Tag Archives: Nuts

Green Food That Boost Mental Power

Leafy greens

“Eat your greens.” Long before nutritionists started telling us to eat the yellows, the oranges, the purples, the blues, and the reds, our moms were telling us to eat our greens. Why the greens? Was it because there were so many more of them than the rest of the colors? Did our Moms have a special attachment to the color we didn’t know about? Or maybe it was because our Moms were so smart from eating those greens themselves that they knew something we didn’t. Read on to find out what how green vegetables can make you eleven years smarter.

Brain Power and Greens
According to recent research, eating kale, spinach, mustard greens, and collards can help to prevent the decline of the brain’s mental ability. Martha Clare Morris, ScD, and assistant provost for community research at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, acknowledges that this is good news for older people. “Losing one’s memory or cognitive abilities is one of the biggest fears for people as they get older,” she says. “Since declining cognitive ability is central to Alzheimer’s disease and dementias, increasing consumption of leafy vegetables could offer a very simple, affordable and non-invasive way of potentially protecting your brain from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.”

Beta Carotene, Vitamin K, and Lutein
A study following 950 people for an average of five years showed that those who ate one to two servings of leafy greens per day had mental powers comparable to someone eleven years younger who ate none. When it comes to maintenance of a healthy brain, lutein, beta carotene, and vitamin K topped the list. Morris explained, “Our study identified some very novel associations. No other studies have looked at vitamin K in relation to change in cognitive abilities over time, and only a limited number of studies have found some association with lutein.” She goes on to cite evident that “eating green leafy vegetables and other food rich in vitamin K, lutein, and beta carotene can help to keep the brain healthy to preserve functioning.”

Healthy group of food

The MIND diet
The MIND diet combines elements of both DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and the Mediterranean diet to reduce the risk of heart attack, hypertension, and stroke. However, some researchers have found that it may provide protection against mental decline as well. Research shows that followers of the new diet were able to lower the risk of aD by 35 to 53%. The MIND diet has 15 dietary components including ten “brain healthy” food groups and five unhealthy groups. Nuts, berries, green leafy and other vegetables, beans, fish, whole grains, poultry, fish, olive oil and wine comprise the healthy groups, while the five unhealthy groups are represented by stick margarine and butter, red meats, sweets and pastries, fried and fast food, and cheese. As for fruits, berries are the only ones to specifically make the MIND list. Morris says, “Blueberries are one of the more potent foods in terms of protection the brain.’ Strawberries have also been known to perform well in studies of food on mental function.
Morris concludes, “One of the more exciting things is that people who adhered even moderately to the MIND diet had a reduction in their risk for aD. I was so very pleased to see the outcome we got from the new diet.”

How are you filling your head? Let us know what you’re putting in your mouth to boost your brain power.

Mid-Day Refreshers

The tradition of the siesta is common throughout Southern Europe and the Mediterranean.  It is derived form the Latin word “hora seta,”  or sixth hour, otherwise known as midday, or six hours after dawn.  It is a time in which businesses close down so workers and employers can take a snooze during the hottest hours of the day.  Einhard’s  “Life of Charlemagne” most charmingly refers to the emperor’s siestas as a time,”In summer, after his midday meal (when) he would eat some fruit, and take another drink; then he would remove his shoes and undress completely, just as he did at night, and rest for two or three hours.”  Sound good?  Well, good luck trying that in the middle of your office.

Apparently, the need to sleep starts growing as soon as you wake up. (Seems about right.) Harvard Professor of Sleep Medicine, (Did you know there was such a job?) Charles A.  Czeisler says, ” The circadian system is set up in a beautiful way the override the homeostatic need for sleep.”  However, sometimes there is a dip in the day when the need for sleep has built up and  the second wind has not yet kicked in, hence the mid-day  slump.  Maybe someday we will all have the luxury of a siesta, but until then, here are some suggestions to help get past it.

