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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

Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/58040028@N03/14744299860/

How to Have a Healthy Thanksgiving 3

Gratitude is a dish best served daily but as for the rest of Thanksgiving fare, it is a great thing that the holiday only comes once a year or we would all be obese. Baked goods, fried foods, sugar and fat. We gather around and eat until our pants pop. Would you like time with your family yet long for something a little less stressful on your body? Here are a few recent articles that offer some tips to for a Healthy Thanksgiving. Here are some tips from Glamour.com: “Nuts: They’re your friend, says Martica. Limit yourself to one serving (about a small palmful) before the big meal, and she points to research that says you’ll eat less food later. Green veggies: They sound healthy, but creamed spinach or a rich green bean casserole? Not so much. Instead, think outside of the box when it comes to green veggies. Focus on simple preparations and maybe even do something unexpected. “One year I brought sauteed artichokes and kale to Thanksgiving,” says Martica. Turkey: “It’s really healthy,” she says, noting our favorite fall bird’s nutritional rap: low in saturated fat and cholesterol and a good source of folic acid. So don’t be afraid to enjoy some. But keep serving sizes in mind. “One serving of turkey is the size of a deck of cards. And save 50-60 calories by choosing white meat without skin.” Gravy: Use Martica’s logic for salad when it comes to gravy. “Think of gravy like you would salad dressing,” she says. “Do you need to slather every lettuce leaf with creamy dressing, or can you make due with a tablespoon and just spread it around?” Cranberry sauce: Time to get culinary, says Martica. “Store-bought, canned kinds of cranberry sauce,” says Martica, “often have lots of calories and corn syrup.” Better bet? “Make it from scratch with less sugar and add fruit juice instead.” Her favorite technique is to reduce the cranberries down over the stove with a little sugar and fruit juice such as pomegranate or orange juice. Mashed potatoes: They have a bad reputation, says Martica, but they shouldn’t! “Potatoes are high in vitamin C and high in fiber.” But, instead of loading up on cream and butter when you make them, mash them with a little olive oil and salt and pepper instead, and you’ll have a much healthier dish of spuds. Eggnog: Yes, it’s pretty rich, says Martica. “But it also has a lot of nutrients, like protein and calcium.” So don’t deprive yourself of your (and my!) favorite holiday treat. Just have a half cup, says Martica, which will save you 200 calories. Then, cut with a little skim milk. “It’s always best to dilute it a bit.” Pie: Put simply, choose apple or pumpkin. Apologies to pecan pie, but it’s a dieter’s death trap, says Martica. And, skip the whipped cream and ice cream. Pie is delicious without the trimmings!” More tips come from ShelbyStar.com: Stuffing. Prepare stuffing with whole grain bread. Cook the stuffing separate from the turkey. If you add the turkey drippings, be sure to skim off the fat. You save fat calories and provide whole grain goodness. Mashed Potatoes. Using chicken broth instead of butter will lighten up the texture of mashed potatoes and make them fluffier. Using broth instead of butter eliminates most of the fat from a mashed potato dish. For a creamier texture, add a little low-fat or fat-free half and half or buttermilk. Vegetable Tray. Add some new vegetables to those boring celery and carrot sticks by including jicama, snow peas, grape tomatoes, scallions, mushrooms, orange and yellow pepper strips and other varieties of produce. Serve with a balsamic vinegar-based dressing instead of a mayonnaise-based dip.” My advice: Skip baked desserts and fried foods and don’t overeat on the rest. Or if you are vegetarian like me, consider volunteering at your local soup kitchen or food bank and skipping the feast altogether. Image Source: Glamour.com  

