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    Natracure Blog — brain

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    These Foods Are Hurting Your Brain

    Counting calories and watching what you eat in regards to your waistline is one thing. It’s also obviously in your best interest to avoid foods that will negatively affect your heart and cardiovascular health. But, are you aware that many foods of the foods you put into your body are directly upsetting your brain? The head on your shoulders is arguably your most prized possession. So here’s a list of foods that you’ll want to watch out for.   TUNA Yes. Sorry. But tuna tops the list. While many health experts have stressed tuna as a very smart and healthy food choice, and for the most part, it really is, the problem lies in the amount of mercury in the fish. Having a high-level of mercury in your bloodstream can cause a decrease in cognitive brain function. You don’t have to stop eating tuna altogether, but it should be consumed in moderation. Need your seafood fix? Salmon, sardines and many types of white fish are low in mercury and still boast the same essential omega-3s that tuna offers.   SUGAR Looking for a quick boost of energy from sugar? Look elsewhere. The immediate effect of sugar may seem great, but you will crash very quickly. Sugar can cause insulin levels to spike and inflammation that can lead to vascular and neuronal damage in your brain. A study from Brain, Behavior, and Immunity cited that sugar can promote inflammation of the memory control center of your brain, known as the hippocampus. This means it can’t function at 100%. Try your best to avoid unnecessary sugar in your diet.

      EGG-WHITE OMELETS Now wait a minute! Aren’t Egg-whites supposed to be healthy? Yes. And while they don’t technically impede brain function, what they’re really missing is the power of the yolk itself. There is an essential nutrient for your brain that can be found in the yolks of eggs. It’s called choline and it directly boosts your brain performance levels while also slowing cognitive decreases later in your life. So, it may be a good practice to incorporate some yolk into your diet every now-and-again.   MICROWAVE POPCORN Delicious and convenient. But good for brain health? Not so much. Microwave popcorn and other food items boasting high levels of trans fatty acids will damage your brain by wearing down blood vessel linings and increasing inflammation. Not sure if your favorite food has trans fat? When reviewing the ingredients, look for “partially hydrogenated oil”. That’s a dead giveaway. SALTY FOODS
    Diets with high levels of sodium are directly linked to increased blood pressure levels. The high blood pressure is correlated to lower cognitive performance. Basically, the more sodium you take in, the slower your brain will function. Keep the salt to a minimum.
    You already know these foods are bad for your stomach and your teeth. Now, you can add your brain to the mix! The reason is simple. Foods that are high in fat cause direct fatigue and bring down your level of alertness. Do everything you can to avoid high-fat treats and stick to foods with strong nutritional value. Overall, foods that hurt your brain are very similar to foods that will hurt your waist size. If you believe the food to be bad for your health already, it is most likely bad for your brain as well. Be smart about your food choices and your brain will certainly be grateful!
      By Pat DeRiso

    4 Ways Exercise Improves Your Brain

    Physical exercise, especially aerobic exercise, will increase your brain’s information-processing power as well as improve memory function. According to a study from the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia, you will only need 20 minutes a day to start reaping the benefits. But how does the brain scientifically improve through exercise? Here are 4 ways it does just that.  

    1. Anti-Depressant
    Exercise releases endorphins and euphoric sense of bliss that is often described as a “Runner’s High”. You can have the same experience. What’s more, studies have shown that exercise can even reduce symptoms in the clinically depressed.
    2. Increased Blood Flow
    An increased heart rate from exercise will cause more blood to be pumped to the brain, significantly improving performance and brain function. This makes exercise a great way to help you focus in on the day’s tasks at hand or prepare for a long night at home with the kids!
    3. More Brain Cells
    Neuroscientists at Cambridge University have shown that exercise (and running in particular) can help create new brain cells. In the study, it was fond that just a few days of running led to hundreds of thousands of new cells. So yes, your brain will literally get bigger…and that means better!
    4. Releases Hormones
    Exercise is a catalyst for the body to release multiple hormones. These work to help produce an increased number of brain cells. Yes, you read that right. Physical activity can essentially make you smarter!
        Do yourself a favor and get moving! You owe it to your brain to engage in daily physical activity. A healthy lifestyle is sure to bring you physical wellness coupled with mental strength that will help you live a longer and more fulfilling life!
    By Pat DeRiso
    Source: brainHQ