Natural Health — Mental Health


Should Vegans be Adding Brain Boosters to their Diet? 19

vegan dietSuccess and intelligence are essential to getting ahead in the competitive business world today, and children and college students find those attributes to be very important when it comes to their academics, too. However, in order to retain your sharp-witted sense throughout the years, you need to find ways to boost your brain power. While many rely on prescriptive methods to get an edge on the overachievers, you’ll find natural methods such as nootropics to be more beneficial.

What are Nootropics? The term was coined back in the 1960s by Romanian chemist Corneliu E. Giurgea. In order to qualify as a nootropic, the drugs should be able to boost the body’s ability to learn, memorize and provide protection to the brain from injuries. It should also have no toxicity, stimulant or sedative effects. The natural substances in these drugs can also increase the brain’s neurotransmitter count, activate nerve growth and increase the supply of oxygen that reaches the brain. Natural nootropics can enhance the brain's abilities to function through essential vitamins, minerals and herbs. From B6, bacopa and amino acids to huperzia serrata, vinocetine and ginko biloba, you’ll find this natural substance improves brain health and cognitive aptitudes. Scientifically synthesized nootropics work similarly to their natural counterparts and include products such as racetums and noopept and piracetums. Nevertheless, individuals need to do their research before taking any chemical or synthetic nootropic.

The Many Benefits of Nootropics The long-term benefits of nootropics are plentiful, and they begin by helping to improve the brain’s abilities to function well beyond old age. From enhanced alertness and a rise in attention to sustained focus and improvements in memory, these substances can give an individual the smarts that they need to succeed and function throughout life. They are also essential to people as they age, especially seniors. Since the memory declines as a person ages, nootropics can aid in cognitive functioning and help alleviate symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The right nootropics can also elevate a person’s mood, energy and reduce stress and anxiety.

Adding Nootropics to a Vegan Diet Natural nootropics are easy to obtain when you follow a healthy diet. However, some may think that consuming “smart foods” aren’t a part of a vegan diet. Vegetables and fruits such as broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, corn, spinach, blueberries, grapefruit, avocado’s, cherries, bananas and prunes are vegan-friendly and part of a brain boosting diet. Whole-grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oats and barley are just as important. While vegans stay away from meat and fish, you'll find that nuts, seeds, beans and dark chocolate are just as satisfying and healthy for consumption. Creative ways to add the foods naturally can include green or fruit smoothies, sweet potato hash, curried quinoa and dark chocolate mousse for dessert. In addition to consuming a healthy diet, natural supplements can also be added to a vegan diet to help obtain the benefits of nootropics. Taken separately, ginkgo biloba, huperzine, bacopa monnieri, vinpocetine and lion’s mane can all help improve the functions of the brain. However, you can also stack the supplements safely when you combine them based on your own specific needs. There are also products on the market today that do this for you and include Alpha Brain, Focus Factor and BrainStack.

Brain Boosting Smoothie Juicing recipes give a boost to your cognitive function. To make optimal smoothies, you'll need to have a masticating juicer in your kitchen. These juicers are best for leafy green vegetables. The beets in the recipe below are rich in nitrates, making them a great cognitive enhancer. The berries are rich in flavonoids and antioxidants, which are helpful in staving off cognitive decline as you age.

Brain Builder Smoothie Mix together one Beet, and two handfuls each of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries in the juicer. Strain the mixture if needed, and pour into a glass and enjoy. Nootropics can improve the body’s ability to concentrate, memorize and improve mental clarity. While synthetic varieties are just as safe as their natural counterparts, eating a healthy diet can be an added boon for vegans who are looking for creative ways to consume the many brain inspiring foods.

Author: Holly Chavez

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Pilates Basics and Benefits 1

pilates basicsAccording to, "Pilates (pronounced puh-LAH-teez) is something like a cross between yoga, stretching and calisthenics." This fast growing type of exercise is exceptionally popular with good reasons. It makes you look and feel fantastic. It builds strength without bulk, provides excellent stretching, integrates mind with body and tones your body like you will not believe. By: Tammy Foster Pilates Basics is the foundation of exercises originally developed by Joseph H. Pilates to benefit bed-bound patients during World War I. Pilates developed a series of basic exercises designed to help patients tone and lengthen their muscles. Eventually he brought his Pilates basics to New York where he developed a loyal following. Pilates basics are known for using intense concentration on a specific body part as well as on a specific series of breathing techniques while you perform a prescribed series of movements. It is the combination of these challenges which make Pilates a champion exercise. With Pilates, one of the very first things you will need to learn is to focus on the "powerhouse" or the core of your body. It is just a fancy way of saying "your abdomen". The basics of Pilates teach that if you work your body movements from the core or the powerhouse, then your muscles will move more easily and fully through their entire range of motion. With the focus of Pilates being on the abdominal muscles, these muscles must get stronger in order to allow you to fully execute the movements of Pilates. The spinal and abdominal muscles make up the powerhouse muscles and should be your focus throughout each movement. The abdominal muscles are made up of the rectus abdominis, the transverse abdominis, and the internal and external obliques. Pilates basics focuses on creating strong abdominal and spinal muscles which work together to improve strength, coordination, flexibility and balance. Maybe you have seen the huge Pilates contraptions and have avoided Pilates because you do not want that in your home. Never fear. Many Pilates classes are floor based and require nothing more than a mat or carpet. It also helps to have either an instructor, a book or a DVD until you get your form right. There are still Pilates studios that use the equipment and some classes use various equipment such as exercise balls, bands or rings. If all of this sounds a bit too soft for your exercise taste, make no mistake, Pilates is not a soft and fluffy exercise. If you have any doubt, then take the time to pick up a DVD of Winsor Pilates. In this particular slant to traditional Pilates, Mari Winsor has developed a series of Pilates exercises which she calls "dynamic sequencing" which even on a good day will leave you with your tongue hanging out! One of the best things about Pilates is that it is gentle on the joints. For this reason it can be practiced by the majority of all folks, even those who are just getting started with a fitness routine. Many Pilates practitioners believe this form of exercise will leave you feeling better and not worse. Pilates will leave you feeling taller, leaner, energized and confident. The breathing exercises that accompany all Pilates movements will help you to feel calmer and more centered. So why not give Pilates a try? You will be glad you did and your body will thank you for it! The basics of Pilates give you a certain set of exercises along with specific breathing patterns all focused on helping your tone and strengthen your abdominal powerhouse. The Pilates Body: The Ultimate At-Home Guide to Strengthening, Lengthening, and Toning Your Body--Without MachinesMore energy, confidence and strength makes Pilates basics sound like a plan for me! If you are trying to decide between Pilates and Yoga, why not choose both? While they have many similarities, they may offer dramatically different results. In my experience, I find Yoga to be calming, centering, and it seems to give me a sort of quiet strength. That is why yoga is such an excellent way to start each and every day. I find that Pilates, on the other hand, increases my strength and flexibility like yoga, but also leaves me feeling energized, enthusiastic and invigorated. It may affect other people differently but that is my take on it. I feel yoga is an essential part of my morning routine, and Pilates is something that I really look forward to and try hard to make time for at least three times a week if I can. Article Source:

For more information on Pilates be sure to visit You'll find tips and advice on Pilates techniques, Pilates basics, Pilates and pregnancy, and much more information. Get your own completely unique content version of this article.

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