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All of us forget things or lose things sometimes, but when it becomes a habit and we’re continually misplacing our phone, the car keys or missing appointments we need to keep - that’s when we need the help of natural therapies.

Exercise speeds up nerve impulses and increases the body’s intake of oxygen. All this is beneficial for increasing focus and memory. Excessive exposure to substances such as tobacco, MSG, toxic personal care and cleaning products, pollutants and alcohol can result in poor focus and memory loss. Additional contributing factors to memory impairment are food sensitivities and allergies, nutritional deficiencies, and addictions.

Foods that boost memory are those that are high in chlorophyll, because chlorophyll transports oxygen to the brain. Chlorophyll is found in green leafy vegetables, so eating these daily is a healthy way to combat brain fog and memory loss. Elevated cholesterol clogs arteries, thereby decreasing blood supply (and therefore oxygen) to the brain. To help combat this, use good fats in your diet such as cold pressed coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. Eating a handful of raw nuts daily is also beneficial.

Many herbs and supplements also boost brain power. Gotu kola increases the movement of impulses from the left and right brain hemispheres; bacopa enhances serotonin production and the functioning of neurotransmitters; ginseng increases cerebral circulation and ginkgo improves brain function by enhancing peripheral circulation.

A study in the Journal of Neuroscience Research found that DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), found in fish oil, helps preserve brain function as we age. The suggested dosage is 500-1,000 mg daily. Phosphatidylserine enables brain cells to upregulate the metabolism of glucose, and to release and bind with neurotransmitters. Choline (part of the B-group vitamin complex) is a precursor to the stimulatory neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Both can be taken at the rate of 500mg daily. Inositol, another B Vitamin component, is responsible for maintaining adequate electrical energy and nutrient transfer across the cell membranes. Take 100-300mg daily.

Toni Green is a Launceston-based naturopath, herbalist and health writer. It is her passion to pass on this knowledge of natural therapies to others so that they might live a stress-free life with health and vitality. www.naturalhealthsolutions.net.autoni.green57@iinet.net.au; 0431 716 601