Thumbnail image from Pixabay
By Jan Larraine Cox
We all have occasional lapses in memory, such as forgetting where we left the keys or forgetting why we entered a room in search of something, which is only indicative of slower mental process. The brain’s hippocampus, where memories are formed and retrieved, can deteriorate with age. And an older adult can be less efficient at absorbing brain-enhancing nutrients.
How to save your memory
There are steps we can take to prevent memory loss, such as regular exercise, attention to healthy diet, stress reduction and regular high-quality sleep.
Take for example, the relationship between the brain and gut. When you eat something that makes you feel off, your body is telling you something important. Every system in your body improves when your gut is working more normally. Including your memory.
Brain hormones control how your brain works, from speed to mood. According to functional medicine practitioner Dr. Tom O’Bryan, 90 percent of the critical hormone serotonin is produced and stored in your gut, not in your brain. Serotonin is related to memory, mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep and sexual desire and function.
At least one serving of cruciferous vegetables per day will enhance the liver’s ability to break down toxic chemicals we are exposed to and also raise the body’s ability to deal with the toxins next time. So, concentrate on cruciferous vegetables like arugula, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and collard greens. A cup of coffee is also good for memory. And avoid eating sugar!
Dr. O’Bryan reports there are over 7 trillion nerves in the human body which all connect to the brain, forming the nervous system. Next, there are 206 bones in each body and between every two bones is a joint, 7 ligaments and 7 muscles. The spinal joints each have 7 different lines of movement, supported by the stabilization of the muscles, ligaments and tendons. When this package is too tight, caused by stress or poor posture, then your body behaves like a wobbly tire, creating wear and tear, causing stress which can progress to arthritis.
When the system is off, then memory suffers. A simple thing to achieve may be to concentrate on your posture: line up all those bones and the entire support system! Yes, it is possible to eliminate a slouching posture and to strengthen your core.
Dr. O’Bryan suggests the following exercise: “Before walking up the stairs, squeeze your glutes together and tuck your pubic bone up toward your navel. Now, very slightly lean forward as you walk up the stairs, holding the squeeze and tuck. Your muscles will let you know how they feel. Wherever you feel a bit of tightness, discomfort or fatigue, that’s where you’ve been overcompensating for a weak core.” If you keep working at this, you’ll notice your walking muscles are becoming stronger and more balanced.
And be patient with yourself. After all, you don’t have to recall every last detail in order to grasp the gist of an issue.