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9 Natural Ways to Improve Memory
Pretend your brain is a library that holds lots of books (memories). The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is associated with memory, and this is the brain’s librarian. There are many natural ways to improve memory and make your librarian more efficient. Find out what you can do to keep your mind sharp as you grow older, and ways to possibly decrease your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. These 9 natural ways to improve memory cost next to nothing, but their value is priceless.
1. Try Meditation
Researchers found that meditation increases blood flow to the brain and improves memory and cognition. A study that involved 15 subjects who had memory problems was conducted by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa of the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation. The study involved meditation with mantra for an eight week time frame. When compared to subjects that did not meditate, these participants had less memory loss and improved cognition.
2. Awesome Antioxidants
Experts agree that eating a diet high in antioxidants shields brain cells from the aging-related damage associated with memory loss. Foods that are loaded with antioxidants include sweet potatoes, blueberries, black beans, red kidney beans, cranberries, and artichokes.
3. Get your Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Doctors have been promoting omega-3 fatty acids for decades because of their inflammation-fighting effects. Now researchers believe that they help slow cognitive decline in older adults. In 2009, scientists performed a study that found foods like fish, nuts, and flaxseeds to be effective for memory improvement.
4. Humble Herbs
Holistic practitioners recommend the herbs ginseng and ginkgo biloba for improving memory and enhancing cognitive function. You can find these herbal supplements at health food stores and online holistic groceries. Taking ginkgo and ginseng is one of the best natural ways to improve memory.
5. Drink in Moderation
Memory and alcohol have a fascinating relationship. Too much drinking can handicap your memory, but drinking in moderation enhances your remembering. Scientists have discovered that light to moderate alcohol consumption actually improves cognition and memory. One recent French study showed that light drinkers were 45 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than nondrinkers.
6. Get Up and Exercise
Obesity and being overweight is a risk factor for a variety of conditions and diseases that eventually affect your brain power. Regular exercise prevents the build-up of plaque in the arteries and blood vessels that supply nutrients to the brain. Get up and get moving to improve your memory. Take a brisk walk, go for a run, or even take dance lessons. Exercise is one of the simplest ways to improve memory.
7. Visualization and Association
When you are reading something, visualize that story. If you lay your eyeglasses down in the bathroom, imagine your glasses brushing themselves with the toothbrush. Later, when you can’t find your eyeglasses, your brain will link the image you visualized with the glasses. Do this when you are reading, when you are driving somewhere, or when you are cleaning your house. Visualize something and later associate that item with your mental picture.
8. Pay Attention
Focus your attention on something for about 8 seconds to effectively transfer it from short-term memory to long-term. This skill comes in handy when you need to later remember something. Some find it easier to write one-word reminders on post-it notes. Minimize distractions for better focus. These include cell phones, the television, or loud talking. Pay attention to what you are learning to boost your ability to remember.
9. Play the Name Game
When you meet a new person, pay attention to his name and associate the name with his face. Repeat the name back by saying, “nice to meet you, so-and-so.” Researchers found that people have about a 30 percent better chance of remembering a name if they repeat it back as soon as they learn it. Try to associate the name with some physical characteristics of that person. If you meet Lucy and she has long hair, remember Lucy Long Hair. If you meet Tom and he is tall, remember Tall Tom. The name game is a natural way to enhance your memory.