Mental Exercises to Keep Your Brain Sharp

Mental Exercises to Keep Your Brain Sharp

No matter how hard we try to slow or stop its movement, time marches inevitably on. As it does, our bodies and their abilities change, too. For some people that means certain changes that can alter how we interact with and perceive the world around us. “Aging is a natural process,” says Dr. Douglas Scharre, director of the division of cognitive neurology and memory disorders at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. Some of those changes involve the accumulation of gray hairs and wrinkles and the development of osteoarthritis in the joints.

Along with those very obvious changes, the brain also loses neurons, Scharre says. “Normal aging will lead to slower mental processing speed. We can still figure things out, it just takes longer.”

Signs of this delayed processing may include difficulty recalling names of people and becoming a bit more forgetful. “However, if we’re given some context, the name of the person and the memories all return intact,” he explains.

This is all very normal and shouldn’t worry you in excess, as these changes are just a continuation of normal processes that follow us throughout life, says Heather M. Snyder, vice president, medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer’s Association in Chicago. “From the time we’re born and to becoming a toddler and beyond, there’s lots of changes with the brain. And those changes don’t stop because you reach a certain age. Changes are reflected across our entire lives.”

However, concerns surrounding changes in cognitive function and age do crop up when brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia develop. The memory problems associated with these conditions are quite different from normal aging and may include: Disruptive memory loss, typically noticed by a partner or other family member.

Loss of spatial abilities, such as getting lost while driving to familiar locations.

Difficulty with planning and organizing.

Feeling confused or disoriented.

Changes in personality or mood, such as increased agitation, behaving inappropriately or becoming anxious or paranoid.

Scharre adds that even if dementia is not at work, “some people lose more cognitive acuity than others as they age because they’ve had other brain diseases or have had some damage to their brain over their life.” For example, if you had a head injury, a series of small strokes or exposure to certain toxins that can damage the brain, that could cause you to lose more acuity than someone who has a healthy brain and no such complicating factors. Use It or Lose It

No matter what your current brain health situation looks like, there are a few things you can do now to help slow or stall the loss of cognitive function over time and keep your brain sharp. All involve using the brain, which functions better when it’s being challenged regularly. “To keep a brain healthy as we age, I firmly believe that we must ‘use it or lose it,'” Scharre says.

Play games and complete puzzles. In addition to the daily crossword puzzle, challenge yourself to doing a new problem-solving exercise every day or a few times a week. “Puzzles and games, especially those involving novelty, can stimulate and challenge key parts of the brain, including reasoning, language, logic, visual perception, attention and flexibility,” Scharre says. Brain teasers such as crossword puzzles and sudoku are fun and easy ways to keep your brain stimulated. Completing a jigsaw puzzle or playing a computer game may also support brain health.

Engage in continuous learning. Have you always wanted to learn French or how to play an instrument? There’s no time like the present, especially when it comes to preserving cognitive ability. Taking a class or otherwise establishing a routine of continuous learning can pay dividends in helping you learn the skill you want to acquire but will also help support brain health over the long term, Scharre says. “The Alzheimer’s Association reports that continuous learning likely protects against some forms of dementia, possibly because brain cells and their connections with one another become stronger over time.”

Read and write. Snyder says that some research has suggested that flexing your literacy skills could be protective against dementia. A 2019 study found that illiterate older adults were almost three times as likely to have dementia compared to their literate counterparts. It seems reading, whether for pleasure or for work, gives your brain a workout that might help prevent the development of cognitive deficits.

Pick up a new hobby or engage in new experiences. Traveling to a new place and finding your way around and learning about a different culture or people is a fabulous way to keep your brain sharp as you age. It’s not always possible, but if you have the resources and ability to travel, those experiences will help protect your brain’s ability to think, plan and enjoy life to the fullest in the future. Closer to home, consider picking up a new hobby. Learn to paint, take up stamp collecting or get into gardening. Any new pursuit that gets you thinking can help.

The key to all of these activities, Snyder says, is that whatever you’re doing should be “new to you” to provide the biggest brain boost. The novelty of learning something new or going to a new place is what forces the brain to work harder and stay sharper. Other Ways to Support Brain Health

The brain is part of the body as a whole, and it’s also home to our emotions. As such, tending to mental health can support physical heath.

Be heart-healthy. There’s a saying in medicine that what’s good for the heart is good for the brain, so adopting heart-healthy behaviors, including plenty of aerobic exercise and eating right can support a healthy brain along with a healthy heart over the long run. “Your heart is pumping blood throughout the body and if it’s not working it’s best, it might not be getting enough blood and oxygen to the brain,” Snyder says.

Exercise. ” Physical exercise is […]

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Try These Summer Smoothie Recipes With Nutritious Wild Blueberries

Try These Summer Smoothie Recipes With Nutritious Wild Blueberries

Sticking to New Year’s resolutions may be easier with these smoothie recipes from the Wild Blueberry Association of North America . To inspire a vibrant and healthy new year, welcome wild blueberries into a daily diet and reap the rewards all year long.

