Many a times it happens that we fail to recollect something at a particular moment when it’s required the most. However at another time, that something may be at the tip of our tongues. Little children are sometimes unable to complete their task properly or they fail to fair well in their exams. We feel terribly annoyed at ourselves at that time and depending on the nature of the episode, sometimes it could even lead to embarrassment. Very soon we dismiss them thinking them to be a one of incident. However these could be the first signs of a failing memory.
It is very important to understand that a strong memory very much depends upon the health and vitality of the brain. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that improving memory is easy. Boosting brain power is equally difficult as building our physical fitness. So how do we define memory? Memory can be defined as a mental function that helps us to retain and recollect information that we gather and go through in our life. The complexity of this simple process lies in the fact that it involves several different parts of the brain.
Memory can be classified as short term memory and long term memory. Short term memory can also be termed as fragile memory, because in this case the mind can retain information only for a few seconds or a few minutes. Long term memory on the other hand, revolves round those details that we make an effort to retain and recollect for various reasons.
The immense capability of the human brain to modify and change according to the circumstances even during old age is absolutely awesome. This aspect of the brain is called neuroplasticity. Correct stimulation has the ability to form new neural pathways, change existing connections and adapt and react to different situations.
Boosting our memory doesn’t mean that we have to keep ourselves immersed in books all the time. Taking care of certain aspects of our life like habits, lifestyle, diet and behavior can go a long way in enhancing our gray matter and getting the best out of our brain cells. In this article we will discuss how diet can play a major role in keeping our mind and memory in top form. A diet with sufficient amount of protein, good fats and complex carbohydrates has the potential to improve our cognitive abilities. So read on to find more about them.
Omega — 3 Fatty Acids
Omega – 3 fatty acids are an important part of the brains gray matter and can also improve the functioning of the brain. Fatty acids in the brain are essential for building up a strong nervous system. Signs of dementia show up very quickly in those people who consume a diet high in saturated fats or trans-fatty acids.
Omega – 3 fatty acids can be found in deep sea fishes like salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines and halibut. Those who do not like fish can consider taking fish oil supplements. Other sources of omega – 3s include walnuts, ground flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, pumpkin seeds and soybeans. Fish also contains iodine that improves mental clarity.
Increase The Consumption Of Antioxidants
Old age induces deterioration in the functioning of many of our vital organs and that includes memory or brain power too. However consuming a diet rich in a wide variety of antioxidants nourishes the brain and allows it to stay active even during old age.
Foods that are filled with antioxidants are fresh colorful fruits and vegetables. For your benefit here is an assortment of fruits and vegetables that can justify your requirement of antioxidants – spinach, plums, avocados, oranges, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, beets, cherries, apricots, mangoes, watermelon and red bell peppers.
Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are a rich supplier of antioxidants. There are a lot of evidence that suggest that lycopene an antioxidant present in tomatoes could help safeguard against the free radical damage to cells that leads to the development of dementia especially Alzheimer’s.
Add Vitamins To Your Diet
Folic acid and vitamin B12 help our body to stay away from homocysteine, a component whose presence has proved to be responsible for the onset of Alzheimer’s. Fortified cereals are a rich in vitamin B12.
Complex Carbohydrates For Mental Energy
Our brain needs energy to stay active throughout the day and perform at its best. We need to make our brains work overtime when we are in the midst of a problem solving session and carbohydrates acts as a fuel to keep us going. Simple carbohydrates like sugar, white bread, refined grains etc.
acts as a quick booster but that is only for a short period of time. Complex carbohydrates are the best in this case as it helps us to sustain mental energy for a long time. Foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates are whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, high fiber cereal, lentils and whole beans.
Consume Wine In Moderation
Consumption of alcohol should be reduced as it destroys brain cells. However alcohol consumption in moderation can actually enhance memory power and cognitive skills.
Red wine tops the chart in this case due to the presence of a flavonoid called resveratrol that increases the blood flow in the brain thus reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. This particular flavonoid can also be found in grape juice, cranberry juice, fresh grapes and berries and peanuts.
To boost our memory we can also take the help of supplements that include antioxidants like alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin E and vitamin C. A herb called Ginkgo biloba increases blood circulation in the brain which further improves our memory and concentration.
Phosphatidylserine is a nutrient which, when used as a supplement enhances the chemical process in the brain which improves memory, learning and linguistic skills. This vital nutrient is found in food and in cell membranes in the body.
So my friends, you could be a student preparing for your final semester, or a busy professional who is always in the move, trying to manage complex situations or a retired senior who wants to utilize the time by preserving and enhancing your gray matter as you age.
A healthy food will take you one step forward in your efforts as it is a very good ingredient to improve your memory and mental performance. By no means can one say that fading memory and concentration is a department of the old age and that is exactly why, developing healthy food habits early in life will ensure good memory throughout life.