Posted January 29, 2016
Memory lapses can be frustrating, but according to Scientific American, it is possible to boost brain power and improve memory. The adult human brain continually rewires itself and produces new cells to assist with memory. For new cells to work effectively, they need to connect with other productive cells. Scientists have identified six ways to help brains cells flourish.
1. Music – Listening to your favorite music can help the brain:
- Increase memory
- Reduce fear and anxiety
- Assist with insomnia
- Calm patients with dementia
- Help premature babies gain weight
2. Caffeine – Coffee, tea, energy drinks and some sodas can contain caffeine, which stimulates brain activity and alertness. Studies show that caffeine improves the nervous system and raises blood pressure, heart rate, energy and breathing. However, excessive caffeine can have negative effects, causing anxiety, jitters and insomnia.
3. Diet – Provide the right brain fuel by watching the foods you eat:
- Avoid saturated fats – Eating too many foods high in saturated fats may increase the risk for dementia.
- Increase omega-3 fats – Stimulate brain power by eating omega-3 foods, such as nuts, seeds and some fish, such as salmon, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna.
- Boost antioxidants – Studies show that eating fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants improves cognitive skills important for memory and learning.
4. Video games – Playing video games can boost mental dexterity, attention span, the ability to process information, eye-hand coordination, depth perception and pattern recognition. Results from one study showed that surgeons who spent several hours each week playing video games made fewer errors in surgery compared to those who didn’t.
5. Meditation – Shutting off the brain through relaxation and meditation can help people:
- Cope with pain
- Lower blood pressure and anxiety
- Improve diabetes, asthma and some skin conditions
6. Exercise – Studies show that exercise improves delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain. People who exercise tend to be more positive, too. Regular exercise also enhances the brain’s ability to plan, organize and multitask. The good news is, it’s never too late to start exercising. Research shows that older people who have been sedentary much of their lives improved their brain power just by moving around.