How to boost your brainpower!

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To boost your brainpower, and slow age-related mental decline, spend 2 hours a week texting friends and learning new things. Mayo Clinic research found staying socially active and discovering new information can reduce mental slowdown by 42%. Because it strengthens the area of the brain linked to long-term memory storage. It’s the same benefit you get from reading for a-half hour a day. The more you challenge your gray matter, the slower it’ll age. And it doesn’t matter if your brain gets a workout online or in real life.

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Don’t log on to Facebook or Instagram before your workout.

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Because scrolling through all the pictures of your fabulous life can make you feel great! But, communications Science professor Dr. Catalina Toma says, there’s a downside. She says reliving all those fun times can make you feel like you don’t need to improve yourself, because your life is so wonderful, and you’ll be less likely to hit the gym. So hold off on browsing through your online life until after your workout.

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Feeling tired all the time?

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It could be your cluttered kitchen, workspace, or even your computer desktop. Researchers at Princeton University found clutter can trigger sensory overload – which forces the brain to work extra hard, tiring it out faster. That creates fatigue and uneasiness. So try straightening up your workspace, and see if it helps.

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A genuine smile can trigger a huge mood boost.

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Researchers at Loma Linda University had people watch a FUNNY 20-minute video or a neutral documentary. Those who saw the funny video performed better on memory tests. But you don’t even have to laugh out loud… because a genuine smile produces mood-boosting dopamine and endorphins. So the next time you need to perform well on a task – watch a video that makes you laugh or smile. As long as your smile is authentic – you’ll get the mood-boosting benefits.

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Got a hangover?

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Forget about trying a little of “the hair of the dog that bit you.” That old adage can be dated back to Medieval times, when it was a treatment for rabies! And doctors believed that literally stuffing the bite wound with hair from the rabid dog would help patients recover. It didn’t work then – and the drinking equivalent won’t cure a hangover now. According to the Mayo Clinic, a hangover occurs once you’ve stopped drinking, and the liver is finally able to quickly lower your blood alcohol levels… Triggering symptoms that can include headache, thirst, fatigue, dizziness, and nausea. You can feel better with rest, hydration, and aspirin. But doctors say the only real cure is time. So don’t bother drinking a Bloody Mary after a rough night. Quoting the Mayo Clinic experts here: “The hair of the dog that bit you” won’t work.

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Before you take a sip of a fancy wine – know this:

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If you think you’re drinking an expensive glass of pinot, you’ll not only like the wine more – you’ll think your whole meal tastes better! That’s according to menu engineer Gregg Rapp. He says, our perception of how something tastes is influenced by what we THINK we’re tasting. Take this study as an example: Researchers presented two different groups of people with the same red wine but with different labels. One label said the wine came from North Dakota – not known to be a wine hot spot… the other wine label said California. In taste tests, the “California” wine was rated much better than the “North Dakota” wine – even though every single glass was filled with a cheap Two-Buck Chuck. And people who thought they were drinking fancy wine also thought their meal was more delicious! Something to share with your friends at your next wine tasting!

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Did you know caramel apples could make you sick?

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Research at the University of Wisconsin found they can be a breeding ground for the bacteria Listeria. And that shocked researchers. Because it was previously thought apples were too acidic, and the caramel coating too thick for bacterial growth. But the problem is the stick! Poking a hole in an apple creates just enough juice to breed bacteria. If you can’t resist a caramel apple, only eat one that was kept refrigerated – or made without a stick.

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If you’re stressed, try this side dish:

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A red pepper and papaya salad. People who eat foods high in vitamin C are better at handling stressful situations, like a test and public speaking. Vitamin C is known to lower blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol. And a cup of papaya has twice as much vitamin C as an orange, and red pepper has even more.

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Why a vegetarian diet could be good for you!

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People who follow a vegetarian diet cut their risk of developing some cancers in half. That’s according to the British Journal of Cancer. The researchers found people who didn’t eat meat were 45% less likely to get cancerous blood conditions, like leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. And overall, vegetarians were 12% less likely to get any form of cancer.

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Want to lead a life that makes you happy and proud?

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Become fully engaged with something you’re passionate about. That’s according to psychotherapist and creativity coach Dr. Eric Maisel. He says putting your heart and soul into a project – which he calls, quote, “productive obsessing” – can make the time fly, and bring meaning and fulfillment to your life. Without that passion, you’ll tend to get bored, listless, give up on your goals, and even get depressed. Bottom line: If you want to be successful and happy, find a goal you can become passionately obsessed about.

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