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Health: Maximize Your Memory

By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — How’s your memory? Do you forget names or misplace keys? Studies show there are ways to maximize your memory. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has the simple steps.

‘Tis the season for being overwhelmed. So much to do, so many things to remember. But anytime it can be hard to remember, for anyone, things like phone numbers, names, and passwords.

“There’s appointments. Stuff for school. One day I forgot the lunch. You know cause there’s 87 things going on,” said Holly Ramsburg, a busy mom.

Experts say one way to help remember passwords is to connect them with someone or something you feel emotional about.

“The region in the brain that processes emotion is right next to the region that processes memory. If one is active, the other one is thought to be also active as well,” said Duke Han, a memory expert.

And there are some other easy things you can do to boost your memory. Staying active increase blood flow to the brain.

And some say if you lift weights with your eyes closed that forces the brain to work harder and make new connections.

“It sounds strange,” said Rhonda Washington, of Philadelphia.

“I would try it,” said Liz Saadoun, of Bala Cynwyd.

And chewing gum is a memory helper you many not have heard of. Studies show it improves performance on memory tests.

“I think it works,” said Lynn Sundblad, of Wayne.

Flossing your teeth can also help. British researchers found that gingivitis and periodontal disease can hurt your memory.

And some experts say inhaling fresh flowers can ease memory zapping stress, but not too much. Doctors say a little stress is good to help you remember things.

And an easy way to maximize your memory is by drinking green tea. It’s rich in antioxidants.

“And what antioxidants do is help clear the brain of gunk if you will and help you think clearer,” said Han.

Some good memory-boosting foods include the herb sage. And fish, like salmon, which is high in Omega-3’s.

“I wish I were a list person, cause I think that would help, but it’s very easy to forget things,” said Holly.

Doctors also say playing complex games will help you not forget things, and so will getting enough sleep.

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