Tag Archives: healthy mind

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

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”

Preserve your brain health and preserve your life story!

Caucasian couple looking at photographs with grandchildren

Your life story

Your life story: it’s one of the most important assets you have.  It’s your identity, what makes you, you.  What’s more, it’s your family’s story that helps shape your personal life story.  Do you have fond memories of hearing stories about your family history shared with you by grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles?  Have those stories and collective wisdom helped shape who you are today?  We all want to be able to play a part in keeping our family story and our personal story alive and we do this by sharing our stories with the next generation.  But, none of this would be possible if we do not maintain a healthy brain as we age.  

As we age, we need to keep our memories and our minds sharp so that we can preserve our stories and share them.  One important thing you can do is maximize the health of your brain and strengthen your memory, in order to share your life story, keeping it alive.  Eating a well-balanced diet, getting exercise, getting plenty of sleep, and keeping your brain mentally stimulated by engaging in specific activities such as playing brain training games will all have a positive impact on your memory and the overall health of your brain.

Here are some of our other favorite ideas for preserving and sharing your family story:

    1. Begin a family newsletter or a family blog so that you can stay better connected with family members near and far.
    2. Start a scrapbook or photo album about your family.
    3. Put together a family cookbook.
    4. Research your family history (there are a myriad of free and paid online genealogy resources).
    5. Keep a journal and encourage your family members to do the same!
    6. Organize a family reunion.
  • Challenge your brain by playing Fit Brains so that you can stimulate your memory and share your story!

Take some time this month to connect with family members, reflect on your story, and take some steps to focus on your brain health, especially focusing on training your brain for a stronger memory.

It’s National Family Stories Month. What are your favorite ways to preserve and share your family’s story?  Share with us and other readers in the comments section!

Be sure to follow our blog for more lifestyle & health tips.  And, you can always challenge your brain when you play Fit Brains fun brain games!

Try Fit Brains for FREE Now!

Fit Brains.  “Brain Training Success”.

10 Tips to Wake Up the Brain

10 Tips to Wake Up, Refresh, & Energize Your Brain

Bad News:
It’s Monday morning.
Coffee is not working.
Schedule for the day involves a lot of thinking, talking, and moving.

Good News:
Coffee is not the only solution to life’s problems.

Weekday mornings are never appealing to the brain. However, there are certain things you can do to ease the torturous time and effort to wake up, refresh, and energize your mind. Check out our tips below:

  1. Drink Water — Drink a glass of water immediately after you wake up to kick up your metabolism and de-fog your brain.
  2. Don’t “Snooze” — You’re setting yourself up to feel lazy & unmotivated throughout the day when you delay waking up and hit “snooze” multiple times in the morning. Pick a time that gives you enough sleep but also enough time to go through your morning routine without rushing, and wake up when your first alarm rings.
  3. Open the Blinds — Sunlight has a direct effect on the activity in our brains. When we deprive our brains of light, we will stay in a groggy, sleep-like state of consciousness. Bright light helps shift our brain waves to higher frequencies and triggers the release of brain-happy neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
  4. Exercise in the Morning — The act of exercising in the morning might sound horrendous if you’ve never done it, but besides obvious health reasons, it’ll actually give you more energy throughout the whole day. Try sleeping in your workout clothes to lessen the chances of making excuses in the morning.
  5. Turn up the Music — Listen to some upbeat tunes as you get ready in the morning. Studies have shown that music is the one stimulus that lights up the entire brain on a PET scan. Music helps the brain release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate the brain’s pleasure and reward centres, as well as emotional responses and motivation. 
  6. Take a Cold Shower — No explanation needed. It’s horrible. But it works.
  7. Don’t treat Coffee like a “Drug” — On days you feel more energized, try to forego the coffee, or at least try cutting down the amount you drink everyday. If you absolutely need a pick-me-up, try drinking some brain-healthy green tea instead!
  8. Eat Breakfast — Take the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” seriously. Breakfast gives your brain vital nutrients that it needs in order to optimally carry out mental processes throughout the day. Think of it as fuel for your body, without it, you’ll run out of fumes! Try including some brain-healthy foods in your breakfast diet.
  9. Talk to Someone — Engage in some light chit-chat with a family member, friend, or co-worker in the morning. Even though you might not feel like it, taking the initiative to engage in a conversation really helps to get your mind & body out of a “zombie-like” state.
  10. Play Fit Brains — Prep your brain for a new day’s workload by spending a few minutes playing Fit Brains brain games. Fit Brains exercises help stimulate and entertain your mind. You can play Fit Brains on any web browser or train on-the-go with our iOS, Android, or Amazon app!

Fit Brains

Do YOU have any “wake-up” tips of your own? Share with us in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #wakeupbraintip!

Fit Brains’ List of Happiness!

laughter

The Fit Brains team has created a List of Happiness!  Anyone who needs a little pick-me-up at anytime will just have to visit this list to break a smile :)

YOU can be a part of this list too…

What is one thing that triggers happiness in YOUR brain?  

Leave us your happy answer in the comments & we’ll add it to the list!

  • “Dancing keeps my body and mind happy and healthy” – Carol A. Keierleber
  • “MUSIC triggers happiness in my brain!” – Jordan Leo Yelle
  • “Books!” – Ulanda Dargis
  • “Spending time with my granddaughter” – Sharon Bylevedlt
  • “My pets” – Sylenda Harvey
  • “Meditation” – Ravel Viirsalu
  • “A hug” – Wendy Vanns
  • “Walk quickly 40 minutes/day” – Charles Eggerstedt
  • “Riding my bike to the local park to watch the sunset over the mountains” – Deane Alban
  • “Planting seeds” – Gail Asher Wells
  • “Seeing a smile” – Denise Gooch Orr

RECIPE: Easy Lamb Chops with Blackberry Sauce (improves learning ability)

lamb with blackberry sauce

As we get older, it gets harder for our brain cells to communicate with each other. Therefore, it gets harder to learn new things.  Blackberries provide potent antioxidants known as polyphenols that zap inflammation and encourage communication between neurons, improving our ability to soak up new information!

Check out this healthy, easy. & scrumptious lamb chops recipe that features a delicious blackberry sauce.  If you don’t eat lamb, you can also substitute the lamb with beef.  Dinner is served!

Easy Lamb Chops with Blackberry Sauce

Serves: 2-4

What you need:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons shallots, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups blackberry pulp
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 teaspoon cardamon
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 4 lamb chops

Putting it all Together:

  • Saute the shallots and garlic in hot olive oil until translucent.
  • Mix the blackberry pulp, honey, clove, cardamon and jalapeno in a bowl.
  • Add the wine and cook until reduced to half.
  • Grill the lamb, and serve with sauce drizzled over top!

Leave a comment below & let us know how the recipe worked out for you.  Check out the Fit Brains collection of recipes, we will add new brain healthy recipes every couple of days so visit often!

RECIPE: Apricot Custard (improves eyesight)

apricot custard

A yummy & healthy dessert to improve your visual senses after endless hours of looking at screens and books!  Check out the Fit Brains collection of recipes, we will add new brain healthy recipes every couple of days so visit often!

Apricot Custard

Serves: 4-6

What you need:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh or dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 eggs

Putting it all Together:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • If using dried apricots, soak and drain prior to using.
  • Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.
  • Pour into oiled custard cups.
  • Place cups in a pan of hot water.
  • Bake for 45 minutes and serve warm!