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Improve Memory with a Healthy Lifestyle

Update Date: Jun 01, 2013 05:04 PM EDT

As people age, remembering what one had for dinner a day before could start to become a hard task. Although long-term memory tends to remain intact better than short-term memory, several studies have suggested that memory in general can be improved via stimulation. For example, researchers have found that cognitive stimulation could improve brain function for some people. In a new study, researchers suggest that adopting a healthier lifestyle could also improve memory.

In this study conducted by researchers from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), a survey was administered to 18,552 adults from the United States. Everyone that participated in the survey was at least 18-years-old. The survey aimed to measure how many healthy habits each participant had and their memory capabilities. They found that individuals who had just one healthy behavior were 21 percent less likely to state memory complications.

"Along with the other healthy behaviors, it's likely that healthy eating is helping keep the heart and blood vessels healthy. The brain needs a healthy blood supply to function," the national spokeswoman for the non-for-profit American Society for Nutrition, Marry Ann Johnson said.

The researchers shockingly found that the age group of 18 to 39 reported memory problems. 14 percent of this youngest age group complained about poor memory. For the middle-aged group, 40-59-years-old, around 22 percent of them reported memory problems. About 26 percent of the oldest age group, ages 60 to 99, reported having memory issues.

"Memory issues were to be expected in the middle-aged and older groups, but no tin younger people," the study's lead author, Gary Small said reported by USA Today. Small is the director of the UCLA Longevity Center. The researchers inferred that the role of stress for the youngest age group could have affected their memory. The researchers stressed that for all age group, healthier lifestyles, such as dieting or exercising, can contribute to better cognitive function.

The findings were published in the journal, International Psychogeriatrics

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