BOSTON (CBS) – Holly Ramsburg is a busy mom who has a tough time remembering things like phone numbers, people’s names and passwords. “Whether its appointments, stuff after school, one day I even forgot the [kids’] lunch,” she said with a guilty sigh.
The good news for Holly and millions of others is that a series of studies suggests there are some simple things you can do to help boost your brain power and your memory.
Experts say to remember passwords, connect them to something or someone you feel emotional about. “The region of the brain that processes emotion is right next to the region that processes memory,” explained Rush University Ph.D. Duke Han. “If one is active, the other one is thought to be active as well,” he said.
WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports
Exercise is another important brain booster. It helps to increase blood flow to the brain. Lifting weights can also help. A new study found that if you close your eyes it will be even more beneficial because it forces the brain to work even harder.
Chew gum. Studies show gum chewers performed better on memory tests.
Floss your teeth. British researchers found that gingivitis and periodontal disease are associated with memory problems.
Inhale flowers. The fragrance can help ease memory-zapping stress. But don’t relax too much. Researchers say a little stress can actually help you remember things.
Drink anti-oxidant rich green tea. “What anti-oxidants do is help to clear the brain of gunk, if you will, and help you think clearer,” Dr. Han said. Other memory boosting foods include the herb sage and salmon, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Play games. Games and puzzles can help keep your brain sharp. Try Sudoku puzzles found in the daily paper or you can find dozens of memory-boosting games online.