Aging brings a series of health concerns and fears. In the current times of a stressful and hectic lifestyle, memory loss is one of the most feared health concerns. With people getting less or no time to do recreational activities, eat right or sleep adequately, the percentage of increase in the number of memory losses is a daunting concern which people have been facing since past few decades.
According to WHO, 60% of health-related factors of an individual are correlated with their lifestyle. Lifestyle not only has a significant influence on physical health but also on the mental health and well-being of a human . Certain activities and changes when adapted in our daily lives, might not only help us prevent memory loss, but would also keep us physically active and happy:
Minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity daily can help us feel energized by an increase in blood flow throughout our body, including our brain. Proper blood flow to our brain, can help us keep our brain active and our memory sharp.
Exercising in the form of a walk, 30 minutes of yoga or dance/aerobics on some of your favorite musical numbers help with the adequate transmission of oxygen to the brain, increases connections between cells, and hence helps boost our memory. Exercise reduces the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and obesity, that can eventually help prevent memory loss .
Food plays a significant role in maintaining your physical and mental health. Following a balanced diet with the appropriate amount of nutrients will help increase your thinking and memory power by multiple folds.
According to recent studies, the MIND diet emphasizes on including certain brain-healthy foods in your diet for a sharp brain.
The MIND diet: The MIND diet (short for Mediterranean- DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) is a combination of Mediterranean and DASH diet, that consists of 10 brain-healthy foods that help increase brain function. A study by Rush University Medical Center, investigated the effect of MIND diet and concluded that it reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 53% .
The MIND diet consists of: green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, berries, nuts, beans, whole grains, seafood, poultry, olive oil, and wine.
It limits the consumption of red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries, sweets, and fried/fast food .
Choosing pigmented foods such as berries, cherries, and green leafy vegetables help preserve cognitive function and maintain mental sharpness as the brain ages.
Greater intake of flavonoids present in blueberries was associated with lower risk of cognitive decline and memory loss . As fresh blueberries are not available all year round, blueberry supplements in capsules are also a convenient and useful alternative to fresh berries.
Everybody feels irritated and foggy-brained if they haven’t got a good night’s sleep, but it could be affecting more than just your mood!
Sleep deprivation can increase the risk of illnesses such as common cold, diabetes, heart diseases and may also increase the chances of weight gain.
Apart from affecting our physical health, sleep deprivation also has a major impact on our brain functioning and memory. Sleep is known to enhance episodic memory consolidation (Episodic memory involves the recall of events occurring in a particular place and time). Also, there is substantial evidence supporting the role of REM sleep (rapid eye movement) in the consolidation of procedural memory (Procedural memory is a part of the long-term memory that is responsible for knowing how to do things ).
Want to learn more about how to get a better night’s sleep? Check out our blog on 5 healthy habits that help you FALL asleep fast & STAY asleep longer.
Overall, just some minor changes in our lifestyle can keep our minds sharp! By taking time for some physical activity, proper sleep, and following an appropriate diet we can gain control over our brain and prevent a major concern for our future - memory loss.
Do not forget to share this with your friends so that they can also age healthily along with you!