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8 Unusual Winter Holiday Destinations

8 Unusual Winter Holiday Destinations

So you are looking for a place to spend winter holidays, but all the usual locations suddenly seem too dull and predictable? Why not try something new? Take a look at this list, and perhaps it will give you some inspiration!

1. Venice, Italy

Venice is usually associated with hot Italian sun, trips in gondolas and warm Mediterranean sea; why on Earth go there in winter? Well, for once, Venice is beautiful at any time of the year, but in the winter it is far less crowded and, therefore, accommodations (found via Wimdu, for example) are much more affordable. Moreover, there are things you will find there only in the winter—like the world-famous Venetian Carnival that takes place in February.

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    2. Germany

    When choosing a winter holiday location, one usually tends to select something tropical, with a lot of sun, cheap cocktails and sandy beaches… and gets bored to death halfway through. If you are looking for a place with a rich set of winter, New Year and Christmas traditions, Germany is your choice. Festivals like Waldkirchen Rauhnacht, Bischofsgrün Snowman Festival or Maschkera carnival in Alpenwelt Karwendel, traditional pastimes like sled racing, unique atmosphere of an ancient European country—all this you won’t find anywhere or anytime else.

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      3. Oman

      Oman is an excellent choice for those who want to catch a bit of sun while doing lots and lots of sightseeing. Only a couple of decades ago it was one of the most backwards and isolated societies in the world, but today it turned into a fascinating travel destination with a genuine Middle-Eastern feel without the maddeningly high prices of some of their more illustrious neighbors. Medieval forts, excellent beaches, sea and mountains—no matter where your preferences lie, Oman has something to offer.

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        4. Jamaica

        Looking for a bit of a really relaxed lifestyle? Try out Jamaica. Although the weather is excellent all year round, there are some unique reasons to choose winter for your visit. Seasonal attractions like Negril Reggae Marathon, Reggae Month in February, Jamaican Jazz & Blues Festival in January/February, Fat Tyre Festival—whether you are look for an athletic tour or music, Jamaica is the place for you to be.

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          5. The Gambia

          Not really a buzz word when it comes to holidays, eh? Yet the Gambia may be one of the best places to go in winter if you it is value for money you are after. Cheap hotels, fantastic yet not crowded beaches, affordable wildlife excursions, bird watching tours, river tours, bush camp accommodations—in other words, a nice choice if you are looking for something yet untried.

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            6. Cape Town, South Africa

            An excellent combination of perfect summer weather, stunning mountain views and a lot of opportunities to sample local culture: trips to famous South African vineyards paired with chocolate tastings, nature reserves, all kinds of accommodations, from luxury hotels to treetop villages and teepees, shark diving—there is a lot more in Cape Town than guidebooks are ready to tell!

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              7. Canada

              Canadian resorts are among the most underrated in the whole world—perhaps people are not keen on freezing a little bit extra when they are already cold. Yet to those not faint of heart Canada has a lot to offer: spectacular views, unspoiled nature, excellent food and wine, isolated accommodations for those willing to take a break from people, dog-sledding and snowmobiling. In other words, Canada is a place to go if you want to experience a bit of a real winter.

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                8. Kenya

                Want a taste of adventure without freezing your ears off? Classical safaris in Kenya may be the answer to your urge: great choice of game drives, horse-riding tours, walking safaris, mountain climbing, training courses of Maasai warriors—take your pick.

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                  Holidays are not always about frying on a beach all day long—if you have a bit of imagination you will be able to find thousands of ways to spend your time in a way you’ve never done before. We hope this list will be of help—make your choice and have a good time!

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                  Melissa Burns

                  Entrepreneur

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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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