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How to improve memory and boost your brainpower

February 19th, 2015

Can a protein originally found in a jellyfish actually improve memory? “Our scientists say, ‘Yes!’” Prevagen declares in one of its commercials.

But TINA.org has found that the company does not have reliable scientific proof to back up its claims and has filed a deceptive advertising complaint with the FTC. It has also notified five major broadcast networks running Prevagen ads that the company’s deceptive claims appear to constitute violations of each network’s respective advertising guidelines.

In addition, a class-action lawsuit against the dietary supplement’s manufacturer, Quincy Bioscience, alleges that Prevagen does nothing to improve brain function or memory and its “clinically tested” claim is misleading. A 2012 FDA warning raises further questions regarding adverse health complaints that the agency said the company didn’t adequately report.

Prevagen touts that it’s the only supplement containing apoaequorin, a protein that it says was originally plucked from a jellyfish in the Puget Sound and which aging brains “need for healthy function.” But the lawsuit filed in January against Quincy Bioscience asserts that this protein does just about as much for the brain as a royale with cheese (and other assorted run-of-the-mill proteins):

Prevagen cannot work as represented because apoaequorin, the only purported active ingredient in Prevagen, is completely destroyed by the digestive system and transformed into common amino acids no different than those derived from other common food products such as chicken, cold cuts, hamburgers, etc.

The brain supplement’s website shares three studies under its research tab. One of studies lists Mark Y. Underwood, the president of Quincy Bioscience, who said in an interview with TINA.org that all clinical trials were done in-house.

How to improve memory and boost your brainpowerBut the lawsuit alleges that consumers have been misled in part by product labeling that claims Prevagen has been “clinically tested” to improve memory. These clinical studies, the lawsuit states, “if they exist at all, are, on their face, so seriously flawed that they demonstrate nothing regarding Prevagen.”

When the FDA came knocking

The FDA sent Underwood a warning letter in 2012 over the alleged illegal marketing of Prevagen as a drug without the agency’s approval. The letter also noted that the product did not satisfy the definition of a dietary supplement because the only dietary ingredient on the label — “synthetically produced apoaequorin” — did not qualify as such.

Perhaps most importantly, the FDA said an inspection found that the company had received more than 1,000 adverse health events associated with the product, but failed to report serious cases, including seizures and strokes, to the agency as required. The unreported events and complaints were submitted to Quincy Bioscience between May 2008 and December 2011. Underwood said “less than two dozen” of the more than 1,000 adverse health events were “serious.”

Underwood said the company has made “adjustments” to its reporting procedure regarding adverse health events. Since August 2010, the FDA has received more than 50 adverse event reports related to Prevagen products, documents obtained by TINA.org through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show. But he refuted much of what the FDA alleged in its 2012 letter and said that the company stands by its advertising and clinical trials. He declined to comment on the class-action lawsuit.

Click here for more of our coverage on brain supplements.

The secret to a better brain was inside us all along

Posted Feb 03, 2017

For centuries, we’ve searched for a magic drug to improve memory and keep us from slipping into senility. A hundred years ago, salesmen peddled magic potions on the sidewalks, but today we have our own version of snake oil. On-line brain games boast of better memory with the help of the right puzzles, supplements promise to keep us sharp, and social media ads pop up daily with the latest cure for the intellectual sluggishness of advancing age. It seems we’d pay anything to boost our mental agility. But the startling truth is that we’ve had the secret inside us, all along, in the form of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)— a magic protein with the power to make our brains faster and enhance our memory.

How can you get your hands on this priceless elixir? Happily, it’s well within your reach, but to understand how — and why — you first need to meet the remarkable athlete who showed us the way: Olga Kotelko.

Born in Canada in 1919 to Ukrainian immigrant farmers, Olga, a self-described “plain Jane,” was the seventh of eleven children. She worked quietly as a teacher in a one-room school, divorced when she was pregnant with her second child, and eventually—much later in life—earned her college degree in night school. Then, at the age of 80, something remarkable happened: Olga, who’d never even exercised regularly until she was 65, started winning track and field competitions—and she started to win big. And she kept winning until the age of 95. In fact, by the end of her career, she’d broken an astonishing 37 world records and won 750 track and field medals.

Fascinated by Olga’s superpowers, scientists at the University of Illinois decided to study her brain when she was 93; they examined her memory and other mental skills with extensive brain imaging and neuropsychological assessment—and what they found, in the end, was shocking. Her brain appeared similar to women decades younger. In particular, her white-matter tracts—the rapid transit lines that shuttle information between brain regions – looked especially young. So did her corpus callosum— the superhighway connecting the right and left sides of the brain. Even more remarkable, her hippocampus – a core memory area that often shrinks with age – was larger than expected.