These nutritious berries provide lasting health benefits for all ages, from increasing brain function and memory, to preventing neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s, and boosting mood and cognitive skills in young children and adults. Look no further than the small but mighty super-berry to reach new health heights in 2019.

Skip the morning coffee Start the morning right with an anthocyanin-rich, wake-up wild blueberry smoothie. It’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, cholesterol-free and low sodium, with no added sugar. Skip the daily coffee and instead boost energy levels with the power of instant coffee, combined with the nutrients abundant in wild blueberries.

Wake-up Wild Blueberry Smoothie (from Kate Allen, Mrs. Nutritionista)

Makes 1 serving

3/4 cup (190 ml) frozen wild blueberries
3/8 cup (85 grams) silken tofu
1/2 medium frozen banana
6 tbsp (90 ml) unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp (15 ml) ground chia seeds
2 tsp (10 ml) instant coffee
1/4 cup (60 ml) gluten-free or regular oats

Directions:

> Place all ingredients except the oats in a blender and process until smooth.

Pour into a glass and garnish with the oats.Option: Alternate the smoothie mixture and oats to make layers.

Treat your tummy Aid digestion and boost immunity with a wild blueberry ginger kombucha smoothie. A natural smoothie that is gluten-free, vegan, refreshing and delicious.

Wild Blueberry Ginger Kombucha Smoothie (from Dixya Bhattarai, Food, Pleasure & Health)

Makes 1 serving

1 cup (250 ml) frozen wild blueberries
1 banana
1/2 cup (125 ml) kombucha (any flavour)
1 small knob of ginger, grated

Directions:

> Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Serve immediately.

Go wild with exercise Combining wild blueberries with exercise has proven to offer health benefits: the ability to burn fat longer after exercise, and improved absorption of inflammation-reducing antioxidant compounds, called polyphenols. Increasing the body’s ability to absorb polyphenols means the body can better fight inflammation and oxidative stress. Try a wild blueberry meal replacement smoothie as part of a post-workout routine to reap maximum benefits.

Wild Blueberry Meal Replacement Smoothie (from Erin Hendrickson, Best Bite Ever) Photo: Flickr/Creative Commons, terriseesthings. Makes one 1 serving

1/2 cup (125 ml) frozen wild blueberries
1/2 cup (125 ml) fresh strawberries, sliced
3/8 cup (85 grams) silken tofu
2/3 cup (165 ml) unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)

2 tbsp (30 ml) pure maple syrup 1-2 tsp (5-10 ml) flax seeds, ground 1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped pecans and/or almondsDirections: 1. In a small bowl, mix together flax seeds and chopped pecans and/or almonds. Reserve a teaspoon for garnish.2. Blend tofu and maple syrup. Reserve a dollop for garnish.3. Blend the almond flax seed mixture (saving some for garnish), the tofu mix (saving some for garnish) with the remaining ingredients until smooth.4. Pour into smoothie glass and top with garnishes. Serve immediately. Indulge in guilt-free dessert Enjoy a delicious and nutritious wild blueberry basil cheesecake smoothie for a guilt-free dessert option. Tastes like dessert, yet it’s packed with anthocyanins, protein and fibre.

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Sonus Complete Reviews : A Breakthrough Into the Treatment of Tinnitus

Sonus Complete Reviews : A Breakthrough Into the Treatment of Tinnitus

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, July 3 2020 (Wiredrelease) Digi World — Sonus Complete Reviews: In medical terms “Tinnitus is the perception of continuous ringing or noise in the ears”. The sounds may vary from clicking, roaring, chirping, buzzing, whistling, to hissing noises. It may be intermittent in some and chronic in others.

50 million Americans are affected by Tinnitus, with most cases occurring in adults around 50 years. However, even children and adolescents can experience it at some level. Tinnitus isn’t a condition in itself, rather it points towards other health issues like probable hearing loss or circulatory system disorder.

According to medical science, the common reasons behind tinnitus can be excessive noise exposure, neck and head injuries, or ear infection. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much luck in the case of its cure. Without no cure, it leaves the patient in a very uncomfortable situation.

What most of the medical practitioners recommend is – managing the noise by either replicating these sound sources or putting you on medication like antibiotics and aspirin?

As these medications can come with several side effects, the only solution remains is – looking for something natural and effective. That is where Sonus Complete comes into the picture.

Sonus Complete is a powerhouse of all important nutrients, vitamins, and herbs. Coming from all-natural ingredients, Sonus complete has proven to be very effective in controlling tinnitus.

What has put the users in a dilemma is how authenticate this solution is? Whether it’s a scam or something real? Taking this concern of users into consideration, we thought of looking deeper into this supplement.

Years of research and study have resulted in finding the ingredients of Sonus complete. You can find frequent mentions of these ingredients in the ancient medicines. And, each of these ingredients come with tremendous health benefits. Here is a complete list of its ingredients and its particular benefits:

Hibiscus – Hibiscus is a full pack of antioxidants, which prevents liver damage and has several health benefits. One of these benefits is to combat tinnitus and improve the functioning of nervous system.

