Quick tips to boost your brain power
Ever noticed that some people seem to effortlessly remember names and new skills? The good news is we can all sharpen our brains and memory, with just a little work.
And that is particularly handy, considering we’re about to enter the busiest and most social time of the year.
Exercise your mind
No, we’re not talking about flipping through flashcards every day, but to unlock your brain’s full potential you need to keep it active.
Crosswords, word-recall games, reading, playing cards and even certain mobile apps are all great ways to strengthen your memory.
One study in the US found people who used an online brain-training program for 15 minutes, five days a week, showed significant improvement in memory, concentration and problem-solving skills.
Brain-training games have also been shown to help reduce the risk of dementia in older adults, so set aside some brain exercise time.
And your body too
Increased blood flow to the brain means more oxygen and nutrients in and is crucial for healthy brain function.
And no, scrolling through social media from the comfort of your couch or raising your wine glass definitely doesn’t count so let’s get moving.
Berries are high in powerful antioxidants like flavonoids and anthocyanins and eating them may be an excellent way to boost brain power.
A study of more than 16,000 women in the US found those who ate the most berries had slower rates of cognitive decline and memory loss.
Foods that contain a healthy mix of fats are also vital for long-term memory so stock up on fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables.
- Related: 10 ways to feed your brain
The power of gingko
It’s extracted from one of the world’s oldest living plants and known for its brain-boosting abilities, which makes gingko biloba another great weapon for your “healthy mind” arsenal.
Research has found many of the herbal vitamin’s brain-boosting effects come from the fact it’s an effective anti-inflammatory that increases antioxidant activity, lowers oxidative stress and improves circulation – all important factors for our cognitive health.
Popular sources of gingko biloba include tea and supplements (look for vege caps to help absorption).
Sleep on it
There’s more noise than ever about the power of shut-eye to increase your memory.
During sleep the brain firms up memories that have been recently acquired.
Even taking a nap during the day, especially after learning something new, can help you retain those memories.
As well as consolidating memories, sleeping gives your body and brain a chance to repair cells and recharge, meaning you’ll stay sharper for longer.
- Related: How long is the ideal nap?
A clearer head
Start with one or two of these tips first as you work your way towards ultimate brain health and enjoy summer and the festive season with better memories and a clearer head.
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