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How to Have a Sharp Mind: Make Your Brain Sharp With Memory Exercises

Updated on July 31, 2012

Do you ever have trouble remembering names? Is losing your keys or misplacing your glasses a problem? Have you ever walked into a room and wondered why you were there or lost your train of thought in the middle of sentence? Everybody has there share of memory lapses but if you feel you are having more than your share you may want to consider taking steps to improve your memory.

With proper nutrition, diet and memory exercises the mind should remain sharp well into one’s nineties. Many people experience memory loss because of an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain. The brain has a protective barrier which only allows certain substances into the brain. If the blood is thick with triglycerides and cholesterol the amount of nutrients that can pass through decreases.

Over time this leads to a malnourished brain. Lack of nutrients to the brain also inhibits the production of neurotransmitters. If the brain doesn’t have an adequate supply it can’t function properly. This would equivalent to a computer short circuiting or experiencing temporary power failures. If you find your mind goes blank when trying to recall information it’s likely you are experiencing a short circuit.

Their are many causes of memory loss. Free radical damage due to lack of proper nutrients, environmental toxins such as pollution, personal and home care products. Alcohol and drug use, stress, allergies, candidiasis, thyroid disorders and lack of exercise. Hypoglycemia may cause memory loss because in order for the brain to function properly, blood sugar levels need to be within a certain range. High blood sugar levels in healthy individuals have an impact on memory.

A recent study showed that elderly people on high sugar diets had smaller memory centers in the brain than normal.Many believe that memory loss increases with age. The fact is that memory loss has nothing to do with getting older. If it isn’t due to some type of physical trauma or health condition, memory loss can be caused by a number of other factors. Regular consumption of a number of foods and beverages, have been found to contribute to memory loss, because they interfere with the body’s vitamin and mineral balances, which affects one’s ability to remember and learn. The following foods should be limited or avoided if possible: fatty animal foods, processed sugars, white flours, coffee, alcohol and tobacco.

These foods do not have essential fatty acid and Co Q10, which are needed by the brain for the memory to be effective. If they aren't present in adequate amounts the brain will draw fat from other sources such as hydrogenated fats. When these types of fats are absorbed by the brain it creates a brain fog instead of improved memory.

Foods that have been found effective in improving memory are brown rice, nutritional yeast, dark leafy greens, soy beans, soy milk, raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds, orange, green and yellow vegetables, tofu, miso and eggs. Supplements that are most effective at directly or indirectly improving memory are Vitamins A, B complex, C, E, zinc, acetylcholine, omega 3 fatty acids, boron, manganese, garlic capsules, lecithin granules, phosphatidyl choline, phosphatidyl serine and DMAE.

The most effective herb for improving memory is ginkgo biloba . It is effective at increasing blood circulation in the brain. Spirulina has shown good results with attention deficit. Low thyroid has a huge affect on memory and concentration. To improve low thyroid take at least 70 mcg iodine daily. In Japan, they traditionally consume three times this amount on a daily basis.

Long term inactivity has a profound impact on memory. Aerobic exercise has been found effective at increasing oxygen to the brain and producing significant memory improvement. Massage is a great way to work out tensions in your neck and shoulder area which will improve the brain’s functioning abilities.

To keep our bodies in shape, we need to exercise them. This also applies to the brain. People with jobs that provide no mental stimulation are more likely to develop some form of dementia as they age. Mental exercise is necessary for maintaining a powerful memory. Challenging your brain daily causes more blood flow into different regions of the brain which develops new connections. Like any exercise it takes effort but the rewards are great.

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    • Hally Z. profile image

      Hally Z. 8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Eating cholesterol is actually good for the brain- which is why eggs and shellfish are great for memory improvement. What kills brain memory is oftentimes vitamin B deficiency (which is essential for proper neural function). People don't eat enough dark leafy greens or drink good beer (as opposed to useless Miller/Budweiser). Nice article!

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for reminding me to eat right! ;D

    • Eltonto profile image

      Eltonto 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thanks for the advice. You know the worst problem, not losing my keys or my glasses( not so much anyway) but forgetting where I put my car. I bothers me that I forget where I park, and I am only 45. I don't remember if I had this problem at twenty. mmm, sometimes it makes me laugh, sometimes it worries me. I must say for years I ate a lot of crap. It has not been until resently that i have tried to eat with more green in mind. So I can see what your saying. I am curious though, i wonder if it affects short term memory more or long term? It seems i have a problem more with my short term memory then long. Interestng post.

      --Eltonto

    • Feline Prophet profile image

      Feline Prophet 8 years ago from India

      Ever since I read about the importance of exercising the brain, I've evolved my own form of daily brain exercise...adding up the numbers on car number plates to one digit...the quicker the better!

    • BeatsMe profile image

      BeatsMe 8 years ago

      Thanks for the info. Will be coming back for reminders. :)

    • IslandVoice profile image

      Sylvia Van Velzer 8 years ago from Hawaii

      This is so important to know. So many of us are so focused on dieting to keep our bodies in shape, but neglect our brains. Very informative, esp for 2 aging folks here in the islands.

