This is part 2 of 2 in a 2-part miniseries about factors that affect your memory. Whether helpful or detrimental, it’s important to know the difference between what contributes to strong and weak memory functions altogether. Have you seen part 1 about the 5 damaging factors for your memory that you didn’t know about?
3 Factors that Positively Affect Memory Function
While knowing what to avoid if you want to maintain a strong memory is important (e.g. smoking, lack of sleep, thyroid disease, etc.), don’t forget that there are ways to improve your memory (both the encoding and retrieval processes) that are all natural as well.
You probably grew up hearing things like “eat fish oil it’s great for your brain” and whatever else that you came to accept as fact – but hey, do you know why any of that is true?
So, here are three factors that can actually improve your memory, and why that is the case:
The science behind exercise is relatively simple. When you get moving, your brain stimulates nerve cells repeatedly. Because of synaptic plasticity, this strengthens the connections between them and protects them from damage.
When you exercise, your nerve cells also release proteins that improve neuron health and your capacity to learn. In particular, workouts that include high intensity interval training (HIIT), stretching, strength training, and core work have been shown to be particularly effective when it comes to improving memory.
2. Green Tea
Drink green tea. It’s as simple as that. A study of 12 participants examined the effects of high quality green tea consumption on brain function. The results found a relationship between tea consumption and a strengthened connectivity between the frontal and parietal cortex.
The conditions were tested in an environment that measured working memory, and the researchers found that green tea could even be used to treat cognitive impairments as severe as dementia.
3. Vitamin B12
Funnily enough, this vitamin isn’t really known for its effects on memory (the same goes for its positive effects on bone health). It’s mostly known for benefitting the health of red blood cells in your body. Vitamin B12 can actually slow down brain shrinkage by 700%, especially in areas that are known to be affected by Alzheimer’s disease. This severe form of progressively worsening dementia is already affecting millions of people in the United States, and that number is only increasing as the years go on.
The vitamin gets to work by lowering levels of homocysteine that have a link to shrinking brains. By eating from a rich variety of organic meats, eggs, raw dairy, and wild fish, you can get a healthy source of vitamin B12 to improve your brain function. It’s important to note that all of these sources are not options for a vegan diet, so you may to resort to less safe sources of B12 if you can’t get them naturally.
When it comes down to it, your diet and lifestyle seem to take the reins when it comes to maintaining a strong cognitive function and overall brain health. By incorporating the right foods and activities into your day, you can get the healthy balance you need to bring your memory to 100%.