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6 Memory-Enhancing Tricks That Can Help You Stay Sharp As You Age


Doing things to improve your memory as as you age is essential for your wellbeing, and it doesn’t require a lifestyle overhauling! These six easy hacks will help you stay on top of your game no matter what.

Indulge in French toast.

Enjoying French toast safeguards your mind for years to come. Why? Eating an egg a day (however you prefer it) keeps your brain agile, suggests American Academy of Neurology research. Eggs brim with vitamin B-12, and UK scientists say boosting B vitamin levels makes you six times less likely to experience memory-hampering brain shrinkage.

Enhance your recall with smell training.

Bothered when words get stuck on the tip of your tongue? While waiting for hot water to boil, take out four different drinks (like black tea, herbal tea, coffee, and cocoa), close your eyes, and breathe in as you try to identify each. This type of “smell training” rewires neural connections responsible for memory. It’s so effective, a University of California study suggests giving your sense of smell a daily 2 minute tune-up cuts the risk of future recall problems by up to 50 percent.

Lock in new memories with sensory stimulation.

To remember your granddaughter’s dance recital forever, run your fingers over a textured object (like nubby chair upholstery) for 10 seconds during the experience. Concentrating on the feeling of everyday items anchors special moments in something physical, say German researchers, creating memories that are up to 94 percent more detailed.

Reduce dehydration and drink tea.

A steady intake of fluids is crucial for mental clarity — dehydration can cause all sorts of memory blips. Looking for something a little more exciting than water? Try adding rosemary. Sipping water infused with a sprig of rosemary can improve your memory by up to 15 percent, say U.K. scientists, as the drink increases blood flow to the brain.

Use this trick to remember where you put your keys.

If you can’t recall where the trick to knowing where your keys are all the time, blame the season. Winter leaves at least 40 percent of us deficient in vitamin D, a “sunshine vitamin” essential for blocking brain flubs.

The fix: Take a daily dose of 2,000 IU of vitamin D-3, and the 350 percent boost in “working” memory that the vitamin provides means you’ll never forget why you walked into a room again. Or at least, you’ll forget it less!

Chat it up.

Enjoy a few minutes of small talk daily, like chatting with the grocery cashier or a neighbor, and you’ll rewind your brain’s biological age by four years. NYU scientists say casual, everyday interactions give our brain a mini workout that keeps us thinking fast.

In a nutshell, there are great ways you can improve your memory and work with the memory capacity that you have. And don’t you forget it!

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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