EMF - Protect Yourself From Electromagnetic Fields 0

EMF Balancing Techniquesby Dr. James P. Urban A Funny Thing Happened Not long ago, I was riding my bike on a familiar trail near my home. I was deeply engrossed in possible topics for articles downloadable from our Natural Healing Tools web site. The trail is about 20 miles long. Three to four miles of it run under large power lines towering over the path. Suddenly, it hit me - the topic of my next article. EMF! That buzzing sound overhead was coming from those power lines just above me. No, I couldn't see the field of energy emanating from the lines, but I sure could sense that I was passing through an area I wasn't comfortable with. Then, I remembered that I usually picked up my pace a little when I reached this stretch of trail, probably out of a sense of self-preservation. Trying to not overreact, I remember thinking, "Hey, what you can't see won't hurt you...right?" I thought a little longer, then got the hell out'a there! Over the last several years, I've speculated about the numbers of artificial energy sources - sources of EMF, or Electromagnetic Fields - that fill our environment. I, perhaps like you, question just how safe places like the path under the power lines are, despite overt signs of harm. Here's where I come down on the subject of EMF. Just my opinion, but based on a growing body of hard evidence and many hours of in-depth investigation. A Little About EMF As a kid, I remember learning that our Sun, Earth and other bodies naturally radiate electromagnetic energy of varying frequencies and intensities. Perhaps you've experienced the low electromagnetic frequencies generated by a lightning storm - you can feel the lightening. Our sun is a natural source of EMF. We're told to use sunscreen to protect us from UV radiation. The Northern Lights are actually solar radiation colliding with the gases in the Earth's atmosphere. Without the protection of the atmosphere we would be bombarded with harmful, much more intense and potentially fatal radiation. But these are natural sources of electromagnetic radiation and there's only so much we can do about them. What about the new forms of artificially generated radiation? Modern technology has introduced countless new sources of electromagnetic radiation. Some estimates suggest that humankind today is subjected to 100 to 200 million times more electro-magnetic radiation than our distant ancestors. One hundred to 200 million times more! How can that possibly be good for us? The sources? Those power lines I mentioned earlier, but also computers, TV's, radio towers, cell phones and microwave ovens, to name just a few. One recognized authority on the subject of EMF, Robert O. Becker, states in his book "Cross Currents" (pg.188), "We have now almost reached a state in which the entire electromagnetic spectrum has been filled up with man-made frequencies. Our electric-power systems oscillates (operates) at 50 or 60 times per second (50 - 60 Hz), just above the highest naturally occurring frequency of 30 Hz. Our microwave beams operate at billions of times per second and are getting even closer to the trillion-cycle frequencies of visible light. We have filled the previously empty electromagnetic spectrum between these two extremes with man-made radiation that never existed before on Earth. And we did it in less than eighty years." Here's the problem. We're the guinea pigs! In a sense, we have been silently recruited to participate in some ongoing experiment that will impact us long-term in ways we can only imagine. Only through the outspoken concern of people and groups has the issue of what many call "electropollution" been brought to the forefront. According to Becker, there is a growing body of scientific evidence showing that exposure to man-made electromagnetic fields results in significant abnormalities in the physiology and function of living organisms. The potential risks to human health, he says, are well documented. In his book "The Body Electric" (pg.327), Becker states, "Three dangers of EMF overshadow all others. The first has been conclusively proven: ELF, electromagnetic fields vibrating at about 30 to 100 hz, even if they are weaker than the earth's field, interfere with the cues that keep our biological cycles properly timed; chronic stress and impaired disease resistance result. Second, the available evidence strongly suggests that regulation of cellular growth processes is impaired by electropollution, increasing cancer rates and producing serious reproductive problems. Electromagnetic weapons constitute a third class of hazards culminating in climactic