Hawthorn berries – inflammation can be one of the main reasons behind tinnitus. Hawthorn berries have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the symptoms of Tinnitus. Further, it also helps reduce panic attacks and anxiety.

Juniper Berry – Another herb that helps with inflammation is Juniper berry. Known as a wonder herb, this ingredient is full of antibacterial and antifungal properties. Along with controlling tinnitus, it improves brain health and flushes the toxins out.

UvaUrsi– It’s an herb known for treating urinary tract infections. But its soothing properties can also help you with hear loss problems.

Garlic – Garlic is known for improving the immune system and blood circulation. Some of the common health benefits of garlic are it prevents dementia, betters sleep, and decreases brain fog, which ultimately helps with tinnitus.

Green Tea – green tea is commonly used as a weight loss supplement and immune booster. Rich in antioxidants, green tea relieves pressure from the ear.

Niacin and Vitamin C –These vitamins are known for improving memory and improve brain function. Your body needs a little amount of Niacin, so a very accurate amount of it is induced in the supplement.

Olive leaves – olive leaves are also responsible for improving brain function.

Pros

-It safeguards your brain from issues like amnesia and memory loss.

-Clears out your brain

-Deals with the root cause of tinnitus.

-Helps you focus better

-Prevents hearing problems.

-Improves the functioning of your nervous system

-Available at a low price

Cons

-One of the biggest problems with Sonus Complete is that they are available online only-The effects of Sonus Complete may vary from person to personThe effectiveness of Sonus Complete For TinnitusPeople who struggle from tinnitus are often left untreated and has to take on with noise replication. Even if they take some medication, it doesn’t work most of the time and leaves several side effects behind. The buzzing and ringing hinder the sleep and eventually your concentration power and mental health is affected. It’s a start of unhealthy cycles that does harm to your body.Sonus Complete was created to help fight tinnitus. The supplement hits the root cause of the problem, which is often not taken into consideration by general medical practioners. Using a mix of the special herbs, the supplement clears your mind of all the fog and you feel rejuvenated. As it also aids in sleeping, you will more relaxed than being stressed.However, the way it responds to your body is completely dependent on how your body reacts to it. There is no hundred percent guarantee that your body is going to react the same way as another person using it. For some it show the effects real quick and for some the transition is really slow.Another factor affecting its effectiveness is the type of tinnitus. Whether you have recent tinnitus or chronic tinnitus. If you have tried everything and nothing has worked till date, then this is the solution for you.People have reported positive feedback for the product and with a little patience even you can achieve the same. Follow the instruction mentioned on the bottle and a few guidelines given it and you too can reap the benefit. Try to rest and get a good sleep and the medicine will react well to your body.However, if you experience any sort of allergy, stop consuming the product immediately.Benefits of Sonus Complete For TinnitusWith all-natural ingredients, the supplement doesn’t only focus on managing tittinus but also improves your overall health. There are no pills, antibiotics, or anything harsh that you need to be afraid of.Within a few weeks of usage, you will start seeing the benefits of Sonus Complete.100% OrganicAs we mentioned above, the ingredients of Sonus Complete are completely natural. A lot of research and years of studies have ensured that it works perfectly on your body. Carefully harvested from plants, flowers, fruits, and herbs, it’s a product that even vegetarians and vegans can rely on.Improves the functioning of the nervous systemImproper functioning of the nervous system and brain is the main reason for tinnitus. The constant buzzing […]

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These High-Powered Nootropics Can Help Your Brain Reach Its Max Potential

These High-Powered Nootropics Can Help Your Brain Reach Its Max Potential

Every day millions of Americans use caffeine to give These High-Powered Nootropics Are Designed to Help Your Brain Reach Its Max Potentialthemselves a mental boost, and for good reason. Caffeine works by blocking the neurotransmitters in the brain that produce drowsiness. This keeps your neurons firing at full speed, which makes you feel awake. But what if you could do more for your brain than simply tricking it into being awake? What if you could actually feed your brain the fuel it needs to function at maximum capacity all the time? Well, with a well-designed nootropics supplement, you can. And when it comes to well-designed nootropics supplements, nothing beats Qualia Mind from Neurohacker Collective . Unsplash Because they are sometimes marketed as “smart drugs,” there tends to be some confusion among consumers about what nootropics are. So before we go any further, let’s clear that up. Nootropics are chemical compounds that help create the biological conditions necessary for optimal brain function. As such, they don’t actually make you smarter. But they can make your brain work better. Nootropics include things like amino acids, vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and even stimulants such as caffeine. Some of these compounds serve as fuel for cognition. Others modulate various processes involved in neurotransmission.

Studies have shown that nootropics supplements can enhance cognitive functions such as reasoning, memory, alertness, focus, willpower, creativity, flexibility, and verbal fluency. And that’s a pretty impressive list. Unfortunately, creating an effective nootropics supplement is not as simple as throwing a bunch of ingredients together. Formulating nootropics to maximize brain function requires a fundamental understanding of the complex interplay and synergy between specific ingredients at specific dosages.

