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Meditation for the Brain + Moringa for Mental Clarity and Focus

Many parents give their children a “time out” as a form of discipline.  What they are really doing is helping their child regain composure to reset their mind for more constructive play, learning and socialization.  Meditation is a similar concept.  While it does help us escape from everyday task-based thoughts, it is not a time to turn off the brain completely.  Meditation is a time for mindfulness – when we can redirect thoughts and retrain our brains towards productivity and positivity.  In doing so, the brain reaps some amazing benefits.

BrainResearch on the brain is constant and there are some terrific studies that demonstrate huge advantages of meditation for the brain.  From improved concentration and cognition, to reduced anxiety and memory loss, meditation is good for the brain.  Today we’re focusing on three distinct areas where meditation supports brain power:

Brain Volume and Connectivity:  Meditation helps retain memory and cognition that often deteriorates with age.  Long term meditators experience less brain loss than age-equivalent non meditators.  One study showed an increased hippocampus, the area of the brain that controls memory and learning.  Additionally, helpful brain connectivity increases, allowing us to use different parts of the brain synergistically for more effective thought processes.

Mental, Emotional and Social Health:  Perhaps the largest benefit of meditation for the brain is how it changes the “Me Center” called the medial prefrontal cortex.  Meditation breaks down the connection of this area of the brain, allowing the body not to feel and react to stressors with such extremes.  Anxiety, stress and depression decrease when the “Me Center” is less in tact.  Our bodies are better able to respond to stressors rationally rather than emotionally.  As we depart our self-centered perspective, we can more easily see where others are coming from and feel empathy, making us more social and likeable.  The act of meditation can change our mood, which improves the way we experience and interact with the world.  This psychological effect may be more critical to our well-being than the purely neurological benefits of meditation.  Many proponents believe it is a tremendous supplement for anti-depression and anti-anxiety medication.

Concentration and Focus:  Studies indicate that meditation greatly assists in concentration and attentiveness.  This is important for students as they learn in school and adults who need to focus on their jobs.  In fact, some schools implement meditation in their day and have seen higher GPAs and test scores, and many high profile executives schedule meditation time to reap the benefit of improved clarity for their work.  The technical name for daydreaming is the default mode network.  That’s what is triggered when our mind wanders and is associated with worrying and unhappiness.  Mindful meditation retrains the brain to quickly snap out of this idle state to remain focused on life within our control.

Moringa is also a phenomenal way to boost the brain.  It contains a range of brain-loving nutrients including all 23 amino acids, zinc and iron that help neurotransmission, brain connectivity and oxygenated blood flow.  Moring supports mental agility and clarity to tackle life’s challenges, be a better problem solver and keep the adverse emotions associated with the “Me Center” in check.   Additionally, Moringa helps sustain the body’s nutrition for daily energy, including cognitive requirements.  When the body isn’t struggling to find nutrients, it can better focus on all that life brings your way.

Spring Cleaning your Health

Ah, it’s spring!  What a delightful time of rejuvenation, rebirth and revival.  As you’re organizing your household for the new season, take the time to refocus your health as well.  Spring cleaning your health is a great way to start the season off on a wonderful bird-chirping, bee-buzzing kind of note.

With just a little effort, you can resolve to keep your health on track with these simple, healthy spring cleaning practices:

courtesy of kpbs.orgSunshiny Seasonal Vegetables:  You probably had your fill of gourds, root vegetables, kale and collard greens during the winter.  Lighten up your plate with some spring and summer vegetables including peppers, watercress, asparagus, carrots, green beans, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Ripe Seasonal Fruits:  Put away the apples, pears, pomegranates and cranberries and trade them for seasonally ripe spring fruits such as berries, watermelon, peaches and mangos.  The flavors of the season are full of antioxidants and have a high water content for refreshing spring-time snacks.

Spring-ify your Recipe Box:  With all of these new fruits and vegetables available, update your recipe box with some spring-a-licious dishes.  Redesign your salads, pastas, pizzas, paella, and soups with seasonal produce.  Take the time to research and try new recipes.

spring cleanSpend Time Outdoors:  Fresh air does a body good.  As temperature rise and we shed the layers, take advantage of the moderate spring climate for outdoor exercise, gardening, family hikes, picnics and parties.  Beyond the fresh air and vitamin D from the sun, being outside can lift your mood and snap anyone out of a winter funk.