manipulation from a sorcerer's-apprentice level of ignorance." So, what are the implications? Let's look at what's known. All of those electrical devices with which we surround ourselves - office machines, computers and other devices that get plugged into a wall socket - all operate at a frequency of 60Hz. The huge power lines that cover over 500,000 miles across the United States operate at 60Hz. Studies show that these 60 Hz frequencies (ELF, extremely low frequency) have damaging effects on all life forms of life. These frequencies are suspected of contributing to or even causing depression, suicides, psychosis, cancer, leukemia and a number of other physical and mental problems. Scientific evidence also indicate these frequencies can influence our genetic material during cell division, possibly linking chronic exposure to the origins of cancer (Becker, above). Then there are those devices that operate at the other end of the electromagnetic spectrum, like our cell phones. Cell phones use microwaves that oscillate at billions of times per second. What are the long-term effects of using devices that operate at billions of time per second? We simply don't know. This is an area that is much less understood. What can we do to protect ourselves? Here's what I do and don't do. Again, this is what I think and believe based on compelling scientific evidence and hundreds of hours of investigation. Follow your conscience. * Don't position your electric clock radio in close proximity to your head. * Minimize all electrical devices in your bedroom. * If you sleep with an electric blanket, turn it on before you get in bed and unplug it when you get in. Never keep it on while sleeping. * Avoid waterbed heaters. * Sit at least arms length away from your computer. * Stay back from appliances when running - microwave, electric range, all of them. * The larger your TV screen the further back you should sit (a readily available hand held meter will test EMF and help you determine how far back you should be). * Stay at least ½ miles away from TV or radio towers. * Avoid long conversations on cell phones and always wear an earpiece (above 2 minutes has shown alterations in electrical activity of the brain for at least 1 hr. after use.) * Don't wear your cell phone on your belt or in a pocket while it is on (you are still absorbing radiation) * Use a landline instead of your cell phone whenever possible. * Limit your time spent under fluorescent lights (they produce much different magnetic fields compared with incandescent bulbs. * Before you buy a home have it tested for high levels of EMF. * Consider proper grounding of household wiring. * Use protective devices that have been tested in areas where there is increased EMF exposure (workplace, home, vehicle). In the meantime ......... We're just now beginning to understand how electromagnetic fieldsaffect living organisms. More hard knowledge and wider awareness are needed to help us make wise choices and ensure a safe future of the generations to come. We continue to see newer advances in technology that outpace the research being done to warn us of potential dangers. Most people continue to enjoy the comforts of these new technologies but never think about the consequences of using them. The choice to use or not use these new devices and how often or long to use them is an individual one. I'm unwilling to let the never-ending new sources of EMF work their way into my home, my car, my clothing and my work area without questioning and limiting my exposure to them. For my money, no exposure and very limited exposure is the way to go. Until there are uniform guidelines based on hard scientific evidence about how much and how long are safe for each type of device, I choose to do without or do with less. It's time we stop letting ourselves be guinea pigs. It's time we start insisting that those elected or appointed to protect us do their job. It's time to find out what is and isn't happening to us after hours, days, weeks, months and years of exposure. Looking for a little protection from the harmful effects of EMF? Check out the Circuit Sweeper on our Natural Healing Tools.com web site. For heavy EMF conditions the Circuit Sweeper's 12 Pointed Resonator adds a protective broadcast to the area surrounding the Circuit Sweeper, giving you two sweeps in one unit. I have them in my home. About the Author: James P. Urban DC is the president of Natural Healing Tools Inc., a company providing health and wellness tools and current up-to-date information geared towards a healthy lifestyle. Buy the Book: EMF Balancing Techniques Visit A Much Better Health Store