That’s what sets Neurohacker Collective apart from other supplement companies. Neurohacker Collective Neurohacker Collective takes a complex systems science approach to formulating their nootropics supplements. What that means is they don’t just look to produce a certain effect in one system of the human body. Instead they take into consideration the entire ecosystem and its complex web of interactions.

But that’s not the only thing that sets Neurohacker Collective apart.

Unlike some companies, Neurohacker Collective is fully committed to real science and complete transparency. Their team is made up of top scientists in the fields of complex-systems modeling, neurobiology, organic chemistry, plus dozens of PhDs and medical doctors. And, amazingly, their formulas are not proprietary. Not only does Neurohacker Collective tell you every single ingredient in their products, but they also publish all of their research, explaining in painstaking detail the science behind each one.

So what’s in Qualia Mind ? Neurohacker Collective Qualia Mind is one of the most advanced and comprehensive cognitive performance supplements on the market, specifically formulated to fuel cognition and promote long term brain health. It contains six different nootropic compounds, seven neuro-vitamins, two antioxidants, six adaptogen extracts, five amino acids, and two choline donors. These ingredients work synergistically to fuel neurotransmission, support the development of neurons and synapses, and promote neuroplasticity and neuroprotection. That means they will help you focus better, decrease procrastination, boost energy, overcome brain fog, and enhance creativity, while also optimizing memory and brain health as you age.

Want the complete list of all 28 ingredients and what they do? Click here . Want to read about how they came up with this formula? Click here . We weren’t kidding when we said Neurohacker Collective was all about science and transparency.

Each bottle of Qualia Mind contains 154 capsules, which constitutes a 28-day supply when taking the recommended dose. New subscribers get 50-percent off the first order, plus 14-percent off all subsequent orders.

Your first purchase comes also with free before-and-after cognitive assessments from Cambridge Brain Sciences. If you are not completely satisfied with your results, Neurohacker Collective offers a 100-day money back guarantee .

If coffee and energy drinks just aren’t doing the trick any more, it might be time to try feeding your brain the nutrients it truly needs to function at its best. So take a look at Qualia Mind. Read about the ingredients. Check out the research. Then give it a try. You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose, but plenty to gain.

Futurism fans: To create this content, a non-editorial team worked with an affiliate partner. We may collect a small commission on items purchased through this page. This post does not necessarily reflect the views or the endorsement of the Futurism.com editorial staff.

Read more at futurism.com

9 super-smart problem solvers take on bias in AI, microplastics, and language lessons for chatbots

9 super-smart problem solvers take on bias in AI, microplastics, and language lessons for chatbots

Image: Dorian2013/Getty Images/iStockphoto Just when the problems of the world become overwhelming and unsolvable, someone publishes a list of smart people finding solutions to these challenges. MIT’s 2020 35 Under 35 list does just that. The MIT Technology Review has been publishing this list for 20 years. There were more than 500 nominees in this year’s contest. Twenty-five judges reviewed the list of 100 semi-finalists to select the final 35 people.

SEE: Guide to Becoming a Digital Transformation Champion (TechRepublic Premium)

These nine honorees come from each category in the list–inventors, entrepreneurs, pioneers, humanitarians, and visionaries–and have a specific focus on technology. A read/write brain interface

Dongjin Seo, Neuralink, is using his engineering expertise to build a connection between human brains and computers . Seo started his machine-brain research with tiny electronic sensors that could be sprinkled into an animal’s brain and controlled with acoustic waves. Now he is developing ultra-thin electrodes that could connect a computer to a brain. He is designing the circuit board and chips that would run a low-power wireless computer that would fit into a hole cut into the skull. Stretchy microchips

Sihong Wang, University of Chicago, started his study of rubbery polymers at Stanford University with Zhenan Bao, a pioneer in the field of new form factors for microchips. Wang has developed a new way to manufacture circuits to make them more flexible . He is using nanoconfinement to build layered polymer circuits to produce circuits that can be stretched to twice their normal length and still perform as expected. Removing the racial and gender bias in AI

Inioluwa Deborah Raji, AI Now Institute, is taking on the challenge of racism and bias in the data sets that train machine learning algorithms . Her goal is to create a data set that could be used to assess commercial face recognition systems for gender and racial bias. Testing data for facial recognition systems often lacks black and brown faces. She collaborated with MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini to evaluate facial recognition software from Microsoft, IBM, and Megvii. They found that the worst performing software identified the gender of dark-skinned women 34.4% less accurately than the gender of light-skinned men. Her work led the companies to change how they trained their systems. Her research also influenced the US National Institute of Standards and Technology to include a test for racial bias in its annual audit of face recognition algorithms. Raji also worked with Google to build an internal audit process for artificial intelligence (AI) projects to check for bias before the products are released. Nanomaterial that heats and cools

Lili Cai, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, incorporated the infrared radiation that human bodies emit into the design of two fabrics that can heat or cool the wearer by blocking or transmitting the radiation. The metallized polyethylene textile can keep people about 7 degrees C (44.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer. Her cooling fabric uses a nanocomposite material to cool a person’s body by more than 10 degrees Celsius. Cai’s other innovation is the ability to produce the fabric in many colors to make the clothes look as normal as possible. Language lessons for chatbots

