Category Archives: Mind & Body Care

Improve your brain health with the MIND diet

Woman eating fruit saladWhen most people hear the word “diet” they probably tend to think “difficult” or “impossible”, but most of us probably don’t expect that a diet is going to be easy to follow!  A diet is something we do because it’s good for us and we want to make some change in our health or our appearance, but not generally because it’s fun and easy.  That is about to change, thanks to the new MIND diet (short for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay).  

This diet is reportedly tied for first place as the easiest diet to follow, according to US News & World Report. (US News & World Report, 2015).  Like the name suggests, this is a diet that is also good for your brain, and is specifically designed to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.  In a study at the Rush University Medical Center, scientists found that “…the MIND diet lowered Alzheimer’s risk by about 35 percent for people who followed it moderately well and up to 53 percent for those who adhered to it rigorously.” (US News & World Report, 2015)  

A diet that can improve your brain health, help prevent Alzheimer’s AND is the easiest diet to follow?

So what exactly is the MIND diet?

It is a combination of the popular Mediterranean diet (think primarily plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains), and the DASH diet (again, emphasis on fruits and vegetables, no dairy).

Specifically, according to a report in US News & World Report, “The emphasis is on eating from 10 brain-healthy food groups: green leafy vegetables in particular, all other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine.”  With this diet you’ll need to “avoid foods from the five unhealthy groups: red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheeses, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food.”

So, even if “diet” didn’t make your list of 2016 resolutions, this is one that won’t be hard to follow and is well worth it for better brain health!

Whether or not you decide to try the MIND diet, you can try playing brain games just to challenge yourself by playing fun games!  Have fun while you give your brain some exercise! And, Fit Brains has more games and more variety than any other brain training program.  Give Fit Brains a try today!

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And, follow us throughout the year to learn more about how to improve your brain health and maximize your potential in 2016!

Fit Brains. “Brain Training Success”

Source: “MIND Diet”. US News & World Report. 2015. Retrieved from http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/mind-diet

Use Your Brain to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Woman choosing between apple and cupcake

New Year’s Resolutions. Most of us make them, but many of us break them. According to studies on the science of motivation, only up to 30% of us will stick with our good intentions or changes that we have resolved to make. Most shockingly?  According to the author, research even finds that “the better we feel about our new year’s resolutions and our ability to stick with them, the less we actually will.” (Crew, 2014).  Wait. Say that again?  This may be because the more optimistic or over-confident you are, the fewer safeguards you will put in place to ensure follow-through.

So how do you improve your chances of keeping your new year’s resolution?

For starters, writing down your goal or resolution is helpful, but did you know that even how you phrase your resolution matters?  According to one study, writing it as an “if-then” statement (e.g, If I go to a restaurant then I will order a side salad instead of french fries) improves your odds of follow-through, as opposed to just writing something like “eat more salad at restaurants instead of fries.”  Reportedly, “For whatever reason, research suggests that our brains can get tricked into automatically and subconsciously responding to if/then statements.” (Crew, 2014).  In addition to putting your resolution in writing and phrasing it appropriately here are a few other simple tips that can help better your chances of successfully sticking with your resolution: 

  1. Keep your resolution attainable (like if you committed to improving your brain health that’s actually pretty fun and easy if you play Fit Brains brain games).
  2. Read your written resolution daily.
  3. Spread the word.  If your friends, family and colleagues know what your resolution is, they can help keep you accountable!

If you haven’t made a resolution yet, you still can!  When you think about it, what could be more important than committing to better brain health in 2016?  Whether you want to maintain a healthy brain and strong memory as you age, improve your speed of thinking on the job, or maintain better focus at school or work, Fit Brains brain games can help stimulate all areas of your brain function for better health.

The best part?  You can get started today with a Fit Brains Free Trial!

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And, follow us throughout the year to learn more about how to improve your brain health and maximize your potential in 2016!

Fit Brains. “Brain Training Success”

 

We wish you a Happy, Healthy Brain in the New Year!

new year's coupleIt’s almost the start of a new year and it’s time to be decisive.  What are your plans and dreams for 2016? No matter what you want your year to be like and no matter what you want to achieve or become, the health and functioning of your brain will play a critical role in your success. In fact, brain health plays such an important role in our health and happiness that it’s predicted to be one of 2016’s hottest topics!  With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the most intriguing new brain boosts on the scene that will get your brain off to a healthy start this year!      

