It has been said that life without memory is no life at all. We are fascinated by memory. Our memories define our personal autobiography. Shared memories are the glue that holds society, groups and families together and form the basis of culture. Drawn from our past, they help us create our future. We all have memories. It’s just that sometimes we can’t find where we put them.
Anytime we experience real or perceived memory loss it is troubling. We tend to imagine the worst and are tempted to try the latest fad brain supplement. Shooting from the hip when it comes to brain biochemistry can lead to random and potentially damaging results. Each new chemical discovery provokes the marketing of a new enticing cognitive enhancement supplement with names like phosphatidylserine, gingko, bacopa, huperzine, and dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE). It boggles the mind. Where to start and what to choose? Here are some tips you could keep in mind, or in your reminder notebook 😊, to help you navigate the path to better cognition.
Brain research has shown that stress interferes with the synthesis, storage and transport of memories at the molecular level. You can minimize memory loss, by reducing your physical, chemical and emotional stress. Get plenty of rest, fun and exercise. Eliminate the toxins in your environment and food supply as best you can. Give your brain a rest from the strain of constant interruptions from cell phones. Pay attention to the quality of your relationships and release whatever emotional conflicts you are holding onto. Meditation, regular exercise, yoga, time spent in nature, focused attention and intention, maintaining a positive outlook with a sense of humour, and finding ways to create peace within yourself are scientifically validated behaviors that optimize brain performance.
What about your diet? Eat plenty of avocados, blueberries, beets, bone broths, broccoli, celery, coconut oil, dark chocolate, eggs, leafy greens like chard, kale and spinach, nutritional yeast, organ meats, rosemary herb, salmon, sea vegetables and walnuts. These gifts of nature provide anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and nutrient-rich factors that support brain physiology and function.
If you subscribe to the idea that memory loss is an inevitable course of aging it is time to unsubscribe. As you think, so shall you function. Remain youthful in your speech and in the company you keep. Activate your mind by learning new things, visiting new places, and adopting new habits. I am reminded of the question “Do you play because you are young or are you young because you play?”
If you are doing all these things and still feel the need to take a brain supplement you should seek a professional to identify your exact needs. In summary, to maximize your memory health, reduce your stress, maintain a youthful lifestyle and attitude and lifestyle, adjust your diet, and only take supplements that are appropriate for you and your specific brain need.