Jiwei Lei, Shannon.AI and Zhejiang University, is exploring new applications for neural networks and natural-language processing to help chatbots conduct smarter conversations. Lei is using deep reinforcement learning to make it easier for algorithms to understand grammar and meaning in human language. After studying at Peking University, Cornell University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Stanford University, Lei founded a natural-language processing startup in Beijing with $20 in venture capital funding. Google and Facebook have used his work to improve their chatbots. Energy efficient artificial intelligence

Manuel Le Gallo, IBM Research, wants to reduce the high electricity bill that comes with training and running the algorithms that power artificial intelligence algorithms, including natural-language processing and image recognition models. Running one model can emit as much carbon as five American cars. Le Gallo is working on a system that uses memory to process data that keeps the required accuracy but dramatically cuts power consumption. Le Gallo and his team are testing a new system that uses only 1% of the energy that a traditional method uses. Digital twins for crops

Anastasia Volkova, Flurosat, wants to help farmers grow crops more efficiently with a combination of sensors, digital twins, AI and thermal cameras. She founded Flurosat to launch a service that can spot changes in crop health as soon as they begin . By treating problems sooner, farmers could reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides. A solution to the microplastics problem

Avinash Manjula Basavanna, Wyss Institute, Harvard University, is developing a bioplastic that can be produced at scale and can degrade in water . AquaPlastic is based on living materials and is flushable. The new material has many of the same qualities as plastic made from petroleum in terms of durability. 3D printing houses

Alex Le Roux, Icon, wants to cut the price of building a house in half. He created the Vulcan, an industrial-scale 3D printer that can print the walls of a house in 24 hours . The printer is 12-feet tall and uses a special concrete mix to build the walls. The company programs the home design ahead of time and the operator uses an app to program the printer. Icon built the first 3D-printed home in the US in 2018 and is building a village in Mexico for 50 families. Also see

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Dementia diet – the simple breakfast swap to protect against Alzheimer’s disease

Dementia diet - the simple breakfast swap to protect against Alzheimer’s disease

Dementia is the name given to a group of symptoms linked to an ongoing decline in brain function. You could lower your risk of the neurodegenerative condition by regularly eating berries, it’s been claimed.

There are a number of different types of dementia, and the most common in the UK is Alzheimer’s disease .

Diagnosing the condition early could help to slow down the condition’s progress.

Making some small lifestyle changes could lower your chances of developing Alzheimer’s in later life.

One of the easiest ways to lower your chances of developing Alzheimer’s is to add more berries to your diet, it’s been revealed.

Eating berries is a simple breakfast swap that could protect your brain against dementia, according to dietitian Angela Murad.

Everyone should consider eating berries at least two times every week.

They form part of the MIND diet – which is short for the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.

The MIND diet has been claimed to keep the brain sharp beyond its years, and could even delay the onset of dementia.

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“This eating pattern goes big on natural plant-based foods while limiting red meat, saturated fat and sweets,” said dietitian Angela Murad.

She wrote for the Mayo Clinic: “Observational studies suggest the diet can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 53 percent as well as slow cognitive decline and improve verbal memory.

“While both the MIND and Mediterranean diets yield similar reductions in Alzheimer’s risk, the MIND diet is more flexible.

“Consider targeting just one or two of the [eating] habits to improve your brain health.”

Read more at www.express.co.uk

Honey benefits: What happens to your body when you consume honey

Honey benefits: What happens to your body when you consume honey

Honey is a sweet substance that bestows countless benefits to the human mind and body. It is still a wonder how a colony of honey bees collect this elixir from the nectar of various flowering plants. Read this article to know the benefits of honey consumption every day. We will also focus on the risk of honey if consumed in excess amount.

Benefits of Honey Consumption Regularly

Lowers Blood Cholesterol
In the process of building healthy cells, your body requires a kind of waxy substance called cholesterol, excess of which can lead to diverse health issues, like chest pain, heart failure, and stroke.

Honey does not include any cholesterol rather its components can lower down the existent level of cholesterol in your body. Studies revealed that eating honey can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol by 6–11%. Honey can also decrease triglyceride levels up to 11%. What is more? Honey can boost the HDL (good) cholesterol by up to 3%.

Regular consumption of honey can provide a beneficial effect on the antioxidant compounds of your body that can control excess cholesterol. Furthermore, honey consumption can efficiently prevent the rise in blood glucose.

Improves Heart Health
As a key component of your body, a healthy heart keeps you alive by pumping blood. Depending on the place of occurrence, narrowing of arteries can cause heart failure, memory loss, headaches, and many more illnesses.

Research has found that the natural sugar contained in honey can reduce artery plaque by 30%. The honey sugar, called trehalose, includes a protein that activates your immune cells to remove the stored fatty plaque from your arteries.

The natural honey contained antioxidants components called flavonoids that also contribute to preventing your arteries from narrowing. Honey can unclog your blocked arteries gradually. Therefore, regular consumption of honey can both strengthen your heart and prevent cardiac failure.

