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Brain Foods, Healthy Foods

Best Brain Foods You Should Be Eating

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Eating the right food is good for your physical, as well as mental health. Our cognitive ability, such as understanding and processing new information and staying focused on the task, is greatly affected by the food we eat. Our brains require food rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and good fats to provide energy and aid in protecting us against brain diseases. Here’s a list of the best brain foods you should be eating:

Avocados

brain foods

Avocados contain both vitamin K and folate which help prevent blood clots in the brain as well as help improve cognitive function, especially both memory and concentration. They are also packed with monosaturated fats which contribute to healthy blood flow. These fats keep your blood sugar levels steady, thus help avoid hypertension. And because Hypertension is a risk factor for the decline in cognitive abilities, avoiding hypertension helps maintain a healthy brain.

Green Leafy Vegetables

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It has been found that regular intake of green leafy vegetables can help keep dementia at bay. Green, leafy vegetables are also loaded with vitamins A and K which help fight inflammation and keep bones strong. Green leafy vegetable such as broccoli is good for the brain. Broccoli is one of the best brain foods out there. It provides high levels of vitamin K and choline, which will help keep your memory sharp. Vitamin K is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower. Studies have found that broccoli can slow the breakdown of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which we need for the central nervous system to perform properly and to keep our brains and our memories sharp because of its compound called glucosinolates. Broccoli is also loaded with vitamin C and contains high levels of fiber.

Blueberries

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Another brain food you should be eating is Blueberries. Blueberries contain antioxidant, vitamin C, vitamin k, and fiber which contribute to a number of health benefits. Researchers have also found that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Blueberries are good at protecting our brains from degeneration and stress because of their high levels of gallic acid.

Dark Chocolate

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Dark chocolate has powerful antioxidant properties and contains several natural stimulants, including caffeine. Eating dark chocolate help enhance focus and concentration. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, which helps improve mood. Dark chocolate can also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to both the brain and heart.

Egg

egg

Yolks contain large amounts of choline, which helps in fetal brain development for pregnant women. When you eat eggs, your brain uses choline to make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is important for maintaining memory and communication among brain cells. In addition, eggs contain cholesterol which is an important component of brain cell membranes and serves as a brain-protective antioxidant. An egg is also one of the most inexpensive sources of protein.

Whole Grain

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Another brain food you should be eating is whole grain. The brain cannot work without energy because the ability to concentrate and focus comes from an adequate, steady supply of energy. The energy needed is in the form of glucose. Wholegrains provide glucose in our blood. Choosing whole grains with a low-GI, which release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day.

Salmon

salmon

Salmon is one of the most nutritious brain foods you should be eating. It is packed with omega-3 fatty acids which help keep your brain functioning and improve memory. Omega-3s, which are found in salmon and other cold-water fish like tuna, may improve the retention of brain cells and also bolster the brainpower of younger adults.

Nuts and Seeds

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Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E which can help prevent cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease as you age. They provide high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to help improve mental alertness. Eating brain foods such as walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, filberts, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, flax seed, and nut butter such as peanut butter, almond butter, and tahini help keep your brain healthy.

Fortified Food, Healthy Foods, Nutritious Foods

What’s A Fortified Food?

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Certain foods go through a process that takes all the nutrients they once had out of them. This is known as refining the food. Processed grains are a prime example. These grains can be found in breakfast cereal, snack cakes and many other items most American’s enjoy. When a food manufacturer decides to fortify the food, they are putting the nutrients they once had back in them. Usually, nutrients the food originally didn’t have are included too.

Iron

ironfoodsIron is often included in breakfast cereal. Grains are actually relatively low in this nutrient, even before they are processed. This nutrient makes up for the lack of red meat a lot of Americans are dealing with. Red meat is expensive. While breakfast cereal is not. So they are able to get the nutrient at a lower cost.

Vitamin A & D

vitamin-d-rich-food_11-1024x683Milk is fortified with vitamins A & D. These nutrients work well with milk as vitamin D cannot work without calcium. Calcium is naturally occurring in milk, even milk that has been pasteurized. Pasteurization is the process of boiling milk to kill the bacteria present in it.

Most people get vitamin D through natural sun exposure. But for those who live in a cloudy climate like Seattle, or are just suffering through the winter months, getting this nutrient the natural way isn’t a realistic option. Luckily our skin isn’t the only thing that can absorb this vitamin. It can also be absorbed through the gastrointestinal track. That’s why the vitamin’s placed in milk.

Iodine

iodine-rich-foods-for-healthy-mind-and-bodyHave you ever wondered what makes iodized salt different from regular salt? Some people fall under the misconception that it’s a different type of salt. In reality, the salt is simply fortified with an essential nutrient that’s necessary for clear, critical thinking. IQs in America have gone up since the addition of this mineral.

