5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Memory Sharp at Any Age

I remember the first time I couldn’t find my car in the parking lot of my local grocery store. It was both annoying and unsettling. I spent what seemed like an eternity searching each row until it occurred to me – I walked! No wonder hitting the alarm on the fob didn’t elicit the usual lights and horn reaction.

That evening I made it a point to find out if at 55 years old, I should be concerned about my “brain blip.” What I learned was that as we age, it’s natural and normal to have memory lapses. And it’s widely believed these memory lapses begin as young as your early 40’s.

According to Ronald Petersen, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, occasional forgetfulness is expected and fortunately, not a sign of Alzheimer’s. And here’s some more good news, there are things you can do to preempt memory loss and improve your memory naturally.

How Memory Works

The act of remembering something as simple as someone’s name involves remarkable mental gymnastics. Your eyes communicate information to your brain’s visual processing center that passes it on to the brain’s area that recognizes faces.

From there, it travels to your brain’s memory processing center, which looks for associations link, do I know this person from high school? Is she a parent from the PTA? The information is then off to the brain’s language area that puts a name to the face and sends it to your mouth. When you consider all these connections happening in milliseconds, it’s a wonder we remember as much as we do!

Warning Signs That It’s Time to Act

Now, “senior moments” may be just another annoying sign that the years are stacking up, but these lapses get more and more alarming the older we get.

Below is a quick checklist to determine if it’s time to act on your memory lapses:

  • You regularly forget what day it is or appointments
  • You ask for details about an event more than once
  • You forget how to use the universal remote or microwave settings
  • You regularly misplace your reading glasses or keys
  • You can’t find the right words during a conversation

What You Can Do to Improve Your Memory

Your lifestyle choices have a significant impact on your memory. By eating healthy foods, getting plenty of sleep, daily exercise, and limiting alcohol, you’ll experience a natural memory boost.

Decades of research shows there are several additional strategies you can use to protect and sharpen your memory. Here are a few you might try.

1. Use Your Brain

Mental activates are processes that help maintain your brain cells and stimulates communication. Join a book club, play bridge, write your autobiography, regularly complete jigsaw or crossword puzzles, take a language or design class. If you have a mentally challenging job, volunteer for a project that involves a different skill set.

2. Repeat What You Need To Remember

Repeat out loud or make a mental note of what you need to remember, which reinforces the memory connection. For instance, when you park your car at the grocery store, don’t just park and walk away. Pay special attention to the physical surroundings. Repeat out loud the section if it is marked. If you place your keys somewhere, tell yourself out loud the place you put them.

3. Use Your Sense of Smell

Pairing something with a scent helps your brain retain the memory. Brain imaging shows that the brain’s central odor-processing region, the piriform cortex, becomes active when people see objects initially paired with odors, even when the smell is not present. Next time you park your car, take a deep breath, and note the smell surrounding you.

4. Space Things Out

Repetition works best when it’s timed out. Instead of repeating things many times in short spurts, as if you were cramming for a test, restudy what you need to know after more extended periods of time. Try once an hour, then every few hours, then once a day. Spacing out information is specifically valuable when you need to master complicated information like new work assignments.

5. Brain Health Supplements

Supplements that contain neuro-nutrients formulated to support brain health have been shown to help improve your memory, focus, and ability to learn.

Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Brain contains 41 researched and proven ingredients, including Huperzine A, Bacopa Extract, DHA, Phosphatidylserine, and L-Tyrosine, which help boost cell membrane structure, improve blood flow, and fight free radicals. A daily dose fully supports your brain health and promotes optimal cognitive function to help keep your memories intact, helps you think smarter, and boosts your mental energy too.

 

Sources:
 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-improve-memory
 https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/7-ways-to-keep-your-memory-sharp-at-any-age
 https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2016/senior-moment-memory-lapse.html

The 10 Worst Foods for IBS

For many people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), symptoms may be triggered by specific foods. What triggers your symptoms may be different from what triggers the symptoms of fellow sufferers, but these 10 foods are likely culprits for anyone with IBS.

1. Gluten

Although gluten is often unfairly demonized, it’s fair to say that gluten can be a major trigger for IBS. Gluten is a type of protein found in certain grains, including rye, wheat, and barley. Many people who have IBS are also gluten intolerant and may experience symptoms like bloating, cramps, and diarrhea.

2. Fried Foods

Fried foods are high in fat and can be particularly hard on the digestive systems of people who have IBS. Frying food makes it more difficult to digest, so other cooking methods are recommended for people with IBS and other gastrointestinal problems.

3. Caffeine

Coffee and other drinks containing caffeine stimulate the intestines and can cause diarrhea. Instead of consuming drinks with caffeine when you need a little boost, go for a brisk walk.

4. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are found in sugarless gum, candy, and diet drinks. Commonly used artificial sweeteners include acesulfame potassium, aspartame, and sucralose, and since these and other sugar substitutes are difficult for the body to absorb, they can easily trigger IBS symptoms.

5. Alcohol

Many people with IBS have trouble drinking alcohol because of how their body digests it. The dehydrating effects of alcohol are also problematic for people with IBS. If you enjoy drinking alcohol, stick with gluten-free beer, or enjoy a cocktail mixed with soda water.

6. Broccoli and Cauliflower

While broccoli and cauliflower are healthy vegetables, they’re not always ideal for people with IBS. These vegetables are among the hardest for people to digest, and when they’re broken down in the intestines, they produce gas and may cause constipation.

7. Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber is that which can’t be digested. Although it adds healthy bulk to your diet, insoluble fiber can make diarrhea worse for people with IBS. Soluble fiber, which is found in grains, root vegetables, legumes, and berries, is a better choice if you have digestive woes.

