Everyone has moments of forgetfulness from time to time, especially when life gets busy.
While this can be a completely normal occurrence, having a poor memory can be frustrating.
Genetics plays a role in memory loss, especially in serious neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. However, research has shown that diet and lifestyle have a major impact on memory too.
Here are 14 evidence-based ways to improve your memory naturally.
1. Eat Less Added Sugar
Eating too much added sugar has been linked to many health issues and chronic diseases, including cognitive decline.
Research has shown that a sugar-laden diet can lead to poor memory and reduced brain volume, particularly in the area of the brain that stores short-term memory (1, 2).
For example, one study of more than 4,000 people found that those with a higher intake of sugary beverages like soda had lower total brain volumes and poorer memories on average compared to people who consumed less sugar (2).
Cutting back on sugar not only helps your memory but also improves your overall health.
SUMMARYResearch has shown that people who regularly consume lots of added sugar may have poorer memories and lower brain volumes than those who consume less sugar.
2. Try a Fish Oil Supplement
Fish oil is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
These fats are important for overall health and have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, relieve stress and anxiety, and slow mental decline (3, 4).
Many studies have shown that consuming fish and fish oil supplements may improve memory, especially in older people.
One study of 36 older adults with mild cognitive impairment found that short-term and working memory scores improved significantly after they took concentrated fish oil supplements for 12 months (5).
Another recent review of 28 studies showed that when adults with mild symptoms of memory loss took supplements rich in DHA and EPA, like fish oil, they experienced improved episodic memory (6).
Both DHA and EPA are vital to the health and functioning of the brain and also help reduce inflammation in the body, which has been linked to cognitive decline (7).
SUMMARYFish and fish oil supplements are rich in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Consuming them may help improve short-term, working and episodic memory, especially in older people.
3. Make Time for Meditation
The practice of meditation may positively affect your health in many ways.
It is relaxing and soothing, and has been found to reduce stress and pain, lower blood pressure and even improve memory (8).
In fact, meditation has been shown to increase gray matter in the brain. Gray matter contains neuron cell bodies (9).
As you age, gray matter declines, which negatively impacts memory and cognition (10).
Meditation and relaxation techniques have been shown to improve short-term memory in people of all ages, from people in their 20s to the elderly (11).
For example, one study demonstrated that Taiwanese college students who engaged in meditation practices like mindfulness had significantly better spatial working memory than students who did not practice meditation (12).
Spatial working memory is the ability to hold and process information in your mind about the positions of objects in space.
SUMMARYMeditation isn’t just good for your body — it’s also good for your brain. Research suggests meditation may increase gray matter in the brain and improve spatial working memory.
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential for well-being and is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind in top condition.
Several studies have established obesity as a risk factor for cognitive decline.
Interestingly, being obese can actually cause changes to memory-associated genes in the brain, negatively affecting memory (13).
Obesity can also lead to insulin resistance and inflammation, both of which can negatively impact the brain (14).
A study of 50 people between the ages of 18 and 35 found that a higher body mass index was associated with significantly worse performance on memory tests (15).
Obesity is also associated with a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive disease that destroys memory and cognitive function (16).
SUMMARYObesity is a risk factor for cognitive decline. Maintaining a body mass index within the normal range may help you avoid a host of issues associated with obesity, including a poorer memory.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Lack of proper sleep has been associated with poor memory for quite some time.
Sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation, a process in which short-term memories are strengthened and transformed into long-lasting memories.
Research shows that if you are sleep deprived, you could be negatively impacting your memory.
For example, one study looked at the effects of sleep in 40 children between the ages of 10 and 14.
One group of children was trained for memory tests in the evening, then tested the following morning after a night’s sleep. The other group was trained and tested on the same day, with no sleep between training and testing.
The group that slept between training and testing performed 20% better on the memory tests (17).
Another study found that nurses working the night shift made more mathematical errors and that 68% of them scored lower on memory tests compared to nurses working the day shift (17).
Health experts recommend adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimal health (18).
SUMMARYStudies have consistently associated sufficient sleep with better memory performance. Sleep helps consolidate memories. You’re also likely to perform better on memory tests if you’re well rested than if you’re sleep deprived.
6. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a mental state in which you focus on your present situation, maintaining awareness of your surroundings and feelings.
Mindfulness is used in meditation, but the two aren’t one and the same. Meditation is a more formal practice, whereas mindfulness is a mental habit you can use in any situation.
Studies have shown that mindfulness is effective at lowering stress and improving concentration and memory.
One study of 293 psychology students showed that those who underwent mindfulness training had improved recognition-memory performance when recalling objects compared to students who did not receive mindfulness training (19).
