Saturday, August 5, 2017

How to optimize your memory?

Every day, and throughout our lives, we ask for our memory: conversations, intellectual work, and preparation for exams ... Memory is the key to learning since it allows the recording, storage and retrieval of information.

But with the aging of the population, more and more people are prone to memory problems. This phenomenon affects more than 850 000 people with 200 000 new cases per year *. The causes are multiple: age, heredity, unbalanced diet, lack of cognitive stimulation...

The memory is a function to maintain daily to preserve and optimize its performance. There are some tricks to increase memory capacities (memorization capabilities):

  • A good sleep: essential to the preservation of cognitive abilities, sleep is essential to strengthen and consolidate memory.
  • Regular sport practice: good memorization is directly linked to good oxygenation of the brain. To optimize memory abilities, it is essential to practice a sport activity that stimulates the brain, attention and neuronal communication.
  • A biological rhythm respected: certain moments of the day are more conducive to learning and concentration. The middle of the morning and the middle of the afternoon are periods of quality for the process of memorization.
  • A healthy and diversified diet: the brain consumes about 20% of the energy provided by the diet. A major consumer of glucose, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and trace elements, it needs a varied and balanced supply to support its cognitive functions. Consumption of fruits, vegetables, cereals and fish is preferred.
  • Targeted supplementation: Any impairment can impair the functioning of the nervous system. Targeted supplementation is recommended to help maintain brain function, promote deep, restorative sleep, and cope with the stress experienced during exam periods.

 * Helmer C et al. MEDICINE / SCIENCES 2006; 22: 288-96.

The memorization factors

Revisions are often characterized by an active effort of repetition of information. This mental work would transfer knowledge from short-term memory to long-term memory, for more sustainable storage. 

Nevertheless, the consolidation of knowledge seems to be easier and more lasting when the memory is associated with knowledge previously acquired; making it meaningful.

The process of memorization is also sensitive to 4 other essential factors:
  • Attention: the degree of concentration
  • The emotional state: the affective values attributed to the material to be memorized
  • Motivation: the interest or the need to memorize
  • The context: lighting, noise, smell, place...

Learning and memory

Learning is defined as a process involving change. Indeed, during learning, physiological transformations occur in the brain, under the effect of knowledge and experiences. These transformations are at the root of the mental aptitudes of learning, memorization and knowledge.

Thus, the more synapses (connections between neurons) are activated, the more efficient they are to transmit and process information; and conversely, the less they are used, the less efficient they are.

Memory, on the other hand, allows the recording, storage and retrieval of information captured by the brain. Memory is in a sense the trace of learning.

The memorization process is divided into 4 phases:

  • Sensory memory: it corresponds to the phase during which the brain analyzes the information captured by the 5 senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste).
  • Short-term memory: arising from the sensory memory, it allows to temporarily record the information of the current life.
  • Long-term memory: allows you to group and store the information you have learned.
  • Recall of information: this phase corresponds to the restitution and the re-use of the stored information.

Vitamins: fragile nutrients

The vitamins are very fragile cooking, conservation but also refining methods. At the same time, the current lifestyles (stress, pollution, contraception ...) increase your daily needs. Thus, it is preferable to privilege simple and gentle cooking techniques to protect these micronutrients.


Optimize your vitamin intake thanks to steam cooking: simple, easy to use, it allows you to preserve the vitamin qualities of your food and to keep all their flavor. Think of fish (salmon, flounder, turbot ...), vegetables (leek, cauliflower ...), and whole grains (quinoa, rice ...) and bring to your body all the nutrients that it needs.

Your "Steam" menu

Bites of shrimp steam,
Fillets of cod on a bed of leeks,
Complete rice,
Yoghurt with sheep's milk,


Wok cooking is an ancestral Asian culinary technique perfectly adapted to the way of life of our Western societies. With its unique flared design, it allows you to cook food evenly, retaining their flavors, colors and mineral-vitamin qualities. Steam, stir-fry or wrap, the wok is the ideal ally of your well-being.

Your "Wok" menu

Squid salad on a bed of purslane
Sautéed beef and zucchini with green pepper
Rice noodles
Goat cheese


The longer a food is stored and the greater the loss of vitamins at the time of consumption. Also, as soon as the fruits or vegetables are cut, begins the destruction of vitamins and minerals, especially for vitamin C and the vitamins of group B. In order to limit losses, keep your food fresh in cool, Dry and consume as soon as possible after harvest. Focus on seasonal fruits and vegetables for their exceptional micronutrients.

