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7 Household Chores with Unexpected Health Benefits

7 Household Chores with Unexpected Health Benefits

Not everyone enjoys household chores — that’s a given. But what if you knew that there were more benefits to them than just making your home look more presentable? Once you realize how these simple tasks can boost your happiness, lower your stress, or protect your body from diseases, your to-do list will never look the same again.

1. Making the Bed

Studies have shown that those who make their beds each morning take on the day with increased productivity and a greater sense of well-being. Most people feel a small sense of accomplishment when they make their bed each day, and are then encouraged to keep up the trend by completing task after task.

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Those who make their bed will also tend to feel more rested and energized throughout the day, rather than tired or groggy. Leaving the bed a rumpled mess can add unnecessary stress to your day.

2. Tidying up Your Yard

Here’s some motivation to get your yard in order: those individuals who do the most yard work, DIY projects, and housecleaning have about a 30 percent lower risk of suffering a first-time heart attack or stroke, as compared to those who are more sedentary. Plus, there is a chemical released in freshly cut grass that makes people feel more joyful and relaxed.

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As you spend time outside sweating (and re-hydrating!) your body is flushing out all of the toxins that it has collected. Often times, those who spend a lot of time sweating outside will feel a second wind of energy after they’ve cooled off.

3. Washing Dishes

Cleaning your plate mindfully has the ability to lower nervousness levels by almost 30 percent. By doing this, the individual is focused on the smell of the soap, the temperature of the water, and the touch of the dishes.

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Those who do not take the time to wash dishes by hand don’t experience this calming benefit. Washing dishes doesn’t take a lot of concentration, so the mind is free to just wander while the hands are busy. This is also a great time to practice breathing exercises.

4. Cleaning the Bathroom

The benefits of cleaning a bathroom extend beyond your own body and the motions of cleaning. A bathroom is the ideal place for harmful bacteria to grow. When you clean it regularly, you are reducing the chance of disease; disabling it from spreading from places like the toilet to your toothbrush. Regular cleaning will also prevent mold from growing, which if not taken care of right away will become more difficult to control later on.

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5. Growing Flowers and Vegetables

Taking part in activities in nature can help to reduce the symptoms of depression. A Norwegian study took a group of individuals who had been diagnosed with different forms of depression and instructed them to spend about six hours each week gardening. At the end of a few months, these individuals noticed a notable improvement in the symptoms of their depression, and it continued for a few months after the study ended.

An added bonus: healthy vegetables from your own garden!

6. Getting Rid of Kitchen Clutter

A recent study has shown that people with an extremely cluttered home were about 77 percent more likely to be overweight, if not obese. This is because it is more difficult to make healthy eating choices in a cluttered kitchen. Once a kitchen becomes organized, a person may begin to see benefits like weight loss without the need to diet. Also, getting rid of the clutter is the best time to trash any foods that are super unhealthy. Out of sight, out of mind!

7. Vacuuming

30 minutes of vacuuming can have the same benefits as 15 minutes of kickboxing. Aim to vacuum the whole house in one shot, as opposed to tackling each room individually. The motion associated with vacuuming will work out not only your arms, but your core and legs as well because of the pushing and pulling movements.

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Sasha Brown

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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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