Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Top 10 Foods to Feed Your Mind

1. Blackcurrants
Not so much a humble soft fruit as the ultimate superfruit, blackcurrants contain greater levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than 20 other fruits tested at the Scottish Crop Research Institute. And all those antioxidants mean that a daily dose can help prevent Alzheimer’s.

2. Blueberries
Also rich in antioxidants, blueberries hold their own in the brain health stakes. Research published in the Neurobiology of Aging found that rats with blueberries in their diets had a slower rate of brain cell loss associated with ageing illnesses than those on normal food. And before we forget, they help to improve short-term memory loss too.

3. Cocoa products
Who would have thought that eating chocolate could improve your health? Well, strictly speaking, we’re talking about high-quality dark chocolate with at least a 75% cocoa bean content. With minimal processing, the cocoa bean retains the flavonoids that improve circulation and therefore blood flow to the brain. Unfortunately, those flavonoids have a bitter quality and they are often destroyed to make the cocoa taste better. Well, who said staying healthy was easy?

4. Nuts
Nuts are one of the best natural sources of vitamin E, which was shown by a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology to help prevent forgetfulness. Nuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids, with all the attendant benefits for mood and concentration. Eat a handful each day as a snack or sprinkle on your breakfast cereal or salad and stay focused.

5. Oily fish
Fish oils have long been considered healthy eating, particularly for the developing child, and now scientists writing in the Indian Journal of Pediatrics have found that the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are contained in salmon, sardines and mackerel are crucial for brain development.
Children of mothers supplemented with these ‘smart fats’ had higher mental-processing scores and hand-eye coordination at the age of four. Fish also contains iodine, which is known to improve mental clarity. So aim to include some in your diet two to three times a week.

6. Pumpkin seeds
Think zinc – just a handful of pumpkin seeds are the answer to providing your daily requirement of this vital element, which helps to enhance memory and thinking skills. What’s more, experts say there is a link between zinc and sex drive. So what are you waiting for?

7. Sage
Referred to in 16th-century herbal texts as something that is “singularly good for the head and quickeneth the nerves and memory”, sage has a long and enduring reputation as a brain food. Now modern research by the Medicinal Plant Research Centre has confirmed the centuries-old claims, with sage oil clearly boosting word recall. And luckily for us, it makes a pretty good seasoning too.

8. Broccoli
The value of the little green florets lies in their containing heaps of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function, boosting memory and ability to concentrate.

9. Spinach
Researchers from Harvard Medical School found that women who ate healthy amounts of spinach preserved more of their cognitive abilities in later life. And just because that particular study focused on women doesn’t mean that the guys out there shouldn’t tuck in as well. Well, it was good enough for Popeye…

10. Tomatoes
The old love apple is rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to inhibit cancer, including in the brain. There is also good evidence to suggest that it can protect against the kind of cell damage that leads to dementia. So learn to love your tomatoes in all kinds of stews and salads and reap the benefits.

By: Sana Anderson, Nutritionist

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How To Get In A Good Mood

Feeling down lately? Then take proactive steps like these to turn that frown into a smile and your grimace into a grin.

Everyone goes through down times occasionally, where they feel depressed, frustrated, or unduly irritated. But if you find that your bad moods are becoming more frequent or lasting longer, it may be time to do something about them.

Of course, you can always check with your doctor if you feel unusually anxious, stressed out, or depressed. But if it's more like a vague "blah" feeling, here are some tips that may perk you up again:

1. Get moving. Moderate physical activity releases endorphins in the body's blood stream. Endorphins are natural elements that help to regulate hormones and emotions. When you have an adequate supply of them in your system, you feel balanced. If you have any physical limitations or have not exercised in a long time, ask your doctor if walking, swimming, or bicycling might be a helpful activity for you. Start slow, perhaps ten minutes a day at first, and increase your sessions to a half hour or more daily. Just don't overdo it to end up with sore muscles.

2. Write on. Research shows that keeping a journal and writing about negative feelings can help a person feel better and function well. But you also can write about positive things that are happening in your life. Recording pleasant events helps to preserve them, and reliving good feelings can contribute to mental health.

3. Eat right. Follow a nutritious diet to ensure that you are getting enough
vitamins and minerals. If in doubt, consider taking a supplement. Include plentiful fruits and vegetables, up to nine servings a day, to enhance your overall well-being. Avoid overeating, which can be a cause or effect of depression. If you are overweight, consult a medical professional to get a healthy eating plan.

4. Stay connected. Don't isolate yourself if you feel anxious or sad. Instead, make dates with friends, family members, and co-workers for a getaway lunch or after-work treat. Medical studies suggest that positive interactions with others, especially those with whom we have a friendship or relationship, can enrich our lives and promote a healthy mindset as well as longevity.

5. Enjoy some rays. Get a few minutes of sunlight when the weather permits. Avoid outdoor exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the ultraviolet rays are at their worst. Aim for an early morning or early evening outing. Use sunscreen along with sunglasses and a hat to protect your skin. Recent research indicates that even light sun exposure can accent good health by preventing some forms of cancer, with other benefits, too. As with other practices, moderation is your best bet.

While anti-depressant medication may be the next step for some people who struggle with negative emotions, try suggestions like these to see what you can do on your own, first. If you experience extreme sadness or have trouble dealing with even simple daily tasks, consult a mental health practitioner. Chances are, though, that many people can benefit from a few basic lifestyle adjustments like those outlined above, so get started!

Courtesy from:

Friday, June 12, 2009


Holiday makes me busier than before....

Will update this blog later....