  1. Want a touch of rebellion with your brain boost?  According to Nutritional Outlook, the “Boost Your Mind” shot (contains magnesium and zinc among other minerals) created by Jungbunzlauer out of Basel Switzerland, “promotes normal cognitive function, reduction of tiredness and fatigue, plus a normal energy-yielding metabolism.
  2. Who doesn’t want to enjoy a fun, soda-esque beverage guilt free?  You’re in luck…UK based Food Manufacture magazine reports that brain health drinks may be the new energy drink (think ginseng, blueberries and chamomile in soft drink formula)!
  3. Also, look for brain boosting products from nature, such as a powdered bark extract and cocoon silk.  One example reported in an article by Nutritional Outlook is Sabroxy, a new powdered bark extract from Sabinsa with an ingredient that “improves levels of Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF)”.  Ultimately this protein plays a role in memory processing and brain function.  And there is Fibrin, a peptide within the cocoon silk shows benefits for “memory, learning and overall cognitive function”.     

Not so sure about throwing back mineral shots and ingesting bark or cocoon silk? There is always Fit Brains engaging brain games that can add some fun into your regular brain health regimen!  With more games and variety than any other brain training program, this is one that is a must try!  Try the FREE TRIAL of Fit Brains today.

Whatever you choose, you’re bound to have a happier, healthier and more successful 2016 if you focus on improving the health of your brain!  Stay tuned for more from our blog every week so that you can be your best in 2016!

Happy New Year!

The Fit Brains Team

Fit Brains. Brain Training Success.

Move your Body, Boost your Brain, Have a Happier Holiday!

Chihuahua ReindeerWow.  It is hard to believe the holidays are upon us once again!  It is supposed to be the “happiest time of the year”, but none of us will deny that it can also be a stressful time of the year.  We feel pressure for it to be “perfect”.  We seek the “perfect gift”, the “perfect meal”, the “perfect house”, and the “perfect family time”.  But seeking perfection is stressful and, let’s face it, pretty darn impossible.  This year, relax, try to lower your stress levels, and give your brain a break by taking steps to just remember what it’s all about.  Enjoy the time with friends and family.  Be thankful for your health.  Enjoy making memories with those you love.  Focus on positive emotions and building memories this holiday season.  

Easy said, but how exactly do you do this?

We recommend getting in a little movement and activity instead of just sitting around on the couch (ok, we love that too and won’t deny you some quality couch time!)  Start a dance party, play a game of frisbee or football outside, build a snowman with the kids, break out the Wii, or take a brisk walk with your family.

In addition to just plain feeling good after being surrounded by all that food, did you know that movement can release higher levels of good chemicals in your brain such as dopamine?  You’ll activate feelings of pleasure in the brain.  Goodbye holiday stress and anxiety!  Dopamine can also help boost your memory (and hey, you’re working to turn this into a holiday you’ll WANT to remember!)  You’ll also have increased focus and attention (for better quality time with loved ones), and in general you’ll just be giving yourself an all-around brain boost!

Happy Holidays from all of us at Fit Brains!  We wish you health and happiness during this holiday season.

Fit Brains. Brain Training Success.

 

Give the Gift of a Healthy Brain this Holiday Season!

Couple passing giftIt’s the holidays and many of us are scrambling around trying to find that perfect gift for someone special (or, maybe just ANY gift at this point!)  While it may feel like a chore to pick out a gift, giving someone a gift is actually good for your brain!  That’s right, not only is it fun to receive gifts, when you give a gift it’s proven to have a positive effect on your mental well-being!

Studies at the National Institutes of Health found that gift-giving activates different regions in your brain linked to pleasure, social connection and trust, which is good for the overall health of your brain.  What’s more, when you give, you also tend to create an atmosphere of generosity, increasing the likelihood that others around you will be more generous too!  (Yeah, this could work in your favor!)    

Before you rush to the first item you see, keep in mind that the positive effects will be more powerful if you give a gift that is meaningful.  And, who doesn’t want to challenge their brain? Fit Brains has something to offer everyone.  And, with the most games and variety of any brain training program on the market, it’s sure to entertain anyone.  

Take advantage of our special 60% off Holiday Gift Promo! Give that perfect gift!

