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5 Reasons Why A Healthy Lifestyle Will Save You Money

5 Reasons Why A Healthy Lifestyle Will Save You Money

Let’s try a little experiment. Think of the term ‘health’ for a moment and put down on paper what the first three things you associate with it are. If the first things that come to mind are gym memberships, organic produce, and an array of vitamins, you’d be forgiven for thinking a healthy lifestyle is reserved for the well-off. Although it has long been proven that organic foods do not necessarily have to cost more than conventional ones, searching for the right places to buy them alone can cost you a lot of valuable time and energy. And yet, the old clichés about health being nothing but a luxury item no longer hold true – you may be surprised to learn that living a healthy lifestyle can actually save you money.

1. Eliminate your expensive vices

The obvious culprit when it comes to expensive vices is smoking. Let’s have a look at how quitting can concretely benefit your wallet: If you kick your 10-a-day smoking habit you could see yourself £1,400 better off within a mere year. Best of all, your family and friends will thank you for taking their well-being into consideration as well.

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But don’t stop there. Fizzy drinks like Coca-Cola or Sprite are not only disastrous for your waistline, but could also be setting you back over £146 a year if you’ve made it a daily habit. Add in the possibility of developing diabetes, which has been linked to fizzy drink consumption, and you could be saving yourself from a future of costly treatments. Needless to say, your quality of life will significantly surge, too.

2. Cut down on transport costs

Car maintenance, petrol, parking, and public transport fees are all daily expenses that can be drastically cut with a changes in your lifestyle. Switching your twice-daily bus journey to work for a brisk walk or bike ride, could save you up to £528 a year. Walking your children to school instead of packing them in the car will save you money, improve your health, and give you more quality time with your family. In many respects, this is really a question of common sense: I was once staying with friends who would take their children to school by car each morning – although school was as close as a five-minute foot-walk. Needless to say, none of them gained particularly high grades in the sports department.

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3. Reduce medical costs

Many see the latest health hype as a question of aesthetics only. It is indeed true that the general ideal of beauty tends to favor a slim and fit body. And yet, losing a few pounds and incorporating exercise into your lifestyle is far more than just about looking good – it could help your sleep improve, reduce the regularity of headaches and boost your immune system. This will, in turn, save you the money you may normally spend on over the counter medicines. Losing excess weight will also reduce blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and stress on joints so you may find your prescription costs taking a cut too. And if the results of this ‘rational’ approach should also increase your appeal to the other sex, then you can simply consider it an ‘added benefit’.

4. Reduce monthly food bills

Switching pre-packaged, processed foods for homemade meals can have a huge impact on your monthly food spending. For the price of a pre-packaged soup that would last you two days, you can buy the ingredients to make a portion of soup that would last you five. Not mention the savings you’d gain from giving up or cutting down on expensive takeout. A takeout meal can cost anywhere from two to five times the amount a meal made at home would, and packs on at least double the amount of calories.

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What’s more, switching to fresh, homemade meals can also significantly improve your body’s processing of the food. It has been scientifically demonstrated that your body prepares for the intake of foods during the cooking phase and can thus digest them a lot better. You’ll find yourself feeling fitter and more satisfied after meals – once again, considerably improving your general quality of life.

5. Cut down on expensive activities

Instead of spending $40 taking your family to the cinema (not to mention the cost of snacks) take your family to the park and invest in a football. Outdoor activity will boost your mood, improve your health, and best of all, it’s free.

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As you can see, living a healthy lifestyle does more than reduce your waistline and you will discover countless other ways that your finances can improve by taking stock and cutting back on unhealthy habits. Best of all, changing your general well-being will also change your entire perspective on life. Try conducting the same experiment mentioned in the first paragraph half a year after you’ve improved your health – my bet is you’ll be thinking of far more affordable things than gym memberships, organic produce, and an array of vitamins.

This article was written in association with financial service provider eccount money, a UK company specialising in basic bank accounts and online banking services.

Currently reporting directly from the City, William Masters is a journalist specialising in economics and personal finances. In his writing, Masters deals with prepaid card technology, the development of the banking market in the early 21st century as well the effects of online technologies on the finance industry.

Featured photo credit:  Group of happy children lying on green grass via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

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!

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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