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20 Kitchen Hacks You Need In Your Life Right Now

20 Kitchen Hacks You Need In Your Life Right Now

Still crying when you chop onions? Not sure what else you can do with that crazy kitchen gadget you got for Christmas? How about maximizing the refrigerator life of your fresh produce? If you can’t answer any of these questions, then Lifehack.org’s top 20 kitchen hacks isn’t just an necessity in your life—it’s a requirement.

1. Use your blender to aerate red wine.

If you’ve been pouring your red wine straight into the glass, then you’re missing a trick for ultimate drinking deliciousness. Exposing red wine to the air can open up the bouquet, as well as the flavor. Though this may look a bit odd, it’s the quickest way to ensure your vino is perfect.

2. Chop an onion without crying like a little girl.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i55IzJ0YXI0

You’ve probably heard all the hacks for preventing the tears from flowing when it comes to chopping onions. Stop looking like a chump and line up this method for the ultimate foodie satisfaction.

3. Give your eggs some radar love.

Everyone loves a hot, cooked breakfast. But who has the time anymore? Check out these quick hacks to have you scrambling, poaching and even making omelets with a little help from your microwave—all in under three minutes.

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4. Ripen bananas in a flash with your radiator.

When you buy bananas at the store, chances are that they’re just not quite ready yet. While this may work in the store’s favor, should you really have to wait a week to chow down? Of course not.

5. Get the right knife for the job.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKgGlpe45T0

You probably, like most people, have a drawer full of knives but only end up using a couple of favorites. However, did you know that by using the right knife for the job you can seriously save time and hassle? Expert Alton Brown gives his top tips on what knife you should be using when in this handy video.

6. Chop those fiddly little cherry tomatoes in no time.

Cherry tomatoes are yummy, that’s for sure. But chopping them for your salads or sauces is a massive pain. Use this quick tip to slice fistfuls of the little suckers in no time flat.

7. Chop a watermelon up for salad in under a minute.

While obviously getting as quick as this chap is going to take some practice, we’re still intrigued. Whip up a quick summer salad without all the hassle with the help of a big knife and an even bigger sense of swagger.

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8. Open a bottle of wine with a shoe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ajCWI5q6iQ

Ever shown up to an event and there’s no corkscrew for that great bottle of wine you brought with you? Mastering this hack could, quite literally, make you the most popular guy at the party.

9. Seed a squash like a pro.

Stop bending spoons and hacking up your hand with a knife when you attempt to seed a pumpkin or butternut squash. That often neglected ice cream scoop can come riding to the rescue, making it quick and easy to clean your veggies.

10. Peel garlic quicker than you can say the word “garlic.”

Where has this hack been all of our life? Forget smelly fingers and fiddling with little bits of paper. With a few quick shakes, you can peel an entire head of garlic in seconds.

11. Chicken wings: you’re eating them wrong.

12. Whip up your own buttermilk.

Buttermilk is great for making pancakes and creating the perfect fried chicken, but who really keeps this stuff on hand? Save your cash by making your own at home using just a few simple ingredients you’re sure to have around.

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13. Clean your kitchen in about 10 minutes.

Cleaning your kitchen, particularly after a huge cooking session, is a drag. So how can you do it quickly and without using harsh chemicals? These ladies have got your number on how to get the grime out of your microwave and make your countertops sparkle.

14. The last mayo recipe you’ll ever need.

If you’re a cooking geek, chances are you’ve tried to make your own mayonnaise. Additionally, chances are fairly high that you’ve screwed it up once or twice. This kitchen hack produces top-quality mayo with no effort or room for screw ups.

15. Cut your avocados without making a huge, mushy mess.

Still trying to peel your avocados? Why? Doing so only results in a great big green mess. Check out this professional tip for the sexiest slices and cuts of avocado with very little hassle.

16. Freeze your meat the right way.

You probably already know that buying meat in bulk is a great way to save cash. However, most people aren’t maximizing their freezer space or ability to quickly thaw that meat once they’ve stored it in the freezer. Go flat, says this smart kitchen hack.

17. Get the maximum juice out of your lemons and limes.

Microwave them, squeeze them or cut them on an angle—you’re simply not going to get all the juice out of that lemon or lime. Throw down like a professional chef by turning to your old friend, the humble fork, for juicing satisfaction.

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18. Extend the life of your dairy products with the flip of a wrist.

Do you buy sour cream, cottage cheese or yogurts on a regular basis, only to have them go bad just a few days later? Stop storing them right-side up. It may look ridiculous, but it helps extend the life of your dairy products by several days.

19. Make the best roasted chicken with a bundt pan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsNGCvXSGJ0

You know those pans you bought for a particular recipe that you’ve never used again? The bundt pan is the king of these. However, you’ll be pulling it out a lot more for your roast chicken with this quick and simple hack.

20. Achieve dog nirvana on your barbecue.

With warm weather quickly approaching, it’s time to drag out that barbecue, and where there’s a grill there’s hot dogs. Give your plain old dogs a twist, as well as a delicious edge, with this quick tip. Not only will the fit in your bun better, but they’ll also be more receptive to toppings.

Featured photo credit: batterjob32 via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

1. Salmon

Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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2. Blueberries

Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

Curcumin has also been shown to:

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  • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
  • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
  • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
  • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

4. Coffee

Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

Coffee can also:

  • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
  • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
  • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
  • Improve your memory.
  • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

5. Broccoli

What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

6. Bone broth

Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

7. Walnuts

Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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8. Eggs

For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

9. Dark chocolate

You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

Conclusion

Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
[2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
[3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
[4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
[5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
[6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
[7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
[8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
[9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
[10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
[11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
[12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
[13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
[14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
[15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
[16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
[17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
[18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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