Busy parents have to keep so many balls in the air that–due to stress, overwork or lack of sleep–things inevitably get forgotten. Here are few simple green tips that will give your brain a boost and help enhance your memory.
- Get sufficient sleep. Whether you feel tired or not, try to squeeze in seven to nine hours of quality sleep each day, even if it includes short “power naps.”
- Include cardio workouts in your weekly schedule. Any type of physical activity that will get the heart pumping for 20 to 30 minutes (such as jogging, dancing, aerobics or swimming) has been proven to aid memory, since increased blood flow through the brain enlarges the hippocampus and stimulates protein secretion necessary for our long-term memory. Every day is ideal, but at least three times a week is a good minimum.
- Include foods that improve brain function in your daily diet. Just like any living tissue, brain can’t function properly without its essential nutrients. Foods like salmon, dark chocolate, broccoli, whole grains, nuts, seeds and avocado are among several superfoods that boost the brain function. The very best “brain food” are blueberries. They have the highest amount of brain-boosting antioxidants that trigger neurons which keep the brain sharp. Stock up with few frozen bags and you can enjoy them all year long. Remember to keep it organic!
- Supplement your diet with the right vitamins and minerals. If you aren’t getting enough vitamins in your daily diet, include the following vitamin supplements: B1, which is responsible for neuromuscular transmission; B6, which is crucial for proper nerve transmission and B12 (also called cobalamin) which plays a key role in proper brain and nervous system function. B-vitamins are also available in one pill called B-Complex 100. Also, certain magnesium compounds (such as magnesium-L-threonate) have been found to enhance working as well as short and long-term memory. The best available supplement you can find is Magnesium Citrate.
- Enjoy tranquility through yoga and meditation. Regular meditation can aid memory and brain function overall because it improves focus and concentration and reduces stress.
- Review your regular medication. Some common drugs and prescription medication can have an effect on memory and brain function. Those include antihistamines like Benadryl and Vistaril, antidepressants like Prozac, Elavil, Desyrel and Tofranil; anti-anxiety drugs like Ativan, Valium and Xanax; sleeping pills like Ambien and also high-blood pressure drugs like Aldomet, Catepres and Inderal. If you think your medication may be affecting your memory, consult your doctor.
- Get a health exam. Certain health conditions can, in some cases, cause severe memory problems–for example, hyperthyroidism and Celiac disease (gluten intolerance). Both can be diagnosed with specific blood tests, and both require attention.
- Make your brain work. Brain is a living tissue and needs exercise like any other muscle or organ. The more you work it, the better condition it will stay in, even as you age. Try some crossword puzzles, or tackle some challenging reading or maybe put away the calculator and do some math mentally.
More tips at About.com