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Steps for Better Short-Term Memory
Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten why you are there, or lost your train of thought in the middle of a conversation? Have you ever forgotten the name of a person you just met? If this sounds like you, then you may be having trouble with your short-term memory. Brain cells naturally decrease with age, which affects our short-term memory. Research has proven that the human brain has the power to adapt and change throughout life. This ability is called ‘neuroplasticity’, and it allows our brains to reorganize information to enhance learning, boost memory and improve cognitive function. Neuroplasticity can essentially help slow down our brain’s age-related cognitive decline. But to maximize this process, your brain needs to be adequately exercised and nourished.
Increase Physical Exercise
Physical exercise helps to keep both the heart and brain healthy as we age. Exercise may help to directly improve brain function by increasing oxygen to the brain. Indirectly, it also helps by reducing the risk of chronic diseases that are associated with memory loss, and by reducing the effects of stress.
Reduce the Impact of Stress
Stress is well researched for its negative effects on health, including its brain damaging properties. Excessive acute stress and prolonged chronic stress have both been shown to negatively impact memory. In fact, stress may increase age-related brain deterioration, and speed up the normal memory decline associated with aging. To combat stress, meditation has been well researched for its brain boosting benefits. It has been shown to actually change the brain cells, leading to increased focus, memory and happiness.
Consider diet and nutrients
Many studies have researched the role of a healthy diet in connection with brain health. Diets lower in saturated fats have been found to slow brain aging. Whereas, diets high in saturated fats may increase the risk of developing memory problems. Fish oils (omega-3 fatty acids) have been widely researched for their brain boosting effects. Fish oil has been shown to improve memory and short-term memory recall time, in individuals with diets low in omega-3 fatty acids. Antioxidants also have an important role in memory performance and help to support healthy brain aging. Therefore, it is important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and other antioxidant rich foods to boost your memory and brain function. Keeping your body physically fit and nourished with a variety of healthy fats and antioxidants will help keep your brain healthy. In combination with stress-busting methods, like meditation, to combat daily and long-term stress, you can help slow and prevent short-term memory loss.
Jennifer Hendry-Lynn, BSc. (Hons), ND practices at ReAlign Health in Cambridge, ON. In her daily practice she treats a variety of health concerns, including: women’s health, pregnancy, allergies, digestive disorders, pediatrics and autism. Visit realignhealth.com, drjennd.com or call 519-650-1630.