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How To Select Reading And Entertainment That Enriches Your Life

How To Select Reading And Entertainment That Enriches Your Life

“Every day, think as you wake up, ‘Today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.'”

-Dalai Lama

Let the Dalai Lama’s words inspire you to enrich your life. One of the best ways to develop yourself is through the information you consume.

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Reading enriches life.

As you read, whether fiction or nonfiction, you expand your mind. Reading allows you to experience new worlds, perspectives and ideas.

The more you read, the better you can relate and react to the world around you. As you process all of this information, you will find it is also easier to come up with your own new, unique ideas.

It is up to you to choose reading that will enrich you.

Enriching your life with reading can also be fun and enjoyable. However, reading isn’t the only medium to enrich your life. You can also select audio and video programs that are enriching.

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The question then arises, how to choose materials that are enriching. The best way to choose materials that enrich your life is to ask yourself a few questions.

Is there something new to learn?

Choosing materials that teach you something new will expand your universe.

  • Watch a TV Program on how to do your next home improvement project.
  • Learn about your next vacation destination through guidebooks, podcasts, articles or videos.
    • Explore the culture through local legends
    • Learn some phrases in the local language
    • Immerse yourself in the history of the peoples, land or architecture
  • If you are choosing a fiction book for your enjoyment you can still find it enriching.
    • You may learn about a new place, time or even a profession the characters have.

Strive to learn at least one new thing every day. It’s easy when you surround yourself with great information and resources.

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Is the material mostly positive?

This will not be everyone’s preference. However, I find that keeping the information I consume at least 90% positive makes life more enjoyable. It is easier to see the best in the people and world around you when you focus on the good that surrounds us.

  • Choose news outlets that focus on more positive stories (or simply change the channel for ugly news).
    • Look for sources that focus on positive news
      • http://www.dailygood.org/
      • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/good-news/
      • http://abcnews.go.com/US/Good_News/
  • Read biographies of people who inspire and have accomplished great things.
  • Watch movies that have a positive, uplifting message.

Am I interested in the topic?

Consuming information that isn’t of interest to you can be drudgery. Remember your school days: what was your least favorite subject? I bet the thought of having to attend that class was torture some days.

Better to find a topic or an aspect of the topic that interests you.

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  • Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to learn about.
  • What are your favorite tv shows? They may help point you towards subjects you would like to learn more about.
  • Dislike a topic? Look for a method that makes it more interesting.
    • If you don’t like history, you might enjoy historical fiction or movies that are period based.
    • You may find reading a nonfiction book is a challenge, whereas listening to the same book in audio format while driving is easy and enjoyable.

Reading enriches life. As you enrich your life through your entertainment choices, take a moment to journal each day about what you learned. Processing and recording your thoughts in this way will help you get even more from the material and formulate new ideas.

Featured photo credit: Ed Yourdon via flickr.com

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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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