Memory Matters

The sometimes absentminded rocker–reality star Ozzy Osbourne offers a great reminder: Don’t forget your memory. According to, common causes of memory loss include medications, alcohol, illicit drug use, stress, depression, head injury, infection, thyroid dysfunction, sleep deprivation, nutrition deficiencies, normal aging, and mild cognitive impairment.

Consult a medical professional if these issues are disrupting daily living. In the meantime, commit this advice to memory:

  • Watch what you eat: Fish, fruit, whole grains, and green vegetables contribute to a healthy weight. This is important because studies show obesity, high–fat diets, and memory loss are linked.
  • Stay active: Performing enjoyable activities can improve thinking and delay memory loss. In one study, regular aerobic exercise improved blood flow to the brain’s memory area and improved memory test scores.
  • Take a deep breath: Meditation, yoga, and quiet solitude can give you peace of mind and strength of mind. Those with recall issues showed cognitive improvement in one meditation study.
  • Tease your brain: Crossword puzzles and games can sharpen your short–term memory. Computerized brain exercises boosted the recall and attention of older adults, found a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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