The lesson of Olga Kotelko becomes even more powerful when combined with the research on Super Agers—people in their 60’s to 80’s with memory similar to those decades younger. In some cases, researchers found no differences in the thickness of brain tissue between Super Agers and people several decades younger, including 18-35 year-olds. In other cases, the brain tissue of Super Agers was even thicker than that of middle-aged adults. Bear in mind, all that thickened tissue is important; in these examples, thicker means more efficient. And more efficient means more powerful. What we’ve learned from Olga and Super Agers is that the brain is far more capable of self-improvement than we ever dreamt possible. What gave rise to the superior brain structure and function of Olga and the Super Agers? Although we can’t be sure, research provides several clues that bring us back to the power of BDNF, that magic elixir of memory.

Until the late 1990’s, scientists believed the brain was born with all the cells (“neurons”) it would ever have, and that new neurons could never be produced. But the discovery of BDNF changed all that. It functions like a master engineer, rewiring and building new pathways in the brain. As new neurons are born, brain tissue thickens, making our brains faster and our memory and attention stronger. That’s because as luck would have it, all that remarkable neural growth virtually explodes in the two brain regions we need them most: First, the hippocampus, our central memory processing area, where everything we experience and learn is packaged before being sent to other brain areas for storage; and second, our frontal lobes, responsible for helping us discern right from wrong, puzzle out the solution to problems large and small, and analyze all the information we receive to make sense of the world and the people around us. The frontal lobes are so crucial to brainpower they comprise over half your brain volume! Our brain’s master engineer couldn’t have chosen two better locations to set up shop. The only missing piece of the puzzle, now, is how to keep the engineer busy in your own brain. And this is where the news gets even better.

When it comes to bathing the hippocampus and frontal lobes in the magic brain-building elixir of BDNF, there’s no precious potion, wondrous pill, or super puzzle that can ever rival one simple secret that as the Super Agers, Olga, and countless studies have shown, we’ve always been able to discover— by literally taking a few more steps each day: cardiovascular exercise.

And here are 3 tips to start using exercise to unleash your brain’s superpowers today:

1. Enjoyment is key! Choose an activity that boosts your heart rate, and that you truly enjoy. If you love nature, try walking, hiking, or biking outdoors. If you adore dancing, take a class or dance at home to your favorite music. If you need low-impact exercises, consider swimming, water walking, stationary biking, elliptical machines, or chair aerobics. The great news about cardiovascular exercise is that no one type is best for brain health. If you don’t like an exercise initially, see if you feel happier once you’re done. Sometimes, it’s the thrill we feel after exercise that keeps us going.

2. Dedicate time (it doesn’t need to be much). 30 minutes of heart-pumping exercise 4 or 5 times per week is optimal. If that sounds overwhelming, begin with just 5-10 minutes per day, and gradually increase the time by a few minutes each week. Just step outside, into the gym, or hop on an elliptical or aerobic machine that appeals to you most. Inevitably, even if you planned on five minutes, you’ll go beyond that once you’re there. If you’re struggling to get yourself to the gym, sign up for a class. Making appointments keeps you accountable and more likely to show up.

3. Name your tune! Music increases motivation and joy. Create a playlist of your favorite tunes to exercise with. Start your workout with an exhilarating song, and end with a cool down to one of your favorite slower songs. Add songs to your playlist one at a time to increase the length of your workout. I love starting my workout with the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Not only does it bring an immediate smile to my face, but I can’t help dancing when I hear it. I also love to include other upbeat songs by Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, and pretty much anything from the musical Hamilton. I hope you find that speaking to your soul and emotions with music will also keep you moving!

The great news is that cardiovascular exercise not only improves memory, but it reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s. By combining it with other factors (more on that in future articles!), you might well become one of the lucky crowd of Super Agers. It even boosts memory for people who’ve already been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (an early decline in memory) and Alzheimer’s.

And, as Olga Kotelko showed us, it’s never too late to start exercising, and even excel at it, well into old age. Which means it’s never too late to build a better brain.

Now that’s a discovery as priceless as any magic potion.

Check with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your exercise regimen. Then get ready to experience the benefits as your “High Octane Brain” takes shape!

