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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.

Here are 10+ ways to naturally improve your memory.

1. Eat less added sugar

Eating too much added sugar has been linked to many health issues and chronic diseases, including cognitive decline. Cutting back on sugar will not only helps your memory but also will improve your overall health.

2. Try a fish oil supplement

Fish oil is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are important for overall health and to lower the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, relieve stress and anxiety, and slow mental decline. Consuming them may help improve short-term and working memory, especially in older people.

3. Make time for meditation

Meditation is relaxing and soothing, and will potentially reduce stress and pain, lower blood pressure and even improve memory. In fact, meditation might be linked to increased grey matter in the brain.

As we get older our grey matter declines, which negatively impacts memory and cognition. Meditation and relaxation techniques can improve short-term memory in people of all ages, from their 20s to the elderly.

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. Being overweight can actually cause changes to memory-associated genes in the brain, negatively affecting memory and can also lead to insulin resistance and inflammation, both of which can negatively impact the brain.

5. Get enough sleep

Sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation, a process in which short-term memories are strengthened and transformed into long-lasting 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.

Practicing 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. Alcohol produces a 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, not just your body

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. Games that challenge your brain may help you strengthen your memory and may even reduce the risk of dementia.

9. Cut down on refined carbs

Like 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 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 GP for a blood test.

11. Exercise more

Exercise is important for overall physical and mental health. It 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.

12. Choose anti-inflammatory foods

Anti-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. Add some cocoa to your diet

Cocoa is not only delicious but also nutritious, providing a powerful dose of antioxidants. They may help stimulate the growth of blood vessels and neurons and increase blood flow in parts of the brain involved with memory. Make sure to choose dark chocolate with 70% cacao or higher so you get a concentrated dose of antioxidants.

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 tips to your daily routine to boost your brain health and keep your memory in top condition.

Julio Gutierrez is the founder and Head Coach of Hurricane Fitness. His love for the deadlift is almost as big as his love of pop culture.