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15 Tips To Shop Healthy In Less Than 20 Minutes

15 Tips To Shop Healthy In Less Than 20 Minutes

Do you ever just walk into the store determined to get some healthy foods and walk out with all kinds of unhealthy food? Candies, chips, soda, and so much more. Grocery shopping is one of the most common chores. We don’t always think about it but lots of things around us influence what we buy. How can you go shopping without taking all the unhealthy snacks home? How to focus? Well, I’m going to give you 15 tips to make it easier to shop healthy!

Tips 1: Shop the right aisles

To eat healthy, it is a pretty logical step to start by buying food from the fruit and vegetable aisle. Try to avoid the aisles with unhealthy and processed foods. What you don’t see, you most likely won’t crave. Focus on the fresh food aisles.

Tip 2: Eat before you shop

One of the most common pieces of advice when it comes to shopping: don’t shop on an empty stomach. And this is one of the most important things to remember. Shopping while hungry causes you to take longer and buy more products and less healthy food. Make sure you’re filled up a little so you can focus on the food you really need.

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Tip 3: Eat apples before

‘Apple?’, you may think. Yes, apples. Like I said in tip 2, shopping shouldn’t be done on an empty stomach. But what you eat before shopping also influences what you buy. There have been studies conducted in which people ate different things before shopping. The people eating apples bought about 25% more fruits and vegetables. It is explained that by eating something healthy before shopping, you will buy healthier foods in the store. So yes, apples!

Tip 4: Make a list

Another oldie but goldie. When you’re at home, make a list of what you want to buy. This will keep you focused on what you really need. Try to shop only according to your list. This way you won’t end up buying unnecessary food. This helps you buy healthy foods and saves you time!

Tip 5: Make a meal plan

Try to make a daily or weekly meal plan. If you plan your food ahead of time, you won’t overeat, or even buy unnecessary food. Also, you will be able to walk in the store, confidently knowing what you want to buy.

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Tip 6: Spend on convenience

If you want a quick snack, be willing to spend a little more. Buy precut veggies instead of chips, a bottle of water instead of soda. It may cost a little more, buy it is worth it. If you have busy mornings and know you don’t have much time for preparing food, precut veggies or other healthy options to still eat healthy.

Tip 7: Choose the healthier option

Need bread? Go for whole wheat. Need meat? Go for a lean cut and skinless. Walk through the frozen section? Stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables. There are plenty of healthy options. If you have the option, go for it! Get that healthier food. It may not seem like much of a difference but you’ll feel a lot better making the healthy decision.

Tip 8: Read the labels

If you really need something that’s got a wrapper or a package, check the labels to choose the best option. Try to go for options that have words that you understand. Try to avoid artificial ingredients or high levels of unhealthy substances.

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Tip 9: Stay with the season

Fruits and vegetables on season are not only cheaper, but usually also better to eat, since they haven’t had to be imported. Pick the fruits and vegetables that are naturally grown in your area. It’s really that easy.

Tip 10: Your cart is your plate

When you go shopping, try to picture your cart as your plate. An average plate needs to be half filled with fruits and vegetables. Try to make sure that you also have enough fruits and vegetables in your cart. What you buy in the store is what you eat at home. If you want to eat healthy, buy healthy food.

Tip 11: Don’t let ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ deceive you

Just because the package says ‘organic’, ‘natural’ or ‘healthy’ doesn’t mean it really is. Always check the contents. The people who sell food simply want to make money and don’t always have your best interest at heart. Know what you buy and read through the ingredients.

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Tip 12: Check sales

Before you leave the house, when you know what you need, check what sales the store has. That way you know where you need to go and what to put in your shopping cart. Saves time and money!

Tip 13: Odd timing

Usually people go groceries shopping after work or in the weekend. Try to avoid the rush by going at an odd time. It will save time, because no one will be walking in your way.

Tip 14: Stock up

If you make sure you stock up on the basics, you won’t have to buy those every time you go shopping. Make sure you fill your pantry and freezer with the basics to cut off some shopping time for next time you shop. Canned, dried, and frozen fruits and vegetables are great to have stocked up.

Tip 15: Wear a watch

If you only have a short period of time to do your shopping, wear a watch. If you can have a look at the time, it really does help cut down the time.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.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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