbohydrates and replacing them with fat puts your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis .
Ketosis increases your body's efficiency in burning fat for energy and creates ketones from fat in the liver, which supplies energy to the brain.
Recent research has revealed that in older animals, the ketogenic diet improves memory, preserves brain function, and increases the chances that the animal will live into old age.
Although a diet that emphasizes eating "real" rather than processed foods, avoiding trans fats and sugar, and eating healthful fats will help to fuel your brain and memory, certain foods outweigh others for their benefits.
Here are some foods that recent research has hailed as memory boosters.
Walnut consumption is associated with improved performance on cognitive function tests for memory, concentration, and speed of information processing.
Blueberry concentrate improves brain function, working memory, blood flow to the brain, and activation of the brain while conducting cognitive tests.
Lutein found in kale and spinach, as well as avocados and eggs, may counter cognitive aging and improve learning and memory.
Avocado improves cognitive function in tests evaluating memory, processing speed, and attention levels.
Cocoa and chocolate enhance working memory performance and visual information processing, and they counteract sleep deprivation-related cognitive impairment. Dietary cocoa flavanols have also been found to reverse age-related memory decline.
Caffeine — equivalent to five cups of coffee per day — reverses memory impairment in mice bred to develop symptoms of Alzheimer's disease .
Cinnamon promotes memory improvement and may target cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.
Peppermint tea significantly improves long-term and working memory, as well as alertness, compared with chamomile and hot water.
2. Get physically active