Mindfulness has also been linked with a lower risk of age-related cognitive decline and an overall improvement in psychological well-being (20).
Incorporate mindfulness techniques into your daily routine by paying more attention to your present situation, concentrating on your breathing and gently resetting your attention when your mind wanders.
SUMMARYPracticing mindfulness techniques has been associated with increased memory performance. Mindfulness is also linked to reduced age-related cognitive decline.
7. Drink Less Alcohol
Consuming too many alcoholic beverages can be detrimental to your health in many ways and can negatively impact your memory.
Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that raises your blood alcohol levels to 0.08 grams per ml or above. Studies have shown it alters the brain and results in memory deficits.
A study of 155 college freshmen found that students who consumed six or more drinks within a short period of time, either weekly or monthly, had difficulties in immediate and delayed memory-recall tests compared to students who never binge drank (21).
Alcohol exhibits neurotoxic effects on the brain. Repeated episodes of binge drinking can damage the hippocampus, a part of the brain that plays a vital role in memory (22).
While having a drink or two now and then is perfectly healthy, avoiding excessive alcohol intake is a smart way to protect your memory.
SUMMARYAlcohol has neurotoxic effects on the brain, including reducing memory performance. Occasional moderate drinking isn’t an issue, but binge drinking can damage your hippocampus, a key area of your brain associated with memory.
8. Train Your Brain
Exercising your cognitive skills by playing brain games is a fun and effective way to boost your memory.
Crosswords, word-recall games, Tetris and even mobile apps dedicated to memory training are excellent ways to strengthen memory.
A study that included 42 adults with mild cognitive impairment found that playing games on a brain-training app for eight hours over a four-week period improved performance in memory tests (23).
Another study of 4,715 people showed that when they did 15 minutes of an online brain-training program at least five days a week, their short-term memory, working memory, concentration and problem-solving improved significantly compared to a control group (24).
Plus, brain-training games have been shown to help reduce the risk of dementia in older adults (25).
SUMMARYGames that challenge your brain may help you strengthen your memory and may even reduce the risk of dementia.
9. Cut Down on Refined Carbs
Consuming large amounts of refined carbohydrates like cakes, cereal, cookies, white rice and white bread may be damaging to your memory.
These foods have a high glycemic index, meaning the body digests these carbohydrates quickly, leading to a spike in blood sugar levels (26).
Studies have shown that the Western diet, which is high in refined carbohydrates, is associated with dementia, cognitive decline and reduced cognitive function (27).
One study of 317 healthy children found that those who consumed more processed carbs like white rice, noodles and fast food had reduced cognitive capacity, including poorer short-term and working memory (28).
Another study demonstrated that adults who consumed ready-to-eat breakfast cereal daily had poorer cognitive function than those who consumed cereal less frequently (29).
SUMMARYLike added sugar, refined carbohydrates lead to a spike in blood sugar levels, which can damage your brain over time. Diets high in refined carbs have been associated with dementia, cognitive decline and reduced brain function.
10. Get Your Vitamin D Levels Tested
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that plays many vital roles in the body.
Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to a host of health issues, including a reduction in cognitive function.
A study that followed 318 older adults for five years found that those who had blood levels of vitamin D less than 20 nanograms per ml lost their memory and other cognitive abilities faster than those with normal vitamin D levels (30).
Low levels of vitamin D have also been linked to a greater risk of developing dementia (31).
Vitamin-D deficiency is very common, especially in colder climates and in those with darker skin. Speak with your doctor about getting a blood test to find out if you need a vitamin D supplement.
SUMMARYVitamin-D deficiency is very common, especially in colder climates, and has been associated with age-related cognitive decline and dementia. If you think you might have low levels of vitamin D, ask your doctor for a blood test.
11. Exercise More
Exercise is important for overall physical and mental health.
Research has established that it’s beneficial for the brain and may help improve memory in people of all ages, from children to older adults.
For example, a study of 144 people aged 19 to 93 showed that a single bout of 15 minutes of moderate exercise on a stationary bike led to improved cognitive performance, including memory, across all ages (32).
Many studies have shown exercise may increase the secretion of neuroprotective proteins and improve the growth and development of neurons, leading to improved brain health (33).
Regular exercise in midlife is also associated with a decreased risk of developing dementia later in life (34).
SUMMARYExercise brings incredible benefits for your whole body, including your brain. Even moderate exercise for short periods has been shown to improve cognitive performance, including memory, across all age groups.
Antioxidants help lower inflammation in the body by reducing oxidative stress caused by free radicals. You can consume antioxidants in foods like fruits, vegetables and teas.
