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The Pros and Cons of Television Time

The Pros and Cons of Television Time

A percentage of people will argue that television is nothing but garbage, while others will demand that TV is a tool for good. Some people blame television shows for all of the world’s violence, while others see it for being a resource for education. Who is right and who is wrong? Well, it is not as simple as that. The truth does not come packaged nicely in a concrete answer, rather it is more of a discussion with compelling arguments on both sides.

The Pros of Watching Television

Those who are opposed to television time might ask if there are any advantages to it at all. Yet, here are some of the pros of watching television:

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  1. Television is a cheap and easy source of entertainment in this life that is quite busy and expensive. It provides us with access to international news, making it easy to stay informed about world news.
  2. There are also channels that are exclusively educational that increase our knowledge about the world around us. PBS and Discovery are just a few of the educational channels available.
  3. DIY channels provide access to information on cooking, home improvement, investing, and so much more. Many people even use television to help them learn another language.
  4. Television also provides a way for people to realize dreams or goals that they didn’t even know they had, and it can give them a push in the right direction.
  5. Social Surrogacy is the term used by psychologists to explain how television can make people feel less lonely. It sort of fills the shoes of absent family or friends. Television also helps people to expand their minds through watching others travel and being taught about different cultures and societies, giving us a broader understanding of the world that we live in.
  6. Television events like the Olympics or an award show can gather families and friends around in a central location, where they are able to discuss their thoughts and feelings on the particular event.

The Cons of Watching Television

This list could go on and on, but here are a few of the highlights.

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  1. The violence, crime, and sex depicted on television shows can have negative impacts on young, impressionable children. Some researchers argue that the kids that see these violent acts are more likely to reenact this violent and aggressive behavior.
  2. Watching too much television is also bad for your health. Watching more than 3 hours of television a day may contribute to behavior problems, sleep difficulties, health issues, and lower grades.
  3. Too much television can also make you antisocial, and it is potentially a waste of time. The time that is spent watching television could be spent doing something productive like being social with other people, doing physical activity, enjoying the outdoors, reading, chores, or homework.
  4. Some people fear that television brainwashes people into consumerism. Advertisers target children and on average, children will see 40,000 advertisements per year, many of them being for snack foods and alcohol. The motive is to get consumers to buy.
  5. Television can be seen as making people shallow, because that’s what the majority of the content is. Many programs do not go into detail about issues, or they actively present them in a way that is biased. It has also been said that too much television can ruin relationships. This happens when someone is spending too much time watching the TV, and not enough time with the ones that they love.
  6. Oddly enough, television can also be addictive. Those who watch a lot of TV may find it harder to stop. Some studies have found that as much as 12% of TV watchers are unhappy with the amount of TV that they are watching, and would consider themselves addicted and feel incapable of stopping this habit.

To conclude, television time can both positively and negatively affect the viewer, although children tend to be affected more adversely than adults.

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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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