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Tips to improve memory

Like the physical body, the brain needs exercise to boost its power. A strong brain is a healthy brain and it's important to feed and exercise the brain in order to keep it mentally sharp - especially as we get older. Here are a few tips to improve memory and mental performance.

Memory

Rest

Sleep deprivation is a sure way to a sluggish brain. Memory, problem solving and critical thinking abilities are all affected by a lack of sleep. Sleep is critical for memory. Research shows that memories are stored most efficiently at the deepest stages of sleep. So snuggle down and get snoring.

Exercise

Physical exercise increases the supply of oxygen to brain, allowing it to work more efficiently. A lack of oxygen to the brain can lead to disorders that result in memory loss, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Feed the brain

Eating the right foods can help improve memory. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to boost brain health and it's also believed that they may guard against Alzheimer’s disease. Fish is a prime source of omega-3, in particular cold water “fatty” varieties such as salmon, mackerel and herring. Alternatively try fish oil supplements and non-fish omega-3 rich foods such as walnuts, flaxseed oil and soy beans. Other foods that are good for the brain include colourful fruits and leafy green vegetables, which are packed with antioxidants, and small quantities of red wine, which contains a flavonoid called resveratrol that increases blood flow to the brain. It's also a good idea to avoid saturated fat, as this can impair memory and concentration.

Work those brain cells

When it comes to trying to improve memory that old adage “use it or lose it” rings true. The brain needs to be worked out on a regular basis in order to keep it in top condition. The sharper the brain, the better its ability to make memories. Brain exercises help develop new pathways in the brain. The exercises should be challenging or the brain won't be sufficiently stretched - learn a new language or get to grips with a particularly difficult crossword or Sudoku puzzle.

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