5 Tips to Sharpen Your Memory

By Dr. Linda J. Dobberstein, DC, Board Certified in Clinical Nutrition

September 5, 2023

5 Tips to Sharpen Your Memory

It’s on the tip of my tongue! Give me a second, I’ll remember it. What was that thing I was supposed to get? Whether you are going back to school, taking an exam, multitasking in a demanding job, or simply trying to remember what you went into the other room for, you want your memory to be sharp. If that split second recall is fuzzy or isn’t as good as it used to be, here are some reminders and tips to support and sharpen your memory.

1. Eat Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet individuals of all ages skip breakfast. Your brain function and nutritional status diminishes when you repeatedly skip breakfast.

Researchers evaluated school performance and nutritional status in children and adolescents in those who skipped or ate breakfast. Results of the study suggested that "breakfast consumption may improve cognitive function related to memory, test grades, and school attendance" as well as maintain healthy body weight.

In a study of female junior high school students, those who ate breakfast had a better overall nutritional status of vitamins A, B1, B2, and C, calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc, compared to those who skipped breakfast (0-6 times/week).

A 2021 study evaluated adults and found those who skipped breakfast experienced greater problems with poor sleep quality, difficulties getting to sleep, staying asleep, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and less vigor overall.

Getting your day off to a good start is critical for staying mentally sharp. Does your breakfast contain 20-30 grams of quality protein and a small to moderate portion of complex carbs like oats combined with good fats such as coconut, avocado, walnut, flax, chia seeds or omega-3 EPA/DHA oils? Is your breakfast nutrient-rich with wholesome, home cooked foods or is it a bagel smothered in cream cheese, pancakes, or a donut and coffee?

Your food choices affect your blood sugar stability. A food coma after eating is a sure sign that your mental sharpness is affected by your diet and blood sugar stability.

Breakfast should supply you with the proteins, complex carbs, fats, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants to fuel your mental and physical energy as you start the day. When you eat within 60-90 minutes after awakening, breakfast turns on your circadian rhythm body clocks and hormones for your daily energy patterns. Meal timing is just as important as food quality.

Nutritional support to consider: Daily Energy Multiple Vitamin, Daily Protein or Daily Protein Plus, and Leptinal.

Additional in-depth resources:

Skipping Breakfast Impacts, Weight, Blood Sugar, Cardiovascular Health

Combat Energy Crashes After Eating

Body Clocks and Weight Management – It’s All About Timing

What is The Leptin Diet?

2. Boost Blood Flow

How are you doing with your breathing? Do you tend to hold your breath or have short-shallow breaths as you work or when stressed? Are you hunched over your phone, desk, or steering wheel? Do you slouch when you stand? Do you exercise, play a musical instrument, or sing? Breathing habits, exercises, and posture affect blood flow to your brain.

Do you have a history of insufficient intake of iron, vitamin B12, folate, or other nutrients? Do you follow a restricted diet such as a plant-based diet, keto-diet, Candida diet, FODMAP diet, avoid eggs, or are simply a picky eater? Lack of nutrients, restriction of food groups, or insufficient diversity of foods may lead to compromised tissue oxygenation and nutritional deficits that affect your mental agility and stamina.

Low or high blood pressure also affects mental sharpness, energy, and cognitive abilities. Being overmedicated or drug-nutrient depletions affect blood flow and tissue oxygenation. Do you know your blood pressure trend? Ask us, your pharmacist, or health care practitioner for help to identify drug-nutrient depletions.

Fuzzy, foggy thinking, frequent yawning, feeling cold, hunched over posture, or other symptoms may reflect a need to support tissue oxygenation and blood flow to your brain.

Consider support such as Blood Booster, Super Coenzyme Q10 Ubiquinol, Daily Super E, Super Brain Booster, and Daily Energy Multiple Vitamin.

