Eating Fried Rice Can Boost Brainpower, Says Study

From studying for exams to preparing for a big interview, we all have times when our brainpower needs a little extra boost. And as much as we love coffee, sometimes it leaves you feeling more jittery than genius.

We’ve already written about the power of nootropics in increasing your memory and focus, but you’re not always going to have the time or money to get your hands on those. The good news is, there are a few natural ways you can improve your brainpower without having to break the bank. We have a feeling you may be surprised by some of them!

Scroll through the gallery for 7 unexpected ways you can boost your brainpower.

1. Eat fried rice

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If you have a habit of ordering takeaway during busy times, you may actually be doing yourself a favor — depending on what you order. A new study from the University of Boston reveals that certain takeaway meals have been proven to increase memory test scores. This is thanks to an ingredient called substance called choline, which is common in egg-rich takeaway foods like fried rice and Fiorentina pizza. The research also showed that Neopolitan pizza was a good brain-boosting takeaway choice, thanks to the high level of polyphenols. Of course, you could always make these meals at home to save yourself money and make it a little healthier!

2. Have a nap

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It’s no secret that a power nap works wonders when you need a little mid-arvo pick-me-up. But did you know it can also boost your memory? While a 20-30 minute snooze increases energy and alertness, a one hour nap has been shown to be best for improvement for remembering facts, names, and faces. However, unlike your power nap, it may leave you feeling a little groggy. So, if you’re going to do it before an exam, presentation, or networking event, you may want to do it a few hours before you leave. You can have your nap at home or head to a nap class at The Indigo Project!

3. Sniff mint

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Is there anything this herb can’t do? Not only does it taste delicious in milkshakes and relieve headaches, but it also makes you smarter! There are many studies that show taking a whiff of mint improves your problem-solving skills, judgment, attention span, and memory. It’s also been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Scientists believe this is because the peppermint scent increases the oxygen flow to the brain.

4. Listen up

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There’s a good reason there are so many ‘work’ playlists on Spotify — listening to certain types of music has been proven to increase your brainpower. But if you want to really reap the benefits, you may want to swap your Miley Cyrus for Mozart. Research shows that music by the classical composer increases brain wave activity linked to memory, understanding, and problem-solving. Funnily enough, the scientists found that this did not happen with the music of other classical composers like Beethoven — only Mozart!

5. Play Tetris

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We know, playing video games when you’ve got an overflowing to-do list seems a little counter-intuitive. But extensive research shows that playing Tetris boosts your memory and makes you more efficient at processing information. This works both short-term (so, you’ll be more alert after finishing a game) and long-term by actually changing the structure of the brain. Scientists believe this isn’t specific to Tetris but is the case with all puzzle games. So, if you don’t want to dream about falling blocks every night (yes, this really happens when you play a lot of Tetris), something like Sudoku or Words With Friends may be more your style.

6. Beet it

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It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but beetroot packs a serious punch when it comes to boosting your brainpower. It’s loaded with nitrates, which have been shown to increase blood flow to the parts of the brain associated with executive functioning (aka. getting sh*t done!) It also contains vitamin B9 and carotenoids, which are both known to aid cognitive function. If you’re not keen on the taste, try baking it into a healthy brownie or sipping on a beetroot latte!

7. See red

Image: adidas.com.au

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to buy some new workout clothes, this may be it. Research shows that looking at the color red enhances brain performance in attention-demanding tasks. This is because the brain associates red with danger, which makes you more alert. Meanwhile, blue has been proven to increase your creativity. So, whether you want to improve your performance at the gym or wear your workout gear as you plow through your to-do list, you can shop some colorful new threads here.

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8 Telltale Signs You Have A Food Intolerance

The differences between a food allergy and food intolerance may be hard to miss at first. What may be a tolerable slice of feta in a summer salad may not have your body feeling the same as a few slices of pizza. Physical reactions to both are common, but these are likely caused by food intolerance and not an allergy. The two are commonly mistaken as one another, but the differences are pretty stark. Food intolerances are often far less serious. We decided to dissect the differences for you. We want you to know the telltale signs you have a food intolerance. Keep reading for more.

What is the Difference Between a Food Intolerance and Food Allergy?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the differences have to do with your body’s reaction to the food. For food intolerances, a little bit can likely be tolerated by your body. Food intolerance is likely to come in the form of digestive issues. If you feel like you have inflammation, nausea, or trouble digesting the food you just ate, this is most likely also food intolerance. The signs are super similar to a food allergy. The differences are stark in contrast. You may even be able to stop food intolerance with medication. Like with dairy, for example, you can lactase enzyme pills to aid your body’s digestion.