A recent review of nine studies with more than 31,000 people found that those who ate more fruits and vegetables had lower risks of cognitive decline and dementia compared to those who consumed less of these nutritious foods (35).
Berries are particularly high in antioxidants like flavonoids and anthocyanins. Eating them may be an excellent way to prevent memory loss.
One study of more than 16,000 women demonstrated that those who consumed the most blueberries and strawberries had slower rates of cognitive decline and memory loss than women who ate fewer berries (36).
SUMMARYAnti-inflammatory foods are great for your brain, especially berries and other foods that are high in antioxidants. To incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, you can’t go wrong by consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables.
13. Consider Curcumin
Curcumin is a compound found in high concentrations in turmeric root. It’s one of a category of compounds called polyphenols.
It is a potent antioxidant and exerts powerful anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
Multiple animal studies have found that curcumin reduces oxidative damage and inflammation in the brain and also lowers the quantity of amyloid plaques. These accumulate on neurons and cause cell and tissue death, leading to memory loss (37).
In fact, amyloid plaque buildup may play a role in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (38).
Though more human studies are needed on the effects of curcumin on memory, animal studies suggest it may be effective at boosting memory and preventing cognitive decline (39, 40).
SUMMARYCurcumin is a potent antioxidant. Animal studies have shown it reduces inflammation and amyloid plaques in the brain. However, more research in humans is needed.
14. Add Some Cocoa to Your Diet
Cocoa is not only delicious but also nutritious, providing a powerful dose of antioxidants called flavonoids. Research suggests flavonoids are particularly beneficial to the brain.
They may help stimulate the growth of blood vessels and neurons and increase blood flow in parts of the brain involved with memory.
A study of 30 healthy people found that those who consumed dark chocolate containing 720 mg of cocoa flavonoids demonstrated better memory compared to those who consumed white chocolate without cocoa flavonoids (41).
To get the most benefit out of chocolate, choose dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% cacao or higher. That will help ensure it contains larger amounts of antioxidants like flavonoids.
SUMMARYCocoa is high in antioxidants that may help improve memory performance. Make sure to choose dark chocolate with 70% cacao or higher so you get a concentrated dose of antioxidants.
The Bottom Line
There are many fun, simple and even delicious ways to improve your memory.
Exercising your mind and body, enjoying a quality piece of chocolate and reducing the amount of added sugar in your diet are all excellent techniques.
Try adding a few of these science-backed tips to your daily routine to boost your brain health and keep your memory in top condition.
Many years ago, the United States military brought Isabell Whitney and Preble Staver together. They met while on a blind date and immediately felt chemistry. They were both studying in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the time and could not help but watch as their romance blossomed until it consumed their lives and made them inseparable. Their daughter, Laurie Staver Clinton, always knew her parents were deeply in love – however, their commitments in the United States military, although instrumental to bringing them together soon put a wedge between them.
Whitney was a nurse in the United States Navy while her husband was in the United States Marines. War tore them apart from each other; however, they reunited after the way and got married. Before long, they produced five children in total.
Laurie adored her father, who received a Bronze Star for his commitment to the United States Marines. She remembers her father as a tall, outgoing man, who always led with his “larger than life” personality. She described her mother as “my heart.”
Laurie told NPR, “She taught me how to be a kind person, how to be a compassionate person.”
While Preble continued his career in the Marines, Isabelle stayed home and spent most of her time raising the couple’s five children. Eventually, when the kids were old enough, she returned to the workforce as a nurse. Laurie credits her mother to keep the family together through the numerous moves around the country because of Preble’s military career and after the death of one of their sons Peter, who died in a football-related accident in 1975 while he was in high school.
The couple served in World War II and were loyal to each other – and their country – for the entirety of their lives.
Laurie remembers her mother as always having a nurse’s compassion, even when she became the patient as she was older. Isabell slipped into dementia as an elderly woman, and her husband Preble struggled to cope with the additional responsibility.
“When I would explain the need for the separation, Mom would go, ‘But that’s Daddy, that’s Preble,’” she said. “Even in her demented states, she had the compassion and understanding that my dad’s reaction to some of the disease process wasn’t really a reaction to her, and she still wanted to be with him.”
A family friend and fellow church-goer, Jim Need, recalls the couple fondly. He was there when their health started to fail.
“Sometimes he was a little frustrated because she may not recognize him. But… when she did, you could always just see him. Just smiling, like crazy,” Need said.
For Preble’s birthday recently, all he wanted was to be able to sleep next to his wife – which had not been available to him for some time. The family arranged it and then paired napped next to each other for a few hours.
