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Five Foods That May Increase Your IQ

A healthy diet as you’re growing up may help you have a higher IQ, while a diet high in processed foods, fat and sugar may result in a lower IQ, according to a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health in February 2011. Many of the same foods typically recommended for a healthy diet may also be good for your IQ.

Fish and Omega-3 Sources

Omega-3 fats, found in many types of fish and seafood, walnuts and flaxseeds, are important for infant brain development. An article published on the Association for Psychological Science website notes that children given omega-3 fats have higher IQs than those who don’t consume much of these essential polyunsaturated fats. These healthy fats may also help protect against dementia as you get older. Oysters are also a good seafood choice, because they’re rich in zinc. Zinc deficiency may adversely affect brain development, according to a review article published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience in 2013.

Children and pregnant women are particularly sensitive to contaminants in fish, so choose those that are high in omega-3 fats but low in contaminants, such as wild salmon, sardines, Atlantic mackerel, mussels and rainbow trout for the recommended two servings per week of seafood to maximize benefits while minimizing risks.

Fruits and Vegetables

Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, such as leafy greens and orange and red fruits and vegetables, may help protect your brain function and your memory as you age because of the beta-carotene and vitamin C they contain.

A diet rich in herbs, legumes, raw fruits and vegetables and cheese resulted in a higher IQ in children than a diet that included higher amounts of sweet and salty snacks, according to a study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology in July 2012.

Another study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry in 2009, came to a similar conclusion, showing that children who ate higher amounts of fruits, vegetables and home-prepared foods had higher IQs.

Iron-Rich Foods

Iron-deficiency anemia may impair your attention span, IQ and ability to concentrate, so eat plenty of iron-rich foods. Increasing iron intake only appears to help IQ when children are deficient in iron, however, according to the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience article. Iron-rich foods include lean meats, oysters, beans, tofu, spinach, sardines and fortified breakfast cereals.

Other Protein-Rich Foods

Diets higher in protein and lower in fat may help improve your concentration because of the dopamine your body releases with protein consumption. Soy protein may be particularly helpful, since it also contains lecithin, which may improve memory and brain function. Lowfat dairy products, lean meats and poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes are all nutritious sources of protein.

Get Plenty of B Vitamins and Choline

Foods containing folate, vitamin B-12 and choline may also help keep your brain healthy, limiting your risk for dementia, depression and neurological disorders. They are also important for cognitive development, so if children don’t get enough of these vitamins they may have a lower IQ. Folate is available in fortified breakfast cereals, spinach, beef liver, rice, asparagus, black-eyed peas, Brussels sprouts and avocado, and most animal-based foods contain vitamin B-12. Good sources of choline include beef, eggs, scallops, salmon, chicken breast, cod, shrimp, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.

by JESSICA BRUSO       Jun 17, 2015
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7 Foods That May Help Lengthen Your Lifespan

If we want to live longer, healthier lives where our risk of suffering from major illnesses and health conditions is minimized, cleaning up our diets is a must. According to WebMD, the amount of research we now have access to is proving that there could be such a thing as a “longevity diet.”

Most people grasp the general understanding of what a healthy diet looks like. We know it’s all about fruits, vegetables, whole grains, good fats and lean sources of protein while keeping processed foods at a minimum. But are there any specific foods we should be focusing on adding to our diet that contribute to longevity?

Well, we’d have to look at the research. Here are some healthy foods that might as well be a part of a “longevity diet” based on how they’ve been shown to impact people’s health and wellbeing.

1. Walnuts

In one study, people who ate more than three servings of nuts per week — especially walnuts — had a reduced risk of dying from from cardiovascular disease or cancer when compared to those who didn’t consume nuts. More recent research also shows that walnuts may actually alter gut bacteria in a way that reduces colon tumor development from colon cancer, which is the third most prevalent cancer type in the world.

2. Seafood and Plant-Based Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for helping heart health and potentially preventing age-related cognitive decline. A 2010 study found that heart patients with an increased intake of omega-3s also possessed longer stretches of DNA called telemores, which is linked to longer lifespans. Good sources of seafood-based omega-3s (DHA and EPA) include wild Pacific salmon, anchovies, herring, mackerel, lake trout and some other types of cold water fish. A couple of your best sources of plant-based omega-3s (ALA) include flaxseed and chia seeds.

