How to Improve Memory – Your Most Burning Questions Answered
If you are a student, your memorization skills are among the most tested by exams as you are required to recall names, dates, and formulas. At work, you need to remember to do crucial tasks and names of important clients and customers. It’s obvious enough to understand why people search for shortcuts, tricks, and tips on how to improve memory.
It just so happens that your memory is important for just about every facet of your life. You need to remember when to clean the car when you need to take the dog for a walk and to buy milk on your way home from work. You have to remember the birthdays of close friends, families, and your special partner. You have to remember a million small things.
When you forget, it can get you into all kinds of trouble. You can lose a customer, a friend, or even a girlfriend. It’s even possible that you can lose your job. As you get older, you may even worry about the onset of senility and other aging-related mental troubles.
However, learning how to increase memory doesn’t have to be overly difficult. There are plenty of ways to improve memory, and you can always try all these methods.
In fact, a holistic approach that involves tweaking your diet and workouts can work well with various memory tricks you can do to become better at recalling stuff from the depths of your mind. It’s like trying to build bigger muscles, except that for some people a better memory is more important than huge biceps.
How to improve memory with The Right Diet
Let’s start with the diet. Obviously, it’s important that you make sure your diet is enough when it comes to the nutrients and calories you need. However, when it comes to your memory some diets are better than others, and lots of experts believe that of all the widely recognized diets the Mediterranean diet is the best for your case.
This diet is very common in the Mediterranean countries, which explains the name. It places a greater emphasis on consuming fruits and veggies and other plant-based food items like whole grains, nuts, and legumes. Instead of salt, you use herbs and spices. Instead of butter, you use healthier alternatives such as olive oil or even canola oil.
Fish and poultry are part of the diet, and you should have them at least 2x a week. Red meat, however, is limited to just a few times each month. Red wine is also part of it, though obviously, this should be in moderation.
There’s a social aspect to the Mediterranean diet, and it’s better if you have your meals with close family and friends. Of course, you have to exercise too.
As it is, the Mediterranean diet is already good for you. You have a better chance of living longer without getting sick, and people who eat this way tend to have lower rates of Alzheimer’s. It really does slow down the age-related mental decline, and it can even boost your memory.
However, you can tweak the diet by including other food for memory. These memory food items include:
- All kinds of berries
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Coldwater fatty fish like salmon, herring, and tuna
- Dark chocolate—the darker the better
- Eggs, which aren’t as bad for you as people once thought
- Fermented foods for their probiotics
- Green leafy veggies because of the various vitamins they provide
- Sea veggies due to iodine and vitamin B12
- Turmeric, which is a kind of spice
- Walnuts (and other nuts too)
A diet with the right foods for memory can really help with your recall, and as a bonus, this diet is also good for your heart as well. This should suffice in providing you with all the nutrients you need to keep you healthy and mentally fit too.
However, you may not always be able to stick with your diet. If that’s the case, you may have to supplement your diet with pills that provide the right vitamins and minerals.
It is true that every type of vitamin needed by your body also helps in ensuring that your brain is fully functional and that your memory is working properly. However, for memory enhancement, you have to make sure that you don’t suffer from a deficiency in certain types of vitamins. The vitamins for memory include vitamins C, D, E, K, and B-complex.
For minerals, you need to make sure you always get enough zinc, iodine, iron, and magnesium. That’s especially true with iodine since most people get their RDA from iodized salt. You may want to add more sea veggies to your diet if you constantly omit iodized salt from your recipes.
You don’t have to take lots of different pills to get all these different vitamins and minerals. You can find multivitamin pills that have all of them in just one pill. It’s worth taking these pills, as various studies have confirmed that taking them can really boost your memory.
Nootropics Supplements for Memory
Some memory pills are actually just megavitamins, and they’re not really guilty of false advertising when they hype their capability as a memory booster. However, nootropic is a different kind of supplement. These tend to contain the various ingredients that can be found in the food items that are great for your memory.
What are these ingredients? The best memory supplements can contain any of the following memory boosters:
- ALC (ALCar or acetyl-l-carnitine)
- Alpha GPC (alpha-glycerophosphocholine)
- Bacopa monnieri
- Ginkgo biloba
- American ginseng
- Huperzine A
- Magnesium Threonate
- Arctic root
- Velvet bean
You just have to be careful when you buy these things since they’re not quite as strictly regulated as real medicines by the FDA. Make sure that you can check the ingredients (some actually keep it secret), and read user reviews for any mentions of possible side effects.
Nootropics are good, but they still can’t replace a proper diet. So make sure eat right with the right vitamins and minerals, and then you can think about the right nootropics.