Improves Brain and Memory
Research shows that the properties of honey can serve as a natural preventive therapy for both cognitive deterioration and dementia. Regular consumption of honey can not only reduce stress but also restore your cellular antioxidant defense system.

According to Dr. Francine Grodstein of Harvard Medical School, LDL (bad) cholesterol is bad for the brain. In 2013, research has found that cholesterol can develop plaque in the brain that can lead to Alzheimer’s.

Lowering down the LDL (bad) cholesterol level in the blood, honey properties can reduce the risk of stroke which is responsible for damage in brain functioning. Furthermore, the calcium property of honey can facilitate to improve the functioning of your brain. All of these actions can help to improve your memory.

Improves Gut Health and Treat Acid Reflux
An unhealthy gut can spoil both your physical and mental health. Honey is a strong natural antiseptic. Consumption of honey on an empty stomach can destroy germs in your belly and heals the small wounds of your mucous membrane. The antibacterial properties of honey can help your digestive tract get rid of harmful bacteria like E. coli and salmonella.

Honey is naturally rich in hydrogen peroxide that prevents Helicobacter pylori which is responsible for dyspepsia, gastric ulcers, and similar kind of stomach diseases in the human body. It is also found that the application of honey – instead of sugar – in processed food can improve stomach health in two ways: improving the microflora and restraining the detrimental (genotoxic) effects of mycotoxins.

By virtue of its anti-inflammatory properties, honey has great natural wound-healing power that can potentially control the chest pain and stomach pain caused by acid agitating esophagus – the muscular tube which joins your throat (pharynx) with your stomach. According to the Indian Journal of Medical Research, the sticky property of honey facilitates this process. If you are suffering from acid reflux quite often consume Honey regularly.

Regular consumption of Honey boosts up your metabolism power that may help weight loss. What is more? Removing toxin from your body, honey can clear up skin.

Prevents Cough and Sore Throat
Due to the diverse viral infections including COVID19 disease numerous people are suffering from coughs and sore throat. You can consume honey every day to recover from cough or sore throat. Around the world, Honey is treated as a popular home remedy for cough and sore throat.

In 2010, a study shows that honey was proved to be more effective in treating cough comparing with several powerful cough medicines. In the year of 2018, an article published by New York Magazine reveals that professional singers recommended honey consumption to deal with a sore throat.

Soothes Anxiety and Improves Sleep
Honey consumption can calm your nerves, soothe anxiety, and relieve fatigue. The glucose property of honey gets absorbed into your blood fast which aids in the functions of neurons of your brain and mitigates psychological disorders.

The natural sugar contained in honey can increase the level of insulin in your blood leading to release serotonin, which is further transformed into melatonin hormone that assists better sleep. If you drink honey every day, it can potentially reduce your mental stress, and improve the quality of your sleep.

Strengthens Immune System
Antioxidants compounds in your blood can kill the disease-causing free radicals and prevent oxidative cell damage. Honey is a rich source of antioxidants, like phenolic acids and flavonoids. According to some studies, antioxidant compounds can prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and many other illnesses.

According to an article by Tracie Abram —an educator at Michigan State University — Honey is an immune system builder that is rich in antioxidants, anti-bacterial and anti-tumor properties. Regular consumption of honey can increase the antioxidant properties of your blood.

Factors like inadequate sleep increased stress, unhealthy stomach, etc can weaken your immune system. Honey can help your body to alleviate these health issues. Consumption of honey every day can make your immune system strong enough to prevent COVID19 and other illnesses naturally.
How Much Honey is Safe to Consume? You should not consume honey more than 6 teaspoons (2 tablespoons) of per day. However, this amount would be reduced, […]

Read more at www.daily-sun.com

The age of adaptogens

The age of adaptogens

Photo © AdobeStock.com/Andrii Zastrozhnov Kimberly J. Decker

Trends & Business , Brain Health , Delivery Systems , Food & Beverage , Herbs & Botanicals

“Adapt, or die.” It’s harsh advice, but it’s been an underlying rule of evolution ever since the process got rolling—which means pretty-much forever.

And as we find ourselves half a year into a disorienting new reality living with the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re witnessing our capacity to adapt being tested in ways we never imagined—and generating profound mental and physical stress as a result.

Which is why we may also be witnessing the dawn of the age of adaptogens—plant-based ingredients that purportedly help our bodies adapt to the stresses of trying times, including everyday life.

And if you’re still fuzzy on adaptogens, you’re not alone. As Stephanie Mattucci, associate director, food science, Mintel (Chicago), notes, “Most U.S. consumers aren’t yet familiar with adaptogens, with only 4% currently consuming functional foods and drinks that contain them.”

But those numbers may be ripe for a shift. “Consumers are seeking ways to relax and relieve stress and anxiety across their lives,” Mattucci says. If brands can deliver science-backed ingredients in palatable packages, the adaptogen era may be just the change of pace we need.

Adapto what?

Writing in a May 2019 opinion piece for Euromonitor International titled “Adaptogens and Functional Relaxation Beverages,” Howard Telford, the market-research firm’s head of soft drinks, notes that most ingredients currently marketed as adaptogens trace their roots back to Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine—“although the term adaptogen itself originated in the twentieth century,” he notes.