On October 25, Isabelle received her last rites while Preble held her hand. She passed on, and Preble followed her into heaven just a few hours later. Isabelle almost reached her 96th birthday.
As a super jet flew into Moscow, Russia, it failed to land properly. The jet bounced about the airstrip of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on Sunday. As the jet burst into flames, people tried to retrieve their luggage as others were fleeing for their lives. The plane had just taken off from the airstrip in Moscow and had landed as an emergency because of the issue that stopped it from making it all the way to Murmansk across the country.
Security footage shows that the plane erupted in a fireball as the fuselage ripped and hit the tarmac.
As 34-year-old flight crew member Tatyana Kasatkina grabbed the slow people by their collars and forced them out of the plane and into safety.
Meanwhile, fellow flight attendant Maxim Moissev died as he tried to open up the rear exit door, which failed to open in the moment of need.
The disaster killed 41 people, including two children and the one member of the flight crew, Moissev.
The Russian aviation authorities do not yet know what caused the crash, but they suspect it can be one of three things. Either the Russia pilots were unqualified to fly a plane, the weather was too much for the pilots, or the plane had malfunctioning equipment.
Although the flight recorders have been found, Russian authorities failed to ground the type of aircraft although it could pose a deadly risk to people across the country.
One surviving passenger, who was overweight, has been blamed for blocking the exit with his excess body weight and because he grabbed his luggage. His name is Dmitry Khlebushkin. While people mourned the loss of 41 people, Dmitry complained and demanded a refund because he thought the aircrew did not treat him nicely.
Now that Khlebushkin has proven to be a nincompoop, he has become the focal point of rage as people point to him as one of the people who may have blocked the exit as people were dying behind him. Not only did he block the exit after retrieving his luggage, he had the gall to complain and ask for a refund when he was off the burning plane.
On Monday, nightmarish footage from the burning plane was revealed. The clip shows the Russian plane bursting into flames as it bounces along the runway. The security footage shows the Superjet collapsing to the ground in a fireball as a huge cloud of smoke trails it.
As it comes to the “overweight” passenger Khlebushkin, he has become a source of rage among Russians. Not only did he prove he was dishonorable – for saving his backpack while he could have been saving the lives of fellow passengers – people are taking their anger out on him.
“He saved his backpack,” one Russian commenter said. “And he is looking really great, knowing that everyone further back than the 11th row died.”
Another person added, “The first passengers tried to throw out their bags from the cabin and then to slide down. This is why there are delays.”
“That fat man from the video who was angry that he did not get a refund within 40 minutes – he surely took his bag from the overhead compartment despite all the other people.”
Derrick and Monique Rodgers were excited and nervous when the day arrived for Monique to deliver her babies – two lovely little twin girls.
But the day took a horrifying turn when a doctor dropped one of the newborn babies on her head.
The couple, who hails from Chandler, Arizona, arrived at the Chandler Regional Medical Center on Valentine’s Day.
The babies were born prematurely, which already put them at risk at the time.
Derrick happened to be recording as the babies were born, and he caught this shocking and unacceptable mishap on video.
A doctor, unidentified, was carrying the babies when he accidentally dropped one of them, named Morgan, causing her head to hit the table.
Luckily, a nearby nurse was able to grab her so she didn’t fall off from that table as well.
This happened over the span of just a few seconds, but a horrified Derrick, whose phone recorded the incident, felt like it was going on for ages.
Derrick was furious and later spoke to the doctor about his negligence. He asked how the doctor had been able to mess up that way, but the doctor appeared entirely indifferent.
Derrick showed him the video he had on his phone, and the doctor fell silent and didn’t have any more replies for him.
When Monique eventually watched the video, she knew she could never watch it again. She felt that her daughter had been tossed around uncaringly.
Morgan was then kept in the NICU for 12 days.
When it was time for her to come home, the new parents were very excited – but then, Monique realized that her daughter was exhibiting strange symptoms, such as becoming tense and even shaking uncontrollably.
So, Monique brought her to see a new, different doctor.
The new doctor checked Morgan’s chart and found out that, 5 days after she had been born, little Monique had undergone an ultrasound – a common procedure in babies with low weights at birth.
But the ultrasound revealed something: a grade 1 brain hemorrhage that had not been reported to either of her parents.
It is common procedure for doctors to keep parents in the loop about even minor issues with the babies in their care – and Monique definitely believes she should have been notified.
She and her husband believe that the fact that the hospital didn’t tell them and has thus far remained silent and unapologetic towards them indicates that the hemorrhage was caused by the fall.
According to Dr. Greg Marchand, who is an OBGYN and was not among those treating Morgan, it’s not uncommon for newborns who were born prematurely to have some form of hemorrhaging, even without a fall.
