Category Archives: General Health

Bolster Your Brainpower: 5 Foods That Can Improve Your Memory

Many people perceive food as a means to give the body energy, building materials, and power to fight and prevent certain infections. This notion is well-known to everyone in the world. However, according to researchers from Harvard Medical School, certain foods we eat might boost our cognitive performance.

Whether you are a student looking for ways to enhance your memory retention or a full-time employee seeking a proactive approach to staying focused while performing your daily tasks, eating a well-balanced diet can pay off pretty well in your favor.

If you are suffering from low concentration or memory loss, the following foods can improve the performance of your brain cells.

1. Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables have a list of benefits. They contain essential vitamins, antioxidants, good fats, minerals, and a high content of water. In particular, fruits such as apples, berries, and citrus are rich in flavonoids (a group of phytochemicals) which stimulates neuronal signaling pathways of the cognitive processes, according to the British Journal of Nutrition.

Furthermore, studies show a close correlation between dark-colored vegetables and brain function. Dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens, and microgreens are packed with antioxidants. These substances prevent damaging of delicate brain cells and membrane by the high level of oxidants. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage contain potent antioxidants and Vitamin K. According to a study published by National Institute of Health, the phytochemicals in broccoli protect the brain cells against damage.

2. Fatty Fish

The well-known fatty fish are salmon, trout, tuna, and sardines. These sea creatures are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, an incredibly essential nutrient in our body. The reason why omega-3 is vital in our body is that 30 percent of the brain is made of this essential fat. As per the new research on omega-3 and brain function, it was established that deficiency of omega-3 hinder learning and lowers the brains’ ability to retain information. So having at least two servings of baked or broiled fish every week can be the best route to take in improving your mood, sharpening your memory, and preventing cognitive decline.

3. Coffee

While coffee has been deemed harmful, consuming around 4 cups per day can be beneficial, according to Food Regulation Authorities. Caffeine, the main component in Coffee has a positive impact on the brain. It keeps the brain alert, improve mood, and enhance concentration. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition, caffeine in the coffee is linked with long-term affect thinking skills. It’s worth noting that, drinking coffee not only increases alertness but it reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and boosts mental ability.

4. Turmeric

This deep-yellow spice contains a chemical compound known as curcumin. A new study has found that curcumin has an extraordinary healing property. It can treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease by reducing beta-amyloid, the primary source of this disease. Furthermore, other studies established that curcumin boosts brain-growth hormones and leads to the growth of new brain cells. If you want to reap all the benefits of this medicinal compound, add turmeric to rice dishes or make a turmeric tea.

5. Nuts

Nuts, especially walnuts are packed with necessary nutrients for improving your cognitive health. They contain healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E. A study on long-term intake of nuts and cognitive function found that older women who ate nuts over the long-term had higher cognitive performance compared to non-consumers. Regular walnut consumption gives your body plenty of vitamin E that guards the brain cells against pathological changes linked with Alzheimer’s disease. While any nut can contribute to proper mental health, walnuts are extremely recommendable because it has omega-3 fatty acids, the brain-bolster ingredient.

The Bottom Line

There are plenty of foods around the world to boost your cognition. The good news is that these foods are tasty and easily accessible regardless of where you live. When choosing brain-boosting foods, consider foods rich in antioxidants, minerals, and good fats. These compounds not only help you live healthily but they have a profound impact on your cognitive function.

What to Do When You Think Your Child Has Dyslexia?

Your child might have dyslexia if, compared to other children of the same age, he or she has trouble making sense of stories, reading, solving problems, and writing. Even while in preschool, the child might have a difficulty in recognizing rhymes, reciting the letters of the alphabet, counting, and naming colors. Here’s what you should do once you observe these challenges in your child.

1. Do Some Research

They say that knowledge is power, and this cannot be truer than when you have all the information you can gather about your child’s condition. Learn as much as you can concerning the disease, but do not stop there. There are other learning disabilities, as well. With the knowledge that you’ll have gained, you will be better-equipped since you will know what to do next and the resources at your disposal, which you can use in supporting your child. It will also be wise of you to interact with experts and other parents with dyslexic children, seeking their advice. That way, you will have an easier time guiding your child and allaying their fears.

