Tonics for your memory
Naini Setalvad suggests a variety of ways to lift the brain fog. But don’t forget to adopt them!
Finding it hard to recollect your favourite aunt’s name? Misplaced those keys for the umpteenth time? Forgot to take your vitamins again? Well, you aren’t the only ones affected by brain fog. Whether you are a man or a woman, a college student or a person nearing retirement age, a stay-at-home parent or a corporate executive, poor memory may affect us all. But not anymore! It is time to take control of your mind and get a foolproof memory. Here is a powerful dietary and lifestyle approach that will turn those mental clouds into sunny skies:
• Leafy vegetables: Winter brings along with it a bounty of fresh greens. This is beneficial for those suffering from low iron levels, which make you forgetful. So eat spinach, fenugreek, amaranth, and dill leaves to maintain a robust memory.
• Walnuts: Here is a brain food that looks like the brain and helps keep you from going nuts. The high levels of omega-3, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals improve mental alertness. A couple of walnuts a day make for a great snack.
• Cow’s ghee: I would compare cow’s ghee to liquid gold. This Vitamin A-rich superfood works wonders for the brain. According to Charaka, the author of the most influential texts of Ayurveda, cow’s ghee promotes memory and intelligence.
• Coconuts: No auspicious ceremony in India is conducted without the coconut. Today, the world is talking about the coconut and its oil, but we knew of its benefits for centuries, and that is why we worship it. Seventy per cent of the grey matter in your brain is fatty acids. The southern part of India is known for its brainpower, and the coconut and its oil features highly in their diet. In conclusion, the coconut is a must-have.
• Cinnamon: One whiff of this sweet, earthy spice and your brain comes alive. Packed with brain-boosting compounds including flavonoids and antioxidants, it assists a great deal with learning and memory. I like adding it to my curries, sambhars, and infusions, but let me caution you: do not have more than a pinch or a 1/4th inch piece as it may burn through your stomach.
• Turmeric: You need to be living under a rock if you aren’t aware of this superfood. This simple ancient spice has amazing health benefits. Scientific research states that its active ingredient, curcumin, can directly enter the brain and benefit the cells there. It also boosts a growth hormone that helps brain cells grow. Turmeric improves your brain’s oxygen intake and may improve memory in people with Alzheimer’s.
• Bananas: Bananas are one of my favourite fruits. They serve as an excellent source of potassium and magnesium. Potassium helps deliver oxygen to the brain, and magnesium promotes proper electrical activity between nerve cells in the brain. Both these nutrients support normal cognitive function and help keep the brain sharp. Bananas may also help in preventing age-related cognitive declines in memory.
• Salt: I feel that most people underestimate the importance of salt. It is the most essential mineral supplement, which contains sodium required to prevent short-term memory loss and confusion. So, make it a point to include rock salt and sea salt in your food.
• Flaxseed: I know that flaxseed is popular among the current generation, but it is one of the oldest grain seeds to have existed. It is known to boost mental alertness as it contains high levels of omega-3, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
• Sleep: Have you ever stayed up all night studying for an exam only to forget most of what you studied, the following day? That is because your mind lets go of memory in order to stay awake. This teaches us one thing: there is no replacement for quality sleep if you want an active memory.
• Water: Always remember that water serves as the best pick-me-up. Keep yourself well-hydrated for effortless cognitive functioning and memory.
Sunlight, exercise, and fresh air are scientifically proven to improve brain function. Low Vitamin B and D levels are a major contributor to memory loss. So keep both of them at their optimums.
Winter Methi Salad
1 bunch of fresh methi leaves (fenugreek)
3 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
Lemon and rock salt to taste
• Wash the methi leaves and keep them aside to dry properly.
• Heat oil in a pan.
• Add mustard seeds. Once they crackle a little, add asafoetida, switch off the gas, and allow the mixture to cool.
• Once it is cool, add salt and lemon, mix well, and keep in the refrigerator to cool.
• Add walnuts, raisins, and sesame seeds to the methi leaves and then add the cool dressing.
• Mix well and serve.
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