Ahh, memory. How many of us wish it to be as potent as it was in younger years. You could easily recall all of you friends’ phone numbers (not to mention their names!), your lock combinations, your former teachers’ names. As we age, it is natural for bodily systems to begin to fade and slow down, and memory is one of the first to go. It may become difficult to remember someone’s name, information, or at some point, even the directions to a place you’ve been to several times.
Sometimes significant memory issues are caused by brain impairing conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, dementia and conditions marked by dementia that can cause severe memory lapses where the sufferer may not recognize one’s own family or friends. Some of us worry that we may become one of the 10 million baby boomers who develop Alzheimer’s disease.
However, memory issues do not have to be so extreme in order to cause us distress and concern. How many times have you not been able to recall the name of a movie, or a good book you read? Maybe, more often than not, you can’t seem to remember where you leave your car keys when you enter your home. How many times do you find yourself thinking or saying, “What was that guy’s name.”
While not being able to recall as we once did is alarming, there are ways to naturally boost your memory power so that these embarrassing and often problematic mishaps happen less often. The following are seven natural ways to boost your memory power and improve overall brain function.
7 Ways to Naturally Boost Memory Power
In order to improve cognitive function, we must actively take care of our minds. The following are seven ways to naturally boost memory power that are safe and effective.
- Drink Less Alcohol: It’s no secret that overconsumption of alcohol can greatly damage one’s health. The toxins present in alcohol can immediately begin to attack and impair different bodily systems as well as different areas of the brain—memory being just one of them. Impaired memory is a common side effect of heavy drinking, usually because this activity can lead to severe blackouts in which the person can only vaguely remember what happened the night before.
- Eat a Balanced Diet: It may seem crazy but the foods you eat can impair memory. If your diet consists mainly of junk foods, you may find that you not only feel bad, but that your memory is often foggy and vague. Nutrition is key to all functions in the body, and that includes the mind. Of course, eating the right foods is important for overall health and well-being, but certain foods are beneficial specifically for improving cognitive functions. Foods rich in B vitamins have been proven to prevent the onset of dementia, heart disease, and even brain shrinkage in older adults. Fill your diet with these B vitamin rich foods: eggs, milk, leafy greens, nuts, beans, fruits, fish, poultry, and legumes. Foods that are high in antioxidants such as tomatoes, carrots, avocados, berries, and citrus fruits are also known to help prevent memory loss.
- Take Time to Relax: Ever notice how your mind feels clearer after you take some time for a nap or a brisk walk? This is because giving yourself time to relax helps your brain reset itself in the midst of excessive work. Studies have shown that students who study and then get a good night’s sleep perform better on exams than those who opt to cram all night before. This is because, like any other muscle, the brain needs rest in between intervals of heavy use. When you allot time for a refreshing break, you’ll find that your recall as well as alertness will improve significantly.
- Bacopa: This natural medicine is largely used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine and health care. It is used to help revitalize tired, worn out, or aging brain cells as well as enhance memory and specific recall. In India, this natural supplement is used regularly to help improve intelligence levels as well as help with mental organization and storage. Many who use this medicine find that they are able to recall certain information when needed because they have successfully learned to organize and compartmentalize their thoughts and important information.
- Gingko Biloba: While there are many “so called” memory boosters in the supplement market, most of them lack scientific research to support their claims. However, Ginkgo Biloba shows more promise than others show and is widely used in Europe for patients with dementia that stems from reduced blood flow, as it believed to improve blood flow in small vessels. According to, Dr. Fugh-Berman, an associate professor in the complementary and alternative medicine Master’s program at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, two systematic reviews and meta-analyses has found that this herb is helpful for dementia in about the same range as conventional prescription drugs given to Alzheimer’s patients. While it does not help to prevent dementia, it does improve and possibly prevents it from getting worse. Several studies show gingko to be effective in improving mental alertness in healthy people who take it as a supplement.
- Regular Exercise: That’s right—getting the blood pumping is also an effective way to get the brain functioning better. This is because proper blood circulation gives the brain the oxygen it needs to improve common cognitive functions such as alertness, recall, intellect, critical thinking, and comprehension. Simple activities like taking a walk, Yoga, Pilates, going for a jog, or stretching are all effective ways to improve memory and overall brain health.
- Flex Your Brain Muscles: Lifting weights builds body muscle, and using your brain builds memory muscles. Do word games, check out the many special memory-boosting puzzles available, and read more instead of watching television. Using your brain will help to keep your memory sharp.
Guard Your Brain Cells
It is important to remember that your brain cells are especially precious because they are limited. Unlike the rest of the body, these cells are not reproduced after they have been damaged or destroyed. Take care of your brain by avoiding excessive alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and other substances that harm brain health to keep it sharp.
For even more great ways to boost your memory, visit your doctor to discuss your specific needs.