Yeah, it's normal to forget where you placed your keys from time to time, but if you're missing key conversation points, deadlines, and other tasks, it could be a bigger problem. Luckily, they're ways to improve your memory retention, so you can keep your brain sharper and be more mentally with it during the day. Not only will this protect your brain, warding off Alzheimer's and dementia, but it'll also just make getting through the day a whole lot easier.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on boosting their brain health, preventing disease, and feeling more youthful and alert during the day. And what makes you feel older more than forgetting everything? If you're losing your mind, firstly, know you're not alone (I am constantly misplacing things), but there are some ways to get better with remembering important things, especially those related to work and personal relationships. If you're suffering, listen up: Here are a few great ways to improve your memory retention and mental awareness during the day, so you'll find yourself being more mentally prepared for whatever life throws your way. And, you'll probably have those memories for years to come (which is totally an amazing thing, as well).
1. Eat Lutein Rich Foods
According to Matt Kuchan, PhD, lead discovery scientist at Abbott, focusing on the impact of nutrition on the brain, over email with Bustle, eating lutein foods, like spinach, eggs, broccoli, and leafy greens, can improve intelligence. What's more, "additional research we have conducted (here and here) suggests a combination of the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin can help improve processing speed and memory at any age," Kuchan adds.
2. Eat Quercetin Foods
Kuchan says, "When combined with lutein and other important brain nutrients, quercetin may be able to help delay the decline of cognitive health." Such sources include apples, red onion, blueberries, capers, cherries, cocoa, buckwheat, and peppers. Have about five milligrams per day, Kuchan says.
3. Take A Fish Oil Supplement
"Omega-3 fatty acid can play a critical role in preserving cognitive functions and slowing the progression of the aging brain," says Kuchan. "Recent research from Abbott has shown — in older adults at risk of late-onset Alzheimer's disease — those who consumed more omega-3 fatty acids did better than their peers on tests of cognitive flexibility — or, the ability to efficiently switch between tasks," Kuchan adds.
4. Be Social
According to certified holistic health coach and personal trainer Jen Bruno with J.B. Fitness and Nutrition, over email with Bustle, the brain and memory can improve (and lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer's) when you're social. When you're isolating yourself, you're more likely to do damage and be at risk. So, here's a new reason to see your friends for happy hour.
5. Pick Up A Hobby
When you stimulate your mind with a new hobby or activity (like painting, playing an instrument, or doing crossword puzzles, for instance), you're keeping your mind and memory sharp. But make sure whatever you're doing brings pleasure, not stress, as stress can hinder your memory retention.
6. Sleep More
According to Allen Towfigh, MD, medical director of New York Neurology & Sleep Medicine over interview with Health, getting enough sleep can improve your memory retention. When you're getting too few hours, you're less likely to be alert in the day. Aim for seven to nine hours nightly.
7. Work Out
A study conducted by researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas explained the link between exercise and memory retention, where getting a sweat on regularly can improve retention and ward off risk of disease.