2. Act As Soon As Possible

Dyslexia is not like other diseases that get better over time. Your child’s difficulties will progressively worsen if you delay intervening. You can make your child’s learning experience much more comfortable and enjoyable through early intervention. Your input will also make a difference in the child’s life later on since s/he will access the services and help s/he needs to navigate through life. The positive changes you envision when you act on the condition will only come faster the earlier you start. Get help as soon as your child is in kindergarten, as waiting until later might render the child unable to keep abreast with other children.

3. Collaborate With Your Child’s Teachers

Your child’s tutors might also have noticed the difficulties your child has. You must meet with them and find a way the school can evaluate your child. It is your child’s legal right to get help, and the school will have to create an action plan for this. The evaluation can also happen privately, after which your child will get an Individualized Education Plan with provisions such as doing tests in more conducive environments than the class, or having more time than other children when doing examinations. Staying in close communication with the teachers will ensure they meet your child’s needs.

4. Make Learning Enjoyable

You will need to be creative, and through constant practice, you can create a routine for your child to learn more efficiently. Since your child will often feel discomfort when reading, your role will be to remove their uneasiness and to keep them from feeling humiliated. You will not criticize your child but encourage them as much as possible.

Engaging your child in reading activities can involve the following: listening to audiobooks with the child reading along, re-reading your child’s favorite books, and playing word games. You can also use nursery rhymes, set aside some time every day where everyone in the family reads, and talk about what you have learned together. There is a variety of fun learning activities you can use at home. Your child’s support group can help with formulating the best strategies.

These are but a few of the steps you can take to support your dyslexic child. It is commendable that you are aware of how much your child suffers. How committed you are, and the support you give your child will determine how much help s/he can get.

3 Must-Read Dangers of Talc Baby Powder

Talc baby powder is probably the mostly used product by mothers trying to ward off diaper rash and keep their babies’ skin dry. You may also be using it on some parts of your body to reduce friction and keep away sweat. However, there have been numerous reports about how bad talc is for both your health and that of your baby. To help you protect yourself and your baby, here are the 3 dangers of talc that you need to be aware of.

1. Presence of Asbestos

Asbestos and talc usually develop together and have a similar composition which is why it is common for talc to be contaminated with it. Asbestos is highly toxic in nature and is known to cause health complications including cancer. Although asbestos can be tested for in talc powder to ensure it is safe, some manufacturers hide the true content of asbestos in their products.  By using talc baby powder, you may be exposing your baby and yourself to the toxic nature of asbestos as you have no way of establishing on your own whether it is contaminated or not.

2. Respiratory Problems

Talc powder is made up of small particles that when inhaled, can irritate the respiratory tract and cause problems. The fine particles get lodged in the lungs and accumulate with time. The build-up of talc particles in the lungs causes difficulty in breathing, scarring, reduced lung function and even fibrosis. If you must use talc baby powder, keep it away from the baby’s face to prevent inhalation and consequent respiratory complications.

3. Ovarian Cancer

If you use talc baby powder on your baby’s butt and genital area to soothe diaper rash, you may be exposing you little girl child to a future of ovarian cancer. Although the claims about ovarian cancer don’t directly link it to the use of talc baby powder, studies have shown a higher risk of ovarian cancer in women who used talc baby powder compared to those who didn’t. The explanation behind this is that talc powder travels up the reproductive tract and triggers long-term inflammation of the ovaries which later lead to ovarian cancer.

You don’t want to risk the health of your baby having known how much of a health hazard talc baby powder is. If possible, find alternative ways to keep your baby’s skin dry in order to avoid the dangers of talc.

