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These 10 Reasons Will Convince Anyone To Stop Giving Children Handheld Devices

These 10 Reasons Will Convince Anyone To Stop Giving Children Handheld Devices

Studies have shown that infants 0-2 years should not be exposed to any technology, children 3-5 years old should be limited to an hour a day, and ages 6-18 should be limited to two hours a day. This might sound strict – and I certainly remember watching more than two hours of TV when I was a teenager – but there are reasons these recommendations are in place.

1. Rapid Brain Growth

Rapid brain growth is affected by technology. From the ages of 0-2, infants’ brains triple in size! This rapid growth continues until you’re 21 years old. While your brain is developing, it’s important to use a wide variety of motor skills instead of just staring at a screen. It’s more important to learn how to grasp things, turn things, button buttons and zip zippers than it is to know how to poke at a graphic.

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2. Sleep Deprivation

Even as an adult, you know how hard it is to turn off the phone and go to sleep! If I can’t sleep, I pick up my phone and start playing games, and before I know it, morning’s arrived. Imagine if you’re a kid with all this technology at your fingertips. I didn’t have a computer in my room as a kid, but it was hard enough for me to get off the family computer at bedtime. If I could have stayed online all hours of the night, I know I would have. It’s too easy to deprive yourself of sleep when you think you have something better going on. Restricting usage of technology and handheld devices will help ensure your child gets enough sleep.

3. Digital Dementia

Studies show being exposed to so much media so fast increases occurrences of attention deficit disorder. Watching so much on a screen causes your brain to “prune” the neuronal tracks that run to the frontal lobe, which decreases your ability to concentrate and form memories. When you’re a child, not being able to pay attention means you won’t be able to learn and retain information.

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4. Delayed Development

If you’re just sitting around, staring and poking at a touch screen, your body isn’t using its muscles enough for development. Physical movement enhances a child’s ability to learn and pay attention, so it’s important they use a lot of their body for playing and learning as they grow.

5. Epidemic Obesity

Obesity is a logical concern if you’re talking about children sitting and staring at a screen instead of going outside to play. Studies have shown that children with a TV in their bedrooms have a 30% increased occurrence of obesity. Limiting children’s exposure to technology and encouraging them to exercise and play outside will help decrease chances of diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks later in life.

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6. Aggression

There is a lot of back and forth on the argument that violent games cause children to act violently, but it’s true that children re-enact things they see. Being exposed to violence, sexual deviance, and gore at a young age will influence them. It’s also possible that they will be more aggressive just because playing games can be frustrating at times, when you’re so close to winning and then mess up. I’ll admit to throwing a game controller or two…

7. Mental Illness

An overexposure to technology has been shown to increase childhood depression, autism, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, attachment disorders, bipolar disorder, psychosis, and problematic behavior. It’s better for children to engage in physical and social activities away from technology.

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8. Unsustainable Lifestyle

Yes, technology is unavoidable in today’s society, and everyone should know how to use it. But if it’s all children are ever exposed to, then it’s all they’ll know. It’s important for children to be well-rounded, so they’ll have more opportunities open to them as they grow.

9. Radiation Emissions

Children’s brains are still developing, so they are more sensitive to radiation emissions coming from handheld devices. The World Health Organization has classified wireless devices as emitting possible carcinogens, which means you can’t be too careful. Whether the emissions are cancerous or not, they can still affect the development of a child’s brain and immune system.

10. Addictions

As adults we are often addicted to technology, which means we are detaching from social situations around us – including being with our kids. This sets a bad example for the kids because they think it’s OK to do the same. They also aren’t being interacted with as much, so they turn to technology themselves. When playing with technology is one of the only things you have to do, it’s incredibly easy to get addicted!

Featured photo credit: tinkerbard via flickr.com

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

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:

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.

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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.

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.

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

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!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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