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4 Quick And Easy Tricks To Healthier Eating

4 Quick And Easy Tricks To Healthier Eating

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. Today, let’s cover 4 quick and easy tricks to healthier eating: whether it’s switching up your usual breakfast meal, cutting something out of your daily diet, or starting your meal a certain way, these tricks will help you on your path to healthier eating.

If you aren’t sure why you should be eating healthier, consider watching some of these movies for motivation and additional information.

Healthier Eating with Smoothies

Drinking smoothies is a simple, easy way to consume more vitamins and minerals with little effort. Smoothies can be snacks or meal replacements, are fun to drink, and easy to take with you when you leave the house.

Start with a basic recipe:

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  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup frozen fruit
  • 3 ice cubes

Now add and customize the smoothie to your tastes:

You can adjust the amount of fruit, depending on how sweet you want  your smoothie to be. Consider using some of the fruit superfoods in your smoothie for extra oomph. To replace a meal with a smoothie be sure to add a protein source: yogurt or protein powders are the most common sources.

Few of us consume the minimum 5 servings of vegetables a day: you can add 1-2 handfuls of green leafy vegetables to your smoothie to get a few servings in easily. Spinach, arugula, and kale are just a few of the many great choices out there. Experiment with combining the different fruits and leafy greens in your smoothie.

Add additional health foods to boost your drink, such as wheat germ or chia seeds. If you’d like to add certain vitamins to your diet, you can reference this vitamin cheat sheet to find out which foods have them.

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Find more smoothie recipes here.

Begin Meals With a Salad

Salads are quick and easy foods that really get you on the path to healthier eating. If you are already adding greens to your smoothie, you probably have a large bag of baby spinach in the fridge. Simply add 1-2 cups to a small plate, sprinkle with some slivered almonds and a few apple slices, and you have a great salad—just combine olive oil with a bit of balsamic vinegar for a quick and easy salad dressing to top it off.

If this seems too difficult, start with the prepared salad mixes at the store: there are many different options and flavor combinations available, and going this route is a great way to start eating good salads. Just be sure to go light on the dressing that comes with those mixes though: they tend to be really high in fat. Read this article for more tips on how to transition to salads.

Cut a Food Out of Your Diet for Healthier Eating

There are a number of foods that cause problems for many people. Cutting out just one of these foods might just make a huge change in your health and well-being, so choose just one of these foods and cut it out of your diet completely. Try this for 30 days and see if you feel better.

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  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners

Many people are sensitive to these foods because they have found their way into so many of the products available on grocery store shelves. We end up consuming them at every meal and don’t even realize that we’re doing so. Letting your body rest from these foods can give it the time it needs to heal, and to better handle that food in the future.

Soup’s On

Soup is one of the faster meal options around: it’s super-easy to pour some chicken broth in a pan and start adding cut up veggies, meats, and spices. Work from a recipe the first few times and then just start experimenting with your own flavor combinations.

Soup can be easily prepared the night before and then set to cook in the crock pot the next day. As the soup will slow-cook over the course of the day, it will allow the flavors to really come alive (and it’ll be ready for you when you get home with no additional work needed).

What changes will you make today to start eating healthier?

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Featured photo credit:  Organic apples in basket in summer grass. Fresh apples in nature via Shutterstock

 

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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!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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