Foods to Boost Memory

It is greatly overlooked how much the foods we eat on a daily basis affects our cognitive function. Living a healthy lifestyle, like improving nutrition and engaging in an active lifestyle, can increase our cognitive function and keep our brains active and functioning properly. Some group B Vitamins, such as folic acid, cyanocobalamine and pyridoxine, as well as antioxidants like vitamin C, E, and Beta Carotene are essential for correct brain function (Requejo, 2003). Likewise, being deficient in these nutrients and having a diet high in saturated fatty acids and cholesterol, has been shown to intensify cognitive decline.

Furthermore, Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA, has been shown to help the brain function properly and efficiently. Studies have shown that long-term consumption of adequate DHA is linked to improved memory, improved learning ability and reduced rates of cognitive decline (Wolfram, 2017).

So what can we eat to boost memory?

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Avocados:

Not only do they taste delicious but they are high in the nutrients that are essential for healthy cognitive function. Avocados contain vitamin K and folate, as well as Vitamin B and Vitamin C. As stated above, these key nutrients are crucial in keeping he brain functioning normally. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps get rid of free radicals, while folate helps prevent blood clots.

Blueberries:

It is widely known that blueberries are high in antioxidants, like vitamin C and Vitamin K. As we know, these vitamins fight blood clots and free radicals. Similarly other dark berries, like blackberries and cherries have similar beneficial properties to boost memory function.

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Fish:

Fish such as salmon, Bluefin tuna and sardines, are high in omega-3 fatty acids and DHA. As previously stated, a diet with adequate DHA levels can help improve memory and improve cognitive function. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can consume Omega-3 fatty acids by eating algae, ground flax seeds, walnuts or chia seeds. Our bodies will naturally convert the Omega-3 fatty acids to DHA to support our brain.

Veggies:

Many vegetables, especially cruciferous veggies, like broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy greens, help improve memory. They contain high amounts of antioxidants, vitamin K and anti-inflammatory properties to help keep your brain working efficiently.

 

 

References

Requejo, A. M., Ortega, R. M., Robles, F., Navia, B., Faci, M., & Aparicio, A. (2003). Influence of nutrition on cognitive function in a group of elderly, independently living people. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 57(S1). doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601816

Wolfram, T. (n.d.). Brain Health and Fish. Retrieved April 03, 2018, from https://www.eatright.org/health/wellness/healthy-aging/brain-health-and-fish

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Beauty Items I Can’t Live Without

Growing up, I was never into makeup or doing my hair. I loved to play outside and get dirty, so I have come to love simple beauty items to keep my hair and skin soft and healthy.

  1. Noxema

    My grandma, mother and aunts have been using noxema since their teens and swear by it. So, of course, I use it to! It is an easy face wash that leaves you feeling clean and fresh. I use it every day and every night. It is my go to face wash and beats all of the new, expensive brands out there.

  2. Pond’s Skin Care

    My family also loves Ponds. It is easy to use and leaves your face feeling smooth and moisturized. I never had much acne, so this moisturizer is perfect for my skin. It delivers deep moisture and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

  3. Jojoba oil

    My new favorite hair moisturizer. I use a couple of drops after the shower to keep my hair smooth. Jojoba oil comes from the seed of the simmondsia chinesis (jojoba) plant. It is found in southern Arizona, California and northwestern Mexico. You can also use it on your skin, but I only use it on my hair right now. It has been shown to be a home remedy for acne and prevents razor burn. It replenishes moisture and improves texture in your hair, while getting rid of dry scalp and dandruff.

  1. Collagen

    Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. It gives our skin elasticity, preventing wrinkles. Since collagen production slows down as we age, it is important to take collagen to prevent wrinkles, keep our nails strong and hair healthy. So of course, I take collagen every morning. I am still testing out my favorite brand of collagen, but I can be found in powder form, tablets and even shots. It helps prevent wrinkles, while also keeping your digestive system healthy.

What are Adaptogens

Adaptogens are natural substances, like herbs, that work to regulate certain hormones and balance the body. They can help to increase the body’s resistance to physical, biological, emotional, and environmental stressors and promote normal physiologic function (Duke,1).  These herbs have been used for thousands of years for their natural health benefits, like boosting the immune system, restoring balance, managing weight, increasing physical endurance, as well as mental focus and mood.