Woman drinking coffee

Sip Some Green Tea or Coffee
Green tea is a less caffeinated and alternative to coffee and is full of antioxidants, but if coffee is still the way you roll, it has its health benefits as well.

Exercise
Gets the blood flowing and definitely keeps you awake.  You are much likely to fall asleep in the middle of jumping jacks than you are with your head down on your desk.  If going to the gym is not time permitting, just do a few stretches or light aerobics at the desk.

Eat
Eating is always  a good way of restoring energy to your body.  If its not lunch time, keep a healthy snack handy at your desk.  String cheese, a handful of nuts, or a piece of fruit are all great options.  Jerky is  another high protein alternative that is easy to pack and keep fresh, but try to avoid brands with high levels of sodium.  Another tip?  Resist  sugar. It may perk you up in the short term, but you’ll be comatose on the drive home.

Woman listening to music

Chew Gum
Sugar free gum is a great way to keep your jaw moving and your teeth clean at the same time.  The rush of flavor is invigorating and it does involve some physical activity, plus all the cool kids chew gum!

Turn On Some Music
Have you ever seen “Risky Business?”  Have a Tom Cruise moment in the middle of the afternoon!  Just turn on whatever rocks you to life.  Headphones are recommended to avoid a midday office dance party, and try to keep your pants on.

Take A Nap
Sure, take a cue from our Mediterranean neighbors. If you can afford to, and your boss is liberal, go for a power nap in the middle of the day.  Try to keep it down to 20 minutes, an alarm clock with a snooze button may come in handy.

Foods for Flawless Skin

Healthy, beautiful skin does not come solely as a result of the skincare and beauty products you purchase and use daily. What you put into your body is just as, if not more, important than what you put onto your body. A diet rich in the following 10 foods not only provides you with tons of variety when it comes to meals, but it also helps you achieve flawless skin.

salmon

Salmon
When it comes to fish that contain large amounts of essential fatty acids, salmon is king. Salmon contains a rich concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, which provide several nourishing benefits to your skin: they reduce your body’s production of inflammatory substances, prevent fine lines and wrinkles and unclog your pores.

Papaya

Papaya
This juicy fruit is an excellent source of skin-important antioxidant vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that adds brightness to your skin and reduces the appearance of dark spots like sun damage or post-acne scars. Another vitamin found in abundance in papaya is vitamin A, which is an essential component to healthy skin turnover.

Sesame seeds.

Black Sesame Seeds
These little black seeds are totally easy to overlook because how much nutrition can they really contain? The answer is a lot. Although they look unassuming, black sesame seeds contain essential fats, oleic acid, amino acids, potassium and fiber, all of which are beneficial for your skin.

Sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a delicious way to add more beta-carotene into your diet. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that is responsible for many vegetables that contain yellow, orange or red pigments and it helps prevent skin damage due to sun exposure.

Peppers.

Peppers
Add a little spice to your diet by increasing your intake of chili peppers. This feisty food contains a good amount of vitamin C in addition to the amazing ingredient capsaicin. Capsaicin helps prevent signs of aging and reduces both inflammation and irritation.

Spinach.

Spinach
Consider this leafy green a skincare superfood and be sure to add plenty to your diet. Unprocessed spinach contains carotenoids, amino acids, potassium, iodine and vitamins A, C, K and B complex. Spinach helps clear your skin while also imparting a healthy glow.

Lemons

Lemons
If you’ve been with us for a while, you know how we advocate for starting your morning with a glass of hot water and the fresh juice from half of a lemon and we do so with good reason. This tip is practiced by beauty experts and models all over the world because lemons are so great at removing old hormones and fat-soluble toxins from your body. Lemon juice emulsifies fats in your body, which keeps your skin hydrated and clear.

Tomatoes.

Tomatoes
Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a natural protection against UVA and UVB rays. Even though lycopene increases your UV protection, you’re still going to want to apply an SPF. Tomatoes are also great for adding life and luster back into the dull skin.

