We all ask this question, “What can I do to protect my memory?”

More and more of us are living well into our 80’s, so in order to avoid a mental decline in the coming years, here are some simple steps to boost our memory.

Get enough sleep

The first step to take to boost our memory is as basic as breathing and getting enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep has a huge impact on our mental functioning.

Most people need at least eight hours of sleep every night to give their brains time to regenerate cells and reorganize information as we sleep. A body deprived of sleep loses ground with memory.

Always eat a healthy balanced diet

The Harvard Medical School recommends eating healthy diets, regular exercises, keeping blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar in check.

Another step to promoting your memory is getting a good supply of blood to the brain by eating plenty fruits. You should also add nutrients and supplements to your fruits. B vitamins are essential for helping your mind to stay sharp. Your body uses B vitamins to turn food into mental energy and repair brain tissues. B12 and B6 are probably the most important vitamins for mental functioning.

Go light on alcohol

Alcohol destroys brain cells. Most doctors recommend abstaining completely to keep your mind at its sharpest.

Limit your coffee intake

Most of us who rely on coffee to jumpstart our day may be pleased to learn that a recent study at John Hopkins University found that “ caffeine has a positive effect on memory” but moderation is key because too much coffee can reduce your concentration.

It is also true that you can improve your memory by challenging yourself and this can be done by learning something such as a new language, a musical instrument, a new skill or by being a volunteer. The most important thing is to engage your brain with new and challenging situations.