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8 Superfoods for your Brain

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We’ve all had days when we didn’t feel like we were ‘on our game.’ And as we age, both our bodies and our brains grow old as well. By making smart food choices though, we can preserve our precious gray matter longer and improve brain function. Here are some brainy choices for keeping our noggins in tip-top shape.

Blueberries have been shown to shield the brain from stress, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Research has also shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills.

avocadoAvocados, though considered a ‘fatty fruit,’ contribute to healthy blood flow and decreased blood pressure, lessening the chances of developing hypertension, which can lead to a stroke.

Deep-water fish, such as salmon is a wise, freshwater fish choice. It’s abundant in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for healthy brain function.
Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E, an important vitamin needed by your brain to stave off declining cognitive functions. Cashews, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower and sesame seeds and almonds are all great choices.

Whole-grain breads, brown rice, and oatmeal also contribute to a healthy brain by reducing the risk for cardiac disease. By promoting a healthy heart and improved blood flow, the brain is sure to thrive via excellent oxygen and nutrient delivery through the bloodstream. Complex carbohydrates also supply the brain with a steady stream of glucose that enhances brain function. It’s important to avoid simple carbohydrates often found in junk food because the glucose gives the brain a short-lived sugar high, often followed by a crash that makes you feel hungry and tired.

Freshly brewed tea also has potent antioxidants, especially the class known as catechines, which also promotes healthy blood flow. Since black teas do contain caffeine it’s important to use it sensibly.

Dark chocolate has powerful antioxidant properties, contains several natural stimulants, which enhance focus and concentration, and encourages the production of endorphins, which helps improve mood. Again, moderation is the key.

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Heidi Cannon’s Christmas Chocolate Protein Bark Recipe

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Food & Nutrition

How To Make Better Food Choices

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Current trends and statistics show that people are making healthier decisions at the grocery store. In fact, according to a recent survey by the Grocery Manufacturers of America, “73 percent of primary grocery shoppers reported they were buying more nutritious and healthy foods and beverages than in the past.”

Also, check out: Should You Opt for the Gluten-Free Diet?

A major reason for this shift is a health consciousness in America, with millions of people looking to lose weight and get into shape. However, says nutrition expert Sherry Torkos, “consumers are frustrated with their lack of success with many of the fad diets that simply don’t work. Consumers are also becoming better educated about how to make food choices by using tools such as the glycemic index (GI), which is a ranking of food based on the rate of carbohydrate absorption they trigger.”

Carbohydrates are staples of the American diet. In fact, most Americans get about half of their calories from carbohydrates. However, simple carbohydrates such as potatoes, white bread and pasta are rapidly digested and ratio blood glucose to high levels. Fortunately, there may be a way to lower the GI of carb-rich foods by taking a supplement containing an extract of the white bean.

“The GI of white bread was significantly decreased by the addition of 3,000 milligrams of the Phase 2 brand white bean extract in powder form. At that dose, the GI was reduced by 20.23 points, or 39.07 percent,” says Jay Udani, M.D., medical director, Pacific West Research.

Though consumers have lowered their fat intake, experts agree that excess carbohydrate consumption remains a problem. Fat calories removed from the diet are usually replaced by even more troublesome carbohydrate calories, meaning increased consumption of high-GI foods. This sort of diet is considered a primary factor for “diabesity,” or type 2 diabetes brought on by being obese. Besides diabetes, overweight and obese individuals are at an increased risk for numerous other physical ailments, including hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.

“Consumers should steer towards the low-glycemic index foods, such as whole grains, most fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes because they digest more slowly and don’t cause spikes in blood glucose and insulin levels,” adds Torkos.

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Should You Opt for the Gluten-Free Diet?

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Many people are opting for the gluten-free diet in order to ensure that they are able to lose weight as well as increase the energy levels. While some of the people are allergic to gluten but many people are voluntarily opting for the gluten-free diet. The question which remains is if you’re not allergic to gluten, should you opt for the gluten-free diet.

Also, check out: 3 Things You Should Try Out in Keto Diet

Before you make this decision, it is important for you to take into account the few factors. Only once you are able to take into account these factors, you will be able to decide easily whether you should opt for the gluten-free diet or not.

1 Basic reason:
You need to keep in mind that there are many weight loss programs and diets which you can follow. You should only opt for the gluten-free diet when you’re gluten intolerant. According to some stats, only 1% of the population is gluten intolerant. That is why, if you are opting for the gluten-free diet in order to lose weight, you have to think once again.





2 Most of the foodstuffs consist of gluten:
You need to keep in mind that many foodstuffs which you consume on a regular basis consist of gluten. This includes wheat as well as many other grains as well. Additionally, many condiments and spices also include gluten. Also, energy bars and ice creams also include gluten. Thus, whenever you’re looking at the foodstuffs which you cannot consume when you’re on the gluten-free diet, you will realize that there is quite a long list. This is one of the main problems when you’re opting for the gluten-free diet.

3 Eliminating a lot of unhealthy food:
When you are opting for the gluten-free diet, at the same point in time you will be able to eliminate a lot of unhealthy foodstuffs as well. You need to keep in mind that along with that, you will have to eliminate many normal foodstuffs as well. Only when you’re ready for that, you can look forward to the gluten-free diet.

Thus, instead of just following the trend, you have to find out as much information as you can about the gluten-free diet. Once you are able to do that, you will realize that it is not as easy as it sounds. In many of the cases, you will find that there are other diet plans which you can use in order to lose weight more effectively rather than the gluten-free diet.

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