Improve your memory
It’s normal to expect some decline in mental alertness as we age, however it can be a sign of an imbalance for which we may need to implement some change. If anything, to minimize the risk of it developing into anything more serious.
Chemicals in the brain are responsible for maintaining memory and concentration, specifically one called Acetylcholine. Factors that can also affect mental alertness include inflammation, blood glucose control and digestive health.
Here are some of my top diet and lifestyle tips for improving memory and concentration;
- Get eight hours of good quality sleep at night: research shows that sleep maybe more crucial for brain function than it is for body function.
- Exercise regularly.
- Work on managing stress: Poor memory is associated with imbalances in the stress hormones.
- Keep your brain active by reading books, learning new skills, doing crosswords/puzzles.
- Get some sunshine: Sunlight is the best natural source of Vitamin D, which plays its own role in brain health.
- Egg yolk is the best source of choline, which makes Acetylcholine (as mentioned earlier): eat egg yolk at least 3 times a week.
- Focus on a low glycaemic diet: limit high GI foods such as biscuits, cakes, white bread, pasta & rice.
- Green vegetables for Vitamin B12 and folate (e.g. brocolli, spinach, rocket, romaine lettuce, kale): eat one portion a day.
- Yellow peppers, citrus fruits, kiwi & strawberries for Vitamin C: eat one portion a day
- Fish, seafood, nuts & seeds for Zinc: eat one portion (handful) a day.
- Fish, eggs, lean red meat, dark green leafy vegetables, beetroots for Iron: eat 2/3 portions weekly.
- Mushrooms, cashews, brazils and hazelnuts for Copper.
- Spinach, broccoli, other green vegetables, nuts and seeds for Magnesium.
- Focus on eating a rainbow of deeply coloured vegetables and fruit for antioxidants.
- Green tea can enhance learning and memory. If you are sensitive to caffeine, have a cup no later than mid afternoon.
There is recent evidence to suggest that bacteria in our gut can influence cognitive function such as memory and learning. Therefore maintaining a healthy gut by avoiding any of the common culprits if they are problematic for you. You may benefit from live cultures found in unsweetened yoghurts or even a probiotic supplement.