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10 Incredible Benefits of Bananas for Your Health and Beauty

10 Incredible Benefits of Bananas for Your Health and Beauty

You might snack on bananas  for breakfast or on your way to a meeting because you know that they’re good for you. But bananas have loads more to offer you than just lowering your blood pressure and keeping your energy intact. Here are surprising things bananas can do for you.

1. They tenderize your meat dish.

Some tropical countries use banana leaves to wrap meat when it’s cooking so that it turns out nice and soft. But you can also use the actual banana during this process. Is your banana not ripe yet? No worries! You can still cook it with your meat. Not only is this a great way to make use of those green bananas in your fruit rack, but they’re also a great source of vitamins and fiber.

2. They give you gorgeous hair.

If you want to skip the chemicals that are found in store-bought hair products, make a banana hair mask. Bananas are great for your hair because they’re packed with nutrients that your hair needs to be healthy, such as B-vitamins and folate. When you add other hair-nourishing foods to them, you amplify the smoothing results. All you need for this recipe is a banana, whole milk and honey. After blending the ingredients, sit with it on your hair for about 20 minutes. The bonus? You can totally drink the rest of the mixture.

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3. They make you glow.

Bananas are an easy way to make your face glow. Just mash one and apply it to your face. Sit with it for 15 minutes then wash it off with cool water. Bananas are natural skin lighteners because they’ve got Vitamin A that erases discoloration and Vitamin E that provides protection against free radicals. Use bananas all over if you want to get rid of any discoloration before a special event like your wedding so that your gorgeous bridal jewelry will look even more radiant on you.

4. They provide you with probiotics.

Probiotics are essential to consume because they balance the bacteria in your gut, which prevents the overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria that leads to inflammation all over the body. Bananas are a natural source of probiotics because they contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS) that encourage healthy bacteria to flourish.

5. They zap anxiety.

Bananas are rich in potassium, which isn’t only good for lowering your blood pressure. This nutrient also helps to decrease stress levels and boost your mental performance. This is because it regulates stress hormones such as cortisol in the body. Now that’s a good reason to snack on a banana before your stressful work conference.

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6. They boost your weight loss.

Bananas can help you lose weight because they’re a great substitute for high-calorie snacks. Since they’re sweet, bananas will satisfy your sugar cravings without the calories. One medium-sized banana only contains 105 calories. Added to this, bananas also rev up your metabolic rate because they contain chromium, a mineral that helps your body burn more calories.

7. They make you work out harder.

You might not realize that your body needs Vitamin C to ensure a more powerful gym session. This is because it makes your muscles, ligaments, and tendons stronger. Bananas are high in Vitamin C. Along with how bananas boost your energy, this makes them a great pre-workout snack.

8. They nourish your feet.

If you have cracked heels, banana can help to smooth your skin because it has moisturizing properties. Mash up the pulp of one banana and apply it to your dry feet. Sit with it for a while so that you give it a chance to be absorbed into your skin. Now you can wear those summer sandals with pride.

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9. They deliver you to dreamland.

Forget counting sheep when you can’t get to sleep—eat bananas! They’re a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that contributes to the production of serotonin in the brain. This hormone is a natural sedative, while it also busts a bad mood. Bite into a banana about an hour or so before bedtime so that your body can digest it and allow tryptophan to score you some Zzzzs.

10. They send migraines away.

The terrible pain of headaches and migraines can turn your day sour, but bananas are a food that can fight and prevent them. The reason for this is that they’re a good source of magnesium. The next time you feel a headache coming on, reach for a nutrient-packed banana.

Buy more bananas during your next trip to the grocery store and make use of all these interesting ways that they can heal you.

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Featured photo credit: Personal Creations on Flickr via personalcreations.com

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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