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7 Secrets of Healthy People

7 Secrets of Healthy People

Healthy people do not just wake up one day to a fit body and clear mind. Real health involves a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and for many people this means making some changes in their physical and mental approach to everyday life. Here are seven top ways healthy people get that way and stay that way.

1. They Make Sure to Get Good Quality Sleep

Sleep is a cornerstone of mental and physical well being. The time spent sleeping is not as idle as it might seem. During a good night’s rest, the body can direct its energy towards healing and repairing the system. It releases growth hormones to help repair wounds and create new cells, and there is even evidence that a good night’s rest can help keep your weight in check because of hunger-regulating hormones. In addition, the brain uses this time to recuperate and to store important information.

To start getting better rest, create a quieter, more comfortable sleeping area. Set a time for winding down at least an hour before your bedtime. Avoid bright lights and, especially, computer monitors or lights from other electronic devices. Many people find meditation or gentle yoga routines to be helpful for relaxing the body and calming the mind before bed.

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2. They Eat a Great Diet

There are many different opinions on what counts as the healthiest diets, but healthy people nearly always focus on eating a lot of vegetables, avoiding artificial preservatives and limiting processed foods and sugar. Eating clean helps your body get the nutrients it needs without the potentially toxic additives.

The excuse many people have for eating junk food is that healthy meals take too long to prepare. If your days are chaotic and you feel you don’t have the time to indulge in healthy eating, consider signing up for healthy delivered meals at home or office. Healthy meal delivery is more than just a convenience. It can keep you on track and help you avoid the temptation of skipping meals or eating fast food.

3. They Learn and Practice Stress Management

Unchecked stress takes a rapid and measurable toll on the body. Cortisol, adrenalin and other stress hormones are beneficial during emergencies because they help a person fight or flee from danger. However, these hormones are destructive to the body over time, such as during periods of chronic stress.

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Stress cannot always be avoided, and so healthy people learn ways to manage their stress. Relaxation exercises, breathing techniques, journaling and talking with loved ones are a few techniques you can use.

4. They Maintain a Balanced Outlook

Negativity can seem pervasive in the world at times. Healthy people ensure they focus on positive things as much as, or at least more than, the negative. In this way, they can maintain a healthy mental balance and avoid becoming consumed by the sadness and despair in the world.

One way to incorporate this into your life is to seek out positive news stories or contribute positively to the world by helping others in some way.

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5. They Nurture Relationships

It is okay to be alone, and it is important to take time out when you need to. However, healthy people also nurture relationships with others.

Healthy social interaction has been shown to boost mood and quality of life. Find ways to spend more quality time with other people and you will see a difference.

6. They Take Time Out

Everyone needs time to recharge. A healthy person takes this time with the understanding that it is a necessity and not a luxury.

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By taking a break and spending time self-nurturing, you will have the energy and desire to show the world your best self.

7. They Use Exercise to Care for the Body

For the healthy person, exercise isn’t necessarily more enjoyable than it is for others. However, they know that the benefits of sticking with an exercise routine far outweigh the consequences of a sedentary life. The body is made for movement, and without some exercise, deterioration is inevitable.

Switching to a healthy lifestyle can feel challenging because you’ll experience a lot of daily changes. Take small steps in the beginning and it will be easier not to feel overwhelmed and give up. Remember that anything new is a challenge in the beginning, but you can do it.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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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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