It starts one day, when you're sitting at your desk, and you suddenly think of the coffee maker on your kitchen counter. Then, you ask yourself whether you turned it off or not. You replay your entire morning in your mind, from your morning bathroom regiment to the toast with jam you had for breakfast. Or was it a bagel and cream cheese? Great, now you can't remember what you had for breakfast either. Then, it gets worse. You start misplacing things like your keys or your cell phone. You forget if you used the shampoo before applying the conditioner, and the list goes on.
Maybe it's time to invest in something that will help jog that memory of yours. No, it's not some expensive contraption or medical treatment. The answer to help you improve memory is quite simple, really - vitamins. Here are seven vitamins that can help cure your forgetful woes:
Studies have shown that the antioxidant properties of vitamin E can help protect nerve cells in the brain from damage. There is also evidence that vitamin E can keep nerve cells in the brain from dying after suffering a stroke. Vitamin E has also been found to improve the memory function of the elderly. Check with your physician before considering vitamin E as a memory supplement, as high doses can have an effect on blood clotting medications.
Aside from maintaining numerous functions of the body, vitamin B6 has been shown to improve memory retention, while supporting brain health. Research shows that a daily intake of vitamin B6 resulted in improved memory over time, and the brain's ability to process information at a faster rate. Look to tuna, eggs, carrots and other vegetables for a good source of vitamin B6.
Research has shown that vitamin B12 can keep the blood levels of homocysteine at a healthy level. Homocysteine is an amino acid associated with decreased brain function if not managed properly. This vitamin also has the ability to repair the brain's nerve fibers, and is a great memory enhancer when paired with vitamin B6. Beef, liver, clams and trout contain significant amounts of vitamin B12.
Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, helps in the production of red blood cells, which allows for more oxygen to the brain. This vitamin has been shown to reduce the rate of memory loss associated with aging. If you're looking for a good source of vitamin B9, try eating foods made from whole grains, or drinking juice made from oranges or tomatoes.
The antioxidant properties of vitamin C are so beneficial to your health, they even help with your memory. A recent study has found a correlation between memory problems and babies who suffer a vitamin C deficiency. Another study found vitamin C to have protective properties against memory problems and a loss of mental alertness. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources for vitamin C, particularly citrus fruits like grapefruit.
A lack of vitamin D has been shown to disrupt the brain's ability to plan, process and form new memories. One study suggests that the decreased level of vitamin D in the elderly is associated with the loss of memory due to aging. Look to eating more mackerel, tuna and foods fortified with vitamin D to increase your daily intake of this vitamin.
Nicotinamide, which is a form of vitamin B3, has been found, in recent studies, to reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Since these tests were conducted on mice, further clinical testing is needed to determine the effects of vitamin B3 on humans. Aside from reducing the risk and effects of Alzheimer's disease, vitamin B3 also reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers LDL cholesterol. Tuna, chicken, turkey, salmon and asparagus provide a significant source of vitamin B3.