Memory & Brain Health - a Practical Guide

The health of our brain is something that none of us can take for granted. It is often only when we start to experience issues with our memory and the health of our brain that we begin to take note of the ways we may be inhibiting this vital organ from working at full capacity. While conventional medicine is often the route for serious brain-related conditions, there are many ways that natural health remedies can also be introduced into your routine for significant benefits. And, in this practical guide, we’ll give you all the information you need to do just this.

Why Do We Experience Memory and Brain Issues?

From the moment we are born, our brain works continuously to absorb information. It is there when we first learn that colours exist, when we take our first steps and when we utter our very first words. As we age, it continues to support us, becoming fully developed at 25 and helping us to make sense of the world around us. Research from Harvard University and the Boston Attention and Learning Laboratory has found that our attention span and brain function hits their peak around the age of 43. The same studies note that we become the best at reading people’s emotions around 48 and the best at understanding/learning new information into our 50’s.

As with the rest of our bodies, our brain begins to decline as we age. In fact, this vital organ begins to shrink when you’re in your 30’s and the speed of this will increase as we move past 60 - estimated to be around 5% per decade. With this comes common and, at first, undetectable changes. Difficulty committing needed information to memory, issues with focusing and splitting our attention are all things that begin to become more difficult the older we get. Normal brain changes that occur as we age also include:

  • A thinning of the outer surface of the brain which reduces its ability to form new connections.
  • A reduction in myelin (white matter).
  • Fewer chemical messengers are generated (these include vital ones including dopamine and serotonin - the happy hormones).

All of these things pair together to make it more challenging for our brains to work at optimal capacity as we age. However, there are things we can actively do to slow down and reduce the acceleration of ageing in this organ.

Negative Factors on Brain Health

There are a multitude of reasons why we may experience memory issues and premature brain ageing, including a number of neurological and psychiatric diseases. Conditions like schizophrenia, depression, traumatic brain injury and epilepsy can all negatively impact our ability to recognise emotions, log experiences to memory and maintain good cognitive function. But there are also actions in our lifestyle that can cause more damage in the long run. These include:

Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Scientific research has shown us that alcohol, in large doses, can have a suppressive effect on the brain. It acts as an antidepressant, squashing down negative feelings and giving us an artificial high. As the alcohol moves throughout our blood system, it begins to impact the normal function of our bodies, including the brain. Those who drink heavily on a regular basis are at risk of developing alcohol-related complications like difficulty walking, blurred vision and a reduced reaction time. And, over an extended period of time, the alcohol begins to impact the brain’s neurons which can cause permanent damage. Additional research has shown that continued drinking to excess will also accelerate the range of shrinkage in the brain.

Drug Consumption

The consumption of many illegal drugs also poses a significant risk to your brain health. And many legal drugs, if taken in excess, can also have a negative impact. Long-term cannabis use has been directly linked to brain cell damage with some research showing that these changes can be irreversible.


In recent years, the impact of chronic stress on our health has been widely documented. And now, there is evidence to show that feeling stressed for an extended period of time can cause our brains to age or become damaged. It causes disruption in synapse regulation which can cause us to have difficulty socialising with the ones we love. Some studies show that stress can kill brain cells and even accelerate shrinking too as well as cause persistent inflammation.

How Can Natural Remedies Support Your Brain and Memory Health?

While we cannot entirely prevent brain ageing, there are actions we can take to slow down premature changes and to keep our brain in top condition - no matter our age. At Natural Health 4 Life, we’re here to help you discover natural alternatives that can be combined with your normal routine to see the best results. So here are some ways you can help your brain work to its fullest.

Take a Fish Oil Supplement

Fish, especially fatty fish, is naturally high in Omega 3 fatty acids. They play a key role in helping you to better manage your mood and keeping a sharp memory while also providing a level of protection against both normal and abnormal cognitive decline. Gota Kola, a herb from the parsley family, has also been used to help improve mental clarity and support the brain in fighting off oxidative stressors.


As we mentioned above, excessive stress can have an adverse impact on our brain’s ability to function properly for our age. Meditation is a mental strengthening method that relies on you developing an ability to focus and calm the mind. Research has shown that regular meditation can help to manage changes in brain volume as well as reducing negative activity in the brain when it experiences stress.


When we sleep, our bodies go through a restorative stage. It is during the REM stage of sleep that the most repair is done throughout our bodies and when our brain develops new synapses to store the memories from the day. It is also during this time that toxins that have built up during the day are eliminated and your brain is restored back to a balanced level. Therefore, having a good night's sleep is vital to the protection of our memory. The NHS recommends that most adults get between 6-9 hours of sleep every night and implement a regular bedtime schedule to ensure this is as straightforward and restful as possible.

Manage Sugar Consumption

There is plenty of information out there about the impact that excessive sugar can have on our bodies. But diets that are high in sugar also negatively impact the brain. There is research to show that these could cause the reduction of BDNF - a key molecule that our brain’s use to process memories and help retain new information that we have learnt.

The team here at Natural Health 4 Life have over 23 years of experience in the world of natural health. If you’re interested in the ways you can manage your own brain health or memory, please do get in contact and we’ll aim to help you as much as we can.

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