However, he is disturbed by the video and believes that the hospital has acted badly by not informing the parents and communicating with them about what happened.
Full disclosure should have been given.
Now, Derrick and Monique are hoping to get a response from the hospital, which has yet to reply at all – even after the video of the initial dropping incident went viral.
A statement by the hospital states that they are reviewing the situation but cannot release any patient information publicly. Morgan will be seeing a neurologist in the near future.
A pet shop owner in the Turkish Black sea province of Rize ran into big trouble while recently feeding a stray dog.
One minute he was happily giving the hungry puppy some food by hand, and the next minute the dog had stopped breathing.
Luckily, Omer Yilmaz was passing by the pet shop when he heard the owner’s calls for help.
His quick thinking and calm demeanor helped to save the dog’s life when he quickly sized up the situation and determined that the puppy was choking on a piece of meat that the pet store owner had been feeding him.
First, he tried to dislodge the small piece of sausage from the dog’s mouth. After successfully doing that, Omer started to rub the dog’s chest.
Then, he began performing CPR on the puppy and wouldn’t stop until he noticed that the puppy was taking in air again and breathing normally.
People who have seen Omer’s heroic actions on video think it is a very good reminder for everyone who loves animals to consider taking an online course offered by the Red Cross that teaches first aid to help cats and dogs.
When people know the various tools and techniques they can use to help an animal in distress, more often than not the outcome is a happy one.
People like Omer who don’t panic and remember their first aid training won’t waste any time and quickly step in to help save a four-legged friend.
Two men lurked near a playground in Valdosta, Georgia. They had eyes for only one child, a five-year-old girl. Then they struck. They dashed into the play area and pushed down the teacher who tried to confront them. Then one man snatched up the little girl, who was screaming and kicking. The men’s names were Michael McCormick and David Stapp, and the kidnapping victim was McCormick’s five-year-old daughter.
The two abductors traveled from Mississippi to Valdosta to steal McCormick’s daughter in what friends are claiming could be only a custody dispute gone horribly, horribly wrong.
That’s what McCormick’s friend, Adam Malson, is telling the reporters. When he heard about how his long-time friend snatched up the little girl and caused bodily harm to the teacher protecting her, he knew that there was trouble in the McCormick household.
“He is a loving father, and he came to get his daughter. The custody battle I’m sure is going to ensue,” Malson said.
Malson admitted that things had gotten quite troublesome between McCormick and the mother of the girl. They were fighting and not getting along. The love they once had died and was replaced with nagging and bickering. And when the mother of the girl moved from Mississippi to Valdosta, McCormick snapped and recruited his friend, David Stapp, to kidnap his daughter and take her back.
Authorities are aware of the family issues in the case. Lowndes County Sheriff’s Officer told WCTV that McCormick and the mother of his daughter have a documented history of not getting along. Nevertheless, McCormick committed a crime when he forced a teacher to the ground and grabbed his daughter, kidnapping her from the school playground.
“The teacher, seeing what was taking place, rushed to intervene and was pushed down as the pair took the child and left the school grounds,” the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office said in a published statement.
Lt. Stryde Jones from the Lowndes Sheriff’s Office said: “That’s one of the issues we’re looking at with this being a custody issue. But anytime you go onto school grounds and take a child without going through the proper process, it’s certainly going to raise flags and create an alarm, which it did in this case.”
Malson understands that his long-time friend is frustrated, but he is on the side of the law. He hopes that the matter will see its day in court, and McCormick will get an opportunity to see his daughter again. In the meantime, Malson believes that McCormick and Stapp should be allowed to post-jail and roam the Mississippi streets again. But given how he kidnapped his daughter, police and law enforcement officers are not certain he won’t just try to do it again.
“The court will obviously decide all this,” Malson said. “We just want Mike and Stapp to get out of jail. Just a bond hearing. That’s all we want.”
Do you think McCormick and Stapp deserve to walk free after this kidnapping case? Or should they remain behind bars until the court can decide what to do with them?
Animal lovers across the country were greatly outraged when the local headlines reported that a truck driver named Danny L. Gonzalez from Bullitt County had resorted to gluing his puppy’s tail and legs together in a fit of anger and stress.
Gonzalez had clashed with local authorities earlier on in the morning as his truck had rammed cable barriers along the road, followed by a collision with a Cadilac.
When stopped, officers had spotted a German Shepherd mix puppy with Gonzalez, and requested him to handle it over to them immediately.
The pup’s life was saved however, its injuries are severe. It is currently unknown as to what charges await this cruel man.