Only someone who has suffered from memory loss can understand the frustration of not being able to remember the significant and insignificant details of life. From forgetting mundane things like where you kept your glasses to factual details like names, birthdays, anniversaries, and other key events – memory loss can lead to many an embarrassing situation.
While many people associate memory loss with aging, certain ailments, medication, injuries, can also result in serious loss of memory. However, memory loss because of aging is qualitatively different from memory loss due to an illness.
So, why exactly do older people in particular have this problem? The answer lies in the fact that the brain, much like any other organ in the body, goes through wear and tear through years of use. This may lead to the brain losing some of its sharpness and changes in the way it stores and processes information. Also, after a certain age, we begin losing brain cells and our bodies stop producing optimum level of chemicals needed for the brain to function. This may also lead to memory loss as we grow older.
Types of Memories
Human memory can be very broadly classified into short term or working memory and long term memory. These two broad categories can be further sub-divided into various categories.
Short Term Memory: Short term memory is information you keep in mind for a very short time. It lasts less than a minute and has limited capacity. The information stored in short term memory is either passed on to the long term memory after a few seconds or discarded from the brain altogether.
Long Term Memory: It refers to the information stored in your brain over a long time. It may include information from a few minutes ago to memories from your distant past. Recent long term memory refers to events that happened in the recent past, such as names of people you met recently or the outfit you wore yesterday. Remote long term memory records the distant past such as memories from your childhood.
Aging does not affect short term or remote long term memories. It is the recent memories that aging brain cells find difficult to store. So, while you may not remember what happened in your favorite soap yesterday or a conversation you had in the morning, you'll be surprised at being able to recall events from your childhood down to the very last detail.
What can you do?
You can follow a three-pronged approach to overcome memory loss – keep your mind and body active through mental and physical exercise, eat foods that aid memory retention, and take memory enhancing supplements.
Move Those Muscles
Stimulating your brain muscles through mental exercises or brain aerobics for 30 minutes to an hour everyday helps memory retention. Brain aerobics or mental gymnastics include activities such as singing songs, solving crossword or jigsaw puzzles, reading books or newspapers, learning a new language, acquiring computer skills, memorizing shopping lists, discussing news and current affairs, playing board games, and engaging in hobbies such as music or art.
Keeping your body fit through regular physical exercise also helps sharpen your memory. Exercising regularly supplies oxygen to the brain and reduces the likelihood of ailments that may lead to memory loss. Moreover, walking is believed to regenerate brain cells.
Food For Thought
There are certain foods that help build better memory. Foods rich in folic acid, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene have lots of nutritional value for the brain.
Needless to say a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, soybeans, nuts, and healthy fats like tuna, salmon, mackerel, and flaxseed oil aid memory retention besides having other health benefits.
Memory Vitamins – Powering Brain
Supplementing your healthy diet and regular mental and physical exercise with the right kind of memory vitamins supports mental wellness. These memory supplements and memory vitamins come packed with specific nutrients that aid mental sharpness and speed.
Some of the memory supplements that aid brain power include Huperzine A, Phosphatidylserine, Vinpocetine, Cognizin, Blueberry Extract, and Vitamin B-12.
Memory supplements such as Memory Matrix include the nutritional power of all these substances to keep your brain functioning at an optimum level. Memory Matrix is a doctor formulated and scientifically researched memory supplement that supports mental clarity, memory retention, cell to cell communication, and healthy blood and oxygen flow to the brain among other things.
Just because you are getting older doesn't mean you have to accept memory loss as part of life. Stimulate your brain, get some exercise, eat healthy, reduce stress, stay positive, and take the right memory vitamins to spend your golden years having fun and maintain your dignity. After all, the only thing age should be associated with is wisdom!