Memory is as natural to us as breathing. It is an ability that we all have, yet rarely ever think about-unless we believe that we are losing that ability. Memory lapses are an annoyance in themselves, but worse is the anxiety that often comes with them. We begin by asking ourselves if they are symptoms of some other problem such as midlife depression or arteriosclerosis. The most feared memory lapse cause is Alzheimer’s disease which is a progressive and debilitating disease that usually begins in midlife with minor defects in memory and behavior.
People have come to expect that as the age their ability to remember will begin to deteriorate and that their powers of recall will diminish. This is not altogether true. The aging process itself has little bearing on the ability to recall information. Occasionally memory lapses, such as losing the keys to the car or misplacing your remote control are a natural part of life virtually at any age. In fact, with a proper diet, nutrition and memory use, the memory should remain sharp and active well into one’s own nineties or beyond.
One large reason that people suffer from memory loss is due to an insufficient supply of necessary nutrients, especially B vitamins and amino acids to the brain. The life of your body is in the blood as it nourishes and feeds every cell within our bodies. The brain is surrounded by a protective coating known as the blood brain barrier, which allows only certain substances to pass from the bloodstream and into the brain. So if the blood is thick with cholesterol and triglycerides, the amount of nutrient rich blood that will pass through the barrier will decrease. This process overtime will result in the brain becoming malnourished.
Certain herbs have been known to enhance memory such as garlic; Ginkgo biloba (which can increase blood flow to the brain and central nervous system), also ginseng and rosemary are good for memory retention.
How can one keep one’s brain in top shape? Try these suggestions:
- Eat a diet high in raw foods and consume the following often; brown rice, farm eggs, nuts, tofu, wheat germs and whole grains.
- Combine your complex carbs like legumes, starchy vegetable like potatoes, corn, rice and grain products, with foods that contain at least 10 percent protein and 10 percent
essential fats. (Please keep in mind that all carbohydrate meals can have an adverse effect on your memory)Foods with large amounts of complex carbs can include legumes, starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, rice and grain products.
- Eat more blueberries and spinach since researchers have found that the flavonoids in these can aid in memory retention.
- Avoid refined sugars that are found in soft drinks and candy.
- Practice holding your breath for 30 seconds every hour for one month. This will improve your mental alertness.
- Do not drink alcohol
The key to having a good memory is in your attitude and approach and as we age our attitudes change. Our ability to remember isn’t affected as much as we think. It is the change in our motivation to remember things that is probably the largest factor.