A food allergy causes your immune system to react. It can cause a bigger range of symptoms that can be severe or even life-threatening in some cases. Hives, severe allergic reactions, swelling, and more are food allergies. The best way to distinguish these may be to get an allergy test.

signs you may have a food intolerance
Image: Amplitude Magazine via Unsplash

The Causes of Food Intolerance

There are several reasons your body may have an intolerance to food and the following are the culprits. According to the Mayo Clinic, causes of food intolerance include:

  • Absence of an enzyme needed to fully digest a food 
  • Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS
  • Sensitivity to food additives in certain dishes
  • Recurring stress or psychological factors
  • Celiac disease or the intolerance of gluten in your body
signs you may have a food intolerance
Image: Volodymyr Hryshchenko via Unsplash

The Telltale Signs You Have a Food Intolerance

There are signs you have a food intolerance and may also be prone to this issue with the food you’re eating. They are the following:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Gas, cramps or bloating (digestion issues)
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Irritability or nervousness

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This Improved Version of Farming May Help Feed the World

If you’ve never heard of biofortified food, buckle up for an interesting read. Biofortification or biological fortification involves the enhancing of nutritional benefits to food’s content with improved bioavailability. This practice is popping up all over the world and it is critical to the nutritional needs of humans all over the world as our population grows. Space for food lessening and the need is getting greater. Scientists and farmers alike are looking for new methods to nourish the population, such as biofortification and vertical farming. Here at Sporteluxe, we dived into the topic. Keep reading for more.

biofortified foods
Image: Megan Thomas via Unsplash

What Are Biofortified Foods?

According to the Chelan Press, biofortified foods include the following: the iron-biofortification of beans, sweet potato, rice, cassava, and legumes. It also includes the zinc-biofortification of beans, sweet potato, rice, and maize. Amino-acids and protein biofortification can also occur. This market is actually on track to grow exponentially from now until 2026. The definition of biofortification is:

“It refers to nutritionally enriched food crops with improved bioavailability to the human population which is developed and grown using modern biotechnology techniques, agronomic practices, and conventional plant breeding. The biofortified food crops, mainly cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables are offering a sufficient level of micronutrients to the targeted populations.”

Currently, the market is expanding quickly and rapidly. For example, chestnut super mushrooms (which are boosted with Vitamin D and B12) and vitamin D eggs are already currently already on the shelves at Sainsbury’s but set to continue to grow across all fresh produce and proactively work to prevent chronic diseases.

How Does the Biofortification Process Work?

According to HarvestPlus.org, this process is not new and actually began hundreds of years ago. The process is akin to natural selection. Farmers back in the day would choose the best looking plants/seeds and save them for next year’s crop. This allowed the food to get better and better. When science was more readily available, plant breeders were able to select the best traits in a plant to get the best nutrient levels.

For HarvestPlus, their process focus on vitamin A, zinc, and iron as super-nutrients. They screen thousands of crop seeds stored in seed banks for the highest occurring levels of these nutrients and then the process begins. Their nutritional genomicists use tools like the marker-assisted selection to speed up the breeding process. Then these seeds breed new crop varieties that are sure to have high levels of said nutrients and they farm beauty, micronutrient-rich crops.

biofortified foods
Image: Raphael Rychetsky via Unsplash

Why Is This Process Helpful In Feeding The World?

The vicious cycle of health-related illnesses begins in the conditions of their living and their food intake. When you continue this cycle through birth, pregnancy, childhood, to adulthood, you pass on said genetic weaknesses through to your offspring. This process can also help isolated areas that are food deserts. Biofortification is a cost-effective method to reach tens of millions of people on a sustainable basis.

 

 

 

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Vegan Cheesecake Recipe

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
  • Print

This vegan cheesecake looks like the real thing and tastes like the real thing.

Ingredients

Vegan Cheesecake Filling

  • 2 x cups of raw cashews soaked for 1 hour and drained
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/3 cup Maple Syrup or similar. Golden Syrup is also a great alternative and not as sweet as Maple or Agave Syrup.
  • 1/2 cup pureed blueberries as they’re high in antioxidants and give a beautiful purple color

The Base

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 1/2 cups Kashi Coconut Almond Crunch Cereal (plant and protein-based). You can use whichever granola you prefer, however, I chose the Kashi cereal granola because it’s plant and protein-based
  • 1/4 cup Oat milk
  • 6 x Dates, chopped which are a natural sweetener.
  • 3 tsp Chia Seeds

Directions

  1. First of all, just a quick thank you to Chef Taylor Cullen for helping me with the recipe!
  2. Prepare the cheesecake base by adding all the ingredients into a kitchen mixer, blending till all smooth, then place in a lined tray with baking paper, and allow to set in the freezer for 2 hours
  3. While the base is setting, return to making the cheesecake filling. Mix all the ingredients into the kitchen mixer until a nice thick consistency. You may need to stop and move the filling around so the mixer can mix all the ingredients evenly.
  4. Once you have mixed it all, and your base that is in the freezer is set, then you can pour the filling on top of the base.
  5. Make sure you distribute the filling evenly to all sides
  6. Place back in the freezer to set for another hour or two. Keep checking back to see if it has set.
  7. Once the slice is set, take out of the freezer, slice up and sprinkle with Chia Seeds or crushed nuts.
  8. Enjoy as a snack or desert
  9. If you want more slices out of this recipe, just double your ingredients and make sure you use a bigger baking dish

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