Food Profile "Vitality"

Adopting a balanced and varied diet is an essential step to regain form and well-being. A few simple and essential gestures allow you to provide nutritional solutions adapted to your needs. So, take time to cook and vitalize your body!


Complex carbohydrates are present in cereals (corn, rice, barley...) and derivatives (bread, pasta...), legumes (beans, peas ...) and potatoes. They can provide your body with more than half of your energy inputs and contribute to its proper functioning.

Your menu "Slow Sugars"
  • Pasta salad with pine nuts
  • Veal escalope with soya cream
  • Peas and onions
  • Perry


The vitamins, cannot be synthesized by your body, are indispensable elements involved in its operation. Each food group is a new source of vitamins and represents the best way to eat diverse and varied.

Your "Vitaplus" menu
  • Carrot and celery salad
  • Chicken thigh with lemongrass
  • Vegetables with wok, rice with soya juice
  • Peach


Balance your meals. Start the day with a hearty breakfast, full lunch and dinner including lean meat or fish with cereal or cereal product, raw fruit or vegetable and a vegetable dessert. Avoid alcoholic beverages and refined industrial products depleted in fiber, vitamins and minerals that disrupt your internal balance and promote nibbling.

The main causes of vitamin deficiencies

The main causes of vitamin deficiencies are:

  • An unbalanced diet (sandwiches, fast-food ...), restrictive diets (hypocaloric, vegetarian ...) do not allow to bring to the body all the vitamins that it needs.
  • The consumption of alcohol decreases the absorption of vitamins, especially those of group B.
  • Smoking increases the need for vitamins, especially vitamin C, whose degradation is accelerated by nicotine derivatives.
  • The use of birth control pills increases the need for vitamin B9.
  • Pregnancy increases the need for vitamins, micronutrients essential for the pregnant woman but also for the good development of the fetus.
  • Breastfeeding also increases the need for vitamins because some of the mother's vitamins are passed on to the baby via breast milk.
  • Insufficient sunshine: people living in sunny regions (30% of French people living in northern France are concerned) and the elderly people who leave very little often have vitamin D deficiencies.
  • Pollution: the need for vitamins, especially vitamin A, is increased by environmental pollution.

6 healthy vitamin tips!

The LESCUYER Laboratory suggests you follow these few hygiene-dietetic tips:

  • Prefer outdoor activities: moderate skin exposure to sunlight allows the body to synthesize vitamin D.

  • Prefer seasonal fruits and vegetables from local production: with limited transport times, these foods are less concerned with the loss of vitamins.

  • Do not choose your over-ripe fruits and vegetables because maturation is accompanied by a loss of vitamins.

  • Keep your food in the refrigerator: the cold helps to curb the maturation of food preserving their vitamins.

  • Prefer the modes of cooking soft: steam soft...

  • Limit your intake of tea and coffee, it can harm the assimilation of certain Vitamins such as vitamins B1 and biotin.

Overcome fatigue


Fatigue is defined as a disproportionate weakening and without apparent reason for the general state. It is accompanied by a sensation of difficulty in performing ordinary physical and psychic acts. Today, fatigue accounts for 10-25% of general practitioner visits.


We distinguish:

Physical fatigue:  it is muscular and appears after a physical effort. It is the result of exhaustion of energy reserves and can, most often, be stopped after a period of rest.

Intellectual fatigue:  it occurs after an intellectual work and causes a decrease in attention, concentration or memory. It most often manifests itself in sleep disorders, "memory gaps" and also disappears after a rest period.

Nervous (or psychic) ​​fatigue:  it is often the result of difficult socio-environmental circumstances (family life, work, overwork, stress ...). It is a warning signal to take seriously as it can be the sign of a depression.


At the moment, with the arrival of autumn, many of us are experiencing a temporary fatigue often accompanied by a drop in morale. In question? The changes in the rhythm of the re-entry, the return of the cold, the changes in food, the decrease in luminosity, the days that shorten ...  All these elements contribute to a general decline in shape.


To cope with this decrease in tone, hygiene rules can be adopted:

  • Rebalance its diet,
  • Sleep better and longer,
  • Resume physical activity,
  • Limit stress situations.