    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr.Kulsum Mehmood 8 years ago from Nagpur, India

      Solving crosswords and sudoku and rubik cube help in exercising the brain. My problem is with remembering names. It becomes embarassing at times.

    • BrianS profile image

      Brian Stephens 8 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      Designing websites helps me train my brain, get some really good puzzles to solve that way.

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      Great Hub....Do you think people who are multi-lingual, do not exercise or eat right have great memories? Good stuff on the foods and omega 3. And I am glad to see my weekly suppement of gingko biloba in there

    • delzky profile image

      delzky 8 years ago

      I'm so excited you became my fan. I'm a newbie so you can understand the feeling. Which led me to this hub. Sometimes I forget the names of even famous actors. Would you believe, although i could picture Gene Hackman's face, at one time I couldn't recall his name? I couldn't believe myself! It happened with Kurt Russell too. How could I forget their names when I have seen several of their movies? I guess I really needed the advice in your hub. thanks a lot!

    • johnr54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 8 years ago from Texas

      I was going to make a comment, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was :-o Just kidding, although I do think that as you point out, using your brain can at least help, but as Father time catches up there's a limit to what you can do.

    • droj profile image

      droj 8 years ago from CNY

      I'd like to add that getting enough SLEEP has a big impact on my memory, and my brain power in general. I'll vouch for the part about exercise; DEFinitely sharpens the mind. I'll have to try the foods you mentioned. Thanks!

    • babarushe profile image

      babarushe 8 years ago

      When I face multi tasking job in my office as a office/logistics manager, I seek for an active memory to remember all i have to do for a company with 6 subsidiaries in one building.

      These tips come handy. Let's get on them to make life a bit easy.I have to bookmark this page for reference.

      Thanks for the hub. i enjoyed reading it.

      http://monyontrees.wordpress.com

    • profile image

      peacefulparadox 7 years ago

      I heard that blueberries and walnuts are good brain foods too.

    • DFW TEEN VOICE profile image

      DFW TEEN VOICE 7 years ago from Richardson, Texas

      Excellent article, I am a fan of yours and I invite you to become of DFW TEEN VOICE. Continued Success!

    • casey kaldal profile image

      casey kaldal 7 years ago

      Great information! It's so important that people realize how interconnected our body functions are with the food we eat. I'm not a big fan of soy personally (and it's hard to find a definitive answer about soy), however I do agree with the rest of the findings you included here, and hope this helps more people think about the correlation between what they eat and what they remember.

      I think your article is a great contribution. Thanks!

    • shareitt profile image

      shareitt 7 years ago

      If the mind goes what do we really have? You also hit on the food aspect which is very important> sugar is a numbing agent. thanks

    • profile image

      sharp mind 7 years ago

      This is really great information . I have never understand the importance of the food and nutrition in creating the sharp memory until now . Thank you .

    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 6 years ago from Castaic

      Great hub-so many useful information that anyone can benefit from. Thank you very much for sharing. I'll take some notes, hope you don't mind?:-) Keep writing. God bless!:-)

    • profile image

      tintin 6 years ago

      great.. its a good article.. it gave me a lot of knowledge and ideas!.. thank u so much!!!1

    • profile image

      Chandan  6 years ago

      Thankx!!

    • profile image

      ArYan khan 6 years ago

      Thanx Alot.. i got it very infomative... actually i hav a week memory..i will try these tips.. thank u soo much

    • profile image

      Fly Dove 6 years ago

      wow! Youa have a great article on exercise and it's results. Thx for the shared information.

    • profile image

      Annie Ghouri 6 years ago

      how to improve my memory level so plz be suggest me about sharp brain

    • profile image

      Hiren Mehta 5 years ago

      Thanks for Creative Information.specially food and brain memory.......

    • profile image

      Maxie 5 years ago

      HI, is it really true coffee can reduce memory and learning !

      I know I really drink heaps and I feel I am struggling a lot more than I use to(I am 34). Thanks.

    • profile image

      Lokesh Kumar Saini 5 years ago

      The above mentioned tips are really marvellous and useful as well, but needs to apply as our regular habits such as to take the nutrition diet, excercises,yoga etc.

    • profile image

      khan 5 years ago

      iam feeling of lazzy ness and my eyes is like iam sleeping and i didnt think and concentrate any thing perfectly so wht should i do in before time iam very good in my all activities and now i didnt want to study anything bcz of this think happens to me wht should i do plzz help me out

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Great article. My doctor says the jury is still out on CoQ10, but I think I may begin to take it. I am a health guru and read all labels, watch sat fat and trans fat. It is great to have these health writers on this site. They are very helpful, especailly your artiicles. You present your writing in a very organized manner - very easy to read. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      shayan 5 years ago

      what is ginkgo biloba.?

    • sweetguide profile image

      sweetguide 5 years ago from River side

      Great hub! Very informative. Have to bookmark!! vote up

    • profile image

      Asim 5 years ago

      yes thanks i taken omega 3 vitamin D,E & calcium about 6 months i feel really difference in my brain perfomance

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 5 years ago

      A well presented and informative hub Steve. Thanks for sharing these very useful tips. Voted up, useful and sharing!

    • profile image

      ASAD 5 years ago

      Thanks for good advise

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