Many of us are facing a common challenge: as we grow older we start forgetting things and people’s names. In some instances, we may have even misplaced our keys and found them later in the refrigerator: do not panic because the culprit may not be your age. I actually started to read more about brain function and I follow Jim Kwik https://jimkwik.com/about/, a well known YouTuber and memory expert, as well as other health professionals, bloggers, coaches, and scientists who focus on brain and memory power. The 3 main tips I have been applying are: 1) Detox the brain from Technology; 2) Eat for Your Brain; and 3) Stay Fit and Exercise Your Brain.
Detox the Brain from Technology
In last week’s post, I wrote about detoxing ourselves from technology. As much as technology has positively impacted certain aspects of my life, it has also made me become impatient, restless, and sleepless. Therefore, I have decided to turn off all of my news notifications on my cell. I now check Twitter and FaceBook twice or maximum 3 times a day. As a result of these changes, I have seen an improvement in my overall ability to focus, I feel more rested and productive. During my daily work breaks, I used to check my phone: instead, I now stand up and move around for about 10 or 15 minutes. This is one tip that is part of my overall plan to become sharper, boost my ability to memorize many phone numbers again, read not skim articles online, and hopefully get back to reading a full book.
Eat For Your Brain
Christmas 2020 was a disaster. During that time, my aunt was visiting and we spent time watching Netflix, eating rich desserts, cookies, rice, fatty meats, gravy, and sauces. Since the beginning of January, I have been going easy on the carbs and stopped all the sweets and fatty food. I do not follow a strict Keto diet because I still have my daily smoothie (usually a mix of frozen berries which have lower glycemic impact than other types of fruits). My smoothie also includes organic flaxseed, protein powder, ginger (powder or a small piece), nutmeg, cinnamon powder, turmeric, and a spoon of local honey (to build immunity during high pollen season). A green smoothie is also a good option (my favorite: 1 green apple, 2 sticks of celeri, some kale, spinach, ginger, turmeric, black pepper). If you are looking for snacks, Costco offers a lot of choices. I suggest buying, if you can, wholesale cans of sardines, tuna, salmon mixed with avocado for lunch or snack, almonds, and veggies. As you may have heard, antioxidants (leafy green vegetables and fruits,) will protect brain cells: so eat as much as you want of them. Salmon containts a lot of Omega 3 fatty acid which along with dark chocolate or blueberries will help increase neurogenesis, an important process that helps our brain to function well and that enhances our cognitive skills.
Below are links to my favorite videos on the topic:
Kwik brain 88 with Dr Lisa Mosconi
Fix your food to fix your brain with Dr. Mark Hyman & Jim Kwik
Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com
Stay Fit and Exercise Your Brain
When you exercise you will get the blood to flow to your brain. I definitely agree that physical activity improves cognitive functions. Exercising the body is thus critical but exercising your brain, testing it, putting it to work wil give your brain an even bigger boost.
A few tricks that I am sharing with you:
- Try to memorize a few words words then associate them with an image and repeat them a couple of hours later. Keep trying a few times until you remember them all.
- Borrow from the public library or buy books about brain games
- Learn a new activity or task, as often as you can
- Get some puzzles, other brain teasers: they are fun and great for the brain
- Try downloading Lumosity, an app that you can install on ythe phone, to train the brain https://www.lumosity.com/en/
Good luck! I am going to continue practicing these tips and share progress within 6 months.