Micronutrition also proves to be an asset in the management of fatigue:

  • Adaptogenic plants  (ginseng, eleutherococcus),
  • Antioxidants  (superfruits, vitamins A, E ...),
  • Vitamins  (vitamin C, vitamins of group B ...),
  • Plants to limit stress or promote concentration  (bacopa, melon ...).

*World Health Organization.

Antioxidants, a valuable aid against fatigue


The oxidative stress is a phenomenon of oxidation can damage cell membranes, curb their renewal and cause many inconveniences such as accelerated aging or fatigue.

True shields, antioxidants are a natural defense system that protects our cells and reduces oxidative stress.


To cope with decreased tone, it is important to rebalance your diet and eat more fruits and vegetables because they contain many antioxidants.

A supplement is often needed to fill up with antioxidants! Some active ingredients have major antioxidant properties. We can thus cite superfruits like aronia. The latter possess ORAC (oxygenate radical neutralization) values ​​among the highest in the plant kingdom.

Sport, a true ally against fatigue

Sport can be a great asset in reducing mental or nervous fatigue, helping to alleviate mood disorders and stress. If it allows the mind to disconnect from the problems and tensions encountered in our daily life, the practice of physical activity is also at the origin of chemical reactions beneficial to the organism.


During physical exertion, but also up to an hour later, the body secretes two neurotransmitters that have a beneficial effect on fatigue: endorphin and serotonin.

Nicknamed the hormones of happiness, they have a real positive influence on the mood and stress that can disturb our sleep. If endorphin is known to provide a sense of well-being and calm, or even euphoria, serotonin, as such, acts as a regulator of mood.


Especially if you do not practice sports regularly, it is important to start progressively so as not to get hurt or discouraged. Even in small doses initially, recovery from physical activity will be beneficial. A regular practice, even without force will have an energizing effect. This will allow you to turn intellectual or nervous fatigue into physical fatigue, which sleep can more easily dissipate.

The goal is to find your rhythm, without forcing, that you can intensify as soon as you feel capable. The ideal is to be able to give 3 to 4 sessions of 30-40 minutes of sport per week, the benefits of your session extending up to 48 hours. Beware, however, of not practicing too intense physical activity less than 3 hours before going to bed, which would disrupt sleep.


It is important to choose a physical activity that will suit your physical condition, your health and your availability over the long term. If your state of health or fitness does not allow you an intense physical activity, brisk walking can be an excellent compromise. 30 minutes of walking per day at a steady pace help to stay in shape and to compensate for the decreases in energy by increasing the supply of oxygen to your cells.

When possible, focus on endurance sports such as running, walking, swimming ... The duration of the sessions is optimal for the release of endorphins, hormones that will accompany you towards a return to calm and to relaxation. True allies of your well-being, relaxing practices such as Yoga, Pilates, meditation ... can help you regain a state of serenity, thanks in particular to the exercises of relaxation and breathing that you can integrate into your daily life As soon as the stress is felt.


The recovery phase is essential in order not to increase his state of physical fatigue. It allows to not to fatigue more its muscles and joints and to regain a state of calm after the effort. Here are some tips for a good recovery:

Rehydrate during and immediately after exercise
Relax in order to bring down the excitement generated by the practice of sport
Stretch, without straining and breathing well
Consume after the effort food rich in glucose and fructose to compensate for the loss of sugars (citrus, banana, cereal bar ...)

Pregnancy and sports are not incompatible

Pregnancy too often remains a period when the woman diminishes her sporting practice. Yet the sport is beneficial for the pregnant woman provided to respect some basic rules.


Physical exercise in pregnant women promotes good physical condition and limits excessive weight gain due to sedentary lifestyle. Less than 25% of pregnant women follow the recommendations of physical activity that are 30 minutes walking briskly, day 1.

Sport is also beneficial for maintaining a good psychological state and limiting potential stress associated with pregnancy, through the release of endorphins by the brain during and after physical activity.

Women who practiced regular physical activity during pregnancy, and who continued in the third quarter would be less tired and more energetic clearly from the 4th or 5th day after delivery 2.


A medical assessment is first necessary before physical activity to verify that there are no contraindications. This medical opinion can be re-evaluated according to the follow-up of the pregnancy.

