1. Eat Right —
The foods you eat – and don’t eat – play a crucial role in your memory.
Fresh vegetables are essential, as are healthy fats and avoiding sugar and grain carbohydrates.
For instance, curry, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and walnuts contain antioxidants and other compounds that protect your brain health and may even stimulate the production of new brain
Increasing your animal-based omega-3 fat reducing consumption of damaged omega-6 fats
(think processed vegetable oils) in order to balance your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, is also
I prefer krill oil to fish oil, as krill oil also contains astaxanthin, which not only protects the omega-3 fats from oxidation but also appears to be particularly beneficial for brain health.
Coconut oil is another healthful fat for brain function.
2. Exercise — Exercise encourages your brain to work at optimum capacity by stimulating nerve cells to multiply, strengthening their interconnections and protecting them from damage.
During exercise nerve, cells release proteins known as neurotrophic factors.
One, in particular, called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), triggers numerous other
chemicals that promote neural health, and directly benefits cognitive functions, including
A 2010 study on primates published in Neuroscience also revealed that regular exercise not only improved blood flow to the brain but also helped the monkeys learn new task twice as quickly as non-exercising monkeys.
This is a benefit the researchers believe would hold true for people as well.
In a separate 1 year-long study, individuals who engaged in the exercise were actually growing and expanding the brain’s memory center one to two percent per year, where typically that
a center would have continued to decline in size.
To get the most out of your workouts, I recommend a comprehensive program that includes
high-intensity interval exercise, strength training, stretching, and core work, along with
regular intermittent movement.
|3. Stop Multitasking — |
Used for decades to describe the parallel processing abilities of computers, multitasking is now shorthand for the human attempt to do simultaneously as many things as possible, as quickly
Ultimately, multitasking may actually slow you down, make you prone to errors as well as make you forgetful.
Research shows you actually need about eight seconds to commit a piece of information to your memory, so if you’re talking on your phone and carrying in groceries when you put down your car keys, you’re unlikely to remember where you left them.
The opposite of multitasking would be mindfulness, which helps you achieve undistracted
Students who took a mindfulness class improved reading comprehension test scores and
working memory capacity, as well as experienced fewer distracting thoughts.
If you find yourself trying to complete five tasks at once, stop yourself and focus your attention back to the task at hand. If distracting thoughts enter your head, remind yourself that these
are only “projections,” not really, and allow them to pass by without stressing you out.
You can then end your day with a 10- or 15-minute meditation session to help stop your mind
from wandering and relax into a restful sleep.
|4. Get a Good Night’s Sleep — |
Research from Harvard indicates that people are 33 % more likely to infer connections among distantly related ideas after sleeping, but few realize that their performance has actually
Sleep is also known to enhance your memories and help you “practice” and improve your performance of challenging skills. In fact, a single night of sleeping only four to six hours can impact your ability to think clearly the next day.
The process of brain growth, or neuroplasticity, is believed to underlie your brain’s capacity to control behavior, including learning and memory.
Plasticity occurs when neurons are stimulated by events, or information, from the environment. However, sleep and sleep loss modify the expression of several genes and gene products that may be important for synaptic plasticity.
Furthermore, certain forms of long-term potentiation, a neural process associated with the laying down of learning and memory, can be elicited in sleep, suggesting synaptic connections are strengthened while you slumber.
As you might suspect, this holds true for infants too, and research shows that naps can give a boost to babies’ brainpower.
Specifically, infants who slept in between learning and testing sessions had a better ability to recognize patterns in new information, which signals an important change in memory that plays an essential role in cognitive development.
There’s a reason to believe this holds true for adults, too, as even among adults, a mid-day nap was found to dramatically boost and restore brainpower.
|5. Play Brain Games — If you don’t sufficiently challenge your brain with new, surprising information, it eventually begins to deteriorate. |
What research into brain plasticity shows us, however, is that by providing your brain with an appropriate stimulus, you can counteract this degeneration.
One way to challenge your brain is via ‘brain games,’ which you can play online via Web sites like Lumosity.com.
The program is called Brain HQ, and the website has many different exercises designed to improve brain function and it also allows you to track and monitor your progress over time.
While there are many similar sites on the Web, Brain HQ is one of the oldest and most widely used.
If you decide to try brain games, ideally it would be wise to invest at least 20 minutes a day, but no more than five to seven minutes is to be spent on a specific task.
When you spend longer amounts of time on a task, the benefits weaken.
According to Dr. Merzenich, the primary benefits occur in the first 5 / 6 minutes of the task.
The only downside to brain games is that it may become just another “task” you need to fit into an already busy day.
If you don’t enjoy brain games, you can also try learning a new skill or hobby (see below).
|6. Master a New Skill — Engaging in “purposeful and meaningful activities” stimulates your neurological system, counters the effects of stress-related diseases, reduces the risk of dementia and enhances health and well-being.|
A key factor necessary for improving your brain function or reversing functional decline is the seriousness of purpose with which you engage in a task. In other words, the task must be important to you, or somehow meaningful or interesting — it must hold your attention.
For instance, one study revealed that craft activities such as quilting and knitting were associated with decreased odds of having mild cognitive impairment.
Another study, published earlier this year, found that taking part in “cognitively demanding”
activities like learning to quilt or take digital photography enhanced memory function in older
The key is to find an activity that is mentally stimulating for you.
Ideally, this should be something that requires your undivided attention and gives you great satisfaction… it should be an activity that you look forward to doing, such as playing a musical instrument, gardening, building model ships, crafting or many others.
|7. Try Mnemonic Devices — Mnemonic devices are memory tools to help you remember words, information or concepts. They help you to organize information into an easier-to-remember format. |
•Acronyms (such as PUG for “pick up grapes”)
•Visualizations (such as imagining a tooth to remember your dentist’s appointment)
•Rhymes (if you need to remember a name, for instance, think “Shirley’s hair is curly)
•Chunking, which is breaking up information into smaller “chunks” (such as organizing numbers into the format of a phone number)
- firstly, in a large kadai, heat 1 tbsp butter and saute 1 bay leaf, 1 green chilli, 1 tsp kasuri methi till they aromatic.
- further saute ½ onion petals and ½ cubed capsicum.
- add ¼ tsp turmeric and ½ tsp chilli powder.
- further add blended tomato-onion paste and mix well.
- in addition, add prepared kadai masala and 1 tsp salt.
- cook till the masala paste starts to release oil.
- now add ½ to 1 cup water adjusting consistency as required.
- add 12 cubes homemade paneer, 2 tbsp cream and mix gently.
- cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- furthermore, add ¼ tsp garam masala and 2 tbsp coriander leaves. mix well.
- finally, serve restaurant-style kadai paneer gravy hot with garlic naan or chapati.