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9 Reasons Why Everybody Should Know Who Wim Hof Is

9 Reasons Why Everybody Should Know Who Wim Hof Is

We are all fascinated by the idea that humans may be able to surpass our expected physical bounds and exhibit superhuman abilities. From Spiderman to the Avengers, people happily shell out millions by the masses to quench their thirst for fantasy.

It isn’t often that someone actually possesses superhuman abilities, yet we generally give it little attention. Who has heard of Stephen Wiltshire and his extraordinary ability to recreate detailed, panoramic, city landscapes after a split-second glance? Or how about Ben Underwood, a child blinded by retinal cancer who utilized echolocation in lieu of vision?

The point is that incredible talents exist, and though it’s fun to see Hugh Jackman rip apart villains with Adamantium-reinforced claws, we don’t have to turn to fiction to witness superhuman performances. The extraordinary can be found in reality.

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Who Is Wim Hof?

One superhuman that has caught my attention is Wim “Iceman” Hof. Wim has garnered global fame for his ability to embrace freezing temperatures that routinely send victims into hypothermia. He has run bareback marathons in subzero temperatures, climbed the highest mountains on the planet shirtless, and proven to science that he can control his autonomic nervous system with his mind.

Interested yet? We are just getting started.

9 Facts About Wim Hof

  1. He climbed Mt. Everest in shorts. Though he never experienced a hint of hypothermia or altitude sickness, Wim surpassed 22,000 feet before a lingering foot injury halted his ascension.
  2. He submerged himself in ice for almost two hours without his core body temperature lowering a degree and broke a world record. Who holds the record for the second- and third-longest attempts? Wim himself.
  3. He completed a marathon in the Namib Desert without water. Temperatures surpassing 104 degrees Fahrenheit and losing over fourteen pounds of water water didn’t discourage him from finishing this amazing feat. Apparently he does alright in the heat too!
  4. Dressed in nothing by shorts, he completed a full marathon north of the arctic circle in less than six hours.
  5. He reached the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro (5895 meters) in less than 32 hours. And yes, he did it in shorts. Who has time for altitude acclimation anyway?
  6. He eats just once a day, past 6 pm, and has done so for 38 years. Wim claims that this alleviates stress on his body by not having to process excess food. He’ll only cheat and have breakfast on days when he breaks a record.
  7. He swam over 80 meters below an ice shelf north of the arctic circle with one breath. Yes, that’s right — over 250 feet in -30 degree water in one breath. No big deal.
  8. He can take control of his autonomous nervous system. This startling discovery was found by researchers after they attempted to refute his claims by inviting him into into the labs. He was injected with an endotoxin that causes people to get severely sick within minutes. But that was not the case with Wim. Researchers found that the endotoxin didn’t affect him in the slightest, and credited this to his unique ability to harness control over his autonomous nervous system.
  9. He claims that anyone can be like him. Wim teaches thousands of others to harness the strength of the breath, the importance of cold showers, and the practice of meditation. He offers a ten-week course encompassing his meditation practices, as well as numerous retreats and trips that he leads.

Anyone Can Do It

Perhaps the craziest of the facts about Wim Hof is it that he swears that anyone can experience life as he does — if they have the determination to learn.

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Wim first realized his tremendous tolerance to extreme temperatures when he was 17. According to him, he was “attracted” to jump into a freezing cold pond where he experienced an awakening. Since then, Wim has taught himself how to harness physiological control over his body in order to coexist in hostile environments.

For years, he accomplished incredible feats in frigid climates, and for years science eschewed him as another crackpot who liked to boast. It wasn’t until researchers brought him into the lab that his claims were scientifically confirmed.

When Wim isn’t breaking records, he dedicates his energy towards teaching anyone who’s willing to listen how they can eschew their learnt conceptions of the cold and experience an awakening through the breath. And at 56, it doesn’t seem like he is slowing down anytime soon.

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“I want to set up orphanages to help children, and I’m sure I’ll be climbing more mountains. Let the world challenge me — I’ll be there.”

He offers retreats in various mountain ranges across Western Europe and shares his experiences online for those unable to travel.

I have been practicing his techniques and the results have been literally breathtaking (no pun intended). By just practicing his guided meditation technique (known as the Wim Hof Method) twice a day, I have noticed an intense transformation in my perception. Cold showers have become a vital event to my daily life.

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So what is Wim’s advice for all that are eager to learn?

“Believe in yourself, take cold showers, and practice deeper breathing.”

Seems simple enough.

Featured photo credit: Iceman Wim Hof via icemanwimhof.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!

More About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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