During these 9 months, the body is transformed, so it is necessary to adapt to these changes during a physical exercise. The weight evolution is accompanied by an enhancement of the center of gravity, thus modifying the equilibrium of the body. The heart rate increases and breathing is modified by intra-abdominal pressure, which contributes to the increase in oxygen consumption.

We also note for all the joints, the appearance of a ligament hyperlaxity whose origin seems to be hormonal and which can represent a new instability for the pregnant woman.

The spirit of competition is to be set aside! The goal is to maintain good physical fitness by practicing a reasoned physical activity, without seeking the maximum effort.


During pregnancy:

The choice of physical activity must be compatible with pregnancy, ie avoid loss of balance and trauma.

It is not advisable to practice contact sports such as basketball, handball, or volleyball; Combat sports, such as karate, judo; Sports that involve a risk of falling such as riding, snow sports, mountain biking, climbing, etc. Underwater diving (with bottle) is also contraindicated.

Among the activities recommended during pregnancy include:

  • Walking: it remains by far the most practiced activity, accessible to all including the less sporty ones.
  • Swimming: it makes it possible to work smoothly all the great muscular chains. In the water, the body is lighter and the movements are easier. All swims are allowed provided they do not force. Swimming on the back is particularly interesting because it relieves the spine. Finally, do not hesitate to adopt boards and chips as accessories!
  • Soft gymnastics or yoga: these activities can be practiced with respiratory and postural exercises adapted to pregnancy. The exercises lying down, however, are to be avoided from the 4th month.
  • The exercise bike: it is possible to practice the exercise bike without intense effort, i.e. without significant shortness of breath (i.e. 60-70% of the maximum heart rate).

These activities are possible up to and including the third quarter but should not be considered for performance intent. In addition, you must know how to listen to your body, and do not hesitate to consult your healthcare professional if you are uncertain about your physical condition.

After childbirth:

Most physiological and morphological changes induced by pregnancy persist until 4 to 6 weeks after delivery. Post-natal visit is essential to get your doctor's recommendations. A rehabilitation of the perineum is often necessary to restore all its tonicity to this zone muscular perturbed by the delivery.

You will then be able to take up the sport in a progressive way, favoring moderate activities (yoga, gymnastics, swimming, cycling, walking ...).

Moderate physical exercise during breastfeeding does not affect the amount or composition of breast milk. To avoid unpleasant problems caused by breast engorgement, it is recommended to schedule feedings or breast milk before exercise. Do not forget to hydrate yourself!

1 Les cahiers du pôle - Sport and Maternity, Physical Activity and Maternity, Dr Carole Maitre, Medical Department of INSEP, January 2010.

2 Artal R, O'Toole M. Guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for exercise during pregnancy and post-partum period. Br J Sports Med 2003; 37: 6-12.

Micronutrition, even during breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed the newborn and its benefits are multiple: nutritional, physiological and emotional, creating a strong and unique relationship between mother and baby. Breast milk is the ideal food for the baby because it is specifically adapted to it. It is alive and inimitable: its composition evolves over time to adapt and precisely cover the nutritional needs of the infant.


Increased intake!

Woman breastfeeding her baby

Breastfeeding requires good hydration, a varied diet of the mother to develop the tastes in the child, and must bring all that is necessary for the good development of the child.

As in pregnancy, breastfeeding is accompanied by an increase in the need for certain nutrients that she does not find in her usual diet in sufficient quantity: vitamins, minerals, omega 3...

It is therefore advisable for lactating women to supplement their diet by providing a suitable nutritional and micronutrient source in order to optimize breastfeeding as their needs change.

Keep fit and morale!

The arrival of a baby in the life of a woman is something magical but for all that is a real upheaval! Fatigue, cries, tears, anxieties, interrupted nights ... it is sometimes difficult to keep up the morale and stay in shape! Supplementation with certain nutrients is recommended to deal with this discomfort. For example:

of omega-3 (DHA / EPA) to support the normal functioning of the brain,
of vitamin D to boost immunity,
of vitamin C to regain shape!

What Micronutritional Accompanying Adoption during Pregnancy?

The body of the future mother lives a true metamorphosis for 9 months. Physical and physiological changes are considerable and also require appropriate and balanced intake of nutrients and energy. Therefore, micronutritional support is advised to pregnant women to contribute to their health and that of their baby.



