Bad Habits That Can Cause Memory Loss

Bad Habits That Can Cause Memory Loss

April 11, 2012  |  Memory Techniques, Self-Improvement

As people get older, they often begin to look for methods of improving memory. This is because aging brings with it memory lapses which cause you to forget important dates and information. Memory lapses usually indicate that the brain cells aren’t performing optimally and may mean that some of the neurons within the brain are damaged. Such damage and memory loss is frequently caused or made worse by certain bad habits. If you recognize yourself in any of the descriptions below, make a point to change your habits for the better now to ensure that you don’t suffer from memory loss later.

• Poor Diet
Proper diet plays a major role in improving memory as well as overall health. While poor food choices have long been known to cause health issues, there’s growing evidence that they can also cause memory problems Research shows that consuming fatty foods causes a decline in cognitive function; this is in addition to weight gain and heart disease. However, this isn’t to say that all fats are bad for the memory. In fact, fatty acids such as Oleic Fatty Acids and Omega-3 Fatty Acids can safeguard your brain against the effects of old age.

Similarly, a 2008 study1 that was conducted by the psychology department of Tufts University revealed that low-carb diets are bad for your memory. This is because our brain cells require glucose in order to function optimally. When you reduce your carbohydrate intake, your body is unable to supply your brain with the required amount of glucose.

It is important to be careful about what you eat. Avoid fatty foods and low-carb diets and ensure that you eat a nutrient-rich diet.

• Smoking
Smoking is one of the leading causes of neuron damage and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, several studies have found a link between smoking and brain cell death. Nicotine and the other 42 carcinogens present in most cigarettes are responsible for the death of brain cells, which ultimately results in poor memory.

• Alcohol
You probably already know that alcohol in excess causes blackouts; most people do not remember anything after a night of drinking. What you may not know is that alcohol intake also increases the risk of dementia and other memory problems.

• Lack of exercise
Exercise is important for your brain’s health. In fact, a study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences shows that regular exercise can prevent memory loss in old age.2 This is because exercise alters the volume of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is responsible for memory formation.

In addition, memory training and mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. Mental exercises such as those performed using memory training software help to keep your memory alert while at the same time improving concentration. It is never too late to begin exercising your brain; you can begin training your memory at any time regardless of your age.

About the author

ABDERISAK ADAM is an author, blog writer and a PhD candidate in the institution of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. He is also the owner and webmaster of, a website dedicated to the discussion of study techniques in the context of higher education. Adam is the author of a number of publications including 'The Study Guide PRO'. You can connect with him through Google+, Linkedin or by submitting a form.

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