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8 Healthy Dessert Alternatives

8 Healthy Dessert Alternatives
Choosing a healthy treat over gooey chocolate cake or peach cobbler is never easy. Once you start making changes, however, your taste buds will adapt sooner than you think.

Here are eight ideas for satisfying a sweet tooth without neglecting your health

1. Watermelon

If you’re hooked on Popsicles, grab a slice of watermelon instead. The natural sweetness will satisfy your craving while keeping you hydrated.

Don’t buy seedless watermelon; the seeds have a number of healthy nutrients such as magnesium, which helps regulate blood pressure and metabolize carbohydrates and lysine, an essential amino acid that plays a role in cardiovascular health and sexual wellness. Other important minerals in the seeds include iron, copper, manganese and zinc.

2. Fruit Crisps

Fruit crisps made with pure oats and any gluten-free flour, such as almond, garbanzo or banana, are significantly better for you than all-American apple pie.

Be versatile. Apples are wonderful in a crisp, but berries, peaches and pears are other tasty options. Resist the temptation to have your crisp a la mode.

3. Rice Cake With Nut Butter

Crunchy sweets are almost impossible to turn down. That’s why the Girl Scouts make a fortune selling cookies.

Start with a sodium-free wild rice cake. Spread on organic peanut or almond butter. You can top it all off with banana slices, raisins or a generous pinch of flax seeds.

4. Warmed Fruit

Grapefruits, apples, oranges, pears, figs and red grapes are just a few of the fruits that can be transformed into warm, satisfying desserts. You may grill them, bake them or even saute them in healthy cooking oil. Add salt, chopped herbs, a dash of red pepper or citrus zest for flavor. A little goat cheese pairs well with warm fruit.

5. Yogurt and Toppings

The good bacteria in plain yogurt boosts digestive health. You may top yogurt with berries, chopped fruit, seeds, nuts, fresh herbs or a dollop of raw local honey for flavor.

6. Smoothie

You could sip a different fruit smoothie every night for the rest of your life and never taste all the flavor combinations. They may be hard on your blender, but they’re better for you than sugary margarita mix laden with preservatives.

7. After-Dinner Drink

Speaking of margaritas, it’s possible to enjoy healthy versions as after-dinner drinks. Tequila has a bad reputation because people line up shots and often regret it the next day. The truth is that aged, organic tequila from any reputable agave farm is one of the safest alcoholic drinks. The body processes it much faster than other liquors, making it less likely to linger and lead to bad hangovers. The agonizing hangover associated with tequila is more likely due to highly processed, artificially colored margarita mix.

If you’re staying in for the night, sip one shot of quality tequila with any fresh fruit juice. Use crushed mint and muddled fruit, such as grapefruit or orange, to create unique flavors.

It goes without saying that moderation is key, so try not to overdo it. Otherwise, the calories and sugar in alcohol can quickly add up.

8. Sorbet

Europeans have been on to sorbet for ages. It’s light, refreshing, tasty, and it cleanses the palate.

To make a sorbet, blend berries or chopped fruit with water, a little raw honey and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. You may add rosemary, mint or a splash of fruity red wine to enhance flavor. Freeze the mixture until it sets to your liking and you’ll have a dessert that’s far more sensible than ice cream or cake.

Weaning off fattening desserts is difficult unless you have replacements. Good ingredients and a little imagination are all you need for creating delicious alternatives.

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Jesse Boskoff

Co-Founder and COO at Status Labs

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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