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15 Power Foods You Must Have In Your Pantry, Fridge And Freezer

15 Power Foods You Must Have In Your Pantry, Fridge And Freezer

Power foods are packed with important vitamins that can help prevent and treat various illnesses. Not only are they nutritious and tasty, but also easy to prepare and enjoy on a regular basis. Find out what benefits these power foods offer and learn how to whip up an ultra-simple meal with each one.

1. Blackberries

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    Blackberries are a tiny fruit that packs a surprisingly big punch. They were recently identified as a top cancer-fighting food, with huge amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids. This tiny berry is believed to reduce the effects of age-related diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Make a simple, 5-ingredient blackberry cobbler to introduce these berries into your diet.

    2. Beets

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      Like most vegetables with a vibrant color, beets are packed with nutrients. This root vegetable is high in vitamin C and fiber, and is known for its ability to support nerve and muscle functioning. One study found that drinking beet juice helped to lower blood pressure in only a few hours. Combine chia seeds, beet, carrot, and apple for a refreshing morning juice.

      3. Wheatgrass

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        Wheatgrass has a multitude of health benefits, like neutralizing toxins and cleansing body tissue. It also contains high levels of Vitamin A, C, and even protein. Purchase powdered wheatgrass to add to smoothies, or use fresh blades of wheatgrass in a citrus salad.

        4. Avocado

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          Avocado is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acid – a fat that won’t make you fat. Closest to the outer skin, it’s soft green layer contains the most nutrients. Avocados are a great source of vitamin K and E, and are believed to help lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Create a tofu and avocado rice bowl with chilies for flavor.

          5. Walnuts

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            Walnuts help to reduce bodily inflammation, and also contain important precursors for omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Walnuts are easy to toss into healthy snacks, like these granola bars. Simply combine dried fruits, walnuts, and seeds to make a bar that appeals to your taste buds.

            6. Green Tea

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              Green tea is a powerhouse of nutrients, helping to lower your cancer and heart disease risk, lessen arthritis pain, and fight infections. Green tea can be drank hot or cold. Mixed with honey and a citrus like grapefruit, green tea makes for a healthy and restorative beverage.

              7. Salmon

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                Salmon is rich in Vitamin D, a nutrient that many of us do not receive enough of. It also contains high levels of many essential nutrients, like selenium, potassium, biotin, and niacin. Add salmon to a quick kale salad to stay fuller longer and stabilize your blood sugar.

                8. Pomegranate

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                  Pomegranates are a sweet and tangy fruit, high in flavonoids and polyphenols. These powerful antioxidants protect against free radicals in the body, thus lowering the chance of disease. A clever way to get your pomegranate fix is by stirring up a sauce – combine cranberries and pomegranates for a sweet and easy condiment.

                  9. Carob

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                    Carob is an excellent milk chocolate substitute, and is incredibly powerful in protecting the body. It contains antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, and analgesic properties. Carob can be used to make healthy, homemade freezer desserts like almond fudge.

                    10. Honey

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                      Honey is a versatile condiment to keep in your pantry. Much like the natural extract forskolin, honey is said to alleviate allergies. It can also suppress a persistent cough, and even improve memory. A staple recipe to add to your dinner collection is honey roasted carrots.

                      11. Oatmeal

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                        Whole grains have been shown to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Oatmeal is also a great source of iron and magnesium. In order to get the most out of oatmeal, stick to steal cut and avoid prepackaged flavors with heaps of additives. Add sunflower seed, agave, and berries for a quick morning oatmeal recipe.

                        12. Bananas

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                          Bananas are sometimes discouraged as a “high sugar” food. However, the carbohydrates in bananas are pure, and go directly to fueling the body in an efficient way. Banana is a satisfying dessert replacement. Make a peach banana smoothie with just 4 ingredients.

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                          13. Ginger

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                            Ginger is useful as a digestive aids, and can also alleviate nausea and motion sickness. Ginger has also been shown to aid inflammation and respiratory problems in the body. An easy way to get your ginger is to include it in a zesty lime salsa.

                            14. Mustard

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                              Compared to mayo and ketchup, mustard is a superior choice as it doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup or unhealthy fats. Interestingly, it’s also been shown to treat skin conditions like psoriasis and contact dermatitis. Add mustard to a delicious and clean potato salad recipe.

                              15. Black Beans

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                                Black beans are a healthy carbohydrate containing fiber, folate, and vitamin B6. They help you to balance cholesterol levels and support heart functioning. Throw together some basic ingredients from your fridge to create this hearty black bean stew.

                                Featured photo credit: picjumbo via picjumbo.com

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                                Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                                How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                                How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                                Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                                To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                                Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                                1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                                Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                                Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                                To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                                2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                                Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                                If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                                Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                                3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                                Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                                Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                                4. Feed Your Brain

                                Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                                This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                                Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                                Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                                5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                                According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                                Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                                Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                                6. Write it Down

                                If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                                It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                                You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                                7. Listen to Music

                                Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                                8. Visual Concepts

                                In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                                Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                                Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                                9. Teach Someone Else

                                Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                                Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                                10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                                Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                                So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                                Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

                                More About Boosting Memory

                                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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