How to improve memory and boost your brainpower

Just as there is no magic pill to prevent cognitive decline, no single almighty brain food can ensure a sharp brain as you age. Nutritionists emphasize that the most important strategy is to follow a healthy dietary pattern that includes a lot of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Try to get protein from plant sources and fish and choose healthy fats, such as olive oil or canola, rather than saturated fats.

That said, certain foods in this overall scheme are particularly rich in healthful components like omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and antioxidants, which are known to support brain health and often referred to as brain foods. Incorporating many of these foods into a healthy diet on a regular basis can improve the health of your brain, which could translate into better mental function.

Research shows that the best brain foods are the same ones that protect your heart and blood vessels, including the following:

  • Green, leafy vegetables. Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli are rich in brain-healthy nutrients like vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene. Research suggests these plant-based foods may help slow cognitive decline.
  • Fatty fish. Fatty fish are abundant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, healthy unsaturated fats that have been linked to lower blood levels of beta-amyloid—the protein that forms damaging clumps in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Try to eat fish at least twice a week, but choose varieties that are low in mercury, such as salmon, cod, canned light tuna, and pollack. If you’re not a fan of fish, ask your doctor about taking an omega-3 supplement, or choose terrestrial omega-3 sources such as flaxseeds, avocados, and walnuts.
  • Berries. Flavonoids, the natural plant pigments that give berries their brilliant hues, also help improve memory, research shows. In a 2012 study published in Annals of Neurology, researchers at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that women who consumed two or more servings of strawberries and blueberries each week delayed memory decline by up to two-and-a-half years.
  • Tea and coffee. The caffeine in your morning cup of coffee or tea might offer more than just a short-term concentration boost. In a 2014 study published in The Journal of Nutrition, participants with higher caffeine consumption scored better on tests of mental function. Caffeine might also help solidify new memories, according to other research. Investigators at Johns Hopkins University asked participants to study a series of images and then take either a placebo or a 200-milligram caffeine tablet. More members of the caffeine group were able to correctly identify the images on the following day.
  • Walnuts. Nuts are excellent sources of protein and healthy fats, and one type of nut in particular might also improve memory. A 2015 study from UCLA linked higher walnut consumption to improved cognitive test scores. Walnuts are high in a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which helps lower blood pressure and protects arteries. That’s good for both the heart and brain.

How to improve memory and boost your brainpower

For more on staying sharp as you age, read A Guide to Cognitive Fitness, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

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As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

How to improve memory and boost your brainpower

Moderate-intensity exercise can help improve your thinking and memory in just six months.

You probably already know that exercising is necessary to preserve muscle strength, keep your heart strong, maintain a healthy body weight, and stave off chronic diseases such as diabetes. But exercise can also help boost your thinking skills. “There’s a lot of science behind this,” says Dr. Scott McGinnis, an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School.

Exercise boosts your memory and thinking skills both directly and indirectly. It acts directly on the body by stimulating physiological changes such as reductions in insulin resistance and inflammation, along with encouraging production of growth factors — chemicals that affect the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance, survival, and overall health of new brain cells.

It also acts directly on the brain itself. Many studies have suggested that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory are larger in volume in people who exercise than in people who don’t. “Even more exciting is the finding that engaging in a program of regular exercise of moderate intensity over six months or a year is associated with an increase in the volume of selected brain regions,” says Dr. McGinnis.

Exercise can also boost memory and thinking indirectly by improving mood and sleep, and by reducing stress and anxiety. Problems in these areas frequently cause or contribute to cognitive impairment.

Is one exercise better than another in terms of brain health? We don’t know the answer to this question, because almost all of the research so far has looked at walking. “But it’s likely that other forms of aerobic exercise that get your heart pumping might yield similar benefits,” explains Dr. McGinnis.

A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that tai chi showed the potential to enhance cognitive function in older adults, especially in the realm of executive function, which manages cognitive processes such as planning, working memory, attention, problem solving, and verbal reasoning. That may be because tai chi, a martial art that involves slow, focused movements, requires learning and memorizing new skills and movement patterns.

Dr. McGinnis recommends establishing exercise as a habit, almost like taking a prescription medication. And since several studies have shown that it takes about six months to start reaping the cognitive benefits of exercise, he reminds you to be patient as you look for the first results — and to then continue exercising for life.

Aim for a goal of exercising at a moderate intensity — such as brisk walking — for 150 minutes per week. Start with a few minutes a day, and increase the amount by five or 10 minutes every week until you reach your goal.

