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If You Think Bread Is Always Healthy For You, Think Again

If You Think Bread Is Always Healthy For You, Think Again

Some of us know that to stay fit and healthy, we need to “lay off the carbs.” We usually thinks of pies, pastries, pizzas, and donuts, but we consider whole grain sandwiches a nourishing well-balanced meal, right? How many restaurants automatically bring you a warm loaf of bread with your meal to satisfy your hunger until your order arrives?

The truth is, it is not just the carbs, and the highly processed types of flours, but the real culprit behind the problem is what’s in bread… wheat. This one ingredient is not only a problem for people with wheat or gluten sensitivities, but is a problem for everyone, as wheat can cause health problems due to the effect it has on blood sugar and your body’s inflammatory response.

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What’s wrong with wheat?

According to Dr. William Davis, author of the book Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health, wheat has changed over the years, and may not be as fit for consumption as when we first started harvesting it.

Wheat actually makes us fat

How? Wheat contains a chemical called amylopectin A, which can convert to blood sugar even quicker than table sugar! Two slices of bread — no matter how “whole grain” it is — can cause a spike in blood sugar greater than that of eating a candy bar. When blood sugar spikes this quickly, it then drops rapidly also, making us feel hungry. We get cravings and eat more, and the cycle continues throughout the day. Essentially, foods that raise your blood sugar make you hungrier. Eliminate the bread, and your appetite will decrease. Eating less calories causes weight loss, and that’s just simple math.

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Even if you exercise regularly, wheat can cause a risk of heart disease

When you add high carbohydrates to your diet, they form small particles called lipoproteins, or LDL, particles, that put you at risk for heart disease or stroke, due to an increase in atherosclerotic plaque. So, even if you still look fairly slender, over time, this can cause an increase in this damaging plaque, and also is what causes belly fat — or visceral fat — which are the precursor to diabetes and heart disease.

The wheat fields of today are not what they were when we first started farming

The seeds are actually fatter, as they have evolved over time for survival, and even if crops are not treated with genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), they are creating what Davis calls “Frankengrains,” and have not been tested for their safety.

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But what about “whole wheat?” Isn’t that “low-glycemic?

All wheat contains gluten (which has a glue-like effect on our system), and can cause chronic inflammation and even degenerative conditions. The term “whole grain bread” is actually a myth, as the grains have to be broken down into flour to make bread.

Wheat can spur diabetes, especially in those individuals with a genetic predisposition to diabetes

Some of those fluffy loaves you see in stores have actually been injected with a genetically modified enzyme called transglutaminase, which can be toxic in some individuals. The fluffier the bread, the more likely it will contain GMO’s such as this one.

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If you have ever felt bloated, sleepy, or too full from eating, even if you though you were reaching for something made with “whole grains,” or “natural wheat,” then you have experienced the beginnings of what is known as “wheat belly.” Over time, this can lead to an excess of abdominal fat, and a constant bloating and discomfort.

Wheat is a hidden ingredient in many foods

Soy sauce, salad dressings, soups, sauteed vegetables, and more. Cutting out bread is only part of it, and you have to become a real label-reader, or prepare your own foods to ensure there is no wheat in what you are eating. One of the quickest ways to lose the belly weight is to give up bread, and wheat altogether.

Lose the wheat, lose the weight.

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Bridget Baker

Web Presence Sherpa

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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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