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The Best Diet for a Lifetime of Healthy Joints

The Best Diet for a Lifetime of Healthy Joints

Joints are an amazing part of your body – they allow you to run, paint a picture, ride a bicycle or do housework. And most people don’t think about them until something goes wrong and they are left with joints that are painful, swollen or stiff with the aging process or disease. However, while some diseases and condition cannot be avoided, many can be improved by the foods you eat, such as the ones below.

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    Salmon

    If you really want to beef up your protein intake – pardon the pun – salmon is a great way to go, as are other fatty fish like tuna or mackerel. These are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are well-known for their ability to reduce inflammation throughout the body, including the joints themselves.

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    That is why these kind fish are so popular among those who want to eat as healthy as possible. Salmon can be prepared in a number of delicious ways, including being pan-fried with lemon juice and butter or sautéed with balsamic vinegar.

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      Citrus Fruits

      Are you really committed to joint health, then citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes are also a great choice. They are rich in vitamin C, which not only has anti-inflammatory properties but also is used to make collagen. Collagen is a compound which the body uses to manufacture and protect the joints and thus a high vitamin-C diet can help to ease this condition.

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      Oranges are also easy to add to your diet: you can section them and put them into a parfait with yogurt, for instance, or use them to make delicious sauces for stir-fries.

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        Walnuts

        Do you want to harness the properties of omega three fatty acids without having to eat meat and fish to do it? Then consider adding walnuts to your diet. They are a great choice for vegetarians and vegans, not only for these essential fatty acids that reduce inflammation in the joints, but also because they are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Sprinkled into oatmeal or ground into flour and made into muffins, they are equally excellent.

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          Cucumbers

          Cucumbers might seem like a pretty simple food, but they are actually a complex mix of fiber, water, and a whole array of vitamins and minerals. The most important, for the purposes of this article, is silica, which has been shown to promote and sustain the health of joints. Cucumbers can be sliced up and put into a salad or pureed into delicious summer soups.

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            Curried Dishes

            The cuisines of Thailand and India as well as other parts of southeast Asia have, over thousands of years, come up with some amazing curried dishes featuring a variety of vegetables, meats and even tropical fruits like mango.

            Curried dishes are a great thing to add to your joint-healthy diet because they are rich in turmeric, the deep gold Indian spice is rich in a compound called curcumin, which many studies have shown has a powerful anti-inflammatory affect and can reduce the swelling, pain and stiffness of arthritic joints.

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              Chai Tea

              Chai tea is India’s national drink – and due to its delicious flavor is becoming increasingly popular here in America. And how does chai fit into your joint-healthy diet? It is rich in ginger, a plant which is botanically related to the turmeric plant and shares many of turmeric’s strong anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is rich in compounds called gingerols that multiple studies have also shown can reduce joint inflammation and increase their suppleness and mobility.

              So if you are interested in supple, strong joints even into middle age or beyond, consider adding foods like the ones mentioned above into your diet on a regular basis. Whether it is due to anti-inflammatory compounds like curcumin or vitamins and minerals like silicon or vitamin C, they all will promote healthy joints no matter the stage in your life.

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              Brian Wu

              Health Writer, Author

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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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