Image: monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

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As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

These new 10 tips will boost memory and improve certain skills of the brain power, which includes learning abilities and productivity.

  • Post author

What makes you smart is what can change your life!

There are many brain-boosting diets and exercise available on the internet, extracted from the expert’s best-selling books and journals.

What if we told you the real brainpower lies in executing these 10 different methods which are the part of your daily life.

These tips will improve certain skills of the brain, which includes learning abilities and productivity.

10 Pro Tips to Boost Brain Power!

1) Eat Brain-Boosting Diet

How to improve memory and boost your brainpower

Here are some foods that some of us may not about have the power to improve brain power.

  • Foods that have Omega 3 fatty acids are salmon fish and walnuts
  • Foods with antioxidants that are used to empower the connections between brain cells, these are berries, especially blueberry
  • Foods that support age decline such as broccoli and green vegetables
  • Foods with essential vitamins to establish stronger memory, these are eggs and diet with Vitamin B6 and B12

Adding this list in your daily eating schedule can impact your brain power as you will notice daily.

2) Always Choose Wise Social Circle

Improve brain skills need you to be around people who are smarter than you.

This is something very important because the amount of time you spent with someone is almost making you the same way as him/her.

Surrounds the positive energy and always appreciate the positive ideas and thoughts from anyone.

3) Kill Negative Thoughts

How to improve memory and boost your brainpower

According to the Times of India, its ANTS which stands for Kill Automatic Negative Thoughts that have a severe chance to boost the confidence.

Negative thoughts are produced by our own time being judgments which can affect the brain health a lot.

Killing these thoughts will help you get a grip on your head and follow your dreams.

Destructive thoughts like these can also kill the creative ideas and productivity, which makes you lethal for the working environment.

Writing down the negative thoughts and trash them out is a good habit which is proven to be effective by the Psychologists in the Ohio State University.

4) Do Physical Exercise

Your brain is a part of your body so it is a must that you exercise regularly. Exercise is a quick mind elevator that keeps your brain and body energetic.

In many studies, performing a regular workout can improve the size of a brain part known as Hippocampus which is responsible for learning and verbal memory retention.

Lack of exercise can exacerbate the chances of Alzheimer disease.

5) Quality Sleep

How to improve memory and boost your brainpower

Sleep deprivation has many negative effects on brain performance, whatever your ideal time is whether its 6,7 or 8 hours, always take a good amount of sleep.

Bad sleep patterns or irregular sleeping can worsen your mood and intensify the cardiovascular problems.

A normal human brain needs 6-8 hours of good night sleep after which it can perform in a better way.

6) Brain Nutrients

As mentioned above, it is necessary to take proper brain nutrients which are nothing but some vitamins, antioxidants, and brain empowering agents which tends to improve the electric signaling mechanisms to improve the cognitive aspects.

Men and women who take green vegetables daily are more smart performers at work.

7) Reduce the Mess Around You

You cannot work effectively as long as you have a mess around you. The best choice is to start cleaning out your desk or bedroom without making it look dirty.

Physical cleaning is very helpful to improve brain clarity which also enables you to create space in your brain that helps you from getting depressed.

8) Become A Learner

How to improve memory and boost your brainpower

There is no age for getting educated or aware of anything. A study suggests men and women should always pick mental challenges to keep the brain conditions to happen.

There are some puzzles and mind boosting games which can be very creatively helpful to keep you edgy and sharp.

Exercise for memory retentions in 2020 improves focus, concentration, and foresightedness as proven by different studies.

9) Handle Stress Your Way

Stress is the common enemy of the brain which produces cortisol in your body.

According to studies, Cortisol can shrink the size of your brain if secreted continuously.

It also causes impairment of certain brain functions and lowers the acetylcholine.

Acetylcholine is the enemy of stress and clumsy mind, by producing more ACT you can reinvigorate the proper brain functions.

10) Use Brain Supplements

Nootropics are the new line of supplements which mainly act on the brain and provide it the basic type of nutrition.

The best nootropics OR brain boosters according to our analysis is NooCube, Mind Lab Pro which users can learn about online.

They are claiming to be brain protects that perishes the brain hacking enzymes and hormones.

Summary

The best tip above all to boost brain power is to be determined and ambitious.

If you have made the decisions firmly to adopt these 10 pro tips for brain power, you can achieve them quite easily.

After this, the real things happen which are you becoming smarter, sharper, confident and one hell of a learner.

Brain supplements can help you only if you are also running on the non-pharmacological tips.