Healthy Vegetarian Diet 1

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Image by robpurdie via Flickr"]vegetarianism: the higher taste[/caption] by Myron Huett If you follow a vegetarian diet, you'll enjoy the benefits of a very healthy eating plan. To be truly healthy, however, a vegetarian diet must combine balance, moderation and variety. It's essential that you also include all of the essential minerals, vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. Vegetarians are loosely categorized as people who avoid eating all types of meat including pork, beef, chicken, cold cuts and fish. Vegetarians can be further classified into the types of foods that they will or will not eat. For example, lacto-ovo vegetarians will avoid eating animal flesh, yet they will eat most dairy products and eggs. Vegans, on the other hand, adhere to strict diets that do not include foods that have any traces of animal origin. The challenge that many vegetarians face is in getting the proper amount of protein in their diets. The average meat-happy American consumes more protein than they actually need on a daily basis. Lacto-ovo vegetarians can easily meet their protein requirements with a diet rich in dairy products. Vegans can obtain protein through soy products, seeds and nuts. You probably already know that beans are also excellent source of protein. Just one cup of cooked beans can contain the same amount of protein as two ounces of meat. Protein-rich beans include split peas and chick peas, red and green lentils, soy beans and others. Kidney beans make a great meat replacement in chili. Refried beans are a delicious staple for many Mexican dishes. Nuts can also be a good protein source, but they're also high in fat and should be eaten moderately. Vegetarians must be aware of diminished levels of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Meat is the primary source of vitamin B12 in the average North American diet, so vegans should regularly consume soy products or take vitamin B12 supplements to meet the necessarily daily requirements. It's easy to get calcium if you are able to consume milk and other dairy products, but vegans don't have this option. Vegan-friendly options are calcium-fortified soy milk and orange juice. Some vegetables like leafy greens, beans and broccoli are also high in calcium. Simple food groups make up the vegetarian diet, so it's important to control the intake of calcium and vitamins. A healthy vegetarian diet, supplemented by additional nutrients, is ideal for maintaining overall wellness. If you take control of what you eat today, you'll enjoy good health for many years to come. Author Myron Huett loves writing for some of today's best web sites, on health information and health diet fitness themes. Don't reprint the same version as everyone else. Get your own unique content vegetarian article here. Buy the Book: Feeding the Healthy Vegetarian Family Visit A Much Better Health Store Browse through our Organic Bath, Body & Beauty Store Dr. Weil’s My Optimum Health Plan: Your mind & body wellness center. Get your free health assessment now!
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7 Reasons Humans Should Eat Raw 2

[caption id="attachment_7364" align="alignleft" width="300"]via Patrick Feller on Flickr via Patrick Feller on Flickr[/caption] by Scott Jackson When you ask anybody "what are the healthiest foods in the world?" they will answer -"fresh fruits and vegetables". Then ask them how much they eat and most will say "not many or none". The majority of Americans are eating the standard American diet (S.A.D.). The sad diet includes way too many processed and junk foods. Fast foods, processed foods, candies, imitation foods as well as fatty meats are the predominate table fare for most Americans. It is no wonder that health related issues are on the rise in America. Even with the government recommending 5 - 8 servings of fruit and vegetables daily, many people get their vegetables from the lettuce, onions and pickles on the top of a slab of meat. Not the best way to get your vegetables and certainly not enough. So why not eat more fruits and vegetables? If you look at nature and see who are the closest to us in body type (gorillas, chimps, bondos) and study what they eat you will get a better idea of what we were intended to consume. These large animals consume a raw vegan diet. They primarily consume fruits, leaves, stems, shoots and other raw plant matter. They have digestive systems that are similar to ours. They have the same teeth structure. They have hands very similar to ours. Hands that are designed to pick fruit and grab other plant matter. Man and these large apes are all fruigavores. Fruigavors eat mainly fruit and vegetables. So here are some reasons we were designed to eat raw vegan food: 1. No other creature on earth except man cooks its food before it is eaten. 2. Every creature in nature has a food that is designed for it and is eaten in its raw natural state. 3. Our digestive system is much longer that a carnivore's and is designed to digest fruits and vegetables, not meat. 4. We are not designed to hunt and kill prey. We do not have claws, canine teeth that can kill, eye sight for seeing in the dark, superb hearing or other physical traits that carnivores have. 5. Our sense of smell is not as good as a carnivore and we can't use it to track or hunt with. 6. When a carnivore smells prey it salivates and natural hunting instincts kick in. We are usually repulsed by the natural smell of other animals. (Ever smell a barnyard and think how delicious it smells?) 7. Think of how you react to the smell of fresh fruit. Smells goods and can make your mouth water. These are just a few of the many reasons why we were designed to eat a raw vegan diet. Simply by adding more fruits and vegetables, like Mother Nature intended, you should see some improvement in your health. About the Author: Scott Jackson weighed 298 pounds at the beginning of 2006 and lost an amazing 100 pounds in less than six months on a raw food diet. Scott is now a raw lifestyle coach and chef. He is the author of "Raw-licious Healthy and Delicious Recipes". If you are interested in adding more raw foods in your diet go to http://www.rawweightloss.com and Scott will give you a free copy of "Raw-licious Healthy and Delicious recipes".  
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