Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Special: 6 Ways to Boost Brain Function and Memory
What are the ways to boost brain function and memory?
- Cut down on added sugar
- Eat a memory-boosting diet
- Have time to meditate
- Get enough sleep
- Consider taking supplements
Everyone has moments when it becomes hard to remember things, especially when life becomes hectic. While poor memory can be a normal occurrence, it can also be debilitating as it becomes harder to recall important events, form new memories, and learn new things. As we commemorate Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month this September, we listed six ways to boost brain function and memory.
The greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is aging and genetics. However, research has shown there are steps you can take to protect your brain function and boost your memory. Continue reading on to learn more about these!
Cut Down On Added Sugar
Consuming too much added sugar, such as those that are from processed food, honey, table sugar, sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices, and syrups, has been associated with numerous health issues which include cognitive decline. Studies have shown that sugary diets can lead to poor memory and reduce brain function, especially in the brain area that processes short-term memory.
In one study done on 4,000 participants, those who had a higher intake of sugary drinks had poorer memory and experienced more neuron loss compared to those who consumed less sugar. So if you want to boost your cognitive function and memory, make sure to cut down on eating sugar. Doing so will only make your brain healthy, but will also improve your overall health.
Eat A Memory-Boosting Diet
The brain needs fuel just like the body. This being said, you must make sure to eat a memory-boosting diet. This includes food such as fruits, walnuts, soybeans, olive oil, fish, spinach, and lean protein. For boosting brain function memory, though, it’s not just what you eat. It’s also about what you don’t eat. Aside from avoiding added sugar, you should also cut down on calories and saturated fat. Food such as whole milk, butter, cream, cheese, ice cream, and red meats can contribute to memory impairment.
Have Time to Meditate
The grey matter in the brain is in charge of muscle control as well as sensory perceptions for hearing, speech, seeing, emotion control, decision making, and memory. With aging, grey matter production declines, creating a ripple effect of decreased memory and brain function. This being said, you should consider setting aside time to meditate.
Meditating can positively impact your health in numerous ways. Aside from reducing pain and lowering blood pressure, meditation has also been found to improve memory. To be specific, it improves memory by increasing grey matter in the brain. In a state of relaxation, worries running through the brain are reduced and the brain retains more information.
In addition, meditating is proven to improve spatial working memory. Spatial working memory refers to the ability to process information about the position of objects.
Get Enough Sleep
There is a drastic difference between getting just any amount of sleep and getting the amount your body needs to function well. It is recommended that adults should get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night for optimal health. Skipping a few hours of sleep can compromise memory and problem-solving abilities.
If you have recently learned experiences, those are transformed into long-term memory. This process is known as memory consolidation. If you are sleep-deprived, you can end up negatively impacting your memory consolidation. It has long been established that it is during deep sleep stages that memory retention is strengthened.
Stress is one of the major causes of brain cell damage and hippocampus damage, which is the brain region responsible for retrieving past memories and forming new memories. While it can be hard to manage stress levels given that life is hectic, it goes a long way in boosting brain function. You can try meditating or exercising as stress-relieving activities.
While it’s true that mental exercise is crucial for brain health, it doesn’t mean that you should neglect physical exercise. Physical exercise increases oxygen and reduces the risk of developing disorders (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular diseases) that lead to memory decline. It plays a major role in stimulating neuronal connections. Studies show that regular exercise is associated with reducing the risk of developing dementia later in the future.
Exercise also reduces stress hormones. Anxiety problems cause or contribute to cognitive function impairment.
Consider Taking Supplements
Along with a brain-boosting diet, consider taking supplements with ingredients for improving brain functions. There are numerous supplements available that can boost memory levels.
Bacopa monnieri is an example of a powerful antioxidant that has a nootropic and memory retention effect. According to a study, this herb decreases the rate of forgetting newly acquired information. This being said, taking supplements with bacopa monnieri like the Bona Vita Choco 8 in 1 can be helpful for students who want to increase their memory scores.
As a way to commemorate Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month this September, we have listed six science-backed ways to boost brain function and memory. Try following these tips to your daily routine to improve your brain health and ensure your memory is in optimal condition.
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