Researchers from Switzerland's University of Basel recently conducted a study that they say showed that green tea improves short-term memory. The study was recently published in the journal Psychopharmacology.
Researchers say the study results are "the first evidence for the putative beneficial effect of green tea on cognitive functioning, in particular, on working memory processing at the neural system level by suggesting changes in short-term plasticity of parieto-frontal brain connections."
Participants – healthy males – were either given a beverage with 27.5 grams of green tea extract or a whey protein drink that tastes like green tea. They weren't aware which beverage they were consuming. While the study subjects drank the beverages, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging machines to examine their brains, and then they completed tasks that tested their short-term memory.
Researchers say green tea increases the brain's effective connectivity, which leads to improved cognitive performance. It also appears to "increase the short-term synaptic plasticity of the brain, head researcher Dr. Stefan Borgwardt said.
Other ways to boost memory
There are a number of fairly simple things seniors can do to increase their memory care, which can improve their quality of life in later years. Of course, there are some foods that reportedly can improve memory – like nuts, fish oils and green tea – but the Mayo Clinic outlined simple lifestyle changes seniors can make.
First, they should stay mentally active by doing things like completing crossword puzzles, playing an instrument and taking alternative routes to various destinations. Another thing they can do is socialize regularly, which can stave off depression and stress, as well as just keep the brain sharper naturally.
Getting organized is another method to keep the brain sharper, because the more cluttered and disorganized a home is, the fuzzier the brain feels. To-do lists, calendars, planners and other tools to limit distractions can help the brain feel clearer, leading seniors to be less stressed.
The brain can stay sharp if a senior simply gets an adequate amount of sleep every night, because the Mayo Clinic says it consolidates memories, making them easier to recall in the future. Seven to eight hours a night is recommended.
Physical activity can be another boon to memory wellness, as it increases the body's blood flow – including to the brain. A few 10-minute walks per day will suffice, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week.
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