Eat Colorful Fruits and Veggies for Brain Health

Eating lots of colorful foods such as bell peppers and strawberries that have high flavonoid content could slow cognitive decline according to a new research study.

People who consumed about 600mg, about .02 ounces, of flavonoids in a day have a 20% lower risk of cognitive decline than those who ate just 150mg, about .005 ounces per day. This according to a study published recently by the American Academy of Neurology journal.

3.5 ounces, 100 grams, of strawberries has about 180 mg, .006 ounces, of flavonoids. An apple has about 113mg, .003 ounces, of flavonoids the study stated.

Flavonoids are a collection of compounds that have strong antioxidant properties. They are commonly found in many fruits and vegetables study authors stated.

Any damage to the brain’s blood supply will be a major contributor to cognitive decline, that anti-inflammatory properties of flavonoids help protect the blood supplies.

 

 

Tomatoes: The Perfect Summer Food

While many may already consider the tomato a perfect summer food, during a heatwave which was struck the much of the US over the past few weeks the tomato proves its worth as being more than worthy for summer eating.

Tomatoes are already great for you. A raw tomato is a good source of lycopene, an important antioxidant as well as containing vitamin C, potassium and folate. And all you have to do is bite into one!

While cooking tomatoes does boos the lycopene content there is still plenty in an uncooked tomato to benefit you. If you want to boost your antioxidant intake eat them with a little olive oil. The little bit of fat will help increase lycopene absorption.

Additionally, tomatoes are a water heavy food which will help keep you hydrated.

It only takes a little effort with a knife and you can turn tomatoes into the “meat” of a meal by using them on sandwich or salad or just enjoying them all by themselves. Something like a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich takes little effort.

Tomatoes provide all of this without the discomfort of hot kitchen!

Use Caution When Active in High Heat Weather

While it might seem like common sense that hot weather stresses our bodies, even more if there is high humidity. If we don’t take precautions it can be dangerous and even lethal to over work our bodies in the heat.

Despite this feeling like common sense the number of deaths related to participating in sports during high heat has doubled in the US since 1975 (National Institutes of Health). The US CDC reported that about 650 people die from extreme heat every year.

If you are planning on any kind of outside activity in extreme heat keep the following in mind.

Consider the time of day. Generally speaking, between 10am-3pm is going to be the hottest part of the day and intense activity should be avoided during this time.

Knowing your risk level is important as well, things like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or medication restrictions may make one at higher risk for heat related injury or death.

Your body may need to get used to the heat, so if transitioning to working out in the heat you may want to make your workouts less intense and shorter and build back up to your normal.

Keep hydrated! This doesn’t mean just drinking water but also consuming high water content foods before or after your workout.

Know the symptoms of heat distress like nausea, vomiting, cramps, weakness, or fatigue. Use the body system, have an activity partner and watch out of each other.

Even More Evidence Confirms Exercise Not Just for the Body, but Also the Mind

 



A JAMA journal study recently found that depressive symptoms have tripled in the US during the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. High risk groups such as people under 30 and health care workers were even more likely to develop anxiety or depression because of the pandemic concluded a study from the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

 

Regular exercise like swimming, yoga, running, tai chi or weight training remains one of the best tools individuals have to improve their overall mood and general mental health.

 

A five year old meta-analysis of 23 controlled trials that regular exercise could be as effective of antidepressants and psychotherapy in treating depression.

 

Part of this is due to the creation of endorphins. However, exercise results in important structural changes to the brain. These changes take place in the hippocampus which is involved in the memory formation and emotional regulation.

 

Over time exercise like running and swimming reduces inflammation and increased nerve growth in the hippocampus. This will have positive effects on memory and mood, according to many studies. On the other hand, shrinking of the hippocampus has been demonstrated to be linked to development of mood disorders like depression or even the more serious bipolar disorder.

 

 

Shopping for Groceries Online May Help Reduce Junk Food Purchases

A new study has found that eating healthier may be as simple as not going to the grocery store as often.

Participants in the study who ordered groceries online spent less money on junk food compared to those who shopped in person. The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Researchers tracked 137 shopper’s spending over 44 weeks from either 2015-2016 or 2016-2017.People who shopped online spent on average about $2.50 less on unhealthy food purchases like candy and frozen desserts compared to those who shopped in stores.

While the study did not look at why this is so, researchers suggested some likely reasons such as opportunities for impulse purchases. Online shoppers avoided all the in-store marketing and other food stimuli.

The junk food and soda coolers at the checkout don’t exist online, they added.