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5 Essential DIY Kitchen Cleaning Tricks

5 Essential DIY Kitchen Cleaning Tricks

dirty kitchen

    Whether you have a housemate who never washes their dishes, a spouse who leaves items rotting in the fridge, or kids who decorate your walls with sticky hand-prints, chances are that there’s a mess-causing factor in your kitchen. Hell, it might even be you causing the accumulation of dreck—do you leave spills to coagulate on your counters? Do you scrub the stove top when tomato sauce drips all over it? Whatever the cause of your kitchen-filth, there are ways to tackle it that are effective, easy, and even eco-friendly.

    1. Clean As You Go

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    dirty kitchen

      Most of us have the nasty habit of leaving dishes in the sink to be taken care of at some magical, distant point in the future, and the same goes for spills and stains. Instead of leaving drippings to congeal, or dishes to rot in greasy water, take care of them as you work so they don’t accumulate.

      If you’ve chopped various ingredients for a recipe and the dish is now simmering merrily on the stove, wash some of the dishes. Unless you’re making risotto or something else that requires constant coddling, you can leave it be for 20 minutes and clean up a bit. The more tidying you do as you work, the less you’ll have to do at the end of the meal: no-one wants to clean a mountain of pots and pans when they’re in food-coma mode.

      2. Baking Soda, Salt, and Vinegar

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      Baking Soda Vinegar

        No, this isn’t the basis for a really revolting salad dressing; it’s a list of the three main cleaning products you need for a sparkling clean kitchen. I add tea tree oil and lemon to that list as nice things to have, but they’re not absolutely vital.

        Baking soda is ideal for scrubbing stains off counters, and for scouring stainless-steel sinks to a high shine. It does leave a white film if not rinsed properly, so be sure to wipe surfaces with a wet cloth after you’ve cleaned them.

        Wipe down all your counters with undiluted white vinegar a couple of times a week to disinfect them, and use a 1:4 ratio of vinegar-to-water to wash your floors with as well. You can use  a mildly diluted vinegar spray to clean any glass in your kitchen, and adding a few tablespoons of this sour wonder-liquid to a sink-full of dishwater will help cut through stubborn grease.

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        3. Salt Your Spills

        dirty stove

          If you spill something on your stove top, toss a handful of salt on it: the salt will absorb most of the liquid in the spill, and it’s abrasive enough that it will help to scour away any baked-on mess once the area is cool enough to clean by hand. Use baking soda to scrub off whatever’s left after the salt scrub has been wiped away—you can use an old toothbrush to scour crevices and hard-to-clean spots. Just be sure to wipe everything well with a damp cloth so you don’t end up with filmy white residue later.

          Keep Your Microwave Lemony-Fresh

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          clean your microwave oven

            Have you noticed that the insides of most microwaves are spattered with stains? This happens when liquids or saucy dishes are heated up without lids on, so they end up splattering  droplets all over the place. These are easy to clean if caught immediately, but if you don’t do so and use the thing every day to reheat everything from coffee to entrees, those little droplets will cling to the interior walls like bad exes.

            The best way to get these driblets to release their hold is to steam them off: fill a microwave-safe shallow bowl with several lemon slices, and then fill 3/4 with water. Heat this on “high” for 4-5 minutes, use oven mitts or tea towels to remove the bowl without burning yourself, and then wipe down the now-softened stains. They’ll come right off, and your microwave will smell fantastic for about a week, as long as you don’t nuke fish or durian in it.

            5. Put Baking Soda in the Trash Can

            Trash can

              This is another trick that can work absolute wonders to reduce vile odours in the kitchen. The next time you take out the trash, give your kitchen garbage can a solid wash—first with dish soap, and then with a vinegar/water rinse. Once the interior is completely dry, sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda at the bottom before putting in a new garbage bag.

              The dry soda will absorb any liquid that may leak from the bottom of the bag, and will trap any gross smells that may be floating about. Just make sure to wash out the used-up soda every few weeks and replenish it with fresh powder, or else it’ll get stale and start to stink.

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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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