BUY A GIFT NOW WITH 60% OFF

Happy Shopping!

The Fit Brains Team

“Brain Training Success”

Fit Brains’ Dr. Nussbaum Talks the Brain and Emotions

laughterRecently, Fit Brains Chief Science Officer, Dr. Paul Nussbaum, shared the exciting news about Fit Brains’ new Emotional Intelligence program with Boot Camp’s Technology Correspondent, Fred Fishkin.  This blog post is dedicated to sharing Dr. Nussbaum’s perspective on Emotional Intelligence and Fit Brains’ role in bringing Emotional Intelligence to the forefront of brain training!

According to Dr. Nussbaum, Emotional Intelligence is “a fascinating part of who we are.”   But, did you know that until very recently Emotional Intelligence is an area of the brain that has been largely ignored by scientists and health experts?  However, Emotional Intelligence is actually an extremely important brain function!

Without emotional control, people are unable to appropriately express emotions, read other people’s emotions, and make decisions accordingly.  It may sound simple, but it’s actually pretty complicated and something that none of us should take for granted.  In the words of Dr. Nussbaum, “Imagine how much better the world could be if we were all better at expressing our emotions and recognizing others’ emotions!”  Of course world peace would be at the top of our list, but even just think of how much easier it could be to get along with a difficult family member, co-worker, you name it!

If you are still wondering about the important role of Emotional Intelligence, take as an example the effect that injuries from high impact sports can have on your brain.  Football is one of the most common examples.  When most of us think of brain injuries that are common to football players, we probably mostly think of purely cognitive brain issues, like poor memory or even dementia.  However, one of the most interesting findings that Dr. Nussbaum relayed during the interview is that one of the primary problems facing football players is the toll that the game takes on one’s emotional control and how this impacts daily functioning.  Stories of violence, abuse and depression are all too common, and hindered emotional control has much to do with this.

So how can you prime your brain for stronger emotional control and intelligence?  According to Nussbaum, “Fit Brains has done a great job to build the ingredients of an app that goes after the emotional system and helps people work on that.”  

Dr. Nussbaum recommends Emotional training as a lifelong pursuit and suggests even starting as young as age six.  “The younger age the better.  Six and Seven is not too young to begin doing these things. Brain health is a lifelong pursuit. The brain doesn’t know how old it is- it just wants to be stimulated.” (Makes sense, huh?)

If you haven’t yet, try Fit Brains new Emotional Intelligence games today!  They are fun and free to try.

Fit Brains

“Brain Training Success”

Meditate Your Way to a Happier Brain with Less Anxiety!

girl doing yoga pose on beach during sunset

December.  It’s a month of family get-togethers, gifts, shopping, and let’s face it, that usually comes with a heightened feeling of anxiety.  It’s a wonderful time of the year, but it’s hardly a month that we associate with rest and relaxation.  During this busy month it’s important to remember that your brain needs balance and inner peace to keep it functioning at it’s best.  While it’s good to actively “exercise” your brain, just like your body, your brain also needs periods of rest in order to recharge.  This is because chronic stress is bad for the health of your brain, and peace and quiet helps reduce stress and anxiety.      

Neuroscientists are now exploring both religious and non-religious forms of spirituality and how they affect the brain.  Practicing meditation can help reduce depression, anxiety and stress, and researchers at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia found that meditation can even specifically improve memory and concentration (Blumberg, 2014).

In addition to spiritual practices such as meditation, here are some other top tips to ease anxiety and find that inner peace and balance that your brain needs.

  • Engage in daily prayer and/or practice complete forgiveness
  • Engage in deep breathing (5 min. 3 times daily)
  • Focus on and repeat positive ideas
  • Practice yoga
  • Engage in progressive muscle relaxation daily for 10 minutes (it’s pretty simple. First you deliberately tense your muscles and then simply relax them)
  • Muscle relaxation is even more effective if you pair it with visualization and imagery techniques! (create a mental image of a peaceful or attractive environment)
  • Give yourself 30 minutes a day to just stop and be at rest
  • Play Fit Brains Emotional Intelligence games that are designed to help you assess your mood and put you in a positive state of mind.

What are your favorite techniques for reducing stress and anxiety during this busy time of the year?  Share your comments with us!

Fit Brains. Brain Training Success.