We all know what it feels like to walk into a room, our mind go blank and to completely forget why we’re there! Forgetfulness is normal and can be nothing more than a mild annoyance but it may also be a sign of something more worrisome, especially if forgetfulness becomes more frequent.
Happily, there are many ways that we are able to support memory and concentration, ensuring that we remain in peak mental shape. Here are a few of our tips.
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A little stress can be very motivating and support learning and information storage but conversely too much stress over extended periods of time can be detrimental. Stress may make it harder to convert short-term memories into long term memories and this means it is harder to learn or remember when you’re stressed.
Taking a little time out to enjoy a sunny day, a yoga class or a simple walk with the dog is vital for both mind and body. Physical exercise and various breathing techniques may help you to stay calm, focussed and relaxed and avoiding caffeine and other stimulants may help too.
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Eating a diet high in nutrients from fruit, vegetables and whole grains along with protein and good fats is important for everyone. With many of us relying on ready-made meals we are missing out many of the nutrients we need for a healthy body and brain. Nutrients that appear to be particularly important for cognition are carotenoids, vitamin C, choline, folic acid, B complex vitamins including vitamin B6 and B12 along with omega-3 fatty acids.
Be sure to eat the recommended 400 grams of fruit and vegetables a day along with two 140 gram servings of fish a week – oily fish like salmon, sardines and herring are especially beneficial.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, consider supplementing with choline and vitamin B12 as these are often lacking in plant-based diets. It is thought that vitamin B12 and folate slow the rate of brain shrinkage associated with mild cognitive decline. In the brain, choline is important for the production of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine and is needed to support memory.
If you are concerned about memory loss still, speak to your healthcare practitioner.
Disclaimer: Food supplements do not replace a balance diet and exercise. If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any medication please consult your healthcare practitioner before taking a supplement.
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