Boost your memory and brain function. A strong memory depends on the health and vitality of your brain. Whether you’re a student studying for final exams, trying to stay focused at work, or a senior looking to preserve and enhance your memory, there’s lots you can do to improve your mental performance.
Scientists have discovered that the human brain has an ability to adapt and change even into old age. This ability is known as neuroplasticity.
Benefits of brain neuroplasticity:
- The ability to learn new things
- The ability to enhance your existing cognitive capabilities
- The ability to recovery from strokes and traumatic brain injuries
How to improve brain plasticity:
Sleep is vital for effective memory formation. A healthy adult’s sleep cycle consists of four distinct stages. The first two stages are considered light NREM sleep, and the third is deep NREM sleep. During these NREM stages, the brain sorts through your various memories from the previous day, filtering out important memories and eliminating the not so important ones. These three stages also prepare your brain to learn new information the following day. Did you know? Not sleeping or getting enough sleep can lower your learning abilities by as much as 40%.
During REM sleep – deep sleep, most dreaming occurs and emotional memories are also processed, which can help you cope with difficult experiences.
It might feel hard to find time for exercise, but it’s linked to increased mental capacity, healthy mood, and stress management. Exercise has shown to increase Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) which promotes the survival and maintenance of nerve cells (neurons) helping increase memory and assist with learning.
You’re never too old to learn something new. In fact, acquiring new knowledge can help keep your brain young. One study found that adults who learned a “new skill” such as learning a new language had improved memory function after only three months.
Scientists confirm that even short-term stress can affect the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a critical brain region for learning and memory and is particularly vulnerable to chronic stress. High, prolonged levels of cortisol have been associated with mood disorders as well as shrinkage of the hippocampus.
Berries and antioxidants
Berries are a fantastic source of potent antioxidants, known for reducing inflammation. Anthocyanins found in red, blue and purple berries can cross the blood-brain barrier to protect the brain cells from ageing.
DHA & EPA
The omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are critical for normal brain function and development throughout all stages of life. EPA supports the healthy functioning of the brain through its anti-inflammatory effects, while DHA is the most abundant omega-3 found in the brain and is responsible for helping nerves communicate, send and receive signals from the brain to other parts of the body. DHA deficiency is associated with learning disabilities, ADHD, and aggressive behaviour. A decrease in DHA in later life is also linked to impaired brain function and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Nootropics are herbs that help improve memory, concentration, focus and learning while protecting against cognitive decline. Nootropics can also help to support mood and mental health. Below are five of my favorite nootropic herbs.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary supports cognition, memory and alertness. Rosemary essential oil can be diffused in your work place or study.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Lemon balm is incredibly nutritive to the nervous system. It is calming and supports the mood while also increasing alertness.
Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri)
Bacopa also known as Brahmi contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. It is a great herb for those that might have trouble staying focused.
Gingko (Gingko biloba)
Gingko is a powerful antioxidant, rich in flavonoids, it helps to protect the brain from oxidative stress and in the ageing. Best results are seen when gingko is taken consistently for several months.
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
Gotu kola has a long history of use in Ayurveda, and is considered to be a rejuvenating tonic for vitality and memory.
Always consult with your health provider before commencing any supplements.
For more information on “Boost your memory and brain function” or to book a naturopathic consultation please contact Beata at B inspired healthy lifestyle.
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