Healthy brain function and memory
As you get older, it becomes more and more important to support your brain function. A nutritious diet and active lifestyle are vital to keeping your grey matter firing. Taking herbs such as ginkgo and brahmi can support memory and fish oil can help maintain brain function.
The brain naturally changes as you get older
As you age, subtle changes in brain function are considered quite normal, however our mental function can be maintained as we age.
Although the brain changes as you age, it can still function the same way as a younger brain with the right brain exercises. These can result in the formation of new connections between neurons, enhancing the way that messages are sent around the brain.1
What causes changes to brain function?
Changes to the way the brain functions in older people are normal. However, the following issues may also contribute to your brain function declining as you get older:
- Lack of physical exercise, resulting in less oxygen being supplied to the brain
- Poor diet (and nutritional deficiencies that support brain function)
- Insufficient mental exercise to keep the brain active
Herbal and nutritional support for brain function and memory
Ginkgo for memory and learning
Taking the herb ginkgo, which is found in Fusion Memory, can help to support your cognitive function in several ways, including enhancing memory function, attention span and supporting learning and information processing.
Ginkgo also supports healthy blood circulation to peripheral areas of the body, for example the hands, legs and feet.
Brahmi enhances memory in older people
Ginkgo is often combined with brahmi (also known as bacopa), which is also found in Fusion Memory. In older people brahmi improves memory recall. Like ginkgo, it also supports learning and information processing, while increasing attention span in older people.
Siberian ginseng is also combined with brahmi and ginkgo in Fusion Memory, as it is traditionally used to enhance memory in Chinese medicine.
Fish oil helps maintain brain health
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and fish oil (especially docosahexaenoic acid, DHA) play an important role in maintaining brain function.
When taking omega-3 fatty acids in supplement form, look for a formula that’s highly concentrated in omega-3s such as Fusion OceanPure Fish Oil.
Diet and lifestyle recommendations for healthy brain function and memory
- According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), incorporating certain foods into the diet supports healthy brain function, especially nuts such as walnuts, peanuts, pine nuts and almonds
- Other foods to include in the diet for the brain from a TCM perspective include corn, millet, apples, oranges, bananas, spinach, carrots, fish and pork
- The brain needs fuel to function. As its primary fuel is glucose, make sure you include plenty of glucose-rich wholegrains and unrefined carbohydrates as part of a healthy, balanced diet
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and sources of vitamins and minerals to minimise any nutrient deficiencies
- Ensure you drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated (at least 2L water daily)
- Don’t smoke, and avoid exposure to second-hand smoke too
- Manage your stress by making time out for yourself to do activities that you enjoy or relax you
- Make sure you undertake regular exercise and physical activity, at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day where you increase your heart rate to the point where you can still talk but not sing
- Most importantly of all, keep up your brain exercises and mental stimulation. Ways you could do this include:
- Having an active social life and engaging in interesting conversations
- Reading books or news articles
- Learning new skills or hobbies, such as a new language
- Doing puzzles, games (word games or chess) and crossword puzzles
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, worsen or change unexpectedly, talk to your health professional.
- Victoria State Government. Last updated October 2015 and accessed September 2020 from betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ServicesAndSupport/keeping-your-mind-healthy-as-you-get-older
- Victoria State Government. Last updated August 2014 and accessed September 2020 from betterhealth.vic.gov.au/ health/ConditionsAndTreatments/brain