How To Maintain Your Brain
Forget the memory myths! You’re never too old to learn techniques to guard your brain health.
Fight brain fog with food
An inadequate diet, especially one that does not provide sufficient B-group vitamins, is strongly linked to poor mental performance and a slowing down of thought processing and memory formation. One of the most important actions you can take to protect and improve cognition is to provide your brain with the right nutrients. Start by avoiding fatty meats and full-cream dairy foods, because they are known to elevate cholesterol levels, which in turn reduces the flow of blood–and the provision of oxygen–to the brain. Choose low-fat dairy and lean cuts of meat instead, as they provide carnitine, an amino acid which is required for optimal neural function. Eat more whole grains and legumes, as they are all great sources of lecithin, a nutrient which the body converts to acetyl choline, the neurotransmitter which improves speed and depth of recall.
Ensure you have antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables with every meal to counter the action of free radicals causing inflammation and mental decline. Some of the best sources include strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, citrus fruit and leafy greens. A lack of B-group vitamins in the diet, especially vitamin B12 and folic acid, is a common cause of memory lapses and shortened attention span–some research even suggests it can contribute towards the development of Alzheimer’s. Pump up the B12 and folic acid content of your diet with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, leafy greens, chickpeas, beans, fortified breakfast cereals, wheatgerm, nuts and seeds.
Maintain good mental function by playing games, such as Scrabble, mah jong, chess or bridge. The internet is a great source of memory games and puzzles, which you can either play on your own or with other people online. Join a book club and read regularly. Make a point of catching up and talking with friends or family regularly, whether in person or via Zoom or phone. Try learning a new skill, like how to play a musical instrument, writing an autobiographical journal, photography or painting. These are all ‘neurobic’ exercises, meaning that you are challenging your brain.
The cardiovascular benefits you gain from regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, swimming or dancing, have a flow-on effect for brain health because they all help to prevent hardening of the arteries. Research suggests that aerobic exercise can actually boost production of neurones in the brain.
Anxiety, stress and depression have all been identified as key drivers of impaired memory, because they interfere with concentration and weaken motivation to learn or do anything new and interesting.
Stay sane with sage
Sage (Salvia officinalis) has a long history of use in Western herbal medicine as a treatment for menopausal symptoms and heart problems. Modern research has also discovered that sage has potent anti-inflammatory effects, which provide specific benefits to mental health and cognitive performance by protecting acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that is most important for memory.
Information presented is for information purposes only and is not intended to replace advice or treatment from qualified healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to treat or diagnose. Always consult your healthcare professional before taking nutritional or herbal supplements. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any allergies or diagnosed conditions, or are taking prescription medications, always consult your healthcare professional before taking nutritional or herbal supplements.
Sibelius Sage™ is a unique, specifically grown and harvested extract of Sage species (Salvia officinalis) grown in Hampshire in the UK. Sage is traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to enhance and improve memory and recall, and to maintain and support cognitive and mental function in elderly individuals. Sage is traditionally used in Western herbal medicine as a body tonic and to maintain and support general health and wellbeing.