Dementia is a progressive brain disease, with memory loss being one of the main symptoms of the condition. Nutritional therapist Natalie Lamb reveals seven ways to improve your memory.
Published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, researchers concluded that our bodies, and brain, begin to degenerate from the age of 30.
The researchers added that memory tends to decline at a much more rapid pace from the age of 60.
However, functioning skills, numerical skills and general knowledge seem to stay intact.
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Nutritional therapist Natalie Lamb reveals seven ways you can help to improve your memory. 1. Quality sleep
Natalie states: “Over more than a century of research has established the fact that sleep benefits the retention of memory.
“Current thinking suggests this consolidation of memory during sleep leads to long-term memory formation in a different area of the brain.”
Good quality sleep is “one where we move through different stages of sleep patterns,” says Natalie. Dementia prevention: How to help prevent memory loss Recommending a regular sleep routine, Natalie adds it helps to get “in tune with our natural daily circadian rhythm”.
To fall asleep more easily, she recommends avoiding any electrical devices up to one hour before bed and to replace these distractions with the likes of reading, mediation, a warm bath or sipping on chamomile tea. 2. Reduce stress levels
“During times of heightened stress, our adrenal hormones have been shown to impair memory retrieval and working memory,” explains Natalie.
“Trying various techniques to alter your perception of a stressor may help your body to cope better.”
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One such technique is to “just let things be” without “trying so hard to change a situation”, and to be “realistic with your time management”.
Natalie also advises people to not be afraid to say “no” to others. 3. Increase your protein intake
“Research is demonstrating the importance of a good quality protein source with each meal to
enhance memory and satiety,” says Natalie.
“Proteins are considered the building blocks of the body and are high in animal products such as meats, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs and dairy. Dementia symptoms: Activity proven to reduce progression of disease
“Proteins from animal sources are considered highly bioavailable and easy for the body to utilise.” What about vegetarians?
Natalie continues: “Proteins can also be found in plant foods such as grains, legumes, nuts and seeds and are best combined to provide a wider range of amino acids.” 4. Remove excess sugar and carbohydrates
“The hippocampus is the brain region most important for learning and memory, and is one of the areas affected by high glucose intake,” says Natalie.
“Over time, excess intake of refined sugar and carbohydrates could contribute towards Alzheimer’s disease.
“Limit intake of sweets, chocolate, high-sugar breakfast cereals and packaged foods.
“Instead, Try consuming grains in their wholegrain form and eating them alongside a protein or fat source, such as scrambled eggs on sourdough spelt bread.” 5. Limit alcohol consumption
“Frequent, heavy consumption of alcohol alters brain function and decreases cognitive performance, including memory,” she adds. 6. Stimulate your mind “‘Use it or lose it’ as the old saying goes!” exclaims Natalie. “It’s a good reason to enjoy a daily Sudoku puzzle, crossword or read a book.”However, Natalie points out that research suggests group activities may improve memory even further. 7. Balanced gut bacteria “Emerging evidence suggests that the trillions of microbes that live in our gut may play an important role in influencing brain health and cognitive function,” concludes Natalie.“Recent studies have demonstrated an association between changes in the gut microbiota, cognitive function, including learning and memory, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.“Try Bio-Kult Mind, which contains live bacteria, bioavailable flavonoids, grape and wild blueberry extracts, and zinc.