Eating patterns, diet, and mental and physical activity levels affect brain function. Taking a closer look at what you don’t do daily could be telling. Here are three science-backed ways to grease your mental gears.
Pay attention! One study conducted at museums revealed that people who snapped photos while browsing historic objects remembered less information the next day than those who simply saw those objects. “The results of this study confirmed that paying attention to something helps you remember it,” Wenk says.
Eat for your mind. Consuming cacao products, coffee, fruit, foods with melatonin, tea, and foods containing flavonoids may slow the cognitive decline associated with normal aging. They protect against cell damage in the brain, Wenk says. But filling up on these foods won’t boost your brain overnight. Sticking to a diet overall rich in nutrients is the key.
Stay mentally active. Keeping your mind moving may counter-memory decline. “If you’re someone who is showing signs of dementia or cognitive decline of some kind, then keeping your mind active will probably slow the decline,” Wenk says. As for playing brain games to sharpen the mind, Wenk says he thinks it’s worth a go. “Doing any mental task is probably worthwhile, although no one has identified a single mental task that is most effective.” Test out these memory tricks at any age. Get up and move your body, too. Exercise boosts the flow of blood to your brain.
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