If you’re anything like me, you watch Jeopardy every night. Not only is it the best game show ever made, it also has some pretty quality advertising. One example of such marketing brilliance is a little product called Prevagen. I don’t know anything about Prevagen, other than the fact that it claims to be a supplement, made from Jellyfish, that can improve your memory--probably magically, I can only assume.
Whether Prevagen does anything for your memory or not, I can’t say. Generally, I’m dubious of those kinds of claims, and I’m even more dubious that a supplement made from an animal without a brain can help you have a better brain. I feel like there’s something missing there.
The good news is that we don’t have to depend on voodoo supplements to improve our memory.There are actually scientifically proven actions you can take to make your brain work better and improve your memory. Keep in mind that I’m not a doctor, and you should definitely ask your doctor about doing any of these things first, but consider trying things like:
Scientists have found that exercise helps promote healthy brain function. Specifically, they found that high intensity interval training--or HIIT--is the best. Your brain needs oxygen to work properly, and intense exercise improves blood and oxygen flow to your noggin.
You’re never too old to learn new things. Learning new things creates new neural connections in your brain, which helps with recall. Reading is the perfect way to keep your brain sharp.
3. Play Memory Games
Your brain isn’t really a muscle, but you can still improve its function by working it out. Play some memory games. Maybe some Old Maid or Go Fish is up your alley. Do a crossword puzzle. Play games that make you think.
4. Get Plenty of Sleep
Losing sleep can be really detrimental to your brain’s memory. Adults should get 7-9 hours per night. If you’re not in your bed getting the ZZZs that you need, consider hitting the hay a little earlier than usual. Also, keep your cell phone away from your face about 30 minutes before going to bed.
5. Improve Your Diet
Inflammation affects every part of your body, and your brain is included. When you eat bad foods, you’re not able to feed your brain the nutrients it needs to function in top form. Eat nuts, fruits, green veggies, and fish for optimal brain noms.
6. Play an Instrument
Music unlocks some really interesting brain functions, and learning an instrument might be a way to preserve your brain’s maximum function. It feels like something we intuitively know; we call musical prodigies geniuses. Music makes weird connections in our gray matter, so pick up the guitar, strum the banjo, or play the drums if you’re not married. If you’re married and want to play drums, go ahead and get the divorce papers ready after you buy your new Zildjians. You don’t have much longer left with your sweetie.
7. Check Your Meds
This tip is NOT me telling you to stop taking any medicine that you’ve been prescribed by a physician. Again, I’m not a doctor. BUT almost half of seniors are taking more prescription medications than they need. You should always take your medications with you to any check ups that you have at the doctor, and you can even reach out your pharmacist for a medication review. Taking too many prescriptions can lead to memory loss, so get your meds double checked out at least.
8. Get Outside
Aside from the stress-relieving benefits of spending time in nature, sunlight also helps your body produce vitamin D. According to some studies, vitamin D improves memory function.
There are all sorts of things you can do to improve your memory without buying a bottle of pills. In fact, I support doing whatever you can do outside of supplementation to get back on track. Sometimes making your brain work better can be as easy as trading french fries for broccoli.
So go get after it!