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10 Foods To Super Boost Your Energy Every Morning

10 Foods To Super Boost Your Energy Every Morning

Are you the up and at ’em type in the mornings?

Or does getting up in the morning drag on longer than the last two Hobbit movies (come at me LOTR fans you know it’s true).

Reaching for a cup of coffee might be your routine but pairing that with a donut or some form of pastry might not be the ideal way to get yourself going first thing as well as keep that energy going.

Here are 10 of the best foods in the morning that will get your moving quicker than Toronto mayor Rob Ford at last call..

1. Water

Wait, water isn’t a food? True but it is the most important macro nutrient. We need water, we are water. Over 2/3rds of our body is made up of water and it is crucial for the balance of body fluids. Among other things these fluids are required for:

  • digestion
  • absorption
  • circulation
  • transport of nutrients
  • balance of body temperature

After 6-8 hours without any it’s a good idea to drink some water to help the cleansing and detoxifying process being in your body. Before you have breakfast or your tea or coffee start with a large glass or two when you wake up. Don’t chug it but sip slowly.

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2. Lemons

While you’re at it with the water you might want to try and squeeze some fresh lemon into it. Lemons help with cleansing the liver and aids in digestion. Lemons are also a great source of:

  • vitamin C
  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • potassium

Try squeezing half a lemon into your water each morning for a mineral boost and an antioxidant charge.

3. Ginger

You are already getting some cleansing water with lemon into you for energy, cleansing and detoxifying first thing in the morning, how about throwing one more thing in there. Everyone knows about the anti-nasuea effect of ginger but it can also help to:

  • ease muscle pain
  • improve circulation
  • eliminate inflammation
  • can help with reducing migraine pain
  • acts as an antihistamine and decongestant
  • boosts the immune system

People have been using ginger for a good 4000+ years so a lot of research has been done over time. Grate a thumb sized peeled chunk of ginger and squeeze the juice from it into your lemon water for a zesty, nourishing morning beverage.

4. Blueberries

Possibly the king of fruits the small berry provides great amounts of fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. These phytonutrients  play a key role in preventing disease and keeping the body running normally. They are a perfect thing to start the day off because:

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  • high levels of vitamin C
  • cancer fighting properties
  • improve heart health
  • boost brain function and cognitive health

5. Chia Seeds

Yep the product from this commercial is making a comeback..

Actually however chia seeds have been used by Aztec and Mayans for millenia. They contain high amounts of Omega-3 as well as soluble fiber. The can balance blood sugar and are a complete protein allowing for more sustainable energy. Along with that they contain minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. This tiny seed packs a lot of nutrition and health benefit punch.

6. Bananas

The portable and consistent banana is still a top choice for energy and a classic breakfast food. Also thanks to Gwen Stefani we will never have to worry about misspelling them again..

Bananas are technically giant herbs rather than trees and have been quite hybridized over the centuries. An original banana you might not even recognize due to its smaller size, color and vast amount of seeds that made it almost inedible. Bananas as we know them still are one of the best energy and nutrition sources around. Among their many benefits include:

  • high in antioxidants
  • can provide relief from heartburn and acid reflux
  • high in potassium
  • can act as a pre-biotic to grow healthy bacteria
  • lowers blood pressure
  • contain the mood boosting amino acid tryptophan

7. Almonds

Another powerhouse food almonds are packed with:

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  • protein
  • vitamin E
  • copper
  • magnesium
  • fiber

Besides providing energy one of their big draws is ability to lower cholesterol as well as reducing the risks of cancer and heart disease. Interestingly a 3/4 cup of almonds has as much calcium as an 8oz cup of either low-fat, skim or whole milk. They are great raw, as almond butter or almond milk. Some people like to soak almonds over night or for up to 12 hours to help aid in the digestion of them.

8. Eggs

Eggs still are known to get a bad rap. If you can get some farm fresh, free range, non hormone treated chicken eggs you have a great morning food for energy. If you have seen a free range, organic egg yolk you have definitely observed the real difference in color than that of it’s store bought counterpart. Eggs are packed with:

  • an almost perfect source of protein
  • vitamin B2
  • vitamin B12
  • Vitamin A, D and E
  • Calcium & iron (found in the yolks)

There has always been the worry of the cholesterol content in eggs but more studies are pointing to the fact they don’t necessarily cause higher serum cholesterol in the body.

9. Oatmeal

Another long standing classic at breakfast and for pretty good reason. It has high levels of soluble fiber, protein, can lower cholesterol and can help control blood pressure.

I would say it is by far the best choice of all grains but if you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity you still might want to be careful. Some people can still have some issues and a lot of oats are known to have traces of wheat in them as they are usually packaged in the same facilities. Look for organic completely gluten free oats to be on the safe side.

10. A Combination Of A Few Of These

Since you put up with the bad jokes here’s a way to combine some of these things together for a perfect energy boosting meal in the morning. You can make this the night before to be ready in the morning.

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  • in a bowl mash 1 banana then add in 4 tbsp chia seeds. whisk in 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract and a pinch or two of cinnamon.
  • place in fridge overnight to thicken
  • in the morning add in more chia seeds to thicken or more almond milk to thin if desired
  • add a topping of blueberries and raw almonds or ideally almonds you have soaked overnight.

So there is a perfect way to start the day a power packed, nutritionally dense and energy promoting meal.

Now I’m off to deal with this hate mail from Peter Jackson..

 

Featured photo credit: Steve Jurvetson via flic.kr

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Jamie Logie

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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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