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When cells cannot use oxygen to metabolize, they resort to fermenting glucose for their energy.Thata€™s what cancer cells are about. Thata€™s why anything that oxygenates cells works to cure cancer, and thata€™s why cancer patients should avoid sugar.The paradox of cellular oxidation is that incompletely utilized oxygen can cause cellular damage. A chain reaction of cellular oxidative stress in a particular organ can cause that organ to not function properly or become cancerous.Fortunately, the body comes equipped with an antioxidant defense system. Antioxidants