Check out these resources:

Navigating a Plant-Based Diet: What Your Need to Know for Optimal Health

The Keto-Diet: Know the Risks

Low Blood Pressure Linked with Brain Atrophy

Low Blood Pressure Causes Fatigue and Brain Stress

Hypertension: Problems with Calcium Channel Blockers

Alpha GPC – A Smart Nutrient for Brain Health and More

Common Medications That Rob the Body of Nutrients

3. Get Restful Sleep

How is your sleep? Do you get good quality and quantity of sleep? Did you know that one night of sleep deprivation ages your brain? Staying up too late at night, a snoring partner, children, pets, noisy neighbors, temperature of bedroom, needing to use the restroom, blood sugar instability at night and more affect your sleep quality and brain vitality. Do you wake up refreshed or do you feel like you wrestled with your pillow all night long and the pillow won?

Customer favorites for sleep support include RelaxaMag, TriCal, Sleep Helper, Melatonin, and Immune Plus.

Additional resources include:

One Night of Sleep Deprivation Ages Your Brain

Get Back in Sync and Sleep Better in 7 Days

Minerals Needs for Quality Sleep

Enlarged Adenoids Linked with Food Allergies

A Sluggish Lymph System Causes Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Mitochondria Health and Sleep Apnea – Digging Deeper

Bladder Control Depends on Healthy Choices As We Age

4. Manage Stress

Acute and chronic stress of any type takes a toll on your nervous system, mental sharpness, and aging. Stress taxes your brain, mitochondria, and metabolic mechanisms with free radicals, oxidative stress, build-up of inflammatory proteins, and toxic by-products that interfere with brain function.

Gut stress such as increased intestinal permeability, imbalance or overgrowth of non-beneficial germs, and poor bowel motility can also contribute to brain fog, fatigue, fuzzy memory, and other brain symptoms. Explore our Digestive Health information for further insight.

Customer favorites for general stress support includes Super Coenzyme B Complex, Adrenal Helper, Stress Helper, Calm or RelaxaMag.

More helpful information:

Stress and Adrenals: Restoring the HPA Axis

Support the Mighty Vagus Nerve

Fear & Stress Affect Your Wellbeing -- More Than You May Realize

Memory Neurotransmitter & Gut Health Linked

5. Feed Your Busy Brain

Your brain runs on electrical energy, nerve signaling, mitochondrial function, blood flow, cerebrospinal fluid movement/glymphatics, microglial cell management, and more. It is the most sophisticated organ in your entire body. It must have the proper fats, quality proteins/amino acids, controlled blood sugar, a variety of antioxidants, and whole foods. Feed your busy brain daily.

Treat your brain well with your diet, lifestyle, sleep, exercise, stress management, social connections, and other healthy choices. No matter your age, strive to support your brain with good choices every day. Your brain has a lot of work to do to get you through each day and a lifetime of activities.

Check the side effects of your medications as they can impair brain function. Cognitive changes can also occur with “chemo brain” and anesthesia months later or longer.

Helpful Choices to Stay Mentally Sharp

If you need a little extra support for brain health and staying mentally sharp, consider Daily Energy Multiple Vitamin, Daily DHA, and PhosphatidylSerine.

If brain fog, fuzziness, and absent mindedness are happening more often than you like, make sure to address the above issues. Additional choices include Brain Protector, Super Brain Booster, PEA Ultra, Vitamin K Complex, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Fisetin, Stress Helper or Pantethine, and/or Daily Detoxify.

When mental fuzziness and brain fog interferes with your mental clarity and daily function, seek support and help. You may call us at any time to speak with a Wellness Specialist for more personalized support. Also check out the Supplement Advisor, or learn more in the Health Solutions section of our website. Act today so you don’t forget about it tomorrow.

More resources:

Feed Your Busy Brain

Mental Fatigue Getting the Best of You? Nourish Your Brain

Dementia Linked with Common Medications

Nutritional Interventions to Help Your Gut and Anxious Brain

Focus and Concentration – Things You Can Change

Foggy Memory After Anesthesia? Support Brain Resiliency

Folate & Vitamin B12 for Cognitive Health and Stress

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