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6 Morning Rituals Healthy And Successful People Do Every Day

6 Morning Rituals Healthy And Successful People Do Every Day

How you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. If you want to be productive, feel fulfilled and accomplished without sacrificing your health (e.g. drinking five cups of coffee and skipping lunch to finish your project), you should include these six rituals into your morning routine.

1. Unplug your devices

So many people sleep with their mobile phone next to their bed, and then the first thing they do when they wake up is grab their phone and check their email, Facebook and other social media apps.

We’re so addicted to our mobile devices that, according to the Pew Research Center, 67% of cellphone owners check their phones, even when it isn’t buzzing. This might get you on the train of FOMO (aka “fear of missing out”) and promote anxiety and stress, according to this study by British researchers.

Not the best way to start your day indeed.

What you need to do instead is unplug your devices and connect with your loved ones face-to-face first thing in the morning. This means no mobile phones, iPads, computers or TV.

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Make it a special time of the day to connect, even if for 10 to 15 minutes. It will help deepen your relationships.

If you live alone, then use this time to connect with yourself by meditating, reading a good book or just enjoy a longer shower in the morning. We often forget to check in with ourselves and go on this never-stopping autopilot.

So really, staying away from the gadgets will help you get more in tune with yourself.

2. Get your greens on

Green leafy vegetables are excellent for your health. They provide your body with much needed vitamins, alkaline minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, chlorophyll and other compounds that are essential for good health.

Chlorophyll found in green vegetables helps regenerate the blood and has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimutagenic properties.

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These amazing health benefits of chlorophyll are of the main reasons why leafy greens are so good for our health. So we need to find ways to incorporate more of them in our diets.

You may not want to eat salad for all your meals, especially if time is of concern, for example, in the morning. So having a green smoothie or a green juice for breakfast is a great way to start your day.

Try making a simple smoothie by blending ripe bananas, frozen or fresh berries, spinach and water or almond milk. It takes only a few minutes but will keep you energized and will provide your body with the nutrients it needs.

3. Move your body

There’s no doubt that exercise is beneficial for your physical and mental health, mood, productivity and longevity. If you don’t exercise on a regular basis because you dread exercise, then it’s important to find some activity that you really enjoy.

Do you love yoga, dancing, hiking, tennis, swimming, spin classes, Pilates, cycling or lifting weights? When you find something physical that you enjoy, you’re having fun, and it doesn’t feel like work.

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Exercising also improves your cognitive function which is vital for being successful and making good decisions. On top of that, it positively affects blood sugar regulation, which makes you more energized and, in turn, more productive.

4. Meditation

Numerous studies have shown that meditation helps relieve stress and helps you to be mindful about how you spend your time. On top of that, it has a lot of health benefits. It increases immune function and decreases pain and inflammation at the cellular level.

It also boosts your happiness and self-control.

Spare at least five to 10 minutes a day to sit in stillness and peace. This will make you feel more grounded, in tune with yourself and feel more mindful throughout the day, which leads to better decision making, more productivity and happiness.

5. Plan your day before starting work or running errands

If you’re just reacting to what the life (or your inbox) brings at you, then you’re not a master of your time and life. Be proactive rather than reactive and plan your day ahead.

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There are plenty of time management tools out there, so pick the one that works for you. Just make sure that you know exactly what goals you’re trying to achieve today and don’t let other people get you off track.

One important tip is to turn off your email program during the day (unless, of course, you work in customer service and that’s the main task of your job) and spend as little time on email as possible.

Check it, respond to anything that’s urgent, delete what’s irrelevant and move emails you need to deal with later to a different folder. It is important to keep your inbox empty, which is called practicing “Inbox zero”.

This will help you avoid distractions and stay focused on the task at hand.

6. Come to work one hour earlier

Get to the office before everyone else and do most of your important tasks first. This way you’ll get more done and will be less stressed throughout the day. Plus, it might impress your boss, as researchers suggest.

One hour of work, without distractions, will be equivalent to several hours of regular work in a noisy environment, especially when the phone starts ringing, emails keep flooding your inbox and colleagues or your boss keeps asking questions and favors.

You can even ask your manager to leave work one hour earlier. Imagine, if you could come home one hour earlier. What would you do with that time?

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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