3. Coffee

There’s been a lot of research on coffee, and it seems as if the findings have been all over the place. While it may offer a lot of benefits, it may also have some drawbacks, too. At least one study that examined coffee consumption among nearly 75,000 adult women found that higher consumption of coffee (both caffeinated and decaffeinated) was linked to a lower risk of death.

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4. Whole Grains

Whole grains may not have much of a place in a low-carb or paleo diet, but it’s an essential part of the Mediterranean diet — a diet that has been associated with lower risks of heart disease, lower levels of bad cholesterol and an overall lower risk of death. Based on recent research, the American Heart Association says that three servings of whole grains per day can help people lower their risk of death by nearly 20 percent compared to those who eat fewer or no whole grains at all.

5. Dark Chocolate

Chocolate is healthy as long as it’s dark (ideally 70 percent or more) and consumed in moderation. Researchers have found that this sweet treat helps lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease. In a study that observed the health habits of nearly 21,000 British people for over a decade, only 12 percent of those who consumed dark chocolate died of cardiovascular disease compared to 17.4 percent of those who did not consume chocolate.

6. Blueberries

Many berries lend themselves to promoting good health, but some like blueberries (and also strawberries), are significantly powerful for being rich in chemical compounds called anthocyanins. They help lower blood pressure and promote elasticity in the blood vessels. Data taken over an 18-year period from almost 94,000 young women showed that those who ate the most berries experienced a reduced risk of suffering a heart attack by 34 percent compared to those who ate the fewest berries.

7. Leafy Greens

We all know that making vegetables a part of every meal, every day is one of the healthiest things you can do for your diet. Leafy greens may be ultra low in calories, but there’s been some research to say that they may help prevent dementia. For the study, eating habits and cognitive function of 950 older adults were tracked for about five years, with results showing that those who ate 1 to 2 daily servings of leafy greens experienced a decreased rate of cognitive decline compared to those who ate no leafy greens.

Now you know what to put on your grocery list the next time you head out to the store or to your local farmers’ market. And if you already eat some of the above mentioned “longevity” foods, then keep it up! Your future self will thank you for it.

By: Elise Moreau     July 4, 2016     Follow Elise at @elisem0reau
 


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The Most Healthy Fish And Seafood

 

There are plenty of fish in the sea, but finding the best fish and seafood took thorough analysis. We started with a list of the 20 most popular types of seafood in the U.S. (which explains why hairy anchovies are missing). Using the latest FDA data and a serving size of 3 ounces, we calculated the omega-3 (DHA and EPA) content of each fish, plus other nutritional perks like selenium, a mineral that bolsters cancer-fighting antioxidants, and B12 vitamins, which are crucial to nerve health. Then we factored in average levels of toxins like mercury and PCBs. The result: a safe seafood and fish list that will let you navigate the fish counter like Captain Ahab.

1. Salmon (the wild kind) wins by a waterslide, and is a healthy fish you can count on to pack in nutrition. Most varieties, including coho and sockeye, provide more than three times the 250-mg recommended minimum daily dose of omega-3s. Wild Atlantic salmon is king of the sea with a mighty 1.6 g of the good stuff and a mini mercury count of 0.01 ppm. A serving also gets you 72 percent of your 55-mcg RDA of selenium. Avoid Farmed salmon, which may contain PCBs from polluted water.

Fish Habit May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk, Study Suggests

 

2. Rainbow trout (the farmed kind) gets the silver medal for a full gram of omega-3s. Tests on mixed varieties of trout show only 0.07 ppm of mercury, and farmed may contain even less. It also boasts more than twice the 2-mcg RDA for B12 and half the 15-mg RDA for niacin, which lowers bad cholesterol and plays a key role in metabolism.

3. Oysters (from the Pacific) are almost devoid of mercury (0.01 ppm) and pack 1.2 g of omega-3s per 3 oz. Each slippery serving also delivers more than twice the 12-mg RDA of immunity- and libido-boosting zinc. Avoid Wild Eastern and American oysters — they may contain PCBs.

4. Striped bass (if farmed) is not known to contain mercury in any measurable quantity, and packs 0.8 g of omega-3s, more than twice the suggested minimum. Bonus nutrients include about double the RDA of B12 and 72 percent of your daily selenium. Avoid Mercury-laden wild striped bass (0.22 ppm).

5. Pollock (from the Atlantic) — often used to make filet-o-fish, fish sticks, and imitation crab (aka surimi) — is rich in B12 (3 mcg) and selenium (40 mcg) and extremely low in mercury (0.04 ppm). And its 0.5 g of omega-3s is nothing to shake a fin at. Avoid Pacific pollock — it’s more likely to contain PCBs.

