How to Get a Memory Like an Elephant
Have you ever heard the phrase “an elephant never forgets”? I’m not sure how we discovered what an elephant can remember, but research shows there are several ways to improve our own memory. Many of them start with changing a few daily habits and adding more healthy foods to your grocery cart each week.
Read on for the best ways to improve your memory right now and tips to keep it sharp as you age:
Exercise has so many important benefits for our body, and improved memory is a big one! Even just 30 minutes per day of walking or another form of moving your body supports healthy blood flow to your brain and reduces stress levels that can interfere with your ability to concentrate. Find a fun way to exercise that you enjoy so you will keep it up and reap all the rewards exercise has for your body and brain.
Getting adequate sleep is important for our memory. It is crucial for both your ability to recover from the day and to allow your mind to work through what you experienced. It’s likely you’ve never heard of the glymphatic system, but it is a system in the body that detoxifies the central nervous system. Your body does this naturally, but it is most effectively performed when you are in a deep sleep, and it helps to support your long term cognitive functions—like your memory!
Lower Your Sugar Intake
Ok, no one likes to hear this, but sugar can affect way more than just your waistband! There is often a cascade of events when your body works to regulate an excess of sugar in the system, and this can tax your brain over time. One of the key ways to support your brain health is to lower your sugar intake, which can greatly aid in memory retention and higher concentration.
Drink More Water
When your body is dehydrated, it cannot work to its best ability. Fatigue, headaches, and poor contraction can result quickly, so be sure you stay hydrated throughout the day with water and herbal teas. See our recipe for hydrating water if you need a helping hand to jumpstart your water intake habits.
Eat Nutrient Dense Foods
There are a few key foods that can support the activity of the neurotransmitters in your brain and increase memory activity. Most of these include foods that support your natural inflammatory responses and are seen in what is known as the MIND diet. These include things like healthy fats from olive oil, nuts and fatty fish, protein from beans and poultry, and fiber from vegetables, berries and whole grains. Make a commitment to fill up your fridge with these important foods!
Exercise Your Noggin
Believe it or not, your brain needs to be exercised just like any other muscle in your body! Flex that brain muscle with things like sudoku, learning a new instrument or practicing a new skill or hobby. All of these can support neural pathways that enhance memory and support a healthy mood by providing a natural source of dopamine—a good mood and a good memory!
Ok, finally an easy one! Your morning cup of coffee (or two) could have some brain supportive activity due to the variety of antioxidants found in the cacao bean. The key with consuming caffeinated products, however, is to pay attention to the timing and keep it within your natural hormone rhythms by limiting afternoon and evening consumption to help you still fall asleep that night.