The secret to a better brain was inside us all along

Posted Feb 03, 2017

For centuries, we’ve searched for a magic drug to improve memory and keep us from slipping into senility. A hundred years ago, salesmen peddled magic potions on the sidewalks, but today we have our own version of snake oil. On-line brain games boast of better memory with the help of the right puzzles, supplements promise to keep us sharp, and social media ads pop up daily with the latest cure for the intellectual sluggishness of advancing age. It seems we’d pay anything to boost our mental agility. But the startling truth is that we’ve had the secret inside us, all along, in the form of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)— a magic protein with the power to make our brains faster and enhance our memory.

How can you get your hands on this priceless elixir? Happily, it’s well within your reach, but to understand how — and why — you first need to meet the remarkable athlete who showed us the way: Olga Kotelko.

Born in Canada in 1919 to Ukrainian immigrant farmers, Olga, a self-described “plain Jane,” was the seventh of eleven children. She worked quietly as a teacher in a one-room school, divorced when she was pregnant with her second child, and eventually—much later in life—earned her college degree in night school. Then, at the age of 80, something remarkable happened: Olga, who’d never even exercised regularly until she was 65, started winning track and field competitions—and she started to win big. And she kept winning until the age of 95. In fact, by the end of her career, she’d broken an astonishing 37 world records and won 750 track and field medals.

Fascinated by Olga’s superpowers, scientists at the University of Illinois decided to study her brain when she was 93; they examined her memory and other mental skills with extensive brain imaging and neuropsychological assessment—and what they found, in the end, was shocking. Her brain appeared similar to women decades younger. In particular, her white-matter tracts—the rapid transit lines that shuttle information between brain regions – looked especially young. So did her corpus callosum— the superhighway connecting the right and left sides of the brain. Even more remarkable, her hippocampus – a core memory area that often shrinks with age – was larger than expected.

The lesson of Olga Kotelko becomes even more powerful when combined with the research on Super Agers—people in their 60’s to 80’s with memory similar to those decades younger. In some cases, researchers found no differences in the thickness of brain tissue between Super Agers and people several decades younger, including 18-35 year-olds. In other cases, the brain tissue of Super Agers was even thicker than that of middle-aged adults. Bear in mind, all that thickened tissue is important; in these examples, thicker means more efficient. And more efficient means more powerful. What we’ve learned from Olga and Super Agers is that the brain is far more capable of self-improvement than we ever dreamt possible. What gave rise to the superior brain structure and function of Olga and the Super Agers? Although we can’t be sure, research provides several clues that bring us back to the power of BDNF, that magic elixir of memory.

Until the late 1990’s, scientists believed the brain was born with all the cells (“neurons”) it would ever have, and that new neurons could never be produced. But the discovery of BDNF changed all that. It functions like a master engineer, rewiring and building new pathways in the brain. As new neurons are born, brain tissue thickens, making our brains faster and our memory and attention stronger. That’s because as luck would have it, all that remarkable neural growth virtually explodes in the two brain regions we need them most: First, the hippocampus, our central memory processing area, where everything we experience and learn is packaged before being sent to other brain areas for storage; and second, our frontal lobes, responsible for helping us discern right from wrong, puzzle out the solution to problems large and small, and analyze all the information we receive to make sense of the world and the people around us. The frontal lobes are so crucial to brainpower they comprise over half your brain volume! Our brain’s master engineer couldn’t have chosen two better locations to set up shop. The only missing piece of the puzzle, now, is how to keep the engineer busy in your own brain. And this is where the news gets even better.

When it comes to bathing the hippocampus and frontal lobes in the magic brain-building elixir of BDNF, there’s no precious potion, wondrous pill, or super puzzle that can ever rival one simple secret that as the Super Agers, Olga, and countless studies have shown, we’ve always been able to discover— by literally taking a few more steps each day: cardiovascular exercise.

And here are 3 tips to start using exercise to unleash your brain’s superpowers today:

1. Enjoyment is key! Choose an activity that boosts your heart rate, and that you truly enjoy. If you love nature, try walking, hiking, or biking outdoors. If you adore dancing, take a class or dance at home to your favorite music. If you need low-impact exercises, consider swimming, water walking, stationary biking, elliptical machines, or chair aerobics. The great news about cardiovascular exercise is that no one type is best for brain health. If you don’t like an exercise initially, see if you feel happier once you’re done. Sometimes, it’s the thrill we feel after exercise that keeps us going.

