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People Hitting The Beach Often Are Healthier, Here’s Why

People Hitting The Beach Often Are Healthier, Here’s Why

When inland people plan a relaxing vacation for de-stressing, they usually pick the beach. Studies show the beach really is the best place to be, because of the myriad health benefits the sun, sand, surf and simple ambience it offers.

In fact, a study conducted in the United Kingdom found that people who lived closer to the coast were healthier and happier in general. Conducted by researchers Benedict W. Wheeler, Mathew White, Will Stahl-Timmins and Michael H. Depledge, the study shows that both “green space,” or grassy areas, and “blue space,” or waterways, combined had the ultimate mental, spiritual and healing powers. Here are other ways in which you can benefit from some time at the beach, whether it’s for relaxation, physical exercise or a good ol’ dose of healthy and natural Vitamin D.

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1. Ambience Environment Restores Your Peace Within

Studies show that natural environments, like the beach, waterfront parks and other similar areas extend nourishing and restorative benefits to people than options in urban areas, like gyms and entertainment outlets, said environmental health expert J. Aaron Hipp. In Hipp’s study, he focused on the beach and said that mild temperature days and low tides in particular offer the most restorative benefits. The study showed that beachgoers who visited on a day that was at least three degrees Fahrenheit warmer than average were 30 percent less likely to view their trip to the beach or coastal area as restorative.

2. Beachfront Exercises Burns More Calories

Running or walking on sand for exercise burns more calories versus doing the same motions on a hard surface. Walking on sand actually requires almost three times more energy than walking on a hard surface at the same speed, according to a study in the Journal of Experimental Biology. Plus, if you go for a dip in the ocean, swimming against the waves burns more calories than if you swam in a pool.

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3. Water Reduces Your Stress Level

Simply sitting on the beach without electronic devices helps reduce stress levels. A study from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden shows that staying plugged in 24-7 has been associated with stress, depression and a loss of sleep. Meredith F. Small, an anthropologist at Cornell University, notes that it’s human nature to be drawn toward the therapeutic effects of water. In fact, long ago, doctors prescribed treatments at “bathing hospitals” or special clinics that administered seawater bath treatments.

4. Natural Sunlight Supplements Vitamin D In Your Body

Too much sun exposure can be a concern, but the right length of time spent in the sun while wearing sunscreen will boost your Vitamin D levels, which subsequently helps with calcium absorption and builds strong bones. The Vitamin D Council notes that in the amount of time it takes for the skin to turn pink, the body can produce 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin D.

5. Sunshine Peps You Up

Healthy sun exposure also offers the body other benefits one study shows, including an upswing in endorphins–those feel-good chemicals.

6. Tickling Your Toes In The Sand Strengthens Your Feet Muscles

Walking barefoot in the sand stimulates the nerve endings in your feet as opposed to walking around in shoes. You also strengthen the muscles in your feet when barefoot in the sand. Doctors point out that there are between 3,000 and 7,000 nerve endings in each foot that are heightened when you expose those feet to sand.

7. Sand Naturally Exfoliates Your Feet

Sand is a wonderful natural exfoliant and simply walking near the water where the sand is loose and can wash over your feet means you just stand there and reap the health benefits of renewed skin.

8. Minerals Gives You Better Skin And Relieves Arthritis

Sea water consists of several minerals, such as magnesium, potassium and iodine, all which offer several health benefits, such as fighting infection and detoxification. These minerals also help reverse the decline in your skin’s elasticity. In fact, you’ll find tons of over the counter skin care products that contain these same minerals. These same minerals also help reduce the painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis who used bath salts made with minerals from the Dead Sea enjoyed fewer symptoms.

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So the next time you are needing a getaway or weekend retreat, book a trip to the beach and reap the many health benefits awaiting you.

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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!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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