And while neither industry, academia, nor the health-and-wellness community has established an agreed-upon formal definition, Telford, like many others, describes adaptogens as “naturally occurring, nontoxic, plant-based ingredients that help promote stress reduction and physiological balance.”

The Body’s Thermostat

How they do so awaits definitive elucidation—as do further details about effective dosing, measurable effects, and long-term benefits. But for now, says Shanais Pelka, research and development manager for superfoods company Organifi (San Diego, CA), we can think of adaptogens “as sort of like a thermostat.”

Consider: When your living-room thermostat senses that the temperature’s too cold, it kicks on the heat to bring the temperature up; when it senses things getting too hot, it reverses course and cools the room back down. “The beautiful thing about an adaptogen,” Pelka explains, “is that, like a thermostat, it can actually decrease anxiety and calm you even while increasing energy.”

The secret, apparently, lies in the adrenals. “Adaptogens support our adrenal glands behind the scenes to ensure a balanced, healthy, functioning body,” Pelka says. These endocrine organs participate in everything from regulating the sleep/wake cycle and suppressing inflammation to keeping blood sugar in check and secreting neurotransmitter hormones like epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

“These hormones,” Pelka goes on, “generate the primitive stress response that helps keep us alive in moments of trauma or danger.” Yet when our adrenal glands fatigue—whether from poor diet; physical, emotional, or environmental stress; or even the occasional all-nighter—“we may not be able to make the required hormones and neurotransmitters our bodies need.”

These downstream hormonal effects of continual stress can disturb sleep, memory, emotions—even immunity. And that, says Pelka, is where adaptogens provide support. “The effects may be subtle at first,” she notes, “but just wait a couple weeks and you notice real changes in your body.”

Stress Positions

Many consumers would likely welcome those changes now. A 2017 Euromonitor International online survey found 70% of respondents claiming that capping daily stress levels was an “important health objective.” And that was back in 2017.

According to Veronica Eckl, associate data product manager, SPINS (Chicago), that bodes well for adaptogenic ingredients. “High-stress lifestyles and environments, as well as a move toward greater self-care, are definitely driving interest in adaptogens,” she says.

By nourishing an overstressed endocrine system, Eckl contends, adaptogens “nourish the entire body rather than treat a singular symptom.” And with awareness of the relationship between endocrine function and stress growing, she believes, the way forward for adaptogens is up.

Multigenerational Appeal

Mintel’s Mattucci agrees, adding that younger consumers could give the category a concerted boost. “While stress is a universal phenomenon, today’s youth are more open about acknowledging stress and anxiety than previous generations were,” she notes. “Gen Z—born between 1995 and 2007—is now and will continue to be a key audience for formulations that help relieve stress and anxiety.”

Yet adaptogens have something for everyone. Because stress exacerbates the effects of aging, for example, “Adaptogens are making more appearances in skincare and beauty products like serums, moisturizers, and masks as an extra boost, as well as to fight inflammation,” SPINS’ Eckl points out. She believes the ingredients “hit the same note as the self-care revolution.”

And given that stressors like COVID-19, social unrest, and a looming economic downturn show no signs of relenting, “Demand for stress relief will only increase in 2020,” Mattucci predicts. “Adaptogens that offer a dual benefit of stress reduction and immune support have the potential to thrive in a post-COVID world,” she adds, “especially as stress takes a toll on the immune system, leaving us more susceptible to illness.”

Still Adapting

Some product developers are already signing on. “While still niche in foods, drinks, and supplements,” Mattucci says, “adaptogens like holy basil, ashwagandha, maca, and several types of ginseng have the potential to grow, and are already showing up in functional foods and drinks designed for stress relief.”But obstacles still block adaptogens’ route to the mainstream.Awareness of and familiarity with the ingredients “is still very low in most markets,” says Joana Maricato, market research manager, New Nutrition Business (London). Consumers in the know tend to be early adopters and “highly health-oriented shoppers who are always looking for the latest developments in health and wellness and are willing to pay a premium for them,” she says.A dearth of human clinical trials will pose another hurdle. As Eckl says, “While adaptogens have been used in traditional medicines for thousands of years, the exact mechanism of many of these plants is unknown, and most studies are […]

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Taste: Rosemary provides plenty of flavor for home-cooked dishes

Taste: Rosemary provides plenty of flavor for home-cooked dishes

Rosemary is easy to grow, drought resistant and deer tolerant. www.pixabay.com Rosemary was one of the first herbs I ever tried planting in my garden. It is drought resistant and deer tolerant, so I was excited to try it and it was a success! I have moved since that first planting, but at my new home I have a rosemary plant that has lived for several years and continues to grow and flourish despite my sporadic attempts at gardening.

I love the pine smell of the needles, the little blue flowers it produces every spring that attracts honey bees and I especially love that I can walk out to my garden and harvest fresh rosemary for cooking whenever I need it.

