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7 Tips to Keep Your Brain Active and Have a Sharp Memory

Would you like to show off firm and defined arms? What about solid and sculpted abs? Well, you need to show that same enthusiasm and dedication for your brain. You want to make sure that the connections between neurons do not deteriorate faster than normal because of how you age, thus affecting your memory. In fact, it has been shown that mental exercise can improve functions and slow cognitive decline in adults regardless of time (1). So, let's get to work!

 

Train your brain online

Technology offers many options to exercise the brain. A small study in Saudi Arabia using a computerized brain-training game program for 15 minutes a day, 7 days a week, for 3 weeks, in 51 healthy adults, found a positive impact. It helped increase the attention and memory capacity compared to the functions the participants had at the beginning of the investigation. The games included challenges for processing speed, visual memory, and attention, among others (2). So, next time you see your child or grandchild playing on their tablet or computer, play along with them!

 

Read aloud and listen to your voice

If technology is not your thing, go back to basic activities to keep your brain in shape. In a study from Japan, reading aloud helped activate more bilateral frontal and temporal cortices, compared to normal reading, by processing sound in parallel with reading. Also, this can be a double functional activity if done as an emotional connection method by reading stories or storytelling to other people, whether live or by video call, for example. (3)

 

Get involved with numbers

Several investigations have proven that solving simple arithmetic problems can help improve learning functions and processing speed, as well as short-term memory, among other aspects, especially in older people (4). You can also practice number games like sudoku and crossword puzzles, which alternate letters and numbers. Both are great for keeping your brain active. (5)

 

Challenge your weak side

We are used to using our dominant side (right or left) to do daily activities, such as writing, cooking, brushing the hair, or picking something up from the floor. A very simple exercise is to test the opposite side daily for a few minutes. This helps activate the hemisphere of the brain that is always inactive. Ideally, do it on risk-free activities, like brushing your teeth, picking something up, grabbing a cup, etc. (6)

 

Test your sense of smell

It has been proven that memory is activated by evoking certain smells related to childhood or important moments, places, and people in our lives. In the same way, there are scents that promote relaxation, concentration, and mental clarity. These actions generally cause positive emotions, improve mood, and reduce stress and inflammation markers that can affect the brain. Therefore, they are a boost to maintain cognitive functions (8). A simple exercise is to put your mind to the test by smelling food and trying to distinguish its ingredients.

 

Nourish your brain

It is also important to consider proper nutrition by consuming green leafy vegetables, fruits such as blueberries, nuts, cocoa, healthy fats such as avocado, and fatty fish. Additionally, consume products like omega 3, turmeric, ginseng, and vitamins E and B complex, among others. Check out our Entalla daily menus, which include many of these ingredients essential to fulfill brain functions. (9) (10)

 

Support your brain with herbs

Prepare botanical infusions with ingredients that support relaxation and fight stress, such as ginkgo Biloba, ginger, rosemary, St. John's wort, saffron, Rhodiola, and basil. Besides supporting proper brain functioning, they increase serotonin which regulates mood and sleep and promotes calmness. An excellent option is Entallas Will Pow(d)er, which includes plants such as chamomile, lavender, and ashwagandha, which can help support the central nervous system.

 

Let's take care of our brain and improve our memory together!

Your Santo Remedio team

 

 

 

References:

1.Jacobo Mintzer, Keaveny Anne Donovan, Arianne Zokas Kindy, Sarah Lenz Lock, Lindsay R. Chura, Nicholas Barracca. Lifestyle Choices and Brain Health. Front Med (Lausanne). 2019; 6: 204.Published online 2019 Oct 4. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2019.00204

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6787147/

2.Abdulrahman Al-Thaqib, Fahad Al-Sultan, Abdullah Al-Zahrani, Fahad Al-Kahtani, Khalid Al-Regaiey, Muhammad Iqbal, Shahid Bashir. Brain Training Games Enhance Cognitive Function in Healthy Subjects. Med Sci Monit Basic Res. 2018; 24: 63–69. Published online 2018 Apr 20. doi: 10.12659/MSMBR.909022

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5930973/

3.Naoki MiuraKazuki IwataJobu WatanabeMotoaki SugiuraYuko AkitsukiYuko SassaNaho IkutaHideyuki OkamotoYoshihiko WatanabeJorge RieraYasuhiro MaedaYoshihiko MatsueRyuta Kawashima. Cortical activation during reading aloud of long sentences: fMRI study. Comparative Study Neuroreport. 2003 Aug 26;14(12):1563-6. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200308260-00004.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14502076/

4.Rui Nouchi, Yasuyuki Taki, Hikaru Takeuchi, Hiroshi Hashizume, Takayuki Nozawa, Atsushi Sekiguchi, Haruka Nouchi, Ryuta Kawashima. Beneficial effects of reading aloud and solving simple arithmetic calculations (learning therapy) on a wide range of cognitive functions in the healthy elderly: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2012; 13: 32. Published online 2012 Apr 6. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-13-32   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3349518/

5.J J Hopfield. Searching for memories, Sudoku, implicit check bits, and the iterative use of not-always-correct rapid neural computation. Neural Comput. 2008 May;20(5):1119-64. doi: 10.1162/neco.2007.09-06-345.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18199026/

6.Diane E. Adamo, Anam Taufiq. Establishing hand preference: why does it matter? Hand (N Y). 2011 Sep; 6(3): 295–303. Published online 2011 Feb 24. doi: 10.1007/s11552-011-9324-x. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3153632/

7.Heleen A. Slagter, Richard J. Davidson, Antoine Lutz. Mental Training as a Tool in the Neuroscientific Study of Brain and Cognitive Plasticity. Front Hum Neurosci. 2011; 5: 17. Published online 2011 Feb 10. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2011.00017

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3039118/

8.Rachel S. Herz. The Role of Odor-Evoked Memory in Psychological and Physiological Health. Brain Sci. 2016 Sep; 6(3): 22. Published online 2016 Jul 19. doi: 10.3390/brainsci6030022

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5039451/

9.Fernando Gómez-Pinilla. Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function. Nat Rev Neurosci. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2010 Jan 12.Published in final edited form as: Nat Rev Neurosci. 2008 Jul; 9(7): 568–578. doi: 10.1038/nrn2421

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805706/

10.MK Gestuvo, WW Hung.Common dietary supplements for cognitive health. Aging health. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2012 Dec 1.Published in final edited form as: Aging health. 2012 Feb; 8(1): 89–97.doi: 10.2217/AHE.11.92

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3311304/

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