3 Benefits of Yoga for Runners

When you hear the word “yoga,” the picture on your mind is probably of a person sitting on a mat breathing deeply and meditating. But did you know that yoga, an activity associated with relaxation, can tremendously boost your performance as a runner both psychologically and physically? Well, here are three benefits of yoga for runners you probably didn’t know.

1. Improved Strength

Running engages you in repetitive motions that tend to overuse some muscles while underusing others, causing an imbalance in their strength. Yoga can help you achieve strength evenly throughout your body as different poses work on different parts of the body to make a wholesome body work-out. 

The physical strength that you develop helps you run longer and avoid injury. You also build your mental strength as yoga boosts your awareness and concentration. This enables you to deal with distractions that may come up during the run, as well as maintain focus and discern various body sensations as you run.

2. Better Breathing

As a runner, you need to sync your breathing with your pace. Yoga helps you become more conscious of your breath through pranayama, which is the art of breathing. You get to fully utilize correct breathing techniques to help you in releasing tension and anxiety before a run as it calms the nervous system.

Oxygen is necessary for fuelling your body and giving you the energy you need as a runner. Pranayama teaches you how to breathe the right way, helping you take in as much oxygen as you need depending on your pace. According to a journal of Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, yoga improves the functions of lungs, leading to improved efficiency in athletes

3. Reduced Risk of Injury

Most times, injuries happen because of an imbalance in musculoskeletal tissues and seldom due to falls. Yoga loosens up connective ligaments, connective tissues, muscles, and joints to achieve more flexibility. This gives you a more comprehensive range of motion and the ability to get into different positions without difficulties. As such, you can hit longer strides and increase your speed.  

The good thing about yoga for runners is that you can customize your practice to suit your running style, whether you are a casual jogger, a sprinter, or a long-distance runner. If you have never considered joining a yoga class, now is the time to hit the mat and reap the benefits both on a personal level and as a runner.

4 Tips for Maintaining Your Bone and Joint Health

The problems related to bone and joint pain are common among many people, and mainly the aged. As per the National Health Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 2.1 million Australians have Osteoarthritis, with women being affected more than men. The bad news is that many people with this type of arthritis often have other chronic conditions or comorbidity such as diabetes, mental health problems, asthma, cardiovascular diseases, and many more.

The pains and sufferings we experience daily as a result of arthritis are practically unsustainable. The difficulties to walk, to perform our daily household chores, and to play our favorite outdoor game are making our lives more miserable. But there are simple steps we can take to reduce the pains. One of those steps is to change our lifestyles.

To prevent damage, reduce pain and achieve overall bone and joint health, here are four essential tips to follow:

1. Get the Right Diet

There are two crucial things to consider when it comes to the impact of nutrition on bone and joint health. The first thing is that we need proper nutrition to keep our bones and joints healthy. Nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and Omega-3 fatty acids possess properties that help keep bones and joints healthy. You can get these nutrients from vegetables, fruits, and kinds of seafood.

The second aspect is eating the right food to control our body weight. Adding more weight is a recipe for disaster because the extra pounds create strain and pressure on our joints (especially the knee joints). That’s why it’s imperative to know the right way to shed some weight. 

2. Stop Smoking

The connection between smoking, bone, and joint health has been studied extensively and have shown that nicotine and other chemicals in cigarette smoke not only cause lung cancer, but they reduce blood supply to our bones, decrease the rate at which our body absorb calcium from the food we eat, and slower the production of bone-forming cells (osteoblasts). 

3. Drink Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated all the day long can improve your bone and joint health. Our body needs water to produce synovial fluid, an egg white-like liquid that lubricates our cartilages. Besides, water helps to remove waste products from our bones. The accumulation of this waste can cause swelling of the bones and joints. This means that keeping the right water contents in your body, especially when you have arthritis can reduce inflammation.

4. Get the Right Supplements

One of the best ways to maintain your bone and joint health is to use supplements. The good news is that many of these supplements contain natural ingredients. It’s worth noting that there are many supplements on the market, and it requires a lot of research before reaching your final decision. But one of the proactive steps you can take is to visit the nearest clinic for consultation.