Calcium

osteoporosisdietThose who are strict vegans may not be getting the calcium they need. Most Americans are consuming it through cheese and other dairy products. While soy versions taste great, they lack the calcium natural dairy products are rich with. Soy has a lot of other great stuff in it, like protein, iron and other nutrients. But the Calcium has to be added into it through an unnatural process. This prevents osteoporosis in Vegans.

B Vitamins

168649-425x284-vit-b-rich-foodsB Vitamins are added to a lot of foods and beverages these days. This is especially useful for those of us who are avoiding meat. As B-12 can only be gained through the consumption of dairy products. It’s responsible for our body’s ability to make energy. So it’s important to make sure your body’s getting enough of it.

While no one’s trying to say that energy drinks are healthy, they are fortified with plenty of B vitamins, including B-12, to keep us going. One energy drink contains all the B vitamins we need for the day. So there’s no reason to consume more than that. Unless you have an exam to cram for.

While It’s An Unnatural Process, It Makes Food Healthier

Even though the fortification of food may seem unhealthy, don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s unnatural, without fortification vitamin deficiencies would be ramped. Especially among low income families that may only be able to afford a box of cereal. Not every American can get their Vitamins the natural way.

Fortified Foods Are Everywhere: So Enjoy!

This list could go on and on. Food manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to make what you consume healthier. Be sure to look for fortified foods and include them in your diet. It’s the only way to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need.

boost your immune system, Healthy Foods, Immunity Boosting Foods, Nutritious Foods

5 Immunity Boosting Foods

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The immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganism and on the other hand, diet plays an important role in boosting your immune system. Staying around people who are sneezing or sniffling, you may need to extract as much nutrition from your diet as you can and avoiding processed foods, sugar and grains can go a long way in strengthening your immune system. But you can choose foods loaded with specific immune boosting nutrients rather than loading yourself with supplements or falling victim to vaccines that expose you to health risks. Below are 5 foods that can boost your immune system.

Yogurt

yogurtWhen you take a morning dose of yogurt it helps your immune system to become stronger. This is because yogurt contains probiotics that are known to be healthy bacteria that help boost your immune system by keeping the gut and intestinal duct free of disease-causing germs. 80% of your immune system resides in your gut and you really need to have a balanced and good gut to have the most fighting power. When taking yogurt look for products labeled with ”Live & Active cultures”, which signifies that the yogurt contains a set minimum amount of types of beneficial bacteria. To make the most out of yogurt, make it a regular part of your daily diet because when looking to maintain healthy immune system, it all starts with prevention.

Garlic

garlic_310_0Garlic is jam-packed with an active ingredient, allicin that helps to fight infections and bacteria. It usually has a natural antiviral and antibacterial properties. This ingredient becomes potent and is released when the inside of garlic cloves get exposed to air. People who get sick are advised to eat raw garlic to stave off the illness. Research shows that people who take garlic extract for 12 weeks, two-third of them are less likely to catch a cold.

Spinach

spinachSpinach has become famous for its superfood attributes and is a powerhouse vegetable. Spinach has antioxidant and beta-carotene properties that increase the infection fighting capabilities of your immune system. It also contains folic acid that helps to repair cells. spinach is supposed to be cooked as little as possible so as to retain its nutrients. When cooked it contains potassium that acts as electrolytes to keep the body well hydrated and keep the energy level in balance. Also, it enhances its vitamin A and reduces oxalic acid. When you want to boost your immunity, you need to incorporate spinach into your diet at least twice or thrice per week.

Chicken soup

1201p116-good-old-fashioned-chicken-soup-xIt turns out there is an importance in taking the chicken soup. When you are sick, chicken soup is more than just feel good food with its placebo effect. Chicken soup helps to protect you from getting sick in the first place. Poultry such as turkey and chicken is high in Vitamin B-6, where the vitamin is an important player in many chemical reactions that happens within the body. Also is vital in the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. The bone broth that is produced by boiling the chicken bones contains chondroitin and gelatin that are helpful for gut healing and immunity. Also, like any other hot liquid, the soup helps you to stay hydrated and raises the temperatures of airways that are vital in loosening secretion.

Citrus fruit

2012-10-13_19-03-26_362-622x621Most people go for vitamin C when they catch a cold. But is good to know it tops the chart for foods that help keep your immune system running properly. Citrus fruit contains vitamin c that increases production of white blood cells. They include grapefruit, lemon, orange, tangerine etc. Daily intake is essential because the body does not produce or store it. Almost all citrus fruits contain vitamin C and with such variety to choose from, it is easy to squeeze it to any meal.