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Female NASCAR Drivers: How Cool Is That?

Female NASCAR Drivers: How Cool Is That?

Women in NASCAR aren’t as unusual as you might think. Unlike many other racing events, NASCAR didn’t disallow female drivers from participation since its beginning in 1949. However, throughout the 20th century, female NASCAR drivers were few and far between — more of an exception than a rule.

It wasn’t until 2004 and the foundation of the Drive for Diversity program that the number of female NASCAR drivers really began to reach significant proportions. This program serves as a way to attract more representatives from women in minorities to actively engage in racing, inviting a new round of non-traditional drivers to participate year after year. Nevertheless, there are already many important names on the list of female NASCAR drivers, and today we’d like to tell you about some of them.

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1. Sarah Christian

Perhaps Sarah Christian didn’t have a stellar driving career, but still, she was the first woman to participate in a NASCAR race — and in the very first race at that. She was married to fellow racecar driver Frank Christian, which makes for another first — they were the first married couple driving team to ever compete against each other in the same race.

2. Janet Gunthrie

Janet Gunthrie was the first female NASCAR driver after the retirement of Sarah Christian, but this is far from being the only thing she is famous for. An avid racer and sports car fan, she had been racing since 1963, but only joined the sport full time in 1972. Just four years later, she was invited to participate in Indianapolis 500, becoming the first female race driver to qualify and participate in it as well as the Daytona 500. She is certainly the best-known female NASCAR driver of the 20th century.

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3. Jennifer Jo Cobb

Jennifer Jo Cobb boasts more than 25 year of racing experience and over a hundred NASCAR World Truck Series starts. According to her, she always used her gender as a motivation to strive for success. Since the very beginning, she has been inspired by the idea that she would have to work somewhat harder than others to overcome being different if she wanted to amount to anything. If her career so far is a thing to judge by, this motivation certainly did its job.

4. Danica Patrick

As of today, NASCAR can boast of having one of the most well-known female drivers among its ranks — Danica Patrick. She inherited a passion for cars and driving from her parents: her mother was a mechanic while her father actively took part in various racing activities. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Danica Patrick has already managed to leave a huge mark in the history of female racing. She was the fourth woman to participate in the Indianapolis 500, but there are a lot of firsts as well: after winning in the Indy Japan 300 in 2008, she became the first woman to finish first in an Indy race. In 2013, during the Sprint Cup series, she became the first woman to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup pole and the second woman after Janet Gunthrie to have competed both in the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500.

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As a result of relentless work on the part of both NASCAR organizers and a number of talented and hardworking women, the sport slowly but steadily is becoming more diversified. It is no longer a surprise to see women driving the top fastest cars. There are already many more names on the list of female NASCAR drivers and there are going to be many more in the years to come, which is an inspiring and gratifying thing to see.

These female NASCAR drivers deserve respect for their talent and courage. They all make great examples to follow!

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Featured photo credit: wallpapercow.com via wallpapercow.com

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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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