Have you been feeling a little foggy lately? Do you find yourself forgetting things or having a hard time concentrating? It could be that you’re one of the millions of people around the world who struggles with some degree of memory loss. Memory loss can be caused by many things, including underlying health conditions and lifestyle factors. Whatever the cause, most cases cognitive decline can be remedied or improved. Check out thirteen natural ways to improve your memory below:
1. Decrease Your Sugar Intake
Various studies have linked excessive sugar intake to cognitive decline. Research shows that consuming too much sugar can actually reduce brain volume and lead to short term memory issues. If you find that you are struggling with memory loss, try cutting down on the sugar in your diet. If possible, eliminate all sugar additives and opt for natural sugars.
2. Avoid Alcohol
Having an alcoholic drink on occasion is totally okay, but drinking too often can have detrimental effects on your cognitive health. Excessive alcohol consumption is linked to decreased mental clarity and delays in memory recall over time. Try limiting your alcohol intake to one to two times a month to avoid long-term memory issues.
3. Maintain A Healthy Weight
Being overweight puts you at risk for a number of health issues. Just one of those concerns is memory loss. The negative effects that excess weight puts on your body can actually result in decreased cognitive function and in some cases, lead to Alzheimers’s disease or dementia. For this reason, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight throughout all stages of your life.
4. Cut Down On Carbs
Studies have shown that diets high in refined carbs can be linked to increased rates of dementia and cognitive impairment. Refined carbs include white bread, cereal, cake, white rice, and cookies, among other things. All of these have a high glycemic index, which causes a spike in blood sugar after digestion. This high blood sugar leads to various health issues, including cognitive issues.
5. Try Meditation
Meditation has been shown to have numerous positive health effects, one of which is improved mental clarity. This is because stress is one of the biggest contributors to cognitive decline. Meditation can effectively reduce stress levels, making you less likely to develop memory loss over time. It is suggested you practice at least 15 minutes of meditation every day to begin seeing improvement in your mental clarity.
6. Take Vitamin D Supplements
Many people struggle with recall and poor cognitive function because they are deficient in certain nutrients. One of the most notable of these is Vitamin D. Research shows that low levels of Vitamin D can lead to impaired mental clarity and increased risk of memory loss. Experts recommend getting a blood test to evaluate your Vitamin D levels. If you are deficient, you can alter your diet or add Vitamin D supplements to your daily routine.
7. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise has so many health benefits. It’s good for your heart, your lungs, your digestive system and as it turns out, your brain as well. Studies have shown that getting regular exercise and having a healthy fitness routine actually makes you less likely to have memory loss or develop cognitive issues later in life. Physicians recommend getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily.
8. Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
A recent study of 31,000 people showed that individuals who eat a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods had a lower risk of developing dementia. This is likely because these foods reduce inflammation throughout the body, lowering oxidative stress and cognitive damage. To begin following an anti-inflammatory diet, add more fruits and vegetables to every meal.
9. Have More Cocoa
It turns out chocolate may be healthy after all! Research shows that people who regularly consume dark chocolate lower their risk of developing cognitive issues later in life. This is because dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants called flavonoids, which have been shown to improve brain health.
10. Take Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to improve mental clarity and overall brain health. The specific fatty acids, EPA and DHA, found in fish oil can help reduce stress and slow the progression of mental decline. Experts recommend taking a fish oil supplement daily to improve cognitive health.
11. Eat More Antioxidants
As we mentioned with cocoa, antioxidants are a great way to improve cognitive health. Various studies have shown that increasing your antioxidant intake makes you less likely to develop memory loss later in life. Aside from cocoa, other foods that are rich in antioxidants include fruits, vegetables. nuts, and beans.
12. Practice Cognitive Exercises
One of the best ways to keep your memory sharp and improve your brain health is by doing cognitive exercises. Just like the rest of your body, your brain needs daily exercise to stay healthy. Cognitive exercises can be something as simple as a crossword puzzle or something as complicated as sudoku. Whatever you choose, doing daily activities like this will help keep your mental clarity sharp.
13. Get Adequate Sleep
Lack of sleep can lead to a number of serious health issues like heart disease and high blood pressure. One of the most notable is issues severe memory loss. Sleep deprivation is one of the leading causes of mental decline and if left unresolved, it can eventually lead to dementia. Physicians recommend getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night for optimal cognitive health.