Tag Archives: memory

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”

 

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!

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Fit Brains.  “Brain Training Success”.

RECIPE: Blueberry Banana Tart (Brain Health Winner!)

 

blueberry-banana

A healthy, vegan, gluten-free dessert that’s jam packed with brain nutrients…and is delicious?  It exists! Let us present you the Blueberry Banana Tart recipe!

How the ingredients from this recipe will improve your brain health:

  • Blueberries: Protect the brain from oxidative stress, reduce the effects of age-related brain diseases, improves learning capacity and motor skills, boost memory & concentration, stimulate the flow of blood & oxygen to the brain. Super brain food!
  • Bananas: Provide energy & electrolytes for the brain, improve cognitive function, protect the brain from oxidative damage, and are a great mood booster & balancer.
  • Almonds: Help prevent age-related cognitive decline, improve memory & learning, increase attention & awareness.
  • Cinnamon: Boosts the activity of the brain, removes nervous tension & memory loss, decreases risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Flaxseed: Rich in brain-healthy fats, build and protect neurons, regulate the environment of the brain, improve cognitive function.

Blueberry Banana Tart

Recipe from Roxana’s Home Baking

Serves: One 11-inch round pan

What you Need:

  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp butter or butter substitute
  • dash of salt
  • 1/3 cup organic sugar
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal (grounded up flaxseed)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 10-12 oz fresh blueberries
  • 2 small bananas
  • 1 tbsp raw sugar

Putting it all Together:

  1. Mix the flaxseed meal with water in a bowl. Set it aside and wait for it to gel up.
  2. Ground the almonds in a food processor then add flour, cinnamon, salt, sugar and butter then pulse for a few more seconds.
  3. Add the flaxseed meal mixture and pulse until everything comes together in a dough-like mixture.
  4. Wrap the dough mixture in plastic foil and place it in the fridge for about half an hour.
  5. When it is chilled, grease your pan and roll the dough out into the pan as the crust.
  6. Cover the pan with plastic foil and chill in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
  8. Take the pan out and place the blueberries and slices of bananas on top of the crust and sprinkle the whole thing with a little raw sugar.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, then let it cool before slicing.

Leave a comment below & let us know how the recipe worked out for you & suggest your own variation!  Check out the Fit Brains collection of recipes, we add new brain healthy recipes every week so visit often!

RECIPE: Wild Alaska Salmon Kebabs (improves memory & mood)

Salmon kebabs

Another superfood for the brain is salmon.  Salmon is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, which helps the brain function properly and keeps the immune system working.

The brain is mainly fat, and omega 3 fatty acids feed the brain and allow neurotransmitters to flow more smoothly.  Eating salmon will therefore help combat poor memory, and increase positive feelings and thoughts by balancing out hormones.

Here is a creative, brain-healthy, and body-healthy recipe for Wild Alaska Salmon Kebabs.  This recipe is also Low-Carb, Low-Sodium, Sugar-Conscious, Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, and Wheat-Free!  Pair the kebabs with some couscous, quinoa, or side salad and it’ll be a perfect meal!

Wild Alaska Salmon Kebabs

Serves: 4

What You Need:

  • 1 pound wild salmon fillets, cut into chunks
  • 1 zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 large red onion, cut into chunks
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice

Putting It All Together:

  1. Soak wooden or bamboo skewers in water for about 10 minutes prior to grilling.
  2. Place the salmon, zucchini, bell pepper, and onion in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Whisk together the garlic, olive oil, and lime juice in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the salmon and vegetables, toss, and marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the grill or broiler. Skewer the salmon and vegetables, reserving marinade, and grill or broil 5 to 7 minutes, turning once, until salmon is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
  5. While cooking, boil the marinade in a small saucepan for 5 minutes. Drizzle over skewers and serve.

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: Lemon Garlic Hummus (improves memory & learning)

Hummus for the brain

Hummus is a Mediterranean staple that is rich in B vitamins and Omega-3s, nutrients that are essential to brain health!  Hummus is made out of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are healthy fats that will keep your brain nourished and focused.  Hummus is great as a study or work snack as it’ll help your brain remember things easier and stay concentrated.  Hummus also has no sugar and relatively little sodium, which is a bonus to maintaining a healthy diet as well!

Check out this simple & delicious Hummus recipe we have for you below that’ll help keep your brain performing at its best!

Lemon Garlic Hummus

Serves: 1-4

What you Need:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Whole wheat pita bread, cut into wedges

Putting it all Together:

  • In a blender, combine the oil, lemon juice, beans, garlic and salt.
  • Cover and process until smooth.
  • Transfer to a small bowl and serve with whole wheat pita wedges!

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: Glazed Hazelnut & Berry Salad (improves memory)

Here at Fit Brains, we have been testing and building up a beautifully delicious collection of recipes that help with improving brain health.  Now, we’re ready to start rolling out our collection slowly.  We will be adding a new recipe to our recipe collection page every couple of days, so make sure to check back often!

The first recipe we would like to introduce is the Glazed Hazelnut & Berry Salad.  This dish will help with memory improvement.

Glazed Hazelnut and Berry Salad

Serves: 2-4

What you Need:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 10 cups salad greens
  • 1 cup of your favorite berries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Special Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons shallots
  • Salt and Pepper as desired

Putting it all Together:

  • Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 F.
  • Combine oil and honey in a small bowl.
  • Add nuts to the bowl and toss to coat.
  • Place nuts in a small baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.
  • While they cool, begin the dressing.
  • Combine berries, oil, vinegar, water, mustard, garlic and honey in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Transfer to a small bowl and stir in shallots.
  • Just before serving, place greens in a large bowl.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the greens and toss to coat.
  • Divide the salad as desired.
  • Scatter your favorite berries, feta cheese and glazed nuts over your salad and serve!

Let us know how you enjoyed the recipe in the comments below!  

Happy healthy eating from the Fit Brains team!