Want increased brainpower?

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Eat more avocado! Research at East Carolina University found avocados contain high levels of vitamin K and pantothenic acid… a nutritional one-two punch that improves communication between neurons, and boosts production of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which boosts focus. After eating just half an avocado a day for a week, your risk of brain fog and memory lapses will be cut in half.

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Reschedule That Weekend Surgery: Here’s why!

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According to the journal Medical Care, having elective surgery on a weekendversus a weekday – boosts your risk of death by 318%! That’s because fewer medical professionals are available on weekends. And hospital staffs tend to be less experienced, with less access to diagnostic tools. And patients are more vulnerable to complications within the first 48 hours, so even Friday surgeries are risky. So, when’s it best to schedule elective surgery? The University of Toronto says the 2nd time slot each morning, Monday through Thursday. When the medical staff is well-rested, and has already worked out any kinks in the day.

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How to reduce stress quickly!

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If you’ve just experienced something stressfulquickgo play a video game. A study from Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario found that distracting yourself right after a stress-producing event – like a job interview, or a test, or the boss yelling at youdials down activity in the area of the brain that processes that event. The result: You block the worry from taking hold and settling in. Other distraction techniques that can reduce anxiety? Online shopping, or watching a favorite TV show. But the activity has to be mentally engrossing for it to work.

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Have you ever experienced orthostatic hypotension?

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If you’ve ever stood up too quickly and felt lightheaded, you have. It’s the technical term for a head-rush! And it’s a form of low blood pressure that happens when you stand up after being seated or lying down for a while. So what can you do if you’re prone to head-rushes? Do what fighter pilots do and clench the muscles in your lower body to push blood back into your upper body.
Fighter pilots can experience a head-rush and even black out if they’re doing G-force maneuvers that exert extreme gravitational force on the body. And when that happens, it’s harder for blood to pump its way around the body, the brain doesn’t get the oxygen it needs, and you pass out. The way Air Force pilots combat this is by clenching the muscles in the lower body, starting with the calves, then thighs, then the abs and lower back. This squeezes blood back up in to your upper body, and you’ll feel normal almost instantly.

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Ladies, this may be an uncomfortable subject…

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…but think twice before you pierce your nipples. I know, Rihanna and Kendall Jenner make it look cool… But your risk of painful abscesses and infections will go up TEN-FOLD, according to the University of Iowa.

That’s not all. According to dermatologist Dr. Bruce Katz, even if you don’t get pus-filled infections – you may have a metal allergy, and develop a severe rashon your breasts.

Another problem: Nipple piercings block your milk ducts. If you hope to breastfeed in the future, skip it. And if the piecing place doesn’t follow strict hygiene standards, you could wind up with hepatitis B or C. Nipple piercings don’t sound so cool now, do they?

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Feeling nauseous? Try this!

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A rose by any other name… can conquer your nausea. According to the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, smelling the right scent can help relieve nausea and motion sickness. In their study, participants watched a video designed to make them feel queasy. One group smelled rose oil – another group smelled the scent of leather – another smelled nothing.
Well, the group that sniffed rose oil felt 50% less nauseous than the other two groups. The researchers say certain scents can conjure up powerful emotions… And if that emotional response is positive, it distracts the brain enough to ease motion sickness. And you don’t necessarily need rose oil. ANY pleasant scent will do the trick. The researchers say you can start with your favorite cologne or perfume – which hopefully elicits a positive sensory response for you.

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How can hospitals make sure people wash their hands to prevent the spread of infections?

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Place a picture of a set of eyes near sinks. According to a study of people entering an intensive care unit, when there was a picture of eyes posted near the sink, people were twice as likely to wash their hands on the way in. That’s because the feeling of being watched makes people behave better and act more honestly. Researchers from Newcastle University in the U.K. say our brains are wired to lock in on faces and facial features. And we’re quick to tune into the feeling of someone watching usand when they are, we automatically adjust our behavior.

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Do you eat a single serving size of these snacks?

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When it comes to snack foods, how can you tell when you’re eating a single serving? Here’s an easy way to eyeball it:

Let’s start with chips. A standard serving is 12 regular-size tortilla chips.

For crackers – a serving is about 14 regular-size crackers.

Finally: For popcorn – one serving, without butter, is a generous 3-and-a-half cups.

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Another great reason to read!

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Did you know that our mental powers decline 32% more slowly if we just read a book for about an hour every day? That’s according to researchers at Rush University Medical Center. They found that reading anything – from literature, to mysteries, to science fiction, to fluffy beach readshelps preserve our memory… Because it keeps our brain active.

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To reduce your risk of a heart attack:

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Shake up your work schedule, and take a random day off now and then. Research shows taking an occasional “mental health dayrelieves stress, and lowers blood pressure – both of which lower your risk for a heart attack. Plus, it reboots the brain, reduces your risk for job burnout – and allows you to come back feeling more creative and productive. But make it a “real” day off by doing something you don’t normally do… like, treating yourself to a movie, visiting a friend in another town, or taking a new hike on a different trail.

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