18 Aug Does what we eat impact our memory?
According to new research, what we eat not only helps keep our bodies healthy but it also plays a huge role in keeping our minds in shape as well!
The study investigated information from over 139,000 older Australians and found that there was a strong link between certain food groups, memory loss and other chronic conditions.
The results showed that those who consume a high level of fruit and vegetables have lower odds of developing memory loss. Interestingly, the research also went on to show that eating protein-rich food was linked to a better memory.
Other key results show that people aged over 80 who have low levels of cereal consumption are at the highest risk of prolonged memory loss.
Memory loss is one of the main early symptoms for people with dementia. Dementia being the second highest cause of death in Australia. People living with dementia have on average between two and eight health conditions, which also play a part in speeding up cognitive and functional impairment.
What else can you do to help prevent memory loss?
There are no guarantees that you can prevent memory loss, however there are some simple tasks you can do throughout your daily life that can help sharpen your memory and keep your overall health in good condition.
By keeping your physical health in good condition, you are also helping your brain health. A healthy brain relies on good cardiovascular health. Even a few short walks throughout the day can work wonders!
Being active will also help you have a better night’s sleep. Poor sleep quality can cause memories to stay stuck in certain parts of the brain which can lead to forgetfulness and difficulty remembering names for example.
According to American sleep researcher Matthew Walker, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience:
“What we have discovered is a dysfunctional pathway that helps explain the relationship between brain deterioration, sleep disruption and memory loss as we get older. When we are young, we have deep sleep that helps the brain store and retain new facts and information but as we get older, the quality of our sleep deteriorates and prevents those memories from being saved by the brain at night.”
Challenge Your Brain
Do you love crosswords or sudoku? Mentally stimulating activities such as reading, puzzles and card games are a few ideas that can help keep your brain fit and keep memory loss at bay.
Be a Social Butterfly
Other research has shown that interacting with others can also help our memory. Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, both of which can contribute to memory loss. So, do not put off that coffee date with a friend – now is the time to do it!
Our brains remain our most potent weapon and there are many little actions we can take during our daily life to keep this weapon sharp and active. Of course, if you or a loved one is struggling with memory loss or dementia, the team at Living Strength OT are here to support you in improving the quality of your daily life.