Excess weight is generally associated with various lifestyle diseases but according to a new study published in Neuroimage, clinical researchers at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and other institutions found that excess weight might affect your memory also.

According to the study, being overweight is related to reduced levels of a molecule - N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA); that reflects brain cell health in the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in memory, learning, and emotions, and is also involved in appetite control. Researchers have found that overweight participants in the study exhibited lower levels of NAA in the hippocampus compared to normal weight subjects. The effect was independent of age, sex, and psychiatric diagnoses.

Therefore, overall health is really important for proper functioning of your brain. If you want to keep yourself mentally sharp, then you should even keep a check on your diet and workout routine. Proper eating patterns with daily workout routines will help you in keeping those extra pounds away. Also, here are some ways by which you can sharpen your memory and can keep your brain healthy.

1. Get sufficient sleep

Sleep not only relaxes your body but now research has shown that sleep is necessary for memory consolidation, with the key memory-enhancing activity occurring during the deepest stages of sleep. Therefore, it is important to get a minimum of 7-8 hours sleep every day.

2. Keep stress away

Stress is one of the worst enemies of a healthy mind and body. Chronic stress can destroy brain cells and damage the hippocampus. In addition to stress, depression, anxiety, and chronic worrying can also affect the brain’s health adversely. Meditation is one of the ways to keep stress away. It also improves focus, concentration, creativity, and learning and reasoning skills.

3. Do some brain work

Whenever you come across some simple calculation use your brain instead of the calculator. Also, play some brain games like Sudoku, crossword, etc which will keep your brain activated and will improve brain cell health.

4. Give time to yourself

Always take some time out for yourself. Play your favorite sport or just zone out from work and stress related thoughts and spend some time with friends and family. This will provide you mental peace and much needed mental rest, which is important for your brain health.