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14 Ways Improve Your Memory Today

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Memories naturally decline as we age, but the following 14 steps have been scientifically proven to not only prevent memory decline but also to increase brain power and memory function. Find out more below.

A mind is a powerful tool, but as we age, our brains cease to function at an optimal level. According to Duke University Medical Center, one-third of adults over age 70 have significant levels of cognitive decline. Memory loss and poor brain functioning start well before age 70.

The best way to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and the occurrence of “senior moments,” is to take steps to keep your memory sharp before cognitive decline starts. You can do this by adding two simple steps to your daily routine that will protect your brain health and keep your brain sharp for decades to come.

The best way to protect your brain health is through memory-boosting activities and memory-boosting nutrients. Brain-boosting activities are helpful, but they will not provide optimal results without the building blocks of brain-boosting power- vitamins and minerals.

Ensuring you have a diet rich in brain-benefiting foods will make all memory retention efforts more effective and can completely stop any new cognitive decline, as well as reverse previous mental decline.

Memory-Boosting Activities

Several activities have been scientifically proven to improve brain performance. These activities are not difficult and can help unlock the full potential of your brain. Try engaging in these activities to help your brain continue to function at the highest level.

Change Memory Habits

According to an article published in The New York Times, written by "Moonwalking with Einstein" author and memory expert Joshua Foer; today’s memory needs are drastically different from the memory needs of the past. According to him, changing how we remember ideas, numbers, and thoughts to align with the way brains were used in ancient history will help improve memory and keep data straight.

Three Keys to Improving Memory
  • Spatial information is the easiest to recall.
  • Visual clues make remembering simple.
  • Funny, absurd, or offensive ideas stand out clearest in the mind.

According to Foer, combining these three ideas will help our brains file information in a way that is easy to recall later.

  • First, create a mental image in your mind of a place (like a childhood home).
  • Next, attach silly images to the items that you want to remember so they stand out.
  • Finally, place each of the silly images in a room in your mental house.

When you want to recall information, simply walk into that room in your mind, and the image should rise to the forefront of your mind without problems.

This technique has enabled individuals to successfully recall details that are otherwise difficult to recall.

Video Games

For years, parents thought that playing video games rotted the brain, but a new 2013 study published in Nature Journal shows the opposite to be true. The study looked at how the memory changed in adults between the ages of 60 and 85 after playing a video game. The study tracked the memory of adults who played at least 12 hours of a 3D racing game that required multi-tasking and responding to pop-ups on the screen.

Both the memory and attention span of the participants improved. The most surprising results of the study were how long the memory benefits lasted. The participants showed cognitive improvement for 6 months or more after they stopped playing video games.

A similar study from the University of Iowa in 2013 looked at the memory performance of older adults after playing a game called “Road Tour.” After playing the video game for 10 hours, participants over age 50 were able to shave 7 years off of mental aging from their brains.

A 2013 study conducted by Queen Mary University of London and University College London found that playing strategic video games benefited the brain the most. The researchers recruited 72 women and had them play a strategic video game or a non-strategic video game. At the end of the study, the women who played the strategic video game were better able to multi-task and solve problems quickly. Women played the games at least 40 hours over a period of 8 weeks.


Exercise has been shown to improve memory since the 1990s, but recent studies have uncovered the power of exercise in a more precise way. A 2013 study from the University of British Columbia looked at women between the ages of 70 to 80 with existing mild cognitive decline. These women have been prescribed exercise programs for 6 months. At the end of the study, women who exercised showed an improvement in their memory. Women who did not exercise showed a further cognitive decline. Women who walked showed greater cognitive improvement than women who lifted weights.

A 2006 study from the University of Illinois showed that exercise can restore cognitive function and actually increase brain volume. A combination of aerobic exercise and weight training will benefit the brain the most.

According to a 2011 study from the University of Dublin, the reason exercise is beneficial for the brain is due to the rise in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that occurs after exercise. BDNF promotes the health of nerve cells and encourages brain growth.


A German study conducted in 2012 looked at the role of stress-induced depression in rats. Over a course of two months, the researchers exposed the rats to dramatic changes in the environment to stimulate stress triggers. This led to stress-induced depression in the rats, due to their inability to adapt to their environment. As a result of depression, the rats showed memory impairment and cognitive decline. Just as chronic stress on rats can damage their memory, the same is true for humans.

While some stress is good for the brain, constant, chronic stress is not good for memory function. You can help boost the power of your memory by consciously de-stressing so that you can give your brain a rest and boost memory power. Even simple de-stressing techniques can help restore efficient brain function.

