“Where are my keys?”
“Why did I come in here?”
“Did I already tell you that?”
If you find you’re getting more forgetful than you used to be, rest assured that you’re not alone. We’re all scattered and feeling a bit stressed as we gear up for a busy holiday season.
But losing your mind doesn’t have to lead to losing your memory and declining brain function. Now’s the perfect time to ‘zone in’ on a few unexpected yet scientifically researched strategies to emerge with a healthier brain and improve your memory.
3 Simple Ways to Improve your Memory and Brain Health
It’s a No-Brainer
Unfortunately, we lead in Alzheimer’s diagnosis each year. Startling data from www.ALZ.org reveals:
- Two-thirds of the 6.5 million seniors with ALZ, the most common form of dementia, are women.
- Women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over the rest of their lives as they are to develop breast cancer.
- Women make up about 2/3 of ALZ and related dementia caregivers. Along with the added stress of adverse consequences in the workplace, the responsibilities are taking a toll on women’s health and well-being.
So, keep it simple.
Launching her 2020 tour, Oprah sternly implored women to consider, “You are worth ONE minute.” Alas, we take great pride in the fact that more is better! This leads to long to-do lists and multi-tasking to get it all done, making us seem more efficient. But, sadly, the opposite is true. This has actually done us a health disservice, mentally and physically, according to the brain health expert, Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, Center for Brain Health at The University of Texas at Dallas.
In a Dallas Morning News interview, Dr. Chapman encourages us that not all is lost.
“Science discoveries over the last two decades reveal that our brain is the most modifiable part of our body and easiest to strengthen, more than our heart or teeth,” she says.
One of her many Brain Power strategies? Dr. Chapman explains The Brain Power of ONE in this video for TEDxRockCreekPark.
Focus on ONE ‘in the moment’ activity with no other distractions. Period. Reading the paper, working out, and listening to the news all at the same time actually decreases your brain’s fitness level and can improve memory. “Doing one thing for a concerted period of time will not only strengthen the brain but increase energy tremendously,” preaches Dr. Chapman.
“We’ve known for 50+ years that the Mediterranean diet is beneficial for health, but olive oil is emerging as the most important ingredient,” says Domenico Practico, M.D., director of the Alzheimer’s Center at Temple University.
Dr. Practico shines a light on the olive-growing regions where the incidences of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cognitive decline are very low. But there’s a caveat. It must be EVOO, Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
“They’ve discovered that compounds in the fat of this high-grade olive oil can flush out proteins that gum up the communication channels between brain cells, that may delay or even reverse Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia,” says Dr. Practico.
In lab tests, most of the retailers, including the most reputable stores, found that the EVOOs did not pass antioxidant standards.
Their EVOO Tips:
- Pick a dark bottle
- Check it for the best-by-date
- Buy as newly bottled as possible
- Buy California EVOO, where the standards are strict
- Give it a taste test
You should feel a slight burn in the back of your throat to be sure it contains the highest levels of what’s been shown to bust up Alzheimer’s plaques.
“Now, enjoy a spoonful or two a day,” says Dr. Practico. He recommends two teaspoons for the best effect.
*Always check with your healthcare provider to be sure what’s right for you.
Thanks to decades of research by The American Heart Association, we now know that what’s good for the body is good for the brain.
The focus is blood flow.
“If the heart isn’t pumping strongly or the blood vessels leading to or in the brain are not working right, the brain won’t get enough of the food and energy it needs to function,” said Dr. David B. Wheeler, stroke center medical director at Wyoming Medical Center and founder of Wyoming Neurologic Associates.
“Failing brain function can impair thinking, memory, concentration, energy levels, and bodily systems regulated by the brain,” Wheeler said. So get moving to improve your memory and brain!
“Exercise is extremely important to maintaining good brain health,” Wheeler said, but he suggests you do something you truly enjoy.
The AHA recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate activity combined with strength training two times a week.
“The whole point of this,” says Dr. Wheeler, “is to lead longer lives full of joy and excitement. Live your life, and your brain will be stronger for it.”
Never Forget: 6 Ways to Improve Cognitive Function and Memory