Ever since I have read the novel, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, one of my greatest fears is the loss of memory. If you are not familiar with the book or the movie, The Notebook depicts Allie (one of the main characters) as having complete memory loss of her past. She suffers from Alzheimer's dementia which is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure and it gradually worsens over time.
Sometimes I can't help to think that everyday we are all trying to be the best version of ourselves, live life to the fullest, and be with our loved ones, but what if one day we forget everything? What if we suddenly can't recognize our family and friends anymore? What if we don't even know who we are or we can't even recall our name?
Honestly, these thoughts scare me. The exact causes of Alzheimer's disease aren't fully determined and as mentioned there is no cure; thus, it is important that we take care of our brain and memory.
Here are four (4) practical tips that can help take care of our brain and memory:
1. Eat Right
Having the proper nutrition is important in keeping our brains healthy. Experts recommend eating oily fish rich in Omega-3 such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines since these can help improve the neurons in our brain and provide better cognition abilities.
Eggs are also a good source of choline which is known to help reduce inflammation and help promote brain functions such as maintaining memory.
If you are a chocolate lover like me, you are in for a treat since dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants which is also important for brain health.
Berries, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are also found beneficial for brain health and functions. Fruits and vegetables such as avocado, kale, and broccoli are also said to be good for the brain.
Aside from these recommendations, we should also learn to stay away from food that is considered harmful. This includes sugary drinks, highly processed food, instant noodles, microwave popcorn, aspartame (which is usually present in chewing gums), and of course, alcohol.
Exercise such as walking, running, or swimming is highly recommended to keep your brain healthy. These aerobic exercises can help increase a person's heart rate which means that the body will pump more blood/ oxygen to the brain.
Experts also say that exercise can help increase our focus as well as help sharpen our minds.
Studies show that sleep deprivation and memory loss are closely related since sleep is crucial in consolidating memory. This means that without sleep, one will have a hard time making a memory "stick."
Lack of sleep also leads to poor focus and performance. It affects fine motor skills and even judgment. No wonder medical experts consider having quality sleep a top priority.
If you are having problems getting one, try making a routine. Sleep and wake up at the same time each day.
Avoid alcohol or caffeine before going to bed.
Blue light emitted from our gadgets/ mobile phones is also said to affect our quality of sleep. Try to avoid using them before going to bed.
4. Stay Mentally Active
"Use your brain or else you will lose your brain."
This famous saying is quite accurate. Brain exercises are very important across all age groups. If you are not sure what brain exercises entail, these are simply activities that you can do on a daily basis such as answering puzzles, playing cards, and doing some mind games.
The best part? You can even do this online. There are many free websites like www.solitaire.org where you can have these fun and exciting brain exercises. This has been one of my go-to websites when I have some free time or when I am not so busy and I wanted to relax.
Aside from card games, they also have the hidden objects game - a personal favorite.
Zuma legend which is super popular in the 90s, Mahjong and many more are also available. There are many options available that can suit your interest.
Anyway, that's it for now! Never forget what is important to us. Let us start taking care of our brain and memory in these 4 practical ways.