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Here’s Why Tequila Can Help You Lose Weight

Here’s Why Tequila Can Help You Lose Weight

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    Yes, Tequila Could Help You Manage Your Weight

    Research presented at the American Chemical Society earlier this year demonstrated that a substance occurring naturally in the plant used to make tequila could hold the key to treating diabetes and obesity. To be clear, no particular food or drink will completely counteract a poor diet. However, these results are exciting because they demonstrate the power of a single substance on blood sugar levels and, in turn, on weight management.

    Over 20 million Americans suffer from Type 2 diabetes, which is often associated with obesity, and scientists behind this study believe that the plant used in tequila production could hold the key to treating these conditions. It offers hope for those who overeat, want to lose some weight, and still want to enjoy spirits!

    Tequila’s Effect On Blood Glucose Levels

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      Tequila is made from the agave plant, which contains compounds known as agavins. These natural sugars are not digestible and in fact can be considered a form of dietary fiber. As a result, they are not rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream as is the case with other forms of sugar such as glucose. Agavins are not the same as agave nectar or agave syrup, which in fact exerts a notable effect on blood sugar. This means that agavins do not trigger a appreciable rise in blood glucose, but instead serve to regulate it.

      As they are non-digestible, they are also low in calories. Researchers investigating the effects of agavins on the body found that not only do they regulate blood glucose, but they also increase production of a hormone known as GLP-1.

      Enhanced GLP-1 production is a desirable outcome for those who want to lose weight because it slows the rate at which the stomach empties. When an individual’s stomach holds onto food for longer, they can happily go for longer periods of time without eating. This in turn reduces the drive to eat, and serves to keep the total ingested quantity of calories down.

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      Combined with sensible food choices and regular exercise, this can contribute to weight management. Most people can ingest agavins with no negative side-effects, which means that they hold potential as a standalone supplement for those looking to shed pounds.

      In support of this theory, researchers presenting at the ACS conference discussed experiments they had carried out with mice. They experimented with the effects of agavins, aspartame, fructose, sucrose, and agave syrup on the animals’ weight and blood glucose levels. The results were clear: mice who were administered agavins consumed less food, weighed less, and had lower levels of blood sugar compared with those who were given other forms of sugar and sweeteners.

      This study represents the first attempt to evaluate agavins as sweeteners in spite of their lower sweetness compared to sugar,’” said lead researcher Mercedes G. López, Ph.D.

      Whilst agavins do not taste quite as sweet as the other sweeteners evaluated in the study, they are unlikely to cause the side effects which is sometimes seen in those who consume other sweeteners such as aspartame, which can trigger headaches in some people.

      Agavins are also thought to be beneficial in encouraging important, health-promoting bacteria in the mouth and digestive system. The maintenance of such bacterial cultures in the body is vital for general health and wellbeing.

      How Often Should You Reach For The Tequila?

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        Whilst excessive alcohol consumption is never a good idea, enjoying a few shots of tequila on an occasional basis may actually come with health benefits. A shot of tequila with dinner may help you regulate your food intake and blood sugar levels, in turn reducing your risk of diabetes, obesity, and other related conditions.

        Featured photo credit: Tequila sunrise/Christian Benseler via flickr.com

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        Jay Hill

        Freelance Writer

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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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