Memory loss is a condition that affects millions of Americans and it can be a frustrating and emotionally stressful hardship to endure when attempting daily activities. While some of the more serious memory loss disorders like Alzheimer’s remain without a cure, medical research has shown that there are numerous precautions and lifestyle habits that can be applied to prevent memory loss down the road. Protecting a brain that is still healthy is certainly easier and favored option to fixing a damaged brain. Fortunately, methods to prevent cognitive deterioration are relatively simple, inexpensive, and bordering on common sense, giving you more control than you may realize!
Plenty of medical literature is available with tips and strategies for keeping the brain healthy and averting cognitive decline. The works of authors Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan, including, The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program, The Memory Prescription, and Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind, provide excellent information grounded in extensive research aimed to arm you with the knowledge and tools you need to fight for your extended mental fitness.
Research emphasizes the following as being the most helpful approaches to preserving a healthy brain as long as possible:
• Nutrition – maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding excess refined sugar and processed foods, while nourishing the body with water, fruits, vegetables, and vitamins are a great way to refresh the brain. Green Tea, rich in polyphenols (antioxidants that protect brain cells), and even wine in moderation (1 glass per day for women, 2 for men) has proven to improve memory and cognition.
• Physical Exercise – incorporating some aerobic exercises into the daily routine works to stimulate brain cells. The exercised body produces endorphins that improve mental focus.
• Mental Exercise – Engaging in fun, mentally stimulating activities, like puzzles, manual work, or video games, (activities not too challenging or easy) can improve mental retention and performance by keeping the mind on its toes, so to speak.
• Social Relationships – People are social beings, and developing relationships with others and engaging in communal activities (clubs, volunteering, church) can serve to keep the mind stimulated and engaged. Even the companionship of a pet can provide some relational help.
• Controlling Stress – Enriching the body with routine rest and proper sleep is one of the healthiest precautions that can be taken for the brain. Find time in your schedule to do some meditation and reflection. And don’t forget that laughter is still the best medicine, as it is a mental activity that rouses most of the brain.
These are some of the primary preliminary measures to be taken for preserving a healthy brain. If you are currently affected by memory loss to the point that it begins to noticeably interfere with performance of usual daily activities, it may be time to seek out medical attention or review your options for assisted living. The red flags for memory loss becoming more serious lie in increased frequency of unusual incidents like leaving the stove on or forgetting to lock the doors at night.