Everyone has moments of forgetfulness from time to time, especially when life gets busy.
While this can be a completely normal occurrence, having a poor memory can be frustrating.
Genetics plays a role in memory loss, especially in serious neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. However, research has shown that diet and lifestyle have a major impact on memory too.
Here are 5 evidence-based ways to improve your memory naturally.
Eat for a better memory
Most people realise a nutritious diet can keep their bodies healthy. So why not their minds – and memories – too? Here are some of the foods that may keep your brain, as well as the rest of you, in good working order:
Many experts believe eating oily fish – such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines and pilchards – may help cut the risk of Alzheimer’s. Perhaps that’s because oily fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that are widely considered essential for a healthy brain. Official guidelines recommend eating at least two portions of fish each week, one of which should be oily.
Drinking tea – either ordinary black tea or green – may help prevent Alzheimer’s because it reduces the production of a brain chemical thought to be involved in the development of the disease. Drinking moderate amounts of red wine may also help to protect the brain against dementia. But drinking heavily or binge drinking may make you more likely to develop Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia compared with someone who drinks in moderation. Keep your memory safe, and aim for no more than 14 units of alcohol a week spread over at least three days.
A spice widely used in Indian food called turmeric has also been linked with the slowing down of the onset of dementia, thanks to an active substance it contains called curcumin.
As well as providing protein, nuts also contain brain-boosting omega fatty acids (walnuts, pecans or pistachios have the highest levels). Flaxseeds and chia seeds are also high in omega-3s. Nuts and seeds also contain vitamin E, which experts believe could help keep your brain healthy as you get older. Other foods containing vitamin E include dark green leafy vegetables, avocados and sunflower seeds.
Whole grain cereals
Whole grains are a key part of the Mediterranean diet, which has been linked to a lower risk of mild cognitive impairment. But to be honest, eating just about anything in the morning could improve your memory and attention throughout the day compared with skipping breakfast altogether.
Egg yolks are thought to be linked to mental performance because they contain a substance called lutein. This is found naturally in the brain, and it’s thought that the higher your level of lutein, the better you can process information.