Memory loss varies in severity as we age. While not everyone will develop Alzheimer’s or dementia, many people suffer from various degrees of memory recall. Studies show nearly 40 percent of Americans ages 65 and older have some form of associated memory impairment.
Unfortunately, so many people suffer from memory problems due to self-induced reasons. Whether the effects are temporary or long-term, they are most often in your control. Although you may not be able to change your hereditary predisposition to Alzheimer’s or dementia, you can change your diet and lifestyle. Doing so could make all the difference in the world.
Research shows that Omega-3 fatty acids are valuable in repairing and strengthening your brain and memory systems. Before we take a deeper dive into the full benefits of consuming Omega-3s, let’s look at the culprit behind memory loss.
Inflammation and Memory Loss
The average American diet is high in inflammatory foods, deep-fried foods, processed foods, chemicals, heavy metals, and other bad ingredients that age our bodies and our minds. These inflammatory foods contribute significantly to memory decline.
Chronic inflammation is a major contributing factor to more and more people receiving a diagnosis of cognitive decline. Unmanaged stress and food toxins lead to increased inflammation in your body. They cause a lack of nutrients and rest needed to restore, repair, and protect your body’s cellular, mental, and physical health.
‘Brain fog’ is a term used to describe feeling easily confused, forgetful, lacking concentration, focus, and overall mental clarity. Chronic overworking, constant lack of sleep, stress, and overuse of screen time usually results in this type of cognitive dysfunction.
Brain fog is treatable, but indicates a need for lifestyle adjustments. What are some of the best lifestyle choices you can make to avoid aggravating the issue? Omega-3 fatty acids.
Preserving Memory and Cognitive Function with Omega-3s
Your brain is nearly 70 percent fat, which means it needs specific types of nutrients to function and perform optimally. Omega-3s are the answer. These essential fatty acids are composed of EPA and DHA which are commonly found in coldwater fatty fish, but also some plant variations.
Omega-3s reduce neuroinflammation and oxidative damage. By doing so, your body also reduces the overall production of harmful brain plaque, which is the leading cause of Alzheimer’s. Omega-3 fatty acids, or fish oil, are considered essential amino acids. This means they cannot be produced within the body and require external consumption.
Foods that Contain High Amounts of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The following Omega-3 rich foods ensure you are receiving valuable essential amino acids:
- Cod liver oil
- Chia seeds
- Verifiable supplements
The cognitive benefits of eating a diet rich in omega-3s or consuming verifiable supplements on a daily basis include:
- Sustaining healthy cell membrane
- Assisting with neuron communication
- Helping neurotransmitters function
- Supporting blood flow to the brain
- Facilitating brain tissue growth
- Preventing neurodegenerative disorders including anxiety and depression
Our memory and overall brain function thrive on the EPA and DHA found in Omega-3s. We play an active role in the health, recovery, and longevity of our cognitive function. Consuming more omega- 3 foods or supplements will ensure our body has the essential nutrients to protect the brain’s cellular health, including its ability to communicate through neurotransmitters and brain tissue.
Other Ways to Prevent Memory Loss
Fighting the onset of memory loss is largely in your hands. When you find yourself struggling with remembering things you used to rattle off instantaneously, use this as a sign to ramp up your Omega-3s and other preventative activities.
Here are some other ways to prevent and preserve your memory:
Prioritize daily physical activity – Your brain and body benefit from blood flow that stems from daily activity. Your lymphatic system is stimulated by physical activity and cleanses your body of toxic buildup that wouldn’t be removed any other way.
Having exercise equipment at home is an easy way to get some quick activity in throughout your day.
Socialize more – Memory loss is also due to the lack of social interaction. When you feel stressed, depressed, or isolated, your memory function takes a hit. If you live alone and are more introverted, you must make an intentional effort to socialize more in your everyday activities.
Play memory-boosting games — The game ‘memory’ may be a child’s game, but it’s a great activity at any age to stay mentally sharp. Also, incorporate board games, such as chess or checkers, and puzzles, such as Sudoku or crossword.
Get plenty of quality sleep – Being sleep impaired is a quick way to experience brain fog and memory dysfunction. Getting enough good quality sleep helps your body repair internal cellular health and makes you feel more alert and mentally clear-focused throughout the day.
Address chronic inflammation through your diet – Stop always ‘starting on Monday’ with your effort to clean up your diet. Make it a priority. Cleanse your body of inflammatory foods while filling up on those that are nutritionally beneficial.
Strengthening your memory is possible with effort and intention. It is critical to take corrective measures because as memory loss gets worse, it may develop into dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Thankfully it’s never too late to pick up some salmon and walnuts on your next visit to the grocery store. Your memory will thank you.
South Coast Post Acute is Southern California’s Premier Post-Acute Partner
Better health and healing are possible with the right professional oversight and daily nutrition. At South Coast Post Acute, we deliver the services needed to restore health, regain autonomy and reduce the occurrences of rehospitalization.
South Coast Post Acute is here for you, at any age. Our innovative care, experienced staff, and welcoming accommodations combine to bring you the high level of care you’ve come to expect from Southern California’s leading post-acute provider.
Contact us today for more information on how we can help you on your journey back to restored health.