Our brain is a fascinating and incredible tool, which allows us to process the information we collect, to recall it at the right moment, to move, to act, to speak and to feel, in short, to live. Today we will talk about how to take care of this powerful organ by focusing, in particular, on memory, one of the brain functions. How many times do we complain that we don't have enough memory, that we can't keep some information in mind or that we are slower to recall it from our internal archive? We will therefore see, on the basis of the most interesting scientific studies, how to strengthen memory with simple daily choices concerning lifestyle, diet and natural remedies.
Extra virgin olive oil, elixir for memory
Extra virgin olive oil is a precious source of antioxidants, capable of counteracting the damage caused by free radicals in the brain. Thanks to this effect, the intake of extra virgin olive oil has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function, even in the case of advanced age and an increase in the brain of toxic aggregates of beta amyloid proteins (Farr et al, J Alzheimers Dis, 2012). Not only that, extra virgin olive oil has been shown to improve the activity of brain synapses and to support neuroplasticity (Lauretti et al, Aging Cell, 2020).
The diet that protects memory
A diet low in omega 3 fatty acids increases the risk of poor attention while integrating these precious substances into the daily diet has been shown to improve memory (Kuelzow et al, J Alzheimers Dis, 2016). Hence the importance of not missing foods containing omega 3, such as oily fish, flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts. Green light also for dark chocolate. In fact, cocoa polyphenols have been shown to benefit memory (Field et al, Physiol Behav, 2011). To strengthen memory, it is necessary to limit sugars. In fact, a diet rich in sugars increases, even in the short term, the levels of inflammation of the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain responsible for consolidating short- and long-term memory, and leads to a reduction in memory itself (Beilharz et al, Behav Brain Res, 2016).
Crossword puzzle for memory
Doing crossword puzzles protects memory and cognitive functioning. This is what emerges from a very recent scientific research which has shown that doing crosswords counteracts memory loss and improves the ability to carry out daily activities, with both short and long-term effects, even in elderly people with memory impairment (Devanand et al, NEJM Evidence, 2022). Not only that, crossword puzzles improve the language, the terminology and the ability to store information and recall it to mind (Matreja et al, J Adv Med Educ Prof, 2021).
Meditation and physical exercise to improve memory
Carving out a few minutes of time a day for meditation has important beneficial effects. Meditating, in fact, helps to counteract anxiety, depression, hypertension and improves memory (Sharma et al, Ayu, 2015). Not only that, meditation has been shown to increase the volume of brain gray matter, which is also the seat of memory (Tang et al, Neural Plast, 2020). Don't forget to follow an active lifestyle either. In fact, physical exercise improves cognitive function and memory and the benefits have already been observed after just 15 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as riding a stationary bike (Hogan et al, Psychol Aging, 2013).
Essential oils that improve memory
A few drops of peppermint essential oil poured on a handkerchief and sniffed throughout the day has been shown to improve memory, concentration and attention (Moss et al, Int J Neurosci, 2008 ). Other essential oils that strengthen memory are lavender and rosemary essential oils, always to be poured on a handkerchief or diffused in the room (Faridzadeh et al, Front Neurosci, 2022).