8. Dairy

Dairy products contain fat, which can worsen diarrhea. They also contain lactose, and since many people with IBS are also lactose intolerant, dairy products may need to be restricted. Suitable dairy substitutes include rice, soy, or nut milks and cheeses.

9. Beans and Legumes

For some people, beans and legumes can help reduce constipation by increasing the bulk in the stool. But they’re also notorious for causing gas, cramping, and bloating, especially in people with IBS. Different varieties can produce different results, so trial and error may help you find which types you can safely eat.

10. Processed Foods

Highly processed foods like bread, crackers, sweets, and chips contain high levels of fat, sugar, preservatives, and other additives that can cause problems with digestion. Choosing mostly fresh, whole foods is the healthiest way to eat whether or not you have IBS.

Everyone’s IBS triggers are different, and once you know what yours are, staying away from those foods will help you remain as symptom-free as possible. Regardless of what you eat, a daily probiotic like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics can help you maintain optimal gut flora balance for better digestion and fewer IBS symptoms.



Sources:
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/eating-diet-nutrition
https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs-a-to-z

How to Stop Urinary Tract Infections Before They Start

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are common in women, especially as we age. Unfortunately, UTIs are commonly over-diagnosed and over-treated with antibiotics, which can lead to antibiotic-resistant organisms.

Urinary tract infections have a number of causes. A UTI may result when urine pools in the bladder due to an obstructed urinary flow, and the pooled urine grows bacteria. It can also occur when harmful bacteria cling to the urethra and make their way to the bladder. Other causes include sexual activity and a lack of estrogen in the lining of the vagina, which helps protect against UTIs.

Symptoms of a UTI include frequent urination, an urgency to urinate, and a burning sensation that accompanies urination. In elderly women, confusion is a common symptom of a UTI, and it’s often the only symptom. Left untreated, a UTI can lead to a kidney infection, which can be very dangerous, even life-threatening.

How to Prevent UTIs

Prevention is best when it comes to urinary tract infections, especially for older women and those who tend to get them often. Here are the best ways to prevent a UTI.

Stay well-hydrated.
Adequate hydration helps you produce plenty of urine to dilute and flush bad bacteria from the bladder and urethra. Avoid sugary drinks and stick to water for most of your fluid intake.

Take vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps make your urine more acidic, which may prevent the growth of bad bacteria. Get vitamin C from citrus fruits, berries, and leafy greens, or take a 500-to-1,000 milligram supplement each day.

Eat (or drink) cranberries.
Perhaps one of the most well-known anti-UTI measures is consuming cranberries, which prevent bacteria from adhering to the lining of the urinary tract. Eat dried cranberries, add them to salads or rice, or drink a little unsweetened cranberry juice each day.

Wipe from front to back.
Bacteria hang out around the anus and wiping from back to front can introduce them to your vagina, where they can migrate to the urinary tract.

Urinate after sex.
During sex, bacteria are introduced into the vagina. Urinating afterwards helps to flush it out.

Avoid feminine deodorant products.
The best way to stay fresh is to shower often with mild soap and water. Products like douches, deodorant sprays, and powders can cause a UTI and other problems.

Apply estrogen vaginal cream.
If you’ve gone through menopause, you have less estrogen in your body, which can cause vaginal dryness and promote infection in the urinary tract. Estrogen creams help balance your pH so that good bacteria will flourish.

Take a probiotic. Probiotics are live “good” bacteria in your body that are involved in numerous functions to keep you healthy. According to Harvard University Medical School, taking a daily probiotic may help prevent UTIs by preventing bad bacteria from growing in the vagina. Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics contains all nine of the most important bacteria strains recommended for women.

If you get a UTI despite preventive measures, treating it early on is the best way to prevent severe symptoms and complications. If you have symptoms of a UTI, pay a visit to your doctor and consider starting a daily probiotic routine.


 

Sources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/stay-a-step-ahead-of-urinary-tract-infections

 

 

Signs You May Have Candida and What You Can Do About It

Candida board

Candidiasis is a fungal infection that can affect the mouth, intestinal tract, skin, genitals, and other mucous membranes. Caused by an overgrowth of Candida, a fungus, candidiasis (more commonly known as a yeast infection) isn’t generally serious. However, if you have weakened immunity, it can lead to invasive candidiasis, a serious condition that may affect the blood, heart, or brain. Continue reading “Signs You May Have Candida and What You Can Do About It”

5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Liver Function

liver graphic

Your liver works hard to remove toxins from your body and plays a key role in your metabolism, circulation, hormonal balance, and healthy digestion. It detects the presence of toxic substances like heavy metals and by-products from the breakdown of medications and either converts them into harmless substances or releases them into the bowels so they can be expelled from the body. Continue reading “5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Liver Function”

The Mysteries of Your Digestive System Revealed

human digestive system

If you often feel cramping, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or pain in your gut, you must know that digestive woes are extremely common. In America 60 to 70 million people live with a digestive disease, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

From chronic constipation to Crohn’s disease and from gallstones to gastroesophageal reflux disease, digestive problems can dramatically lower your quality of life. Understanding how Continue reading “The Mysteries of Your Digestive System Revealed”

Taking Antibiotics? Here’s What You Should Eat

Woman taking antibiotic

Antibiotics save lives, but they can do a number on your gut microbiota (flora), a complex ecosystem of microbes that helps keep us healthy. In recent years, healthy gut flora has been associated with optimal functioning of numerous body systems, including the nervous and digestive systems, and it promotes a healthy brain and optimal hormonal function.

Continue reading “Taking Antibiotics? Here’s What You Should Eat”