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6 Reasons Why Everyone Should Be a Foodie

6 Reasons Why Everyone Should Be a Foodie

It’s no surprise to anyone that the word “Foodie” and the people it refers to have a bad rep. It seems that now a days, anyone who enjoys food trends, cooking, kale, or restaurant culture is the butt of a millennial themed joke made by someone who considers chain restaurants to be the top of culinary food chain. No disrespect to chain restaurants, but there truly is a whole world of food out. And everyone should be a part of this world of new flavors, cuisines, and dining experiences. Here’s why. Here are the 6 Reasons Why Everyone Should Be a Foodie.

1. Helps you out of your comfort zone

That hot new restaurant that Eater’s been talking about presents the perfect opportunity for you to introduce your tastebuds to a new world and hopefully introduce you to a new side of town. It’s so easy to get into a food rut – after all as human beings, we are creatures of habit. However, that’s no excuse to eat at the same three places every week. Switch it up! Add some new places to the roster. Becoming a foodie allows you to literally spice up your life.

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2. Contribute to your local economy

It’s hard not to scoff at a question like “Is this locally grown?” But contributing to your local economy is no laughing matter. Spending money at your local farmer’s market or artisan sandwich shop is more beneficial to your community than throwing money at your mall’s Jamba Juice. When you invest in local business, they are more likely to stick around and make your community a better place to live in for everyone.

3. Make new friends

There’s a reason why you always see a group of well-dressed people, tapping away at their smartphones sitting at the same table, and that’s because foodies stick together. Foodies, now officially a classified subculture according to Ken Gedler, author of the book Subcultures: Cultural Histories and Social Practice, tend to seek out others who share their love of food. Foodie forums, events, and MeetUp groups allow food enthusiasts to forge friendships online and in their favorite restaurants and bars. If meeting friends online is not your speed, there’s always the old fashion way. Strike up conversations with nearby tables and the wait staff.

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4. Learn new things

Foodies throw the best dinner parties. That’s not an opinion, it’s a tried and true fact. But even if you have no interest in wowing a crowd with quinoa salad, adopting a foodie outlook to cooking can be beneficial. Pinterest accounts, food blogs, and magazines like Bon Appetit and Savuer can teach you new things or help you spice up some old favorites.

5. Understand the food you’re eating

Food engineering has changed the way that we as Americans eat and interact with food. We expect strawberries during the winter and perfectly blood red tomatoes all year around. Beyond the unrealistic beauty standards that are placed on our food, these aesthetic touches are riddled with chemicals and eliminate natural flavors. The foodie lifestyle allows you to interact with in season produce, organic meals, and healthier options.

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6. Expand your (Flavor) horizons

Experiencing new flavors here in the comfort of your own neighborhood isn’t just delicious, it can help you plan your next big adventure. Familiarizing yourself with a culture’s cuisine before arriving can help you avoid the disappointing fate of ordering a subpar hamburger in Spain or wasting money in tourist trap restaurants in France. When you find your new favorite dishes, narrowing down the places that you want to travel will be no problem. After all there’s nothing better than experiencing fresh cacio e pepe pasta in Florence or spanakopita in Greece.

Featured photo credit: Wall Food by Michael Stern via flickr.com

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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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