Most people are familiar with the usual methods for boosting memory. You’re supposed to exercise, get enough sleep, eat clean and play a few brain games and meditate. What other ways are out there to keep your memory finely tuned? Read on.
A 2002 study conducted in the U.K. found that when tested, gum-chewers had both better long-term and short-term memory than those lacking in this oral fixation. Scientists are still puzzling over these results. Explanations range from gum-chewing gets your mental juices flowing by increasing heart rate to it releases insulin in preparation for food that stimulates the hippocampus. Whatever the explanation, chewing gum will give you a slight memory boost. Make sure to stick to the less sugary varieties.
You stop into a deli to grab a bite to eat and all of a sudden get a whiff of chicken soup. Immediately your mind goes back to sick days when you were a kid and how your mom would serve you up a piping hot bowl of this Jewish penicillin. Scents are the most powerful memory trigger. Not only this, but they can profoundly affect a person’s cognitive abilities.
The scent of rosemary seems to be the optimal memory enhancer. A 2003 study of 144 workers found that those who had their cubicles infused with the smell of rosemary significantly improved their long-term and working memory. The workers even reported feeling more alert. Interestingly enough those who had their cubicles infused with lavender showed no improved memory and reported feeling less alert.
Blueberries are tasty. Yes. Do you eat enough of them? Probably not. A study from the Peninsula College of Medicine showed that incorporating blueberries into the average diet for twelve weeks improved working memory tasks. Working memory is your short-term memory where details are stored in the middle of an activity. Scientists link this improvement in working memory to blueberries through the flavonoids they contain. Flavonoids appear to strengthen existing connections in the brain.
Clench your right fist just before you begin to memorize information. When you want to recall the information clench your left fist. This can boost your recall. Apparently when you are right-handed and clench your right hand you activate the left side of your brain that is responsible for encoding information. When you then clench your left hand the right side of your brain is activated, which is responsible for recalling memories. Vice versa for lefties. This idea was tested by a team of researchers at Montclair State University, which demonstrated a significant relationship between hand clenching and cognitive function.