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Do You Make This One Common Mistake When it Comes to Your Health?

Do You Make This One Common Mistake When it Comes to Your Health?

Answer the following question truthfully: Are you in control of your health? Or do you let it control you?

For most folks, it’s the latter. If you fall into that category, it’s okay, because I’ll show you how to take control of your health starting with just 15 minutes of your time a day.

A Population Out of Control

The stats indicate many people struggle to control their health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • More than 1 out of every 3 adults in the United States is obese.
  • More than 2 out of every 3 adults in the United States is either overweight or obese.
  • Over 17 percent of kids ages 2-19 are obese.
  • Medical costs associated with obesity are around $147 billion per year.
  • Medical costs for people who are obese are $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

Obesity is triggered by a number of factors, such as your genetics, socioeconomic issues, age, medical issues, etc. But guess what the number one cause of obesity is?

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Lifestyle factors.

This means what you eat, how much you exercise, whether or not you smoke, how much you sleep, etc. You probably knew this already. The reason I bring it up to you again is to prove a point: if you’re struggling with your weight and are unhappy with your current state of health, you can make a change.

Here’s how.

How to Take Control of Your Health

First, you have to want to change, so sit down and really think about the reasons why you want to get healthier. Maybe you’re sick of feeling embarrassed every time you go out to eat, or you want to look better in a bathing suit, or you want to increase your chances of being around longer so you can watch your kids grow up. Whatever your reasons are, write them down. This will serve as motivation down the road when you get a little off track (which you inevitably will). Once you decide you’re ready, talk to your doctor. When you make changes to your health, especially major ones, you need to get the green light from a healthcare professional.

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Next, map out your health goals. And by “map out”, I mean write them down. Be specific. Don’t say, “I want to lose weight.” Say, “I want to lose 10 pounds by August 1st.”

Sounds easy enough, right? So the next step is to take the goals you wrote down and place them in every spot where you spend a lot of time. This means in your bedroom, your family room, your office at work, in your car… you get the drift. The idea is to ensure that your goals are always on your mind. This helps you stick with them and stay motivated.

Commit to spending at least 15 minutes each day on healthy behaviors for the first week or two, and track those behaviors each day. These “healthy behaviors” will be highly individualized, but here are some ideas to get you thinking in the right mindset.

10 Ways to Take Control of Your Health in 15 Minutes or Less

1. Keep a food diary outlining your daily calorie counts.

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2. Spend 15 minutes walking or biking.

3. Cook a healthy dinner for yourself or your family.

4. Take a 15-minute walk on your lunch break at work.

5. Make a healthy smoothie for breakfast in the morning.

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6. Pack a salad for lunch instead of going out to eat.

7. Spend 15 minutes doing yoga or stretching.

8. Eat 5-7 servings of vegetables.

9. Take your dog for a quick walk.

10. Try to go a day without drinking any soda, juice, or other sugary drinks.

Taking Control for the Long-term

Once you spend a week or two commiting to at least 15 minutes a day, increase that number to 30 minutes a day, and continue to track your progress. According to research it takes 66 days to form a healthy habit, so if you continue these healthy behaviors every day for 8 weeks or so, you’ll be much more likely to experience long term success so you can take control of your health once and for all.

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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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