Besides maintaining a healthy diet, Harvard Medical School suggests doing the following:
- Exercise: Physical and mental fitness go together. Those who regularly exercise tend to stay mentally sharp well into their 70s and 80s.
- Don’t smoke: Smoking can cause illnesses that contribute to memory loss, including stroke and hypertension. Smoking also constricts the blood vessels to the brain, depriving it of oxygen and possibly harming neurons.
- Get a good night’s rest: Sleep is needed for memory consolidation and overall good health. It’s not just the amount of sleep you get, but also the quality of your rest.
- Consider vitamins: Antioxidant vitamins like vitamins C and E and beta carotene are thought to benefit the memory by neutralizing destructive molecules that damage healthy tissue in the body. These molecules have been found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
If you want to improve your memory and brain health, researchers at Harvard Medical School also offers these tips:
- Keep learning: A higher level of education is associated with better mental functioning in old age, Harvard Medical School says. Researchers believe this may help keep memory strong by keeping people mentally active.
- Use all your senses: The more senses you use to learn something, the more your brain will be able to retain memories.
- Believe in yourself: People who believe they’re not in control of their memory abilities are less likely to work at maintaining and improving their memory skills.
- Economize your brain use: Use calendars, planners and lists to help preserve mental energy. Find a regular place to put things (like your keys) and remove any clutter to minimize distractions.
- Repeat what you want to know: If you want to remember something you’ve just heard or read, repeat it out loud or write it down. It’s a way to reinforce the memory or connection.
- Space it out: But don’t repeat things over and over again in a short period of time. Spacing it out will help you retain the information better.