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Remove These Six Foods from Your Diet Plan ASAP

Remove These Six Foods from Your Diet Plan ASAP

As you go about your diet plan, one thing that’s very important is that you take a look at all the foods you’re eating and make sure that they stack up with your nutritional requirements. One big mistake that some people make as they go about a diet program is failing to take into account the nutrients in their food and how this food is going to influence how they feel and function; instead, they simply focus on the total calorie level and it if matches their needs for the day, that food is as good as eaten.

While calories will dictate whether or not you lose weight, you also need to carefully assess the influence the food will have on how you feel, because if you feel miserable on your meal plan or are hungry all day long, chances are you won’t be sticking with that diet as you should. Let’s walk you through six of the top foods that you may be eating right now that need to get the boot from your diet plan.

1. Granola Bars/Energy Bars

The first of the foods on the list to get the boot is granola or energy bars. While these may seem like a wise quick snack option in times of need, don’t be fooled: most are loaded with sugars, are high in simple carbs, and incredibly low in protein. This is not a good combination as far as your diet plan goes. Furthermore, these foods will often only make you hungrier after you eat them and will not serve as a complete meal or snack, so virtually, all they’re doing is destroying your progress.

Sure, they may only be 100-150 calories, but you’d really be better off eating a 250 calorie snack that had some protein in it.

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2. Convenient Frozen Dinner Meals

The second of the foods to get the boot from your diet plan is any frozen dinner meals you might be consuming.

Here again, these may be calorie controlled, but they are typically lacking in dietary fiber, protein, and may not provide much in the way of nutrients either. They also often contain pasta, which is a processed source of carb and just not ideal. Additionally, the sodium content in these meals can be through the roof, which will only increase the amount of water you retain.

Forgo frozen dinner meals entirely. If you need to eat on the go, start cooking up larger batches of food yourself when you prepare your meals and then freezing the leftovers for later use. This is a far smarter way to do things and will give you the nourishment that you need.

3. Fruit Juice

Fruit juice is yet another item that many people are consuming on a day-to-day basis that is not going to work in their favor in terms of getting lean and healthy and staying that way.

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This one often fools people because it is made with real fruit, so they think that it must be healthy. The problem with fruit juice, however, is that it’s incredibly calorie dense, so you’ll be taking in far more calories than if you would have just had a piece of real fruit and in addition to that, it’s also lacking in dietary fiber.

This is not a good combination as far as results are concerned—just have a piece of real fruit and a glass of water if you’re thirsty.

4. “Whole Grain” Cereal

If you regularly start your day with whole grain cereal, you’re being fooled. Take a look at the ingredients in that cereal and more often than not, sugar will be among the first listed. Many whole grain cereals go in disguise because the marketers behind them want you to think they’re healthy and trick you into eating them regularly.

Don’t be so gullible. Read the nutritional information so that you can see for yourself how these stack up. If they aren’t providing you with a good dose of fiber per serving and have fewer than 3-4 grams of sugar per serving as well, they are not a food to put into your body.

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5. Fruit-Flavored Yogurt

Fruit-flavored yogurt is the next thing to consider removing. While there are a few variations that will be okay, for the most part, fruit flavored yogurt is code word for sugar-infused yogurt. Once again, read the label here to see just how much sugar is in that small tub of yogurt you are having as a snack. Most easily contain 10 grams or more. If this is the case, reconsider that yogurt entirely.

You’d be far better off opting for Greek yogurt instead, which hardly contains any sugar and is the smarter and healthier option to get your dairy in.

6. Baked Goods

Whether it’s whole wheat bread, whole wheat bagels, or some other baked food that you are eating, these too need to be removed from your program plan.

The main issue with baked goods is that even if they don’t contain all that much sugar because you’re choosing wisely, they still contain wheat, which is very processed. This is going to set off a number of reactions in the body where your insulin level shoots way up, which will only cause hunger to set in shortly after.

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While there is some dietary fiber in whole wheat bread, it often isn’t enough to offset this chain of events. Instead, focus on whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and barley—these are the carbohydrate sources that you want to eat because absolutely no processing has gone into them.

So there you have the main foods that you should reconsider having in your diet plan if they are present. Think twice about adding them and you will be all the better because of it.

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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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