Rosemary originated from the Mediterranean and is now found across the U.S. and can be found in a variety of dishes. It can be used to flavor meat dishes as well as soups and stews, teas and even salads.

Rosemary has other non-culinary benefits too, such as smelling it can boost memory. Since my poor memory has been a problem my entire adult life, I was excited to try it. Since I’ve forgotten to track the results, I’ll have to take it by faith that it works!

Rosemary can be used to make essential oils, which is a good addition to natural hair products. According to a 2013 study, rosemary oil may help with some kinds of hair loss. I love to use rosemary after working with something smelly with my hands, by taking some fresh or dried rosemary and rubbing in on my hands to eliminate the bad odors and if there is a bad smell inside the house, simmering a pot of water with fresh rosemary can eradicate the stink.

Rosemary has been used to help boost digestion and improve circulation. It is a good source of vitamin A. Although it does contain vitamins B, C and folate, it is not in significant amounts when used as an herb. It does contain anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, especially when consumed as tea. Rosemary might also help protect brain function against free radicals.

Rosemary is easy to grow and is good year after year. It is an evergreen and can be harvested year-round, although the flavor is best when the plant is harvested while blooming in the spring — just don’t use the brand-new growth.

The needles can be used fresh or dried. Drying the needles is relatively easy and doesn’t require fancy equipment. Cut a mature stem approximately 8 inches long or longer.

I like to gather several stems into a bunch, tie them off at the bottom, then cover them in a small paper bag and hang the bag, upside down some place warm and dry for up to two weeks. I have forgotten them and left them for several months and they were just fine but 10 days to two weeks is all that’s recommended.

If using the rosemary fresh, store in airtight bags in the refrigerator. Fresh rosemary can also be stored in the freezer by using an ice cube tray. Add to each cube a tablespoon of rosemary and then filling each cube with olive oil or water, then once frozen, popping them into a Ziplock bag. This way, you can have a fresh supply of herbs year-round in the freezer.

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Phenolic-enriched raspberry extract can decrease weight gain – even when eating a high-fat diet

Phenolic-enriched raspberry extract can decrease weight gain – even when eating a high-fat diet

( Natural News ) There are many health benefits associated with eating raspberries ( Rubus idaeus ). These brightly colored fruits from the rose family are rich in essential nutrients and compounds that boost brain, heart and eye health and help with various health problems, such as diabetes, cancer and digestive issues.

Notable micronutrients that can be found in raspberries include vitamins B9 (folate), C, E and K, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Raspberries are also rich in antioxidants, such as the carotenoids alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene and zeaxanthin.

When it comes to macronutrients, raspberries are rich in protein and fiber, both of which promote satiety and reduce food intake. These nutrients are very helpful for people who are aiming to lose weight.

But researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey have recently found that those nutrients are not the only reasons for raspberries’ ability to fight obesity. In their new study, they showed that raspberry extracts, which contain phenolic compounds, can prevent excessive fat accumulation and weight gain caused by a high-fat diet. They discussed their findings in an article published in the journal Nutrition Research . Why raspberries should be part of an anti-obesity diet

Among the numerous compounds found in raspberries , phenolic compounds are some of the most useful to humans. Besides possessing properties that promote human health, phenolic compounds also give fruits like raspberries their sweet flavor and pleasant scent.

Raspberrry ketone, 4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-butanone, is a phenolic compound commonly used as a food flavoring. Despite being designated as a “synthetic” flavoring agent by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), raspberry ketone is naturally occurring and has beneficial properties. For instance, research in rodents suggests that regular consumption of raspberry ketones leads to weight loss.

To find out if raspberry fruit extracts, which are also rich in phenolics, can do the same, the Rutgers team decided to place four groups of mice on a high-fat diet for a month. Together with foods that contain 45 percent fat, the researchers also gave each group either a control containing only water, propylene glycol and dimethyl sulfoxide; low doses of raspberry extract (REL); high doses of raspberry extract (REH); or raspberry ketone (RK).

After four weeks, the researchers reported that both REH and RK reduced body weight gain and fat mass compared with the control. REH also increased the expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and lipoprotein lipase, two enzymes whose activities are crucial to preventing obesity.

According to studies, HO-1 has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce oxidative and inflammatory stress — two factors involved in the development of obesity and other metabolic diseases. Lipoprotein lipase, meanwhile, plays a critical role in breaking down fat (triglycerides) inside the body.

The researchers also found through indirect calorimetry that REL, REH and RK all reduced the respiratory exchange ratio — that is, the ratio between carbon dioxide production to oxygen consumption — in mice, suggesting increased fat oxidation. Fat oxidation refers to the process by which the body “burns” fat for use as energy. (Related: 6 Natural ways to burn fat if you can’t exercise regularly .)

REH also increased total ambulatory (walking) behavior and energy expenditure/lean mass in mice compared with REL, indicating increased physical activity. None of the treatments, however, caused differences in cumulative food intake, meal patterns or hypothalamic feed-related gene expression.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that raspberry ketone and phenolic-rich raspberry extracts can prevent weight gain via different mechanisms that stop excess fat accumulation caused by a high-fat diet.

Sources include:

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