In this information-packed video Mark Underwood shares five important tips that can help you maintain your memory as you age.
Learn the basics of what you need to do to protect your brain and your precious memories.
Plus he shares some details on a strange jellyfish protein that could be the key to helping replenish a calcium-binding protein that diminishes in our brain as we age.
Find out why this protein gets depleted and what you can do to help replace it.
Transcript: 5 tips to maintain your memory
Raena Morgan: You indicate that there are five tips for keeping memory sharp. Could you share those?
Mark Underwood: Sure thing. And these are five things that are, will surely help anyone that’s concerned with their brain health.
You know people want to get more capacity out of there memory. They might start to lose some things, forget some things, they want to get back on top of their game. So these are five really easy things to do.
The first thing is making sure you have the right type of diet. And everyone’s been preaching to you about your diet for years and years and years. It helps your heart, it helps your body, it helps everything. Guess what, it’s still true.
A good diet and exercise are critical for a healthy body and brain
Underwood: But now we’ve uncovered it and we’ve identified the different aspects of how it helps mental performance, cognitive performance. And a lot of the same things are true.
Reduce sugary foods, salty foods, fatty foods. And replace them with things like fruits and vegetables. It’s an easy first step.
Skip the chips, replace with fruits and vegetables, it’s an easy thing to do. Let’s start with that, then you can re-haul the diet for the other things that you need. But that’s a good first step. It helps to actually reduce the stress load on your vein by reducing inflammation. And that’s a good thing.
The second thing. Making sure that you have physical exercise. Physical exercise is absolutely critical for the body to stay in good shape.
Underwood: Absolutely. There is no better medicine than physical exercise, and you can ask any physician about that. The ties within body weight and illness are highly correlated, the ties within being in shape and being healthy through all diseases is highly correlated. You really can’t beat that.
That is the way to reduce your risk of any illness, but when it comes to brain health, again that’s one of the things that people look at in a new light. The key is that you have the blood flow that continues to circulate blood throughout the brain.
It sort of acts, all the things in your blood work like a little bit of a road repair crew. That go in and fixes the potholes before they get too big. Fixes the cracks in the asphalt before they become potholes.
The blood flow is increased by cardiovascular exercise, and you don’t have to go run a marathon. You can take a couple of brisk walks around the block every week, and that’s very, very helpful. So again, we’re not training peopleto be triathletes, we’re training people to get their brain in better shape. Physical exercise is a very valuable component.
The third thing, mental exercise. A lot of things in the news recently about doing crossword puzzles or stimulating the brain. It’s all very good advice, especially if you’re not someone who’s using your brain a whole lot in an active environment. People that might be living by themselves, maybe not stimulated as much…
When it comes to memory “Use it or lose it”
Morgan: The use it or lose it theory, right?
Underwood: Exactly, you need to keep it exercised. Just like you need to exercise your body or your muscles will essentially start to waste. Your body knows what you want to make stronger. It can tell.
By picking these other activities that are non-normal, it helps strengthen other regions of the brain, by strengthening something that’s not normally used, it actually strengthens the whole thing. And that has to do with building new nerve networks and what are called neuronal networks. These are the spider webs of our memories. And the more strands we have in the spider web, the longer the memory is going to last.
So if we were able to reinforce those, and make them stronger and more numerous, It’s going to help us from becoming forgetful. It’s going to help keep our memories in tact.
Morgan: And we can develop new neuronal pathways?
Underwood: Exactly. Old, old teaching, I’d say wisdom but it wasn’t that wise, old teaching says that brain cells don’t regrow. And once they were dead they were gone. And that’s simply not the case.
We’ve understood through a process called neurogenesis, that new cells can regrow. New networks can be formed and there’s really, the brain has such a resiliency to regrow. Its number one goal is to stay alive. Your brain’s on your side.
Morgan: (laughs) That’s good news.
Underwood: Yeah, you just have to give it the ammunition to make that happen and it will. So that’s your third step, you know, making sure that you’re doing some form of mental exercise.
And if you’re a hyper stressed, type A personality, the flip side is true for you. Relax, take some of the stress load off the brain. You have to find a middle ground. Depending on which person you are, you might have to relax, you might have to exercise a little bit more, somewhere in between.
But the key thing is if you’re having fun doing what your’e doing, it can be both at the same time.
Our social interactions help us stay sharp
Underwood: The next thing is interesting research. It has to do with our friends and our family and the influence they have on our mental performance.
Underwood: Social networks, you’ve probably read books about people and why they live longer and people, how do they stay sharp longer.
Morgan: Stay engaged.
Underwood: Stay engaged. The time you spend with your friends and family is very valuable.
The attributes that you can enjoy by being together again can be fun, can be pleasurable. But, it’s absolutely essential, because if you become socially isolated, you have a much greater likelihood of doing worse with diseases like Alzheimer’s, and if you have a strong social network, you’re actually are less likely to get diseases like Alzheimer’s.
So, socially staying connected is good. It gives the family the opportunity to participate in the health of someone they’re concerned about, because…
Morgan: What’s going on with the emotions and the memories in terms of the brain staying sharp?
Underwood: Great question. The types of nerve networks that are grown when emotions are involved, and typically with our families there’s a lot of emotional involvement, they’re stronger.
If you think of it again as strands spider web, they’re thicker, they’re more resilient. Because the emotions help keep, your brain knows what’s more important to keep in. The time you spend with your family is going to be more resounding than, ‘what was on my pizza last week’?
So you can look at that, a lot of studies have shown that’s a great benefit for people.
Morgan: Because of the emotional connection.
Morgan: So doing crossword puzzles are good to keep the brain sharp, but it’s easily as beneficial as these…
Underwood: Do a crossword with a family member. That’s the best of both worlds.
Morgan: The best of both worlds.
Underwood: You really do look and you see some of these things that you can tie together in your lifestyle because they need to be easy. For people to start on them, they need to be easy. And if you said, ‘Well you know what, I’m going to go with a friend on a walk with a picnic to the library’, you’ve covered all four. You know, you have time to spend socially..
Morgan: Especially if there’s fruits and vegetables in the picnic basket.
A jellyfish protein might help fight memory loss
Underwood: Well if you have the right things in the picnic basket, absolutely. So that’s, those are the things that are the starter points.
The fifth item has to do with new research and technology. And that’s a way to help protect the brain and keep those brain cells alive longer. Because the goal is to keep everything running smoothly.
Well, there’s deficiencies that get created in the aging process. And there’s a particular type of protein especially that’s diminished as we grow older. It’s called a calcium-binding protein.
We know what causes the memory loss now. It’s not a mystery, it’s the loss of this protein. And as this happens, it’s something that happens as we age. It’s not your fault, it’s no one else’s fault.
Morgan: No, it’s not a character defect.
Underwood: Not at all, no. So don’t be shy. It happens to all of us, across the planet. We lose these proteins as we grow older and that’s why the brain slows.
Providing a replacement protein helps the brain to get sharper, and more focused and and more healthy. That’s what we provide in a product we made called Prevagen.
So we found an outside source of this protein, actually discovered in jellyfish and now when taken by people, its the next easiest step.
So it’s something to put in the picnic basket. It’s something you can see the results of, but you need to do all those aspects because, you know, dealing with the health of the brain is not just a, just a magic bullet that does it, that fixes everything. You need to do these things in combination.
But you can have the best diet in the world, there’s no other way to replace those proteins. You can do all the exercise in the world for your brain and your body, but if you’re brain is not able to regrow properly because it doesn’t have the right elements, it just, you’re not going to fix it. So you need to do all those things in combination, that’s why those five tips work so well for people.
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