Workouts for Memory
When you’re trying to lose weight or build bigger muscles, you need to have a proper diet and you also have to work out. As it turns out, this formula also applies to boosting your memory. Just as there are different workouts for bigger muscles and for trimmer physiques, you can also set up a workout that can help boost your memory.
However, instead of going to the gym and lifting weights, you’ll have to work out your brain with various mental exercises. Here are some exercises that you should try so that your brain gets the challenging workout it needs:
Learn to Play a Musical Instrument
It’s been found that children who can play a musical instrument tend to have higher IQs and better memory than their non musical peers. Even just listening to music can do wonders, especially when you try out instrumental music. Focus on the melody, the notes, the rhythm, and all the various aspects.
This type of mental exercise can actually improve your memory. You’re also able to focus better. Your language skills can improve (which helps if you’re also trying to learn a new language), and even your physical coordination gets better.
How to Improve Memory by Learning a New Language
This isn’t really as difficult as it seems, especially if you just want to use this process to boost your memory. In most languages, the top 100 most commonly used words actually makes up half the words used in everyday conversations in that language. You can learn 3 words a day, and in 3 months you already have a working foundation for that language.
Even a minimal knowledge of a second language can let you reap various cognitive benefits. Once you get a handle in speaking that second language, you will find that your working memory and memorization skills have become much better.
Take Up a New Hobby That Involves a Concrete Creative Purpose
A new hobby can be good for your memory, as long as it’s not just loafing around on the couch channel surfing or going online to chat with friends on social media. Instead, your new hobby has to have a final goal or an item that you have to come up with. So you can take up drawing, painting, photography, knitting, gardening, or even doing DIY woodwork or appliance repair.
This type of hobby boosts your dopamine levels to keep you motivated, and it also protects you from depression and age-related mental decline. This not only boosts your memory now, but it also keeps your memory from declining as you get older.
You can also try new things in your everyday life. You can learn how to use chopsticks. Change your route from work to home every so often. When you’re shopping for food, try a farmer’s market where you can introduce new textures, scents, and tastes to your senses. These are called neurobic exercises, and the goal is to engage multiple senses in new and fun ways.
Other Memory Techniques
There are other shortcuts you can use so that you can memorize stuff for tomorrow’s test. These techniques are called mnemonics, and they’re tricks that were devised by teachers and philosophers well back in Ancient Greece.
These aren’t crutches though. They’re not like anabolic steroids that make your muscles bigger at the expense of your health. Instead, they’re actually a type of “mindfulness” process that can actually exercise your brain.
These are initials like FBI and CIA, but this time the letters can refer to various list items that you need to remember. For kids, the most famous example is ROY G. BIV, which refers to all the colors in the rainbow.
But the use of acronyms is also popular among adults, especially for healthcare workers. Treating sprains, for example, will need RICE or Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. For general first aid methodology, there’s also HEAD which stands for History, Examination, Action, and Documentation.
This time, you use a phrase to remember a list of objects, and the first letters of each word will refer to the items. In music, you can use Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge to memorize the notes that are on the lines of a treble clef. For planets, you can memorize Mary’s Violet Eyes Made John Stay Up Nights (Pining).
This is when you break down a long list into shorter chunks, and its’ commonly used to memorize long phone numbers. So instead of 9456254761, you can just keep regard it as 945-625-4761.
To remember names, you can also try other figures of speech like rhyming (Slim Jim) or alliteration (using a phrase starting with the same letters, such as Tiny Tim. Of course, you can also just use your smartphone to list stuff down or to beep you when you’re due to a meeting. Still, it’s always good for your memory to practice these techniques
Things to Avoid For a Better Memory
Just as there are some things that are good for your memory, other things can be very bad. So remember to avoid the following items:
Refined sugar is associated with learning disorders and poor memory formation. It’s also a leading suspect for Alzheimer’s which some call the “diabetes of the brain”.
It’s been linked to problems like migraines, mood swings, and brain fog.
Unhealthy Trans Fats
These cause free radical damage which is why you need lots of antioxidants. They also inhibit the production of omega-3 fatty acids.
Medications with memory loss as a side effect
Lots of medications, including sleeping pills, cause memory loss.
When you smoke 2 packs a day, the risk of Alzheimer’s goes up by 150%, while the risk of dementia rises by 170%.
The more overweight you are, the more your brain shrinks.
Actually, this practice just slows you down.
Trying to increase your recalling power may require an overhaul of your lifestyle, but it’s worth it. These ways on how to improve memory help with your overall health as well, after all. Keep all these tips in mind, and you will discover that in the end, you’re much better at remembering stuff than you ever been before!