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Simple habits can significantly impact brain health. Their simplicity perhaps leads some of us to believe in their inefficiency — how could anything be that good if it’s so simple? Yet medical reviews have repeatedly confirmed that it’s the little things that matter, especially when it comes to maintaining a healthy brain. We’ve listed down 10 incredibly easy habits you can begin today.
Take gingko biloba supplements — Cap off your breakfast with a gingko biloba supplement. Studies have shown that the extract can help form and protect neurons in the brain. This reduces the risk of memory loss and other forms of cognitive impairments.
Read or do puzzles — Your brain needs to work out too. Keep it active by engaging in mind-stimulating activities such as reading or doing crossword puzzles. Some neurologists say that Soduko is one of the best mental agility puzzles you can do today.
Drive without the GPS — Remember the time when you needed to use your brain to drive? While GPS has helped us avoid traffic, it also inadvertently caused us to stop using the parts of our brain responsible for spatial navigation and memory. Switching off the GPS once in a while will keep your brain mentally active.
Walk — Use those legs! Even low levels of physical activity can boost brain health. Several studies have shown that those who walk, even just a little bit every day, are less likely to develop conditions such as diabetes and heart disease which contribute to memory loss.
Space meals correctly — Never starve or gorge yourself on food. There are too many diets out there. Each has their own benefits and risks, but if you’re too confused (or lazy) to choose a single one, remember to just space meals correctly and eat proportionately. Eat healthy, low-calorie snacks in between big meals so your sugar levels never fluctuate. Maintaining good eating habits keeps your brain healthy.
Do something different — Try taking a different route home. You’d be surprised; small changes in your routine jumpstarts your brain.
Limit your TV use — Entertain yourself, but not by watching television. This doesn’t have to be anything difficult. Dine out with friends, take up sewing, play Bingo. Just remember that these activities need to be a little bit tough so that you have to focus. If you can do these things on autopilot, they’re not mentally stimulating enough.
Disengage from your gadgets — Turn off your phones, log off from your computer, and don’t look at your phone at least an hour before bed. Data have shown that the blue light from these devices can disrupt your sleep, causing irritability in the morning. A healthy brain is a rested brain.
Sleep on your side — Surprisingly, how you sleep can also affect how healthy your brain can be. Dr. Marilyn Glenville told the Daily Mail that patients should sleep on their side for a healthier brain. “When you sleep on your side, your body seems more able to remove the build-up of so-called “brain waste” chemicals, such as beta-amyloid proteins,” she says. (MORE)
Anxiety affects millions of people every year, and anxiety disorders are considered to be the most prevalent of mental illnesses. Statistics show that in the United States, some 40 million adults grapple with an anxiety disorder every year — over 18 percent of the total adult population. It’s estimated that around 25 percent of children in the U.S. struggle with anxiety, too.
For many people, the first line of treatment provided to them by their doctor will be a prescription drug, as usual. But the truth is that there are many natural alternatives, which are just as effective and boast fewer side effects (if any).
The Xanax controversey
Xanax and its generic counterparts are some of the most commonly prescribed prescription drugs, and are part of the “benzodiazepine” class of drugs. Benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety — but they come with some serious consequences. Even so, doctors write 44 million prescriptions for Xanax alone every year — and many of those prescription holders will find themselves in rehab, thanks to a budding benzodiazepine addiction.
Narconon reports that rehab admission rates for people with a benzodiazepine addiction nearly tripled between 1998 and 2008. This coincides with an increase in prescription rates as well: CDC data shows the number of adults using a benzodiazepine increased 67 percent over 18 years, from 8.1 million prescriptions in 1996 to 13.5 million in 2013.
Additionally, the researchers say that the quantity of filled prescriptions increased during the same time frame. (MORE)
If you’re concerned about a heart attack, there are lots of steps you might take to reduce your risk. Perhaps you’re already exercising and eating a healthy diet, but you’d like to give your efforts that extra edge. Before your doctor convinces you to start taking a long-term regimen of risky medications that may or may not actually be effective, why not turn to nature for an alternative that is as delicious as it is powerful?
A study carried out by researchers from Harvard Medical School revealed just how much two particular berries can help reduce a person’s risk of heart attack: strawberries and blueberries. They looked at health data from more than 93,000 women aged 25 to 42 who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study, which included information about their diet and health over the course of 18 years.
They discovered that the women who ate the fewest blueberries and strawberries had the highest risk of having a heart attack, while those who ate the most of these berries were 34 percent less likely to have a heart attack. Consuming the berries regularly brought about the positive health benefits, and those with the healthiest hearts tended to eat at least three cups per week of the two fruits combined, on average.
These benefits came about regardless of other risk factors like alcohol intake, smoking, exercise, family history of heart attack, age and high blood pressure, which means you can increase your risk even further by combining a boost in your berry intake with other healthy changes.
A lot of people have an appetite for sugar. Studies have shown that the body’s response to sugary food starts even before it enters the body, with the brain firing on all cylinders to excite the reward circuit and produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter that regulates pleasure and reward.
However, past decades have also shown that people are becoming increasingly aware of its dangers. These days, nearly everyone knows why sugar – in particular, added sugars – is bad for the health. It increases the risk of dying because of heart disease, is associated with higher rates of periodontal disease, and may put an infant at a higher risk of allergy and asthma.
Of course, people still can’t get rid of their dopamine fix, turning to healthier alternatives to sugar. Recently, non-nutritive sweeteners (NNSs) have become more ubiquitous, as more food products have replaced sugar with this calorie-free option. The Food and Drug Administration has already approved a handful of artificial sweeteners, a synthetic form of NNS, including acesulfame-K, aspartame, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, and advantame.
This is the perfect moment to understand the science behind NNS, as well as their possible health benefits and, if ever, adverse effects on the body, according to a study published in Nutrition Journal.
Researchers from the University of Pécs in Hungary, the University of Freiburg in Germany, and Paris Descartes University collected all relevant data on the health effects of NNS consumption. For a study to be included in the review, specific factors had to be met: It had to be a study on humans, it had to be either an intervention or exposure to artificial sweeteners or NNSs, it reported health outcomes, and it had no restrictions in study design or language. (MORE)
Alternative medicine is growing in popularity around the world, but in the U.S., this increase in popularity is especially noticeable. For nearly two decades, reports have shown there’s an increasing interest in natural remedies for healing, disease treatment and prevention. The botanical industry alone is worth over $7 billion these days.
People are catching on to the fraudulent, deceptive nature of the pharmaceutical industry, and further, the fact that Big Pharma bases many of their drugs on real medicinal plants.
Why take a synthetic pharmaceutical, when you can take real turmeric? But staying up-to-date with the best information on alternative medicines can be difficult. With the exception of medical marijuana, you don’t often see stories about natural plant medicines and other remedies being circulated in the “mainstream” media. Further, social media tyrants like Facebook are going out of their way to shut down access to information on natural health — probably because the rapidly growing industry presents such a huge threat to Big Pharma.
But at AlternativeMedicine.news, you can find information on all the latest research regarding alternative medicines, natural remedies, medicinal plants and more. Supplements, superfoods, herbal medicines, and tips for disease prevention and treatment are all one click away. Some of the natural medicines and therapies you’ll find information about at AlternativeMedicine.news include:
Meditation and yoga
Medicinal herbs and spices, like turmeric
Traditional Chinese medicines
Supplemental herbs and superfoods
Vitamins and minerals
Medicinal plant compounds like cannabidiol and curcumin (MORE)