Cognitive Function And Cocoa Flavonols: Keeping The Memory Viable
Memory is the DVD upon which is written our lives and loves. Our favorite Sunday dress we wore as a little girl, the first softball we caught in the big game, our first dance, our first day at college, and the music, food, places, and people we loved. All these and more are bound up in our memories.
However, memories fade. We struggle for a name on the tip of our tongues, and we can't quite remember the face or voice of someone we loved. The mind is, after all, a muscle. It needs exercise and proper care to function without loss of memory even into our senior years. What can we do to enhance our memory naturally?
Strain The Brain
Playing memory games and games testing cognitive skills have been used in many studies, says Harvard Medical School. While computer games alone don't always work, some computer and video training do. To be sure, get out the New York Times crossword puzzle book and do it from memory without a thesaurus. Use a memory enhancer supplement as a backup.
Strain The Body
Physical exercise promotes activity in the part of the brain governing memory. It aids in new brain cell growth. The snag to that is that many of us don't work out as hard as necessary to foster this growth. Pushing ourselves to the outer limits and getting the heart rate racing will do the trick.
Millions of articles have been written convincing us that food has a place in our mental and physical health. We now understand the link between fresh fruits and vegetables and muscle mass. What about the link between fresh fruits and vegetables and brainpower?
When Mom told us to eat our greens, she knew what she was doing. Leafy greens provide brain health through vitamin K, beta carotene, folate, and lutein, among other nutrients. We find these nutrients in broccoli, spinach, collard greens, and kale. If this isn't appetizing, then a memory enhancer supplement would help.
Deep, Restful Sleep
When the body sleeps, the brain files away today's business, preparing the body for tomorrow's business. The memory prepares for a new day's pictures and information. The body heals itself of today's stresses and aches. That's why doctors recommend at least seven to eight hours of restful sleep. Cognition can't recycle itself for the next day if the body doesn't get enough or enough restful sleep.
Other Methods Of Natural Memory Enhancement
Vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids, and B vitamins have been linked to cognitive health. More people use these in supplements, because they either can't afford to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and oily fish, or they think pills are easier and quicker to take in addition to being cheaper than fresh foods to buy.
The research on these nutrients shows that they have some effect on cognition even as people age. Other research, however, has been performed on the cocoa bean for its flavanols and their effect on cognition. This is what the American Heart Association says about cocoa and its flavanols.
They performed a randomized study consisting of 90 senior persons with mild cognitive impairment over an eight-week period taking a drink containing high levels of cocoa flavonols. The control group took a drink containing a lower concentration of cocoa flavonols. The result of the test showed that those senior persons tested higher in cognitive functions when they drank the higher concentration of cocoa flavonals. The control group tested lower in cognitive functions. This would seem to support the efficacy of using a memory enhancer supplement containing cocoa flavonols for memory improvement.