Have you noticed how young children remember every promise you make while grandparents often sound like a broken record when they repeat the things they say? Experiencing memory gaps is a sign of old age as the brain cells responsible for storing information age along with the rest of your body.
Your brain is responsible for mental processes such as learning, analyzing, memorizing, and problem-solving. The temporal lobes, in particular, are in charge of storing a vast amount of information coming from the things you see, hear, taste and feel. These lobes are found at the back of the eyes and near the temples at the side of your head.
When a person who has suffered a head injury experiences amnesia, it is possible that the loss of memory may be due to damage on the temporal lobes. Another part of the brain, the hippocampus, is in charge of storing new experiences or short term memory and enables you to learn new skills. A damaged hippocampus may be observed in someone who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Thus, there may be physiological basis for the old adage, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."
While ageing is a natural process that is inevitable for all, it is still possible to delay the onset of memory loss or to improve your memory with a diet of brain food and regular mental exercise.
What you should eat to improve your memory?
- Omega 3 Fatty acids: Your brain is composed of fat. It also uses fat for certain brain processes to run smoothly. There are good fats and there are harmful fats. While trans fat and high amounts of saturated fat are harmful to your health, your brain needs a healthy dose of Omega-3 fatty acids for proper brain development and nerve function. Low levels of Omega-3 fatty acids can lead to depression, poor memory, learning disabilities and other mental disorders. You can get your Omega-3 fatty acids from salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and most cold water fishes.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants have gained popularity as anti-ageing ingredients in skin care. They, too, can work wonders on your brain as these compounds generally provide cells superior protection against free radical damage. Antioxidants are naturally found in fresh, colourful fruits and vegetables such as berries, broccoli, red capsicum, avocados, spinach, grapes, beetroot, plums and cherries.
- Protein: Protein builds body tissues, muscles, and internal organs such as the brain. It provides the building blocks for neurotransmitters that your brain uses at all times. Some of the best sources of protein include fish, meat, eggs, milk and cheese.
In addition to a healthy diet, your brain also needs mental exercises to stay alert and sharp in the same way that your body needs physical activity to keep itself fit and free from disease. Almost any kind of mental activity that requires you to focus and exercise concentration regularly can improve your memory. Sharpen your memory with the following brain activities:
- Simple memory exercises: Test your memory by memorizing a short list of words and writing down as many words as you can remember on a clean sheet of paper. Do this often by changing the list of words to jog your memory.
- Word or number puzzles: Sudoku, Scrabble, crossword puzzles and other word games stimulate brain activity and indirectly enhance your memory. Puzzles keep your mind active and sharp.
- Learn a new skill: Learning how to do something new drives your brain to devote mental energy to it. When your brain is at work, it sets in motion a complex mechanism of neurotransmitters that sharpens your memory. Make it a point to learn something new daily.
Top Tips for Improving Your Brain Power
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