Nuts

Nuts
Nuts are an incredible snack for your skin and your body. Nuts contain high levels of vitamin E which protects your skin from environmental damage. Vitamin E is also helpful at reducing skin irritation and flare-ups, so your skin is not only protected from free radical damage, but it also stays clearer.

Dark chocolate

Dark Chocolate
Flavonols, the type of flavonoid found in dark chocolate, are intense antioxidants that fight damage from free radicals, increases blood flow to your skin and offers a bit of natural UV protection. Before you go stocking up on your favorite candy in dark chocolate versions, the dark chocolate that is beneficial to your skin is dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cacao content.

Eating your way to flawless skin is easy when you know what foods to add to your grocery list. A balanced diet not only benefits your skin, but your entire body and overall health. Put a few, or all, of these incredible skin foods on your next grocery list to begin your diet for flawless skin.

Eat These 5 Nuts for Healthy Skin

Nuts are exceptional to add to any diet, but all too often they get overlooked for fat or calorie content. While they may be higher in these areas, nuts provide benefits in so many areas from brain and bone health to clearer, healthier skin. Not all nuts are quite equal when it comes to skin care benefits. Below, find five of our favorite nuts that give you healthy skin.

Almonds

Almonds
Almonds are such a delicious way to treat your skin. Eating almonds benefits all skin types, but they may be especially useful if you are experiencing acne, psoriasis or eczema. Almonds are an excellent source of essential fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and they contain antioxidant compounds that flush toxins from your body and cleanse your skin from the inside. Substances known as alpha-tocopherols, found in significant amounts in almonds, are one of the best sources of vitamin E, which nourishes your skin and protects it from external factors. Not only can you eat almonds for healthy skin, but you can receive the skin benefits of almonds by using almond oil.

Macadamia nuts

Macadamia Nuts
There are seven types of macadamia nuts around the world, but only two of these are edible. Australia is the world’s largest producer of macadamia nuts, but Hawaiian macadamia nuts have a reputation for having the best taste. Macadamia nuts have a high flavonoid content, and flavonoids keep your skin protected from damage due to environmental toxins and free radicals. Macadamia nuts are naturally high in protein which improves the strength and appearance of your skin, in addition to your hair and nails.

Pistachio

Pistachios
These little green nuts are not only fun to snack on and when you choose them for an afternoon pick-me-up, they give you much more than a bit of energy. Pistachios are a source of vitamin E and vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that combats signs of aging in a two main ways. First, vitamin E provides a bit of natural UV protection (but don’t skip your sunscreen) that battles the visible signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally vitamin E is a very emollient ingredient which means that vitamin E keeps your skin looking and feeling moisturized.

Walnuts.

Walnuts
Essential fatty-acids and B vitamins are major components of walnuts that combat stress and depression. Julie Mancuso, a holistic nutritionist, explains why this benefits your skin. “A lack in fatty acids may lead to depression and mood disorders. B vitamins help with stress management and mood and prevent skin disorders.” Stress and mood impact your skin by causing breakouts, redness, inflammation and fine lines and wrinkles. When your stress levels are controlled and your mood is stable, your skin is far healthier, and who doesn’t want to be a bit happier?

Pecans.

Pecans
A one ounce serving of pecans contains about 2.7 grams of fiber. Fiber isn’t just important for healthy digestion, it is also a factor in healthy skin. The toxins inside your body manifest outside on your skin with the appearance of breakouts, dullness and excess oil. Mancuso says fiber “…helps with the elimination of toxins and waste.” As fiber rids your body of toxins and waste, your skin begins to become clearer, more radiant and more balanced.

Nuts are such an excellent snack choice: They’re super easy to transport, require no prep time (minus unshelled pistachios) and give you a shot of energy while also providing serious skin health benefits. Moderation is the key when enjoying these treats, so stick close to a one ounce serving (about a fistful of most nuts) when you want to munch on these. Eating nuts regularly will improve your overall health and increase the health level of your skin.