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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  

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 Ultra Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating 10

Ultra Healthy Foodsby Jamie Clark Imagine feeling great, having tons of energy, and enjoying incredible health all the time. If you eat the following healthy, great-tasting foods regularly (while avoiding unhealthy processed foods and sugar) you will be amazed at how incredible you'll feel. Try it for a week and see what happens! Almonds Possibly the healthiest nut in the world, almonds are packed with good stuff like protein, fiber, magnesium, calcium, iron, vitamin E and monounsaturated fat. Eating a handful of raw almonds every day will boost your energy and help to lower your "bad" cholesterol levels. Broccoli When it comes to healthy vegetables, it's tough to beat broccoli. This delicious green veggie has been shown to help prevent numerous health problems and will provide you with everything from fiber to calcium to cancer-fighting phytonutrients! Red Beans Red bean varieties (such as pinto beans and red kidney beans) are great sources of healthy protein, fiber, and antioxidants. They're also full of important minerals like iron and magnesium. Beans are powerful "prevention" foods that have been shown to help fight cancer, stroke and heart disease. Plus, due to their high-fiber content, they're great for anyone trying to lose weight and keep hunger in check. Sweet Potatoes Forget plain white potatoes. They're simply not that healthy. Start eating great-tasting sweet potatoes and you'll get a huge boost of beta-carotene, vitamin C, fiber and B vitamins. Plus, sweet potatoes rank much lower on the glycemic index than white potatoes so they're less likely to spike your insulin and blood sugar levels (which can make your body store extra fat and zap your energy). Salmon This high-fat fish is one of the healthiest types of animal protein you can eat. It's got the important omega-3 fatty acids everyone needs for optimal health and disease prevention. Always remember to choose grilled fish (not fried!) and, when possible, choose wild salmon as it is less likely to contain high levels of mercury. Blueberries All berries are healthy, but blueberries may be at the top of the list in terms of ounce-for-ounce nutrition. These nutrient-dense fruits are loaded with powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals, not to mention fiber and healthy carbohydrates. If you want to stay young, there may be no better "anti-aging" food than blueberries ... so eat a handful every day! Apples The common apple is an incredibly powerful health food. Apples contain lots of important vitamins and minerals, including significant amounts of vitamin C. But the apple's most important nutrient may be pectin, a type of fiber shown to help lower cholesterol levels, maintain healthy blood glucose levels, and even help you lose body fat. The other great thing about apples is that they're very portable and can be used as a quick snack just about anywhere you go. Jamie Clark is a long-time health writer and is co-editor of FreshHealthyUseful.com. For more useful health news and articles, be sure to visit http://www.freshhealthyuseful.com/ . Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/martinlabar/2231159/

Natural Solutions for Circulation Problems 6

[caption id="attachment_7142" align="alignleft" width="440"]Natural Solutions for Circulation Problems via gnondpomme on Flickr.com[/caption] If our heart, arteries and veins are lined with various waste products such as salts and fatty acids, then the volume of blood which can pass is diminished and the ability of these vessels to expand and contract is severely limited. Thus we have conditions such as arteriosclerosis, high and low blood pressure, heart blood flow deficiency and general circulatory deficiency.

Natural Solutions for Circulation Problems:

1. Carefully observe guidelines for healthy eating. Avoid cooked oils as much as possible (except for coconut oil), white flour, meat, white sugar, and any foods, which have been over processed or have chemical additives. 2. Eat whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits and a little raw unheated vegetable oil each day. 3. Occasional fasting helps to purify the blood vessels. One could fast on apples, pears or brown rice or do a juice fast for a few days. If one wants to do a longer fast, consult your doctor. Fasting on grapes is considered one of the most effective ways to purify the blood. 4. Vitamins and antioxidants help with better circulation: A, C, E, and Lecithin, B complex (especially B3, B2). 5. Alternating hot and cold baths help the blood flow to penetrate into all parts of the body. In general finishing with a cold shower helps stimulate circulation. Consult your doctor as to whether this is for your specific case. 6. Dress warmly so as to allow your blood vessels to be relaxed and let blood flow. 7. Swimming in the sea all year long helps to keep the circulation flowing and the body vital. One must be regular. If you cease for a period of time, your body will lose its ability to adapt to the cold water in the winter. 8. Nettle tea and beating the extremities with nettles is a folk remedy for increasing circulation to the extremities. This may be painful while doing it, but it brings results. 9. Reflexology massage can be used to bring circulation to organs, which cannot be affected by other means. By massaging the reflex point on the bottom of the foot we are able to bring blood flow to the various interior organs, so as to revitalize them. How the Circulatory System Works10. Swedish muscular massage can be used to bring better blood flow to the various extremities. 11. All forms of movement and activity are helpful, i.e. running, walking, dancing, swimming, playing, sports and yoga. These are a must for those with poor circulation. 12. Breathing facilitates the return of the blood through the veins to the heart. When we breathe deeply and slowly, we help the blood to return to the heart an also move the lymph through the system. Deep breathing every day is an essential for those with circulatory problems. 13. When we relax the blood vessels, our blood flows freely to the various parts of our body. We tend to obstruct the free flow of blood through unconscious tensing of the various muscles and also the blood vessels themselves. Relaxation is essential for healthy circulation. Perform deep relaxation daily, imagining the blood vessels opening and the blood flowing freely to the parts of the body which have insufficient circulation. 14. Various forms of heat, such as hot compresses, hot water bottles, and electric heating pads can be used to increase the circulation momentarily to various parts of the body. 15. Physical Exercises
  • The abdominal area is considered the furnace of the body, where heat and energy are produced. Sluggishness and tension in this area can impede our general flow of energies and also blood. Thus, you will need to do a number of exercises to stimulate and vitalize the area of the abdomen.
  • The endocrine system regulates our overall metabolism. You would do well to learn and employ specific exercises for rejuvenating and harmonizing the endocrine system.
  • Add other exercises for the various joints such as the shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, hips, knees, ankles and toes according to where you need better circulation. Even if our problems are located at the extremities such as with the fingers and toes, we have to open up all the other joints, which come before them. Although the symptoms may be in the extremities, the cause may be in one of the preceding joints. It is usually at the joints that the circulation gets blocked.
  • Ensure good circulation to the brain by lying on your back next to a wall and placing your feet up on the wall, so that the blood flows into the lungs gaining oxygen and then into the brain oxygenating and bringing nutrients to all the cells of the brain. This is essential for the pituitary and hypothalamus and thus for the endocrine and autonomic nervous system and thus for all bodily and mental functions.
16. Observe to see if emotional factors are involved. You may have an unconscious holding and a need for control of feelings or expression, which is also restricting the free flow of blood. If you are suppressing your emotions, learn to express them in effective and positive ways (without hurting others). When we care for our body and mind, they serve us much more efficiently. May you be well on all levels of your being. For more about creating natural health go here http://www.HolisticHarmony.com/archives/health/ Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/ksaad/423563610/