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10 Houseplants for a fresher breath of air at home

10 Houseplants for a fresher breath of air at home

With the amount of pollution witnessed through release of harmful pollutants from automobiles, factories, etc., some people are wanting to spend most of their free time indoors. Unfortunately, this is not helping them much as the indoor air quality, these days, is also compromised with volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). However, houseplants are widely used not just to improve home decor but also the air quality inside, giving a good boost to your overall health and morale.

Houseplants as more than functional decorations

The presence of something “green” elicits happy emotions and makes the atmosphere relaxing and peaceful, whether you are in your home or strolling in a garden. What’s more significant of the unmatched advantages of keeping houseplants in your home is their ability to ward off a number of negative effects on your body through pests, harmful toxins, poor indoor air, chemicals, etc.

Houseplants for a fresh breath of air at home

Lady Palm: Best houseplant (requiring less maintenance) to resist pests at home.

Aloe: This sun-loving houseplant will help clear common VOC’s like formaldehyde and benzene.

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Areca Palm: An adorable option to decorate your home, however, also highly effective to get rid of airborne toxins.

Spider Plant: A great air purifier that fights off VOC’s, carbon monoxide, and xylene, which incorporates chemically-related hydrocarbons used by leather, rubber, and printing firms. It’s also safe for pets at home.

Rubber Plant: It specifically removes the presence of formaldehyde from indoor air.

Golden Pothos: Consider it also as a phenomenal option to plant outdoors, maybe your garage, because it can battle formaldehyde which is a major content of car exhaust.

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Janet Craig: As cool as it sounds, this houseplant will help ease off your indoor air by eliminating trichloroethylene. It is another low maintenance option with attractive features.

Chrysanthemum: If you’re a frequent user of glue, paint, plastic, or detergent at home, this indoor plant should be a colorful option for you because it filters out benzene.

Ficus Alii: A natural resistant to pests while providing general air purification at home.

Peace Lily: It eliminates alcohol, acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene, and formaldehyde from indoor air, and evokes a romantic feeling in your room.

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What the researches and studies are concluding about houseplants

Several studies have reported the benefits of houseplants for human beings, and also the environment, such as the 2009 research published by the American Society of Horticultural Science in Science Daily which proves the effectiveness of houseplants in reducing indoor ozone (main component of air pollution) concentrations.

Natural remedy for managing asthma at home is a major boon offered by houseplants as they are capable of regulating indoor humidity levels and eliminating asthma triggers like allergens by providing a clean and pure supply of oxygen, vital for every organ of your body to function as they should. The 2009 research also proved how houseplants cancel one of the toxic ozone effects, i.e. reduction in lung function, which is related to asthma.

Not to forget, NASA along with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America identified the importance of houseplants for purifying air in space facilities in the late ‘80s. Thanks to their nature, these natural air purifiers and humidifiers are great at keeping respiratory conditions at check, which could be delayed by effects of long-term exposure to impure indoor air.

The benefits of houseplants do not end here. In a 2008 study, they were proved by Dutch researchers to have lowered stress levels for patients in hospitals than for those without any indoor plants in their rooms. It’s worth mentioning that houseplants are proving themselves time again as a strong home remedy to dismiss different triggers of asthma, this time by providing a reposeful and calming environment for stress and anxiety related asthma.

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Finally, below is an interesting infographic on NASA’s guide to Air-Filtering Houseplants by lovethegarden.com.

nasa-air-filter-house-plants

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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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