Adaptogens grow in various environments, such as high altitude, rugged mountain regions, extreme cold, low oxygen and other stressful conditions. Many types grow in China, India, Korea, and Russia, while others are native to Europe and North America. Some are ready to harvest in a year, while others take years to mature to have the medicinal properties that they are used for.

4 Popular Adaptogens:

  1. Panax Ginseng: (AKA Asian Ginseng)
    Panax Ginseng grows in the mountainous forests of eastern Manchuria, northern China, and Korea. It is almost extinct in the wild. This type of adaptogen is used to improve calmness and memory performance. Some research states that it can help lower blood sugar levels.
  2. Astragalus:
    Astragalus is native to china and is grown in full sun and sandy soil with low nitrogen levels. It is used in Chinese medicine to decrease stress hormones and improve the stress response. It has also been shown to boost immunity. Many studies show that it can boost cortisol levels, allowing the body to respond better to types of stress. Today, it is commonly used for lack of appetite, organ prolapse, fatigue and wasting and thirsting syndrome. It is also used to enhance the immune system, preventing colds, and other illnesses.
  3. Cordyceps:
    Cordyceps is a type of fungus that grows on the Himalaya Mountains in Tibet and Bhutan. It is rare to find. They are high in antioxidants and contains immune-enhancing properties. It is now used to treat illnesses associated with the kidneys. It is also used to treat infertility in men and women, frequent urination, night sweats, dizziness and fatigue.
  4. Holy Basil:
    It is found throughout the lowlands of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Southern China and Malaysia. It is known for its antibacterial, antidepressant, antioxidant and antiviral properties. It is also a diuretic, and galactogogue.
References
Winston, D., & Maimes, S. (2007). Adaptogens: herbs for strength, stamina, and stress relief. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

 

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

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makes 1 serving

1 sweet potato
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tsp salt
1 tbsp minced garlic

Preheat oven to 400 degree. Spiral the sweet potato using a noodle spiralizer or slice sweet potatoes. In a large bowl, add the spiralized sweet potato, olive oil, salt, cayenne pepper and garlic. Mix with hands until evenly coated. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. 

Kiwi Moringa Fruit Roll Ups

I have been patiently waiting for these to be done all day! It was worth the wait…I love them

Kiwi Moringa Fruit Roll Ups


4 kiwi

2 tbs honey or agave 

1 tsp moringa

Preheat oven to 170 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Blend all ingredients together and pour the mixture on the baking sheet. Spread evenly with a spoon. Bake for 6 hours.

Enjoy!

Running and Collagen

As many of you know, I am still training for my 5k race on September 23rd. unfortunately, with the move, I have been too busy to keep up with my training the last week. I know, I shouldn’t make excuses and I am just being lazy! But it is what it is. I am getting back into it this week! Today, I have to run 7 x 400s at a mile pace. I run on the treadmill at work during my break, so it is a little rough and embarrassing.

On the Brightside, I am still avid about my nutrition and eating healthful foods to keep my body moving and well. My favorite supplement to take during my training is collagen! It is easy to mix with my morning coffee, smoothies and much more. Around the internet you can see how supplementing collagen can be very beneficial to your body.

Our bodies cannot synthesize collagen on their own and our diets contain very little collagen so it is important to supplement it.

Benefits of collagen:

Joint pain:

Reduces joint pain! As every runner knows, once one joint hurts, your muscles tighten and everything hurts. Collagen helps build joints and heal damaged ligaments and joints. It keeps you going through out your runs.

Digestion:

When you consume the wrong foods, your stomach can really kill during a long run. You can feel it turning with every step you take. Collagen restores the gut health and improves digestion.

Muscle growth:

Collagen will help you push harder and run longer every day. Restoring collagen production in your body is essential to muscle health. Protecting the muscles and ligaments will help you move more freely for a longer period of time, through your run and throughout life. It can help you recover faster so you can perform better every day.

Beauty:

Although this has nothing to do with running, it helps restore and boost your natural beauty. It enhances your skin, nails, and hair. Improving its moisture, elasticity and shine! While also reducing signs of aging!

Vital Proteins Collagen

The Vital Protein Dark Chocolate and Black Berry Collagen is my all around favorite collagen to add to my smoothies and coffee. It gives my coffee a chocolatey taste that helps me get through the morning! It is sourced from grass fed, pasture raised bovine and organic cocoa and blackberries.  Trust me, it’s delicious! you can even cook with it!