De-Stressing Activities
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Active relaxation
  • Bedtime routine
  • Exercise

Memory-Boosting Nutrients

In addition to memory-boosting activities, many nutrients provide a positive effect on brain health and memory. The best part about the following nutrients is that they are not only beneficial for memory, but also provide benefit to allover health. For example, nutrients like magnesium, iron, vitamin C, and vitamin D also benefit the immune system as well as the brain. Take a look at how the following essential nutrients can benefit your brain health and improve your memory:

Vitamin E, C, and B3

A 2013 study conducted by the Honolulu Heart Program looked at the effects of different supplements on heart health. However, the researchers found surprising and unexpected results. It was found that in nearly 4,000 study participants, those taking vitamin E and C, or vitamin B3 showed dramatic improvement in mental health. Individuals taking both vitamin E and C had an 82 percent lower chance of getting vascular dementia. In participants without dementia, their cognitive function improved significantly. Individuals who supplemented with at least 100 to 300 mg of vitamin B3 per day were less likely to have cognitive decline or develop dementia.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential to many functions of the body, including immunity and mental health. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry looked at over 3,000 men to determine the role of vitamin D in mental health. Researchers found that men with higher blood levels of vitamin D were more likely to perform better and process information faster. Men with vitamin D levels lower than 35 nanomoles per liter performed poorly on the study tests.

Vitamin D can be difficult to get in today’s world since most people spend most of the day indoors. Dairy products sometimes carry vitamin D naturally, and many companies add vitamin D supplements to dairy products. However, this amount of vitamin D may not be enough. Experts recommend taking at least 800 IU of vitamin D per day for optimal health, so adding a daily supplement of vitamin D is a good idea to protect your mental health.


A 2004 study from the University in Beijing showed that supplementing with magnesium is beneficial for the brain. It was found that supplementing with at least 400 mg of magnesium daily helped improve short-term memory, long-term memory, working memory, and learning ability. For best results, a daily supplement of 400 mg or more is recommended.


Calcium is a supplement that most people think of as beneficial for bones, but calcium also benefits the body in other ways, including mental clarity. A 2008 study published in The Journal of Neuroscience showed that increasing CaMKIV (calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV) levels in the brain enhances contextual and learning memories in mice. A natural decline in CaMKIV levels leads to age-related memory loss. Calcium is shown to increase CaMKIV levels in the brain, which protects the brain from this form of memory loss. Supplementing with 40 mg of calcium daily should be enough to protect the memory if other natural sources of calcium are also consumed daily.


According to a 2011 study published in the American Journal of Nutrition, over 2 billion people are deficient in iron. Iron levels early in life can influence cognitive function, memory, learning ability, and many other important brain functions. While ensuring a high iron intake is important early in life for developing efficient brain function, supplementing later in life can also benefit brain function. A 1996 study conducted by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine looked at 81 teen girls with iron deficiencies. The girls were given 650 mg of iron twice daily for 8 weeks. At the end of the study, girls taking iron supplements showed improve cognitive function and better test scores.


A 1998 study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine looked at the role of zinc in the memory and mental function of children. It was found in the study that children with low zinc levels had reduced mental function. The study suggests that supplementing with zinc when a deficiency is present can help improve mental clarity and cognitive function.

Huperzia A

A Chinese study from 1988 looked at the benefits of supplementing with Huperzia A as a benefit for memory. Elderly rats who received supplementation with Huperzia A showed improved performance in memory and cognitive function.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

A multitude of studies has looked at the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids on the body. Several have looked at how omega 3 acids can benefit the brain. A 2012 study from the University of Pittsburgh looked at the effects of omega 3 supplements on the brain health of healthy, young adults. According to the study, supplementing with omega 3s helps boost the levels of dopamine in the brain, which reduces the effects of stress on a mental decline. Omega 3s also improve working memory in healthy adults, according to the study. Participants took a daily mixture of 750 mg of DHA and 930 mg of EPA.


In a 1993 study from the Fidia Research Laboratories, of elderly patients with moderate or severe cognitive decline, supplementing with Phosphatidylserine improved both behavioral and cognitive parameters significantly at the end of a 6-month period. Study participants took 300 mg of Phosphatidylserine per day for 6 months.


Several studies from the University of Granada (Spain) Simón Bolívar University, (Venezuela), and the University of York (United Kingdom) have shown that choline is highly beneficial for brain health. The researchers found that supplementation with choline in rats improved their memory and attention processes. Choline was also shown to improve the long-term memory of the rats.


Iodine is also important for mental clarity and memory. A 1999 study conducted by the Institute of Child Health in London showed that children who had lower-than-normal iodine levels did worse in school. Children with normal iodine levels performed better on tests. There is no reason not to believe that similar positive results would appear in adults with low iodine levels.

Two Ways to Improve Brain Function

The steps outlined in this article indicate two simple ways that you can use to improve your memory and keep your brain sharp for decades to come. Mentally-stimulating activities like strategy video games, exercise, using memory-boosting tricks, and trying de-stressing activities will help your brain function properly at the highest possible level. Giving your brain essential nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids, iron, iodine, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin D will give your brain the building blocks it needs to keep your memory sharp and ever-improving. With this two-part strategy, you will find that your memory and brainpower is better than ever, no matter what your current age.





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