Although needs increase by only 10% during pregnancy, magnesium is important for both the baby and the mother. The organism does not produce magnesium, so it is through diet and / or supplementation that the body constitutes its reserves. It helps in particular the fixation of the calcium on the bones.

Iron, for a good oxygenation of the tissues

Iron requirements are increased due to increased total blood volume, placenta and fetal needs (mainly for brain development) and loss of blood at delivery. A lack of iron can cause fatigue and fatigue in the mother.

Despite an iron-rich diet, the needs are so great that the stock is rapidly depleted, especially during the last 2 quarters. Since the body is unable to synthesize iron, complementation may be beneficial.

Iodine, not to be forgotten!

Pregnancy is a major consumer of iodine. Indeed, a deficit can have consequences on the development of the brain of the future baby.


Vitamin D, for strong bones

The need for vitamin D are doubled during pregnancy. In order to optimize the absorption of calcium, vitamin D contributes to better mineralization of the fetal skeleton and thus to the strength of the bones.

Vitamin C to reduce fatigue

The vitamin C helps to limit fatigue, participates in the functioning of the immune system. Vitamin C also intervenes in the formation of nervous tissues and promotes the absorption of iron. The body cannot store large amounts of vitamin C, only a daily intake can have the desired effect.

These vitamins are particularly important but do not forget the other vitamins (A in the form of beta-carotene, B1, B5, B6 etc.). Taking a quality multivitamin supplement can help you have the right balance of vitamins throughout your pregnancy.


The Omega-3 are polyunsaturated fatty acids which the most important are DHA 1 and EPA 2. These "good fats" contribute both to the health of the pregnant woman and to that of the fetus. DHA, for example, has a favorable effect on the brain of the baby 3 but also on the development of its visual acuity 4.

A supplement in omega 3 can be interesting during pregnancy, making sure to stop in the last trimester!


Throughout pregnancy, it is advisable for mothers to give priority to antioxidants, for her but also for their baby (vitamins E, C, A in the form of beta-carotene, carotenoids or even certain polyphenols).


The intestine of the fetus in the uterus is sterile. Within hours of its birth, its intestine is colonized by bacteria. Indeed, during the delivery by low way the mother transmits her flora to her infant. Moreover, this flora depends on the baby's diet, but also on the mother's flora.

This is why it is important that the mother has a healthy and balanced intestinal flora. The taking of lactic ferments during pregnancy, and especially before delivery, can have a beneficial effect on the intestinal flora of the mother as well as on the development of the intestinal flora of the child.

1 Docosahexaenoic acid
2 Eicosapentaenoic acid.
3 The beneficial effect is obtained by the daily intake of 200 mg of DHA, in addition to the consumption.
4 The beneficial effect is obtained by the daily consumption of 250 mg of DHA.

Pregnancy: what food to privilege?

Pregnancy leads to physiological changes in your body and requires special attention. Your diet must be balanced and respect certain principles so that the pregnancy takes place in the best conditions.


Water is the first exchange between you and the child. One of the most important changes in pregnant women is the increase in the water supply. Thus, fruits and vegetables are allies of choice for good hydration, in addition to the drinking water at the rate of 1.5 to 2 liters per day. In addition, fruits and vegetables facilitate the elimination of metabolic waste from the fetus.

Your "Moisturizing" menu

  • Velvety of zucchini with paprika,
  • Bar fillets with yellow pepper,
  • Spinach shoot salad,
  • Yoghurt with soy, pear.


The folate (mache, walnut, melon) contribute to the smooth progress of your pregnancy and the calcium (feta pasteurized), associated with vitamin D, and intervenes in the formation of the skeleton of the future baby. In parallel, your iron and iodine (mackerel) requirements, which are essential for the growth of the fetus, increase. It is therefore necessary to adapt your diet.

Your "Harmonious Pregnancy" menu

  • Mix of cheese and nuts in rapeseed oil
  • Mackerel with mustard
  • Green beans in fagot
  • Melon and feta cheese salad.


During pregnancy, your body is more fragile. It is recommended to avoid certain foods such as sausage, raw or uncooked meat and certain cheeses (raw milk, soft cheese ...). Take the time to wash the food (fruits, vegetables, herbs ...) to eliminate any harmful residue (pesticides for example).

Your doctor remains your best counselor for any questions you may have.