2. Dedicate time (it doesn’t need to be much). 30 minutes of heart-pumping exercise 4 or 5 times per week is optimal. If that sounds overwhelming, begin with just 5-10 minutes per day, and gradually increase the time by a few minutes each week. Just step outside, into the gym, or hop on an elliptical or aerobic machine that appeals to you most. Inevitably, even if you planned on five minutes, you’ll go beyond that once you’re there. If you’re struggling to get yourself to the gym, sign up for a class. Making appointments keeps you accountable and more likely to show up.

3. Name your tune! Music increases motivation and joy. Create a playlist of your favorite tunes to exercise with. Start your workout with an exhilarating song, and end with a cool down to one of your favorite slower songs. Add songs to your playlist one at a time to increase the length of your workout. I love starting my workout with the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Not only does it bring an immediate smile to my face, but I can’t help dancing when I hear it. I also love to include other upbeat songs by Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, and pretty much anything from the musical Hamilton. I hope you find that speaking to your soul and emotions with music will also keep you moving!

The great news is that cardiovascular exercise not only improves memory, but it reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s. By combining it with other factors (more on that in future articles!), you might well become one of the lucky crowd of Super Agers. It even boosts memory for people who’ve already been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (an early decline in memory) and Alzheimer’s.

And, as Olga Kotelko showed us, it’s never too late to start exercising, and even excel at it, well into old age. Which means it’s never too late to build a better brain.

Now that’s a discovery as priceless as any magic potion.

Check with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your exercise regimen. Then get ready to experience the benefits as your “High Octane Brain” takes shape!

To increase the productivity, it is essential to improve memory and increase brain performance. Here is how you can do that.

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Priority Planner for Effective People

Priority Planner for Highly Effective People

Written by sarthak February 28, 2019

Are you interested to know how to improve brain performance? how to increase brain memory? how to improve brain function?

Studies have shown that brain function is fueled by physical exercise and goes a long way in development, boosting function and longevity to avoid diseases and aging.

Taking the time and effort to keep a healthy brain leads to a happier and productive life. Here are some effective ways to boost brain performance, health, and memory.

1. Brain Exercises

Get mental stimulation. Every part of our body, including the brain needs exercise.

Keep yourself busy with mental games, puzzles, reading, math problems and recall. The best idea would be to engross yourself with activities that require dexterity like drawing, painting, playing music, sports.

These help stimulate your brain and create new brain cells.

Utilizing both mind and body will help you stay motivated while increasing your attention and concentration.

How to improve memory and boost your brainpower

2. Physical Exercise

Increasing the blood flow throughout the body is a straight ticket to a healthy mind. You can avoid ‘brain fog’ that comes with age if you regularly hit the gym or do cardio.

Researchers from University of British Columbia found that regular exercise boosts the size of your hippo-campus, the area of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning.

This is, however, only valid for cardio and blood pumping exercises rather than resistance training, muscle toning and bodybuilding exercises.

Moderate intensity exercises like swimming, tennis, squash and dancing are a few examples.

How to improve memory and boost your brainpower

3. Brain Boosting Diet

Food is really under-appreciated when it comes to brain development and health. Constant flow of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and minerals go a long way in creating a perfect functioning brain.

Some super brain foods you must start with right now are avocados, blueberries, fish (especially salmon), eggs, spinach, walnuts (the kings in this department).

A reduced caloric intake has also been seen as directly proportional to a lower risk of mental decline in old age.

Vitamins like folic acid, B6, and B12 help lower your homocysteine levels – high levels of which have been linked to an increased risk of dementia.

So eat smart to stay smart.

How to improve memory and boost your brainpower

4. Quality Sleep

A clear, rested brain has more benefits than you think. Aim for the optimum number of hours every night, which is 7 to 8 hours of sleep.

Less would be bad for your health. Oversleeping is even worse.

If you get optimum sleep, you’ll be able to make clearer decisions while increasing your creativity.

How to improve memory and boost your brainpower

5. Laughter Therapy

There is a reason why ‘laughter is the best medicine’.

Laughter actually triggers healthy effects in your body. It strengthens your immune system, boosts your energy, eliminates pain, and negates stress.

Having a good laugh releases endorphins that you also get from physical exercise and eating chocolates.

Other avenues for a good laugh include going to a comedy club, watching a funny movie, making time for fun activities like karaoke, bowling, playing silly or just goofing around with friends.

Create these experiences to keep your brain healthy and smart.

How to improve memory and boost your brainpower

6. Meditation

The most important activity that will revitalize your brain in the shortest time is meditation.

