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Last Updated on February 27, 2018

Eating Fast to Save Time Is Shortening Your Life

Eating Fast to Save Time Is Shortening Your Life

Brits only spend 41 minutes of their day, total, to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. To break that down, that means an average eating time of 8 minutes for breakfast, 13 minutes 45 seconds for lunch, and 19 minutes 27 seconds for breakfast.[1]

Americans take just a bit more time, with an average of one hour and 14 minutes a day spent eating the three major meals.[2]

While any one of us could easily justify the need for speed when it comes to eating (after all, there are always so many more things to get done in a day!), people who eat too quickly are likely to become obese, or develop metabolic syndrome, both of which increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke – all of which can be deadly.[3]

Your Body on Eating Fast

When you rush through a meal, no matter what time of day it is, your digestive system can’t keep up. When that happens, it can’t trigger the little flags in your brain that let you know you’re full. Inevitably, you overeat.

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    When you’ve ingested something, it takes a while for your stomach to catch up anyway – about 20 minutes, in fact. The process doesn’t start until your stomach begins to stretch. So if you slow down and give yourself a little more time, you may find that if you stop eating sooner, you won’t eat excess foods.

    Eating slower gives your stomach more time to start working on the food

      Think about the last time you were really hungry. Once you got your hands on food, you probably found yourself capable of eating just about everything in sight, and doing it quickly! You also probably suffered from serious heartburn later on. This is due to your stomach trying to catch up with the pace at which you were sending all that food down.

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      Eating slower and taking at least 20 minutes to eat at a time, allows your digestive tract to get a head start in the process of digesting the food.

      Additionally, when you eat too quickly, air gets into your stomach and overloads it. While this can produce more acid leading to heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it can also make you embarrassingly gassy.

      Eating at a slower pace can help you enjoy your meal

      Granted, you’ll already enjoy your food more if you don’t have heartburn, GERD, gas and bloating, but slowing down when you’re enjoying a meal can help you savor whatever it is you’re eating, as it allows you to be more aware.

      You’ll find that you’re more aware of the texture, flavor and smell of the food, making the meal more interesting and memorable. This is especially great if you’re eating at a restaurant and you want to enjoy the moment.

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      How to Adapt the 20 Minute Eating Rule

        If you have a habit of eating a lot, and doing so quickly, you won’t change that overnight. However, there are plenty of tips you can use to improve the time you take to eat a meal and eat as slow as 20 minutes for each meal.

        1. Choose high-fiber foods that take more time to chew

        What could you eat faster, raw broccoli or a breadstick? The high fiber, fresh veggie will take you longer to eat, simply because of its texture. Plus, the nutrients will fill you up faster! While you’re learning to slow down your eating habits, you’ll also be building some really healthy ones!

        2. Put down your utensils between bites

        This tip can feel daunting, but it isn’t as bad as you might think. In between bites, set down your utensil. It’s a small move, but the action forces you to slow down, even the smallest amount, and really focus on checking in with your body to determine if you’re full or not yet.

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        3. Try setting a minimum number of chews per bite

        When you aren’t breaking down your food into tiny pieces, it can be very challenging to digest later on. Try to set a minimum number of chews per bite. This can be five or thirty-five, whatever feels best to you. Once you get into the habit, you won’t even have to count anymore.

        4. Find another slow eater and pace yourselves to them

        If you are aware you eat quickly, it’s probably because someone you dine with has pointed it out to you. The next time you eat with them, focus on the pace in which they consume their meal and match up to them. You don’t have to mirror them to the point they are uncomfortable, just find some self-awareness.

        5. Talk with people who eat with you and slow down your eating pace

        Be sociable. When you’re dining with someone, carry on a conversation. You’ll be amazed at how much less you need to eat to feel full.

        Slow and Steady Wins

        As you approach your next meal, and every meal thereafter, try to treat the experience like a memory to be made. If you go into the experience aware of the need to make it memorable, you may find yourself having an easier time slowing down to eat.

        No matter how you have to train yourself to slow down, you’ll be grateful you took the time to do so. No meal and no rushed timeline is worth losing your health.

        Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

        Reference

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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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