6. Flounder and sole are nutritional twins and contain a healthy 0.4 g of omega-3s and just 0.04 ppm of mercury. A single serving has nearly 100 percent of your daily RDA of selenium and B12. Avoid Blackback and Summer varieties — they can pack PCBs.

7. Alaskan king crab deserves its crown as the crustacean with the biggest omega-3 bang (0.4 g) and a piddly 0.06 ppm of mercury. It’s low cal (82 calories per 3 oz), and it contains 50 percent of your zinc RDA and — check it out — five times your B12 RDA. Avoid Blue crab, which has higher levels of PCBs and mercury.

8. Perch (freshwater). One serving provides over 100 percent of your omega-3 minimum, almost all of your selenium (47 mcg), and half of your B12, with no measurable mercury. So eat up!

9. Clams score you 0.2 g of omega-3s (some tests reveal that they can contain as much as 0.5 g). A single serving also has 350 percent of the 15-mg RDA for iron and a colossal 84 mcg of B12. All that with a mere 0.02 ppm of mercury.

10. Scallops have a meaty texture even steak lovers can appreciate. Both the bay and sea varieties are heart friendly, with 0.3 g of omega-3s, more than half your B12 RDA, and only a hint of mercury (0.05 ppm).

11. Shrimp are a dieter’s dream at only 84 calories per serving, with 0.3 g of omega-3s and a super-safe mercury level of 0.05 ppm. The drawback: A serving of shrimp has 166 mg of cholesterol (almost as much as an egg), so if you’re watching your cholesterol, don’t eat the pink critters more than once a week.

12. Catfish (if farmed) has 0.2 g of healthy fats, over 100 percent of your B12 RDA, and only 0.05 ppm of mercury. But the whiskered fish’s biggest claim to fame is 14.3 mcg of muscle- and bone-building vitamin D — almost three times your RDA.

13. Haddock gives up a good bit of omega-3s (0.2 g), 63 percent of your selenium, and over half of your B12 RDA. And barely-there mercury (0.03 ppm) makes it an anytime entr?

14. Tilapia is a freshwater dweller similar to catfish. Though it has only 0.1 g of omega-3s, tilapia is nearly free of mercury (0.01 ppm) and contains 84 percent of your daily selenium and 79 percent of your B12. So you can eat it till the sharks come home.

You May Want To avoid-tilapia-and-farmed-fish

15. Lobster (the spiny kind). Spiny lobster doesn’t have claws like the monsters from Maine, but its tail has tons more omega-3s (0.4 g vs. 0.07 g) and a lot less mercury (0.09 ppm vs. 0.3 ppm). Other highlights include 50 percent of your zinc RDA, 91 percent of your selenium, and nearly twice your RDA of B12.


16. Canned tuna (light). It’s saddled with more mercury (0.12 ppm) than most fish on this list, but it has the least of all other types of tuna and still provides 0.2 g of omega-3s. Eat it no more than eight times a month and feel good about getting 75 percent of your niacin RDA and more than 100 percent of your selenium and B12.

17. Cod (from the Pacific) supplies almost twice the omega-3s of Atlantic cod (0.2 g vs. 0.1 g) and racks up 72 percent of your selenium for just 89 calories a serving. But don’t dine on it more than twice a week, because its mercury count is on the high side (0.1 ppm).

18. Halibut is a very good source of omega-3s (0.4 g) and provides more than 40 percent of your RDA of niacin, 72 percent of your selenium, and 58 percent of B12, so eating it every once in a while is a healthy option. Just keep it to no more than four meals per month because its 0.2-ppm mercury count is twice as high as cod’s.

19. Skipjack tuna is smaller than bluefin or yellowfin and therefore soaks up fewer toxins. It delivers an impressive 0.3 g of omega-3s, 72 percent of your selenium RDA, and 93 percent of B12. Still, it has 0.2 ppm of mercury, so limit it to four meals a month.

20. Orange roughy has two strikes against it: minimal omega-3s (0.02 g) and way more mercury (0.6 ppm) than any other fish listed here. But it’s low in calories and high in protein and selenium (75 mcg). So if you’re craving it, go ahead — just not more than once a month.

WH Ranks The Most Healthy Fish And Seafood Safe seafood        March 10, 2007