How to improve memory and boost your brainpower

Stress and anxiety is like a constant pressure on your brain. Some ‘healthy’ stress might be important for motivation, but they can cause adrenal fatigue, affecting your memory and mood while making you age faster.

To avoid these, the best hack is to practice breathing techniques when stress strikes.

Meditating for half an hour each day will significantly reduce stress levels in your body.

For some people, physical exercise is a must to reduce stress. Take yoga, for example, which combines mental and physical exercise.

Make time for meditation and yoga if you find yourself low on energy.

Although production of cortisol (the stress hormone) is important from an evolutionary perspective, the present sedentary lifestyle creates more harm than good.

You must use meditation to increase your brain’s capacity to focus when you need to focus.

Did we miss anything? Drop your comments below.

Who doesn’t want a healthier brain — one that’s quick, focused, and ready to tear it up at trivia night? Fortunately, there are plenty of paths to brain health. Proper diet is one — fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and natural proteins — while regular exercise and social outings are some others. But what if you’re looking for a little boost? Are there supplements for brain health? Short answer: Yes.

Supplements provide a variety of nutrients, including isolated quantities of specific vitamins, minerals, herbs, and probiotics. In other words, they’re specifically made to fill in what your diet might be missing. If that sounds too good to be true, that’s because it’s not as simple as stocking up. Just like with anything you put in your body, it’s important to stay informed, both to maximize the results and to protect your health.

For example, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require supplement labels to disclose how their products interact with other drugs, which could lead to unintended side effects or irritations without proper physician guidance. Additionally, overdosing on vitamins is possible and, in some cases, can be toxic.

Before considering supplements of any kind, talk to your doctor to determine not only what nutrients and doses will support your specific needs, but also whether you even need them in the first place.

Supplement-free brain boosters

Here’s something your doctor will tell you: Supplements have that name for a reason. You’re better off using them as fillers for nutritional gaps, rather than substitutes for a healthy lifestyle. So, before we get into the best supplements for brain health, make sure to:

  • Eat well —Fresh-food nutrients are much stronger than those isolated in pills, powders, and chewables. It’s also less expensive — and often tastier.
  • Exercise regularly — Working out gets blood pumping throughout your body and your brain, making it a healthy, efficient way to circulate nutrients. It also leads to neurogenesis — or the creation of neurons — which is tied to dementia-fighting effects and better memory.
  • Get enough sleep — Studies suggest that sleep helps flush out potential toxins that build up in your central nervous system throughout the day. 1 That’s why you feel restored after a peaceful night’s rest.
  • Train your brain — Try challenging yourself with memory exercises and puzzle games. Or pick up a new hobby to flex your mental muscles every day.
  • Socialize — Interacting with people is key to gaining new perspectives and experiences. It gives you a chance to teach others, too, which stretches your brain’s ability to organize ideas and relay them succinctly.

3 essential nutrients for brain health

So, which nutrients are best for your brain health? Some support better memory, alertness, and creativity. Others slow down the development of major mental health conditions. No one nutrient can do it all, but here are 3 — all available in supplement form — to help sharpen your mental edge.

Omega-3 fatty acids

As far as brain supplements go, omega-3 fatty acids are a great place to start. That’s because your body can’t naturally make this type of fat from scratch. And trust us: You don’t want to miss out on their big-time benefits.

Omega-3s bring a bit of everything, including improved brain function, memory, and reaction times. They may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and potentially even help prevent depression and dementia. 2 Babies benefit, too. In fact, omega-3s promote brain health both during pregnancy and early life — making it an important nutrient for expectant parents and newborns alike.

Fatty fish like salmon, trout, and herring are excellent sources of omega-3s. However, if you’re pregnant, nursing, or feeding young children, be sure to avoid fish high in mercury . Sardines are among the fish with the lowest levels of mercury. Not a fish fan? You’ve still got plenty more sources of omega-3s to choose from, like flaxseed, soybeans, nuts, and omega-3 supplements.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is famous for supporting strong bones and helping to prevent osteoporosis — but it’s linked to healthy brain function, too.

More research is needed to completely understand the effects of vitamin D on the brain, but we know a lot about what happens when we get just the right amount. In fact, maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D may prevent the onset of mental health conditions like depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. 3,4 But here’s the kicker: About 1 billion people in the world don’t get enough of it.

