We've all been there—hunting for misplaced keys, trying to recall the name of a person we just met, walking into a room and wondering why we entered in the first place. Forgetfulness happens. It comes with being busy, stressed or tired. It also naturally picks up as we get older.
Occasional bouts of short-term memory loss, experts say, are a normal part of aging. But that doesn't stop many of us from worrying about brain health and wanting to take steps to keep our memories sharp.
Luckily, there are a number of simple things you can do every day—no matter what your age—to help support healthy memory and overall cognitive function. Here are just a few:
- Load up on smart foods. Fruits and vegetables such as berries, leafy greens and tomatoes provide protective antioxidants, while fatty fish, flaxseed and walnuts supply brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids.
- Get moving. Besides keeping weight in check, supporting heart health and improving mood, studies show exercise plays a part in brain and memory health.
- Play brain games. Crossword puzzles, chess, Sudoku, word searches—games that challenge your mind work to strengthen memory, as well as concentration and speed.
Just as the rest of your body requires proper nutrition for optimal function, your brain benefits from a well-rounded intake of nutrients supplied by a wholesome diet. If eating well is a challenge for you, taking a multivitamin is a good way to fill in gaps.
Beyond daily essentials, some nutrients also may help support your efforts:
Ginkgo biloba. From one of the oldest-known species of trees, ginkgo biloba is an herbal extract with a long history of use for memory support. Rich in antioxidant compounds known as flavonoids and terpenoids, Ginkgo has been shown to improve circulation to the brain, supporting healthy brain function and performance.*
Phosphatidylserine. Pronounced fos-fuh-tie-dull-SER-een, this chemical is naturally produced by the body and also found in foods such as soy lecithin, barley, white beans, meat and dairy products. It's an important part of cell membranes, especially neurons (brain cells). Phosphatidylserine may help support cognitive function as we age.*
Omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients, well-known for their cardioprotective properties, are also important for normal brain function.* They're not made by the body, so it's crucial to obtain them through diet. A supplement, such as Vitacost ® Mega EFA or Omega-3-Rich Super DHA, is a convenient alternative for those who don't get enough omegas from fish, flax and other food sources.
Acetyl L-carnitine. Acetyl L-carnitine (ALC) is an amino acid that's primarily used by the body for energy production but also helps create acetylcholine, a brain chemical associated with memory and cognitive function.* It's been shown to help mental fatigue associated with aging.*
All-in-one, premium formula
Always with your best interests in mind, we work to bring you the highest quality supplements including premium ingredients and nutrient levels that accommodate differing needs. For those in search of a more comprehensive brain-health system, we're proud to bring you Vitacost ® Targeted Wellness Cognitive Support.
In this advanced formula, you'll find eight clinically studied, expertly combined nutrients— including ginkgo biloba, phosphatidylserine, acetyl L-carnitine, vinpocetine and more—for natural cognitive support in just two easy-to-take capsules daily.*
Do you have tricks to keep your memory sharp? Please share them with us in the comments below.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.