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Fall Produce: Décor From Your Local Grocery Store

Fall Produce: Décor From Your Local Grocery Store

As the season of harvest, fall provides us with wonderful sights, scents, and flavors. With the abundance of colors and textures that fall brings, it’s not difficult to find inspiring ways to decorate your home. In fact, it’s as easy as stepping into your local grocery store! From pumpkins and acorns to fresh fruit, fall produce is a great way to bring the natural beauty of fall into your home.

Pumpkins

A beloved symbol of the season, the pumpkin is a colorful and versatile item that adds striking visual interest and texture to your home design. A trip to the produce section yields a variety of pumpkins of all types, shapes, and sizes.

pumpkins of different sizes and colors stacked atop one another
    Create a warm, welcoming sight by stacking graduating sizes of pumpkins to create a simple yet charming sculpture. Surround them with smaller decorated pumpkins or potted seasonal flowers for a picture-perfect front porch.

    Make your pumpkin display more graphic by choosing different colors of pumpkins and embellishing them in creative ways. A wood-carving chisel or vegetable peeler can be used to create swirls and fancy designs on the pumpkin’s skin. Use black vinyl decals, beads, or craft paint to monogram a single pumpkin or to spell out your family name, your house number, or a cheerful message.

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    white pumpkins, pine cones, tealight candle, and a flower on top of an ikat cloth

      White or albino pumpkins are gaining increasing popularity as a unique and stylish piece of fall décor. For an elegant look indoors, place small white pumpkins on a white platter and decorate the stems with jute string. Line them up on your dining table, or put them on your mantel along with other décor accents.

      Acorns

      acorn pins

        Acorns come in many interesting shapes, colors, and textures, making them a cute and creative material to decorate or craft with. Whether you pick up acorns from the backyard, a local farmer, or the grocer, you may want to bake them at a low temperature for several hours first to remove any insects.

        There are dozens of ways to incorporate acorns into your home decorating. You can place a scented candle on a plate, in a clear vase, or in a mason jar, and surround it with acorns. This décor item can be put on your mantel or on the patio to keep you company on chilly fall evenings.

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        Make rustic and charming napkin rings by drilling tiny holes through some acorns and stringing them onto a wire in alternating top-to-bottom fashion.

        With a square glass vase, some lentils, acorns, and fresh chrysanthemums, you can create a simple yet stunning centerpiece that brings a burst of warmth and color to your dinner table.

        Apples

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        apples of different colors

          With their vibrant colors, cozy scent, and sweet taste, apples are easy to fall in love with. Likewise, it’s easy to use apples to brighten up the look of your home.

          red apples in a basket

            Photo from Katie@! via flickr. CC BY 2.0

             

            For a quick and easy centerpiece, arrange a few red and green apples in a basket along with dry lavender or some wheat stalks. Simply replace the apples if the urge to munch on one or three overcomes you.

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            It really doesn’t take too much work to bring out the beauty of apples. Simply fill three large clear glass vases with varying amounts of water and float four or five green apples in each for an instant, edible decorative piece for your kitchen counter or dining table. Alternatively, you can fill a rectangular glass vase with water and green apples, and top it off with white hydrangeas to sweeten up the dessert table.

            The great thing about decorating with produce is that it tends to last longer than flowers and leaves. Best of all, it can be eaten afterwards. So visit your favorite grocery store now and create bountiful fall displays that are truly a feast for the eyes.

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            Last Updated on August 12, 2019

            12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

            12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

            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 and brain power:

            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.

            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.

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            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.

            It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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            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 About Boosting Brain Power

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

            Reference

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