Our minds and bodies tend to undergo new changes as we age. Some of these changes can be uncomfortable and frightening; however, it is important to remember that they are normal, and we are not alone. According to the National Library of Medicine, nearly 40 percent of individuals over the age of 65 will experience some form of memory loss.
Consistent difficulty with memory can significantly affect daily life activities such as running errands, paying bills, and managing medications. And while mild forgetfulness is ordinary in older adults, it can be alarming to notice that your mind isn’t as keen as it once was. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your memory naturally. Continue reading the tips below for simple lifestyle changes that will help keep your mind sharp and your lifestyle full of positive activities!
If you are looking for assisted living and memory care services in Wichita, don’t hesitate to contact Comfort and Love Senior Care Homes at 316-260-4330 to schedule a visit. We are located in East Wichita, one mile off of K-96 and East 21st on North Garnett St, near many shops, restaurants, medical offices, and churches.
Your diet plays a significant role in your physical health, but it also predominantly affects your mental strength and well-being. In fact, certain foods may promote brain strength and minimize memory loss. While no food will act as a magic cure-all, regularly incorporating these foods into your diet can help sharpen your mental capacity and improve your memory. In addition, they naturally contribute to your overall physical health, which helps seniors stay independent and reduces the risk of fall-related injuries.
Green, leafy vegetables are some of the best foods for seniors looking to improve their memory. Plenty of nutrition and tasty leafy greens fall into this category, including:
These greens are rich in nutrients, such as vitamin K, folate, and beta carotene, supporting brain function and slow cognitive decline. These vitamins are simple and easy to incorporate into your diet. Having a salad or two daily, or cooking fresh broccoli or greens as a side dish, is a great way to integrate green, leafy vegetables into your diet more readily.
Fatty fish is also a fantastic source of brain-healthy nutrients. Varieties like salmon, pollack, cod, and light tuna are low in mercury, packed with omega-three fatty acids and nutritious unsaturated fats. Diets rich in fatty fish have even been linked to lower levels of beta-amyloid in the bloodstream, a protein that forms in those with Alzheimer’s. Eating fish just twice per week is enough to reap its cognitive benefits. If you don’t like fish or can’t eat it due to dietary restrictions, there are some substitutes you can opt for instead, including:
Another option is to consider talking to your doctor about adding an omega-three supplement to your daily vitamins. Some additional benefits of taking omega-three fatty acid supplements may include:
Not only are these flavorful little morsels delicious, but berries are jam-packed with nutritional benefits. Berries contain flavonoids which are pigments that give the fruits their bright colors and are known to improve memory when consumed often. Incorporating at least two servings of your favorite berries into your diet each week is an easy way to promote good cognitive health.
Various nuts are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. They have also been shown to have memory-improving capabilities. For example, walnuts are high in DHA and polyunsaturated omega-three fatty acids, making them a treat for your body and mind. Almonds and hazelnuts are known to help improve memory and reduce cognitive decline because they have a high concentration of vitamin E. Peanuts are rich in niacin which is thought to play a significant role in neuronal development and the diminishing of neurodegenerative diseases.
Your morning cup of coffee does more than just wake you up for the day! Beyond simply improving your immediate focus, caffeine has been shown to improve mental function and help regular consumers solidify new memories – a great way to combat short-term memory loss. Not a fan of coffee? Most caffeinated teas are strong enough to give you the same memory-saving benefits as a cup of coffee.
Improving your memory doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, brain games are a great way to strengthen your cognitive abilities and do some mental gymnastics while having fun. Brain games challenge the mind and encourage the gray matter in your brain (the part that controls memories) to grow and remain engaged. Just fifteen minutes of puzzles daily is enough to stretch your mind and exercise your memory. There are an endless amount of games and puzzles to choose from. You can find games in your local daily newspaper, at a bookstore or toy store, or even from your smartphone’s endless game app options. Some favorite memory improving games include:
While mental exercise is essential, it’s just as crucial to exercise your body. Exercise has been proven to improve neuroplasticity, which can, in turn, increase cognitive agility and slow memory loss. You don’t need to exercise for hours at a time to enhance your mental strength. As long as you exercise consistently and get your heart rate up, you will be doing both your mind and body a favor. Some of the best exercises for improved memory health include swimming and running. Strength training, like weight lifting, is also great for increasing heart rate and heightening blood flow. Joining a local group or class adds even more fun to this enhancing physical activity because you can be social with like-minded individuals while at the same time improving your personal health.
Improving your memory can be as easy as reconnecting with your loved ones. Having deep connections with friends, family, and your community has significant beneficial effects on your well being – one of them being retained sharpness and improved memory health. Social interaction in a group can protect against cognitive decline.
The emotional effect of having close social relationships is significant. Having an extensive social network can positively influence the aging brain. Interacting with friends and family encourages a more active hippocampus—essential for good memory function in the brain. Seniors with active social circles have even been shown to have less inflammation in their brains compared to the higher levels seen in those who develop conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Good sleep habits are sometimes overlooked as part of a healthy lifestyle, though they are often linked to the development of neurodegeneration, even in younger adults. In addition to improving your memory, a proper sleep schedule can help you combat several cognitive impairments, including trouble forming new memories or staying focused. Both the quality and quantity of your sleep are essential for improving your memory. Proper sleep increases the neural connections that help form memories, and when you lack quality sleep, neurons no longer function properly. Improperly functioning neurons can make information processing difficult and damper your ability to think correctly. A proper sleep routine can help improve memory, but it can also strengthen your heart, help prevent weight gain, and even boost your immune system. Here is a helpful article on tips for improved sleep as we age.
If you start to find that you are having more and more trouble with memory, it may be time to check with your doctor. It is crucial to be proactive and catch the early signs of cognitive degeneration and Alzheimer’s before symptoms advance or become unmanageable. The earlier you take action, the more likely you will be able to retain control of your life and be in charge of decision-making.
At Comfort and Love Senior Care Homes, we are highly focused on having your best interest at heart. If you have any questions or concerns about your memory health, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. If you are looking for assisted living and memory care services in Wichita, don’t hesitate to contact Comfort and Love Senior Care Homes at 316-260-4330 to schedule a visit. We are located in East Wichita, one mile off of K-96 and East 21st on North Garnett St, near many shops, restaurants, medical offices, and churches.