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10 Reasons to Introduce Fountains and Other Water Features into Your Garden

10 Reasons to Introduce Fountains and Other Water Features into Your Garden

Let’s start by saying that water can blend into the foliage you have growing in your backyard. Transform it into a pond, artificial river or fountain and it can stand out and become a focal feature all on its own. Water features are ideal for large gardens and for patios in smaller spaces. With the right accompaniments, and the correct position, they can also change the ambiance in a significant manner. Let’s have a look at these 10 reasons to why water features are ideal for your garden.

#10. Water features are easy to maintain

Cleaning a fountain or a pond is a piece of cake, but they will need to be cleaned out regularly to minimize the risk of algae building up. Not only that, but cleaning is necessary to prevent blockages, as well. If you are using gravel, stones or rocks, these will also need to be taken out regularly and given a clean or a polish. If you have any fish or pond plants make sure to get them out and place them in a water tank before drying the ponds or the fountains. And don’t forget the best part: this type of activity is very enjoyable, refreshing and does not imply high costs.

#9. You can match the ponds with your garden style

There are so many different designs these days, that it is quite easy to find a style to complement your garden. According to many decorating sources, people prefer three styles: modern, classic and old English. Modern garden spaces that are more minimalist look good with Asian inspired water features, made from natural substances. Plus, you can accessorize the space with grasses and bamboo. For old English gardens look for round or antique water features. Statues that double up as water fountains are also effective in classical garden spaces.
In case you only have a patio or balcony, look for a design that can be used in a corner or on a table. There are small fountains and ponds available, made up of concentric vases, which are very efficient on space.

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#8. You can make use of natural sunlight

Water features are even more beautiful when they have sunlight shining through their water streams. It gives off the impression that you are bonding with nature, while being caressed by light. For some cultures, this is thought to be the link with the spiritual world, while for others water is one of the sacred four elements and having it close means blessing of the gods.
Remember that the Greeks used to worship the god Poseidon who ruled the seas and the oceans, while Romans worshiped Neptune, the Roman god of water. The Ancient people had respect for water and light and more than 3000 years later, people still respect the sacred elements.

#7. You can add more garden designs and textures

Home owners love to décor their homes and this applies to gardens and yards, as well. People love to personalize and customize their gardens as a sign of luxury and prosperity. If you wish to décor your garden, you can use natural looking river rocks in different colors and sizes to add an element of interest. Some are rough while others are smoother and more polished, based on individual preferences. Just make sure the size of the rocks is relative to the size of the fountain and the green plants, water and décor objects ratio is equally spread. The last thing you want is to make your garden look unnatural and over stuffed with “decorations”.

#6. It allows you to create a natural habitat for fish

If you want to bring some more life into the ponds and fountains in the back yard, you can go for fish. While koi fish will need a fairly large amount of space for them to swim around in, gold fish work just as well and are a lot more affordable for smaller ponds. Of course, take into consideration that these small marine animals need clean waters all the time, algae and pond plants and of course, food. They usually feed on specific fish food you can find in any pet store. Another thing to consider is large animals: if you have cats or dogs, they might kill the fish out of play or curiosity. So if you are a pet lover, think twice before buying fish, as they won’t have long lives to live among cats and dogs, unfortunately.

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#5. Pond plants are really affordable

Larger water features and fountains can be enhanced with pond plants that serve as natural decorations. Water lettuce is a popular floating plant, as are water lilies, plus the costs are very low. And the best part is that you can do to the seashore and pick up small water plants such as smaller types of sea corals and even sea weed. Among the most popular sea weeds are the brown and green sea weed, also known as algae. But for a drop of color, you can also go for red or yellow sea weed, easily turning your fountain or pond into a natural underwater rainbow.
Remember to add salt, sugar and vitamins in the water, from time to time. Plants are living organisms, as well. And they need a lot of sunlight, so make sure they get plenty of it.

#4. Water attracts birds and wildlife to the yard

Birds, frogs and insects are more likely to frequent your garden when there is always a source of water available. To encourage more wildlife make sure you have plenty of indigenous trees and plant life in the area. Of course, you can’t just buy a fountain or water feature, set it down, switch it on and hope for the best. It needs to be well positioned and accessorized to monopolize on its potential.
Remember: whatever the choice, small water animals might harm the majority of the sea weed and the maintenance process is a bit tiring. But if you love taking care of your ponds, then this is a great idea to implement.

#3. Water cools the garden down

On a hot summer day, having running water can cool the garden down and make it a pleasant place to enjoy. It also enables you to have aquatic and semi-aquatic plants growing in the garden. And probably the most beautiful feature of having running or still water in the garden is what happens after rain. You get to enjoy one of the most beautiful rainbows in your personal garden, in your home.

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But remember: in order to have this cooling and blissful effect, the water used in fountains and ponds needs to be crystal clear and clean, so the maintenance process applies here, as well.

#2. Water makes the yard look bigger

The reflective properties of water mean it can make some spaces look bigger. For maximum reflection you should use dark material for the feature or fountain. If you really want to make the most of your new creation, you can use underwater lighting for night time in different colors and shapes. You can also use eco lights that charge from the sun during the day and light the garden during the night. It gives off a splendid calming effect that can be used in nature therapies and can relieve stress and anxiety.

#1. Water introduces serenity into your garden

A fountain creates a tranquil sound, which is ideal if you live in a noisy neighborhood or in the city. Think of it as your place to recreate yourself and to become one with nature. There are many water therapies, mostly taking place in the mountain side or seaside, near bigger amounts of water such as seas, oceans and rivers. But if you want to have a piece of heaven near your body and your mind, surely a pond or fountain in your own garden can make your dream come true. For an extra therapy effect, you can even plant perfumed flowers that bloom at night.

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After reading these ten reasons, are you ready to introduce water features and fountains into your garden?

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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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