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Why UberPool is Awesome

Why UberPool is Awesome

UberPool is not only changing the way we travel through reduced fares, pollution and carbon but changing the way we connect, by matching us with strangers! It is also providing us with an amazing opportunity to get social and increase our feelings of wellbeing in many ways. Why is this important? Studies show that we have lost our ultrasociality – a source of happiness in humans. Chronic loneliness afflicts one in three Americans and takes a severe toll on health. So here are my five reasons why we should make the most of UberPool, because it is awesome.

1. Small talk is good for us.

By opening up and chatting with our fellow rider/s we can boost our feelings of wellbeing! Even micro moments of positive interaction promote positive health benefts.

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2. A short casual conversation, with a stranger, where we play the “interested inquirer” gives us a chance to cultivate curiosity.

Curiosity is good for us too. It grows our empathy and makes us more open to others who we perceive as different from us. Happiness guru Martin Seligman identifies it as a key character strength that can enhance life satisfaction.

3. Humans are hard wired to be pro social.

Helping others brings the same pleasure we get from the gratification of personal desire. So when you ask your fellow rider for a little advice about, say, the best local restaurant, not only could you find out where the finest steak in town is served, which will increase your happiness if you go there and eat it, you will also increase their happiness as well.

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4. It is likely that some people you come across will become part of your wide ranging social network.

Research suggests that job seekers who have wide-ranging weak ties are actually more likely to be successful in their search than those who have stronger close relationships. So you could find yourself in your dream job! How great for your wellbeing is that!

5. Increasing our personal networks with weaker ties also gives us a broader range of social roles, which increases our feelings of self worth and lowers stress and anxiety levels.

What we need to know is do most fellow riders really feel like connecting? My answer is yes. Both extroverts and introverts get a boost out of interacting with people, even if it is not known yet whether a simple interaction, such as in a cab, provides just as powerful a boost as speaking with a friend.

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However, before you launch into conversation you might want to remember a few basic things, just in case. When is it cool to interact and when is it annoying? The key to success here is the ability to read body language.

So when should you interact with someone? When their body is relaxed and open, they are turned towards you, they smile a lot, mirror you a little, make eye contact and their language flows. Notice also if they are listening and asking relevant questions.

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And when should you not interact with someone? Well, that’s easy to figure out, they will be the opposite of the above. Their body will be tense, closed and turned away, very little or no eye contact will be made, their voice will be flat and monotone and they will speak in clipped sentences.

Obviously not all interactions are going to be positive, we all have bad days. It is important not to take offence. Who knows what goes on in another’s life. They could simply be somewhere else due to everyday stress. If only they knew that by connecting with others they could feel a whole lot better

Featured photo credit: bfishadow via flickr.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!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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