See your Doctors:  Getting your calendar in order for upcoming vacations and family gatherings is a great spring cleaning activity.  Make sure you schedule check-ups with your doctors as well.  Perhaps you’re a few months behind on your annual check-up, mammogram, eye exam or bi-yearly dental visit.  Make check-ups a priority – early detection and prevention can save your life.

Sanitize your Home:  Picking up and organizing is one thing, but a thorough sanitization is quite another.  Take this opportunity for extreme cleaning, especially in your kitchen where many germs and bacteria breed.  Be sure to use strong cleaning agents, discard old sponges and clothes and wash dish towels and reusable grocery bags.

Moringa Source Moringa CapsulesClean out your Medicine Cabinet:  Old medicine can be dangerous to consume and frankly just takes up space in your medicine cabinet.  Plus, perhaps a more natural solution is in order.  While you’re making space in your medicine cabinet, replace old meds with a bottle of Moringa capsules that contain nearly 100 phyto-nutrients for your best health and wellness.

Donate your Stuff:  Purging items that you no longer need or use feels good but donating them to others who could really use them feels even better.  Once you go through your stuff, don’t leave it on the street for the garage truck.  Take it to a donation center where it can be put to good use.

Meditation or Relaxation:  Release your mind and schluff the winter stress by practicing meditation, breathing exercises, yoga or any other form of mindful relaxation.  Concentrate on positive changes for the upcoming season of renewal.

So get going on spring cleaning your health!  Happy Spring!

Why Gardening is Good for your Health

For many of us, a love for digging in the dirt may have started at a young age.  Whether in a sandbox, at the beach or simply burrowing in your own backyard, digging is really fun!  But leisure gardening is no longer considered just a purely pleasurable pastime; it’s actually good for your health on many different levels.

Today we’re sharing 5 reasons why gardening is good for your health:

Nutrition:  It’s National Nutrition Month so of course we’re starting with nutrition as the first benefit of gardening.  While not all gardens include food, we highly recommend that you set aside space in yours to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs.  Seriously, what could be fresher than plucking a ripe strawberry, carrot or basil leaf from your backyard and then using it immediately in your kitchen?  Nothing really.  This garden-to-father and son gardeningtable method usually encourages families to eat more healthy home-grown foods, which is especially useful for kids.  When children participate in growing produce, they are more likely to try new foods.  That’s a win for everyone!  Plus, growing herbs not only increases the flavor of your food, but many of them have fantastic health benefits too.

Exercise:  Between hauling dirt in your wheel barrow, constantly lunging and kneeling and forcefully digging out new spaces for your plants to grow, gardening can be somewhat of a workout.  No, it should not replace your crossfit classes, but it is a good way to get your blood flowing, do some repetitive motions and even stretch.  Some studies show a reduction in heart disease and other heart related issues, particularly in older people.  Gardening is especially terrific for strengthening the muscles and joints of the hand as it takes agility, dexterity and strength to dig, prune and clip plants.  Try using both hands equally to keep things balanced or even improve your non-dominant side.

Stress Relief:  Gardening is a terrific stress reliever – it’s a scientific fact.  People who garden tend to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.  Less cortisol not only elevates self-esteem, but also contributes to better memory and cognition, a stronger immune system and improved metabolic function.  Gardening can be very calming as you get your daily dose of Vitamin D form sunshine and oxygen from fresh air.  Plus, it eases the mind off more stressful elements of your day and onto to something simpler but perhaps more profound, nature.

Mental and Emotional Health:  Gardening is used as horticulture therapy to supplement treatment of depression and other mental illnesses.  Experiencing nature, being physically active, using your brain, relaxing and the satisfaction of growing a living thing all contribute to a mental and emotional lift.  The best results come when you grow things that stimulate all senses, such as beautiful blooming flowers, scented vegetation and edible fruits, veggies and herbs.  Be sure to take pleasure in your garden by strolling around to admire your work, picnicking in your yard or even hosting a gathering for friends and family to enjoy your hard work.

Brain Booster:  The physical activity and mental concentration required during gardening supports brain health, particularly in those with advanced age.  Studies indicate that gardening lowers risk of dementia between 35% and 45%.  It is also therapeutic for those who already experience mental decline.  Even walking through a garden is calming and can reduce stress.

We hope you take advantage of this full body health hobby as we head into spring.  Happy Gardening!