Interestingly enough, sunlight stimulates your skin to produce vitamin D, which makes a 5- to 10-minute walk outside an excellent — and easy — daily dose. Vitamin D is also available in many different foods, including cold-water fish (salmon, sardines, tuna), egg yolks, and breakfast basics like milk and cereal.

If you can’t get out in the sun, have dietary restrictions, or struggle to absorb nutrients, consider vitamin D supplements .

Vitamin B12

Like vitamin D, vitamin B12 has so many mental benefits. Getting enough vitamin B12 may give you more energy, improve memory, and make learning new things easier. It also has been shown to help improve mood and lessen depressive symptoms. 5,6

You might be getting all the vitamin B12 you need from natural animal products, like fish, poultry, and dairy, as well as whole grains and high-fiber cereals. But if you’re an older adult, vegetarian or vegan, or have trouble absorbing nutrients, you’ve got a lot to gain from complementing your diet with the supplement form of this potent brain booster.

To learn more about whether supplements are right for you, schedule an appointment with your doctor.

4 Thomas J. Littlejohns et al., “Vitamin D and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease,” American Academy of Neurology, August 6, 2014.

M ost people think their ability to remember things is static – either you are good at it or you aren’t. Well, the good news is memory can be improved. Building your memory is like any skill you develop, it takes some effort and continual practice.

This next statement might seem obvious, but your memory is a function of the brain and anything that supports brain health will help boost memory too.

There are two types of memory, long-term and short-term. The short-term memory stores information you learn or need right away like the items you need to complete dinner. While long-term memory is the memory you don’t need to access right now but will access over time like birthdays and phone numbers.

Studies show that your short-term memory is capable of holding about seven items. As you keep filling your short-term memory with information something is going to be forgotten. And that explains forgetting one of the items on that short-term shopping list.

Are you ready to improve your memory? Here is an easy and effective memory exercise you can do right before bed that will help boost your brain’s power.

One Simple Exercise to Boost Your Memory

At the end of your day while lying in bed but before lights out, review your entire day. Try to remember everything thing you did from the moment your feet hit the ground in the morning until you jumped into bed at night.

As you go through your day in chronological order, try to remember visually as many details as possible. Initially, you might be surprised by how few details you remember. Over time, though, you will begin to remember more and more.

Of course, there are other brain-boosting exercises that will help improve your memory. Remember, anything you can do to improve your brain health will also improve your memory. Here are some more tips to help you remember better.

4 More Tips for Improving Your Memory

1. Use Your Senses

When you use as many senses as possible, memories can form more easily. When we are learning something new, it is helpful to notice what is seen, smelled, heard, touched and tasted. Of course, it is not always appropriate to use all the senses, but use as many as possible.

For instance, when you are meeting someone and learning their name, shake their hand, look them in the eye and notice what is around you. What do you hear, is there music playing?

Using four of the five senses and creating a visual picture will help you cement the meeting into memory.

2. Chunk It Up

As mentioned earlier, our short-term memory can only hold seven pieces of information at a time. So how do we remember things that have more than seven pieces of information? We break it down into chunks of information.

Take a phone number for instance. Instead of seeing ten numbers, we break down into three separate chunks of information, the three-digit area code, the three-digit prefix and the four-digit number making it easier to remember.

Chunking works for all types of information, just divide the bigger picture into smaller chunks and memorize the chunks versus the individual pieces.

3. Repeat It

An obvious memorizing technique is to repeat the information over and over again until it is easily recalled. Most people repeat the item in a short period, but it has been proven that repetition spaced over a longer period is most effective. For optimal memorization, it is advised to repeat, wait a bit, repeat, wait a bit and repeat.

4. Form a Connection

It is easier to memorize when you associate information to other pieces of information you already have learned. Find some commonality between what you are learning and something you have already learned. Research has shown that memory for the new and already learned information is enhanced when you link them together and form a connection in your mind.

As an adult, the way we memorize, recall information and solve problems automatically happens because we have already established our mental habits. In order to continue to improve our memory, we must continue to stimulate our brain by developing new habits to keep the mind sharp.

The best thing anyone can do for their brain is to shake things up by trying new things, solving problems differently, taking different routes home and doing anything that forces you to put some thought into your actions. Keeping your brain sharp will help your memory.

Improving your memory is something anyone can achieve using some simple techniques and giving your brain a workout. Whether you are stay-at-home mom, working outside the home, a retired person, or a student, putting the time in now to enhance and build on your memory skills, will continue to serve you throughout all stages of life.

What techniques do you use to improve your memory? Share in the comments below!