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5 Amazing Things That Would Happen When You Log Every Food You Eat

5 Amazing Things That Would Happen When You Log Every Food You Eat

You may have a to-do list or to-buy list, like most of us do. But how many of us would record the food we eat? What we eat affects us every second, as they provide the necessary nutrients, or if you eat unhealthy food they can be harming your bodies…so how can we know if we’re eating right?

By keeping a food diary, you will be surprised and amazed by the difference simply recording what you eat can make to your overall health and well-being.

Sherrie Delinsky, PhD, a staff psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, says: “food diaries can unveil patterns of overeating. They can also reveal and identify triggers to avoid, such as not eating enough throughout the day and then overeating at night, or overeating when drinking alcohol.”

Benefits you will see when you log your food

1. You will cut down on calories

By paying attention to your calorie intake you can better control the amount of calories you are eating. Your awareness will lead to an ability to limit and restrict your daily calorie intake. Experts say that the simple act of keeping a food diary can encourage you to eat fewer calories and thus lose weight. 

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2. You will snack less

By looking at how many snacks you have during the day you can cut down on unnecessary calories. Snacks can add up and can greatly contribute to your calorie intake. You may find that your meals are proportional but that you are snacking too much. By cutting down on snacks you can gain a trimmer waist line.

3. You will see the difference between weekends and weekdays

Another thing you will see is the difference between what you eat on the weekdays and what you consume on the weekend. As you generally have less time during the week you may find that you are eating more takeaway or quick meals with a high fat content. By noticing how you may cut corners on weekdays you can, for example, make an extra effort to cook during the weekend so you have pre-prepared healthy meals ready to eat during the week.

4. You will listen to your mood

By logging your food diary, you will discover your emotional connection with your food. See if your good eating days correspond with a positive mood. Also look to see if you feel good after you eat healthier meals. You may find that your mood is bad when you overeat and indulge. By being more aware of your mood you can prevent overeating and thus reduce your calorie intake.

5. You will feel more comfortable and healthier

By highlighting any food intolerances or allergies you may have you can get rid of unnecessary discomfort and things that are potentially bad for you. By paying attention to what foods make you feel bloated or give you indigestion you can eliminate these foods and feel much better. Some symptoms could be more serious like a rash or nausea. If you experience these kind of reactions to certain foods consult with your doctor.

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How to keep a food diary

What to include?

In your diary you will need to keep a record of the date, time, place, item eaten and quantity consumed. You may like to write by hand; if this is the case you can purchase a blank notebook or a daily diary. If you prefer to use electronic media there are many online tracking devices and apps available.

Be specific

When you keep your diary remember to record everything you eat and drink. The more specific and accurate you are the more benefits you are likely to gain from keeping your diary. You should include all meals, drinks and snacks that you eat throughout the day. It is worthwhile being very specific and including what ingredients are in the meals you eat. For example, if you eat a pasta bolognaise include the pasta and the meat and the tomatoes. Also, do not forget to include you daily water intake, as keeping a record of this will let you know if you have drunken too much or too little water.

Keep track of quantities

It is important to pay attention to how much of a given food you are eating. You may be eating healthy foods but the serving sizes could be too large. It can be useful to purchase a food scale or measuring cup to make sure your quantities are appropriate.

Pay attention to your mood

You may be keeping a food diary in order to lose weight or you could be trying to isolate a food allergy. In both these cases your mood plays an important role. Before and after you eat you can make a note of how you feel.

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It takes approximately 20 minutes for you to feel full and satisfied after a meal so it is best to wait 10-20 minutes before you write down how you feel.

If you make notes about your mood before you eat you may notice that, for example, you eat more when you are feeling stressed or low.

Seek out patterns and regularities in the food you eat

After a while you may see the emergence of some patterns in your eating habits. These patterns may be related to your feeling before and after a meal. It could be that you are eating similar foods at lunch time; for example, a sandwich. You may also notice that you overeat when you are feeling very hungry.

Additional tips

You may want to record the nutritional benefits of your food. This can help you gain insight into what nutrients you are getting and what you might be lacking. This way you can add certain foods to your diet to make up for the gap in your nutrient intake.

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Your physical activity has an effect on how many calories you should be consuming. Making note of what physical activities you are taking part in will help you to know what sorts of food you should be eating.

Summation

By sticking to the routine of keeping a food diary and following some of these suggestions you can make a change to the way you are eating. You may find that by recording your food intake you feel motivated to embark on a better healthier eating path and this will lead to a slimmer waist line and a greater sense of energy and comfort.

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

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:

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.

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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.

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.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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