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Magical Travel Destinations You Need To Visit In Your Life

Magical Travel Destinations You Need To Visit In Your Life

Traveling is often high on peoples to-do list, yet few people manage to fit it into their busy schedules. This list will hopefully inspire you to block out some time in your calendar specifically for seeing the world. From fairy-tale like castles to breathtaking islands, any one of these seven travel destinations will make you want to drop everything that you’re doing and book the next plane out. Life-changing experiences and maybe even the world’s best selfies await.

1. Iguazu Falls, Argentina

iguazu_falls

    Image by SF Brit via Flickr creative commons

    Argentina is home to Iguazu Falls, which separates the river between upper and lower Iguazu. There are over 275 different waterfalls within 1.67 miles of the Iguazu River. Along with hundreds of beautiful waterfalls, the region is also home to a wide variety of wildlife from howler monkeys, toucans, giant anteaters and much more. You can view the waterfalls by boat, viewing platforms, and more. Get up close and personal by visiting Argentina, or get the best panoramic long-range views from Brazil. If you’re already there why not stay a couple days and do both? Be sure to add this to your list of must-see travel destinations.

    2. Lake Sørvágsvatn, Faroe Islands

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    faroe_island_640px

      Image by Stefan Wisselink via Flickr creative commons

      Located in the open ocean somewhere between Iceland and Norway, the Faroe Islands is home to Lake Sørvágsvatn, a beautiful lake that deceives you into believing it is hundreds of feet above the ocean. This lake is a natural optical illusion. With only a steep cliff separating the lake and the ocean, this is one of the many natural phenomenons the world has to offer. Largely untouched, the Faroe Islands offer a multitude of incredible views, waterfalls, and natural wonders to explore both by land and sea. This is one of the world’s best travel destinations that you do not want to miss.

      3. Lake District, England

      lake_district_2

        Image by john mcsporran via Flickr creative commons

        Home to the highest mountain, the deepest lake, and the longest lake in England, Lake District is the largest and most popular national park in the country. The entire park is full of rolling hills and glistening lakes that perfectly reflect the trees and mountaintops above them. There are activities for people of all abilities and interests–such as long walks through hundreds of miles of picturesque fairy-tale like scenery, hiking up the mountains, getting out on the water, and even experiencing wildlife in its natural environment. You may even find the red squirrel or wild fell ponies during your stay, making this one of the top travel destinations for the whole family. Lake District, England is an inspiring landscape that has stirred the minds of many famous poets and movie directors–Beatrix Potter, William WordsWorth, and John Ruskin, to name a few. See for yourself why this is one of the most magical destinations that you need to visit in your life.

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        4. Machu Picchu, Peru

        machu_picchu

          Image by David Stanley

          Located almost 8,000 feet above sea level, Machu Picchu will make you feel as if you’re in an Indiana Jones movie. High up in the Andes Mountains, this ancient city was built in 1450, then later abandoned. The exact use of this city is a mystery, but you’ll definitely have breathtaking panoramic views of the rugged mountainside as you visit one of the most historical travel destinations in the world. Machu Picchu will give you a taste of Incan history, beautiful scenery, and a great workout from hiking up to the city.

          5. Preikestolen, Norway

          preacher_pulpit_norway

            Image by mcxurxo via Flickr creative commons

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            Preikestolen, also known as “Preacher’s Pulpit” is located in Norway. It is known for having some of the tallest, most jagged cliffs in the world. The Preacher’s Pulpit gets its name for protruding out of the cliffside, having a mere 1,981 foot drop to the bottom. Being one of the scarier travel destinations, Preikestolen is a great place to go to conquer your fear of heights. The segment of rock actually looks like a ginormous pulpit that is 82 by 82 feet. The hike up to the top is about 2.6 miles one way, and you climb 1,082 feet in elevation. You’re also free to explore the cliffside and go just about anywhere you want. When you get to the top, you’ll have a breathtaking view of Norway’s landscape. You may even find people taking the faster way down by jumping off Preikestolen with their wing suit.

            6. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

            castle

              Image by Pedro Paulo Boaventura Grein via Flickr creative commons

              Fit for a king, this castle looks like it holds a princess in the highest room of the tallest tower. You can go see the princess for yourself because Neuschwanstein Castle is open to the public. Starting construction in 1869 for King Ludwig II, the reclusive king intended the castle to be used as a personal getaway. Immediately after his death the castle was opened to the public. Now there are over a million people that visit the castle annually, making it one of the most beautiful and popular travel destinations. The castle is awe-inspiring with mountainous views and mind-boggling interior. Your mind is sure to run wild and re-live your childhood fantasies of being a princess, or a king.

              7. Tulip Fields, Holland

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              garden

                Image by Cycletours Holidays via Flickr creative commons

                Holland has the perfect weather for growing tulips, and if you go between the end of March and two weeks into May then you’ll experience millions of colorful tulips all around you. From the sky, the landscape is a blast of colors that are woven together by seams of asphalt. On the ground you can meander along through the gardens and open fields by car, bicycle, or on foot. This is one of the best spring-time travel destinations. The best place to experience the tulip season is Keukenhof Garden, which alone has over 7 million flower bulbs and 800 different varieties. The tulips are also accompanied by a tranquil pond, soft grass, trees, and more to awaken all of your senses.

                The world has an endless amount of magical travel destinations that we are dying to see. Even if you were to see something new every day for your entire life you wouldn’t even scratch the surface of all this world has to offer. Just in your own country there’s an endless supply of bucket-list worthy travel destinations. Whether you book a flight half-way across the world or just visit somewhere in your own back yard, get out there and see as much as you can.

                Featured photo credit: Stefan Wisselink via flickr.com

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                Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

                If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

                When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

                In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

                1. Salmon

                Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

                It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

                Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

                Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

                Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

                Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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                2. Blueberries

                Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

                Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

                Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

                Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

                Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

                3. Turmeric

                Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

                Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

                Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

                Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

                Curcumin has also been shown to:

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                • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
                • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
                • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
                • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

                4. Coffee

                Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

                Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

                Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

                Coffee can also:

                • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
                • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
                • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
                • Improve your memory.
                • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

                5. Broccoli

                What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

                Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

                Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

                Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

                Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

                6. Bone broth

                Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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                Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

                Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

                Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

                Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

                With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

                Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

                7. Walnuts

                Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

                Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

                Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

                Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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                8. Eggs

                For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

                Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

                Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

                9. Dark chocolate

                You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

                Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

                Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

                Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

                Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

                Conclusion

                Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

                In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

                If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

                More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
                [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
                [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
                [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
                [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
                [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
                [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
                [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
                [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
                [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
                [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
                [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
                [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
                [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
                [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
                [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
                [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
                [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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