It’s becoming increasingly evident that we have more control over our brain health than we once believed. Dr. Kaitlin Casaletto, a board-certified neuropsychologist and associate professor in the department of Neurology at the UC San Francisco Memory and Aging Center, emphasizes that brain health prevention starts in midlife and continues throughout life. To ensure your brain stays sharp well into your golden years, our experts have uncovered seven natural methods to enhance your memory.
Invest in a Multivitamin
Maintaining a perfectly balanced diet daily can be challenging. Minor deficiencies in essential brain nutrients like vitamins B-12, C, D, zinc, calcium, and magnesium can lead to cognitive difficulties.
Dr. Casaletto recommends taking a daily multivitamin to bridge these nutrient gaps. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study demonstrated that older adults who took a multivitamin daily for a year improved their memory substantially, effectively reversing over three years of brain aging.
Foster Social Connections
Being socially active can significantly benefit your brain. Regular interactions with friends and family, as well as engaging in group activities, help slow cognitive decline, particularly concerning memory and language.
Whether you’re playing board games with family, joining a book club, or participating in sports like pickleball with friends, these connections are vital for maintaining cognitive health.
Embrace Fatty Fish
If you weren’t a fan of eating fish, it’s time to become one! Incorporate fatty fish, such as tuna, salmon, sardines, anchovies, and mackerel, into your diet.
These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, which supports proper cell function in the brain. Omega-3s enhance memory by increasing hippocampal volume, responsible for learning and memory.
Challenge Your Brain
Novelty is a key element in enhancing brain health. Dr. Casaletto recommends diversifying your activities and learning new things.
Instead of sticking to the same daily routines or games, try activities like Sudoku or jigsaw puzzles. Engaging in new hobbies or changing your daily routines can also provide memory-boosting benefits.
Reading for Memory
Indulging in leisurely reading for just 90 minutes a day, five days a week can significantly improve memory in a matter of months.
A study of adults aged 60 to 79 revealed that consistent reading strengthens both working memory and episodic memory. So don’t forget to pick up a book or a magazine every now and then.
Exercise Your Way to a Strong Memory
Physical activity is not only essential for muscle strength but also for memory. Research from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center shows that cognitive decline is nearly twice as common in inactive individuals.
Regular exercise, even brisk walks or light dancing, improves blood flow to the brain, especially in regions associated with memory.
Aromatherapy for Memory Enhancement
Inhaling essential oils while you sleep can enhance your memory. A study in Frontiers in Neuroscience found that individuals aged 60 to 85 who used an aromatherapy diffuser with various scents, including rosemary, peppermint, lemon, and lavender, performed 226% better in memory tests after six months.
This improvement results from the direct connection between your sense of smell and memory circuits. Aromatherapy strengthens these pathways and deepens your sleep, allowing your brain to function better the following day.