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10 Reasons Why African Fashion Is Taking The World By Storm

10 Reasons Why African Fashion Is Taking The World By Storm

Since 2011, the number of online searches for the term ‘African Fashion’ has literally been on a non-stop upward growth curve signalling to anyone who’s been paying attention, that there is something going on here. In your day to day life, you may have noticed the recent resurgence of interest with regards to African Clothing and Fashion. Maybe you or a friend choose to wear a Dashiki every once in a while.

Whatever the case may be, the likelihood is you’ve noticed something; African Fashion is growing. But why may have eluded you up till now.

Below I will describe the 10 key reasons why I think that African Fashion has experienced this recent boom. And why, in my opinion, this is only the beginning.

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1. More and more of the African Diaspora are returning home, starting fashion-focused businesses

Many in the diaspora have decided that now is the time to return home and start up on their own. Fashion is a very popular sector for many starting a new business, as this is one of the lowest cost, most well-known businesses that can be started on the continent.

Social media makes it easier than ever to spread enthusiasm and create new interest in African Fashion as a by-product. An example of this can be found with Roz’Umy Couture in Senegal, whose Senegalese founder previously worked in the corporate world, but now produces some of the best traditional clothing in West Africa today. One of the company’s clients is the current President of Nigeria!

2. Social media has enabled greater exposure of African clothing

The ease and reach to which things can be shared and people can be reached has lead to a much broader range of tastes being served. This can be referred to as the ‘Long Tail’ of African Fashion so to speak. So that even those who previously did not really have interest, due to not seeing anything they liked, now have abundant choices.

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3. The African Diaspora (especially millennials) are re-learning and re-engaging with their culture

The increased interest over the last few years (due in large part to the increased availability of information from sources such as YouTube and Wikipedia), have lead to many in the African diaspora re-engaging and re-learning their culture. And that includes Fashion.

4. Western fashion has started to incorporate African-inspired ideas

You could hardly watch a model walking down a cat-walk in 2015 without seeing at least some African influence. It is no longer rare to see a Dashiki or Kente colored cloth in major fashion shows and parties around Europe nowadays.

5. Celebrities have begun to embrace African fashion

Celebrities such as Chris Brown and Beyonce have been spotted wearing traditional Dashikis and other African clothing. And as we all know, no-one is a better publicist for fashion than celebrities.

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6. Afro-beats has led to increased interest in all aspects of contemporary African culture

And as you might imagine, African culture also includes African fashion. The magnifying glass has been put on African culture in a big way. Interest in contemporary Fashion on the continent is an obvious by-product.

7. The rise of African Art has lead to an increased interest in these things too

African art on its own has seen a huge resurgence in recent years. With many paying millions for the most sought after items in the space. As with the example of Afro-beat, this increased appreciation has a parallel effect on other related areas, such as the Fashion sector.

8. African Fashion is worn more often by people in the Diaspora, leading to more recognition and appreciation

It is now seen as fashionable to wear African-inspired clothing in everyday life. More and more people are being drawn into the niche due to the simple fact that they see others that they know (or in some cases don’t), wearing these clothes.

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9. Increased political consciousness has lead ultimately to an interest in culture

With an increased consciousness of issues that affect black people around the world, such as police brutality, many have in sought answers to the question of how we got here and found a new appreciation for the culture and traditions of the past. Fashion and style of dress being a big part of that.

10. The rise of African cinema (Nollywood in particular)

African cinema’s growth, through channels such as YouTube, and VOD platforms such as iRoko TV has massively encouraged the growth of the African cashion sector. With many of the stars in the space regularly showcasing the best the continent has to offer.

Featured photo credit: Elvert Barnes via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

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:

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.

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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.

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.

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

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!

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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