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Last Updated on May 25, 2018

The Ultimate List of Superfoods

The Ultimate List of Superfoods

If you’re looking for natural ways to get healthy and you’ve ever thought about taking a supplement of some kind or eating more of a certain superfood, you’ve probably read a lot of posts and blogs about different kinds of superfoods. There are so many superfoods out there, so where do you begin? A good place to start would be to determine what you need a supplement for. Is it for energy? Digestion or metabolism? Sleep? Healthy skin?

If you need some help, I’ve created this list to get you going in the right direction when it comes to finding the superfood that best matches your needs:

Green tea

Green tea comes in the form of tea, matcha, and supplements, and is effective for many things, such as depression, weight loss, diabetes, and other health issues.

Black tea

Like green tea, black tea is good for your immune system, your digestive system, heart health, and stress relief.

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Coffee

I, for one, am a huge fan of coffee. Sometimes it gets a bad rap, but it actually has several benefits. It helps lower your risk of cancer and diseases, such as diabetes, Parkinson’s, and heart disease. It’s good for your metabolism and it helps fight depression. In order to reap these benefits, you have to skip the creamer and the sugar, and take it black.

Turmeric (Curcumin)

Turmeric is a spice that comes from a plant and is often used in cuisine. However, turmeric supplements are recommended for those who need help with weight loss, fighting bacterial infections and inflammation, and preventing cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil can be recommended for just about anything. No joke. In fact, there’s almost a hundred ways you can use coconut oil with food, on your skin or in your hair, and even around the house.

Fish oil

It sounds kind of gross, but fish oil is actually beneficial for a number of things, such as depression, fat burning, stronger bones, clearer skin, hearth health, and more.

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Melatonin

Don’t get confused—this is not a sleeping pill. Melatonin is actually a natural hormone in your body that helps regulate your sleep cycle and it’s the only hormone you can buy over-the-counter. So, if you suffer from restless sleep or sleeplessness, a melatonin supplement will raise the level of the hormone in your body, and hopefully help you fall asleep.

Garlic

Not only is garlic delicious, it’s also super good for you. It has lots of nutrients that help detox the body, as well as, help prevent Alzheimer’s. It also helps lower the risk of developing heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. It’s even good if you have a simple cold.

Pine pollen

Pine pollen is a natural energy booster that’s helpful for working out and continual use promotes energy increase. It comes in a powder or as a pine pollen tincture.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is well-known for being a great antioxidant. It’s also good for your skin, as well as lowering the risk of having a stroke.

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Ginger

Ginger is great for digestion and metabolism, and not only does it help prevent colds, it also helps prevent different cancers and strengthens immunity. It’s also a great ingredient in all kinds of food!

Cinnamon

Cinnamon isn’t just a delicious spice. In fact, it’s also good for your immune system, blood sugar regulation, muscles, and energy.

Lemon

Lemons have been known to help regulate your metabolism, which helps you lose weight and improve your digestive system. They’re even good for things like acne and hangovers.

Honey

Because honey is sweet, it doesn’t sound as healthy. Honey can be a great sugar replacement and has been known to curb appetites. It also works as a great antioxidant.

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Chia seeds

Like many other things on this list, chia seeds are good for digestive and heart health, weight loss, energy levels, and more.

Water

Of course water is on this list, water is the best! It’s one of the most natural things in the world and the amount of benefits regular consumption comes with are endless. But, to name a few, it helps with weight loss, digestion, anti-aging properties, skin health, detoxification, and sleep regulation.

Many of the things on this list come in the form of supplements, but are also good for cooking or drinking. Some of these things are even amazing combined and make a pretty good smoothie.

If you’re looking for natural and simple ways to be healthier, try out some of the things on this list and develop a routine that works for you!

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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