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Bookworms Do It Better: 12 Compelling Reasons to Read More Books

Bookworms Do It Better: 12 Compelling Reasons to Read More Books

The more books you read, the better your life will be. If you don’t believe me, please consider these twelve compelling reasons to read more books.

1. You will optimize your brain power.

This shouldn’t come as a shock, but studies suggest reading makes you smart. Unlike watching television, which requires no thought process, reading is an active learning experience that will keep your mind sharp (even in old age).

2. You will increase your odds of success.

The more books you read, the more knowledge you will have, the more strategies and resources your brain will store, the more likely you will succeed.

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3. You will immerse yourself in a new world.

Sometimes our daily life can start to feel dull, dry or depressing — I know it, you know it, we all know it. At times like this, I like to dive into a good fiction book for a much-needed escape into another world, where I can forget about whatever problems are stressing me out. Whether you want to travel to the land of the Hobbits, a galaxy far away or a tropical destination in a steamy romance novel is up to you. You’ll come back refreshed after your mini-vacation to a fresh and exciting place in the world of words.

4. You will improve your vocabulary.

The more words you’re capable of using, the better you will become at expressing your thoughts and feelings. I couldn’t imagine how I would write articles like this if I didn’t actively aim to expand my vocabulary, because using the same few words to express myself would get awfully boring in a hurry (don’t you agree?).

5. You will have things to talk about at parties.

Reading more books will enable you to say the sentence, “Did you know ________?” more often, making it easier to start conversations with strangers (or, as I like to say, “People who aren’t my friends yet”).

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6. You will entertain yourself for a low price.

If you’re looking for entertainment on a budget, you can’t beat books. Thanks to the popularity of electronic reading devices like the Kindle and re-selling websites like eBay, it’s never been easier to entertain yourself for hours at a time, for the low cost of a few dollars.

7. You will discover surprising new ideas that are interesting and engaging.

Reading introduced me to concepts like mindful eating, relaxation exercises, and the importance of loving yourself. If I didn’t read, I wouldn’t even be aware of these ideas, which have defined my entire coaching philosophy. If you don’t read, you could be missing out on intriguing ideas that would likewise re-define your personal purpose or business philosophy.

8. You will eliminate boredom during down-time.

Have you ever found yourself stuck in a waiting room, bored out of your mind, with nothing to read but gossip magazines? If so, you should know that it is wise to keep a book in your purse or car at all times, as you never know when you’ll find yourself with some time to kill. Even if you just take a few minutes to read a chapter during your commute and lunch break every day, those minutes will quickly turn into hours if repeated consistently.

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9. You will strengthen your patience muscles.

We live in a society that expects instant gratification, which is anything but a blessing for most people’s success in life, as there is nothing “quick” or “easy” about losing weight or starting a successful business. While it might be “easier” to watch a two-hour movie, it is far more beneficial to spend forty-eight hours reading a book. Opting for the book over the TV will strengthen your patience muscles over time, resulting in more success in business and life.

10. You will become an expert in your field.

Don’t you think reading academic journals, articles, and books by experts in your field might make you better at what you do? If you can’t be bothered to learn more about your profession, then your lack of passion could be a sign that you’re in the wrong field. The more books you read, the better off you’re gonna be.

11. You will reduce stress and unwind into a good night’s sleep.

Exposing yourself to artificial light on your cellphone, TV or tablet reduces your body’s production of melatonin, which can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, if you do so late at night. You would be wise to cut off all electronics at least an hour before bed, and replace that with a good book, which is a much better sleep-friendly alternative.

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12. You will change your life.

I firmly believe that if it wasn’t for books, I wouldn’t have achieved an awful lot in my life; nor would I have the knowledge, imagination or creativity that I depend on as a writer, business owner, and coach. I hope these reasons to read more books encourage you to unlock your potential with the power of reading.

Three Questions for the Comments:

  • What are you reading right now (or, if you don’t have a book in process, what was the last thing you read)?
  • What was your favorite book as a child?
  • What book made the largest impact on who you are today?

Featured photo credit: Young Woman Reads Overlooking Santiago de Cuba – Cuba/Adam Jones via flickr.com

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 28, 2020

14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

Diet trends may come and go, but a low-GI diet remains one of the few that has been shown to include benefits based on science. Low GI foods provide substantial health benefits over those with a high index, and they are key to maintaining a healthy weight.

What is GI? Glycemic index (GI) is the rate at which the carbohydrate content of a food is broken down into glucose and absorbed from the gut into the blood. When you eat foods containing carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream.[1]

The higher the GI of a food, the faster it will be broken down and cause your blood glucose (sugar) to rise. Foods with a high GI rating are digested very quickly and cause your blood sugar to spike. This is why it’s advisable to stick to low GI foods as much as possible, as the carbohydrate content of low GI foods will be digested slowly, allowing a more gradual rise in blood glucose levels.

Foods with a GI scale rating of 70 or more are considered to be high GI. Foods with a rating of 55 or below are considered low GI foods.

It’s important to note that the glycemic index of a food doesn’t factor in the quantity that you eat. For example, although watermelon has a high glycemic index, the water and fiber content of a standard serving of water means it won’t have a significant impact on your blood sugar.

Like watermelon, some high GI foods (such as baked potatoes) are high in nutrients. And some low GI foods (such as corn chips) contain high amounts of trans fats.

In most cases, however, the GI is an important means of gauging the right foods for a healthy diet.

Eating mainly low GI foods every day helps to provide your body with a slow, continuous supply of energy. The carbohydrates in low GI foods is digested slowly, so you feel satisfied for longer. This means you’ll be less likely to suffer from fluctuating sugar levels that can lead to cravings and snacking.

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Let’s continue with some of the best examples of low GI foods.

1. Quinoa

GI: 53

Quinoa has a slightly higher GI than rice or barley, but it contains a much higher proportion of protein. If you don’t get enough protein from the rest of your diet, quinoa could help. It’s technically a seed, so it’s also high in fiber–again, more than most grains. It’s also gluten-free, which makes it excellent for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

2. Brown Rice (Steamed)

GI: 50

Versatile and satisfying, brown rice is one of the best low GI foods and is a staple for many dishes around the world. It’s whole rice from which only the husk (the outermost layer) is removed, so it’s a great source of fiber. In fact, brown rice has been shown to help lower cholesterol, improve digestive function, promote fullness, and may even help prevent the formation of blood clots. Just remember to always choose brown over white!

3. Corn on the Cob

GI: 48

Although it tastes sweet, corn on the cob is a good source of slow-burning energy (and one of the tastiest low GI foods). It’s also a good plant source of Vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron, all of which are required for the healthy production of red blood cells in the body. It’s healthiest when eaten without butter and salt!

4. Bananas

GI: 47

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Bananas are a superfood in many ways. They’re rich in potassium and manganese and contain a good amount of vitamin C. Their low GI rating means they’re great for replenishing your fuel stores after a workout.

They are easy to add to smoothies, cereal, or kept on your desk for a quick snack. The less ripe they are, the lower the sugar content is! As one of the best low GI foods, it’s a great addition to any daily diet.

5. Bran Cereal

GI: 43

Bran is famous for being one of the highest cereal sources of fiber. It’s also rich in a huge range of nutrients: calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and a host of B vitamins. Although bran may not be to everyone’s tastes, it can easily be added to other cereals to boost the fiber content and lower the overall GI rating.

6. Natural Muesli

GI: 40

Muesli–when made with unsweetened rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit, and other sugar-free ingredients–is one of the healthiest ways to start the day. It’s also very easy to make at home with a variety of other low GI foods. Add yogurt and fresh fruit for a nourishing, energy-packed breakfast.

7. Apples

GI: 40

Apple skin is a great source of pectin, an important prebiotic that helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Apples are also high in polyphenols, which function as antioxidants, and contain a good amount of vitamin C. They are best eaten raw with the skin on! Apples are one of a number of fruits[2] that have a low glycemic index. Be careful which fruits you choose, as many have a large amount of natural sugars[3].

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8. Apricots

GI: 30

Apricots provide both fiber and potassium, which make them an ideal snack for both athletes and anyone trying to keep sugar cravings at bay. They’re also a source of antioxidants and a range of minerals.

Apricots can be added to salads, cereals, or eaten as part of a healthy mix with nuts at any time of the day.

9. Kidney Beans

GI: 29

Kidney beans and other legumes provide a substantial serving of plant-based protein, so they can be used in lots of vegetarian dishes if you’re looking to adopt a plant-based diet[4]. They’re also packed with fiber and a variety of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds. They are great in soups, stews, or with (whole grain) tacos.

10. Barley

GI: 22

Barley is a cereal grain that can be eaten in lots of ways. It’s an excellent source of B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), fiber, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium. It also contains beta-glucans, a type of fiber that can support gut health and has been shown to reduce appetite and food intake.

Please note that barley does contain gluten, which makes it unsuitable for anyone who is Celiac[5] or who follows a gluten-free diet. In this case, gluten-free alternatives might include quinoa, buckwheat, or millet.

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11. Raw Nuts

GI: 20

Most nuts have a low GI of between 0 and 20, with cashews slightly higher at around 22. Nuts, as one of the best low GI foods, are a crucial part of the Mediterranean diet[6] and are really the perfect snack: they’re a source of plant-based protein, high in fiber, and contain healthy fats. Add them to smoothies and salads to boost the nutritional content. Try to avoid roasted and salted nuts, as these are made with large amounts of added salt and (usually) trans fats.

12. Carrots

GI: 16

Raw carrots are not only a delicious low GI vegetable, but they really do help your vision! They contain vitamin A (beta carotene) and a host of antioxidants. They’re also low-calorie and high in fiber, and they contain good amounts of vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. Carrots are great for those monitoring their weight as they’ve been linked to lower cholesterol levels.

13. Greek Yogurt

GI: 12

Unsweetened Greek yogurt is not only low GI, but it’s an excellent source of calcium and probiotics, as well. Probiotics help to keep your gut microbiome in balance and support your overall digestive health and immune function. Greek yogurt makes a healthy breakfast, snack, dessert, or a replacement for dip. The most common probiotic strains found in yogurt are Streptococcus thermophilus[7] (found naturally in yogurt) and Lactobacillus acidophilus[8] (which is often added by the manufacturer). You can also look into probiotic supplements for improving your gut health.

14. Hummus

GI: 6

When made the traditional way from chickpeas and tahini, hummus is a fantastic, low-GI dish. It’s a staple in many Middle Eastern countries and can be eaten with almost any savory meal. Full of fiber to maintain satiety and feed your good gut bacteria, hummus is great paired with freshly-chopped vegetables, such as carrots and celery.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to eat healthier or simply cut down on snacking throughout the day, eating low GI foods is a great way to get started. Choose any of the above foods for a healthy addition to your daily diet and start feeling better for longer.

More Tips on Eating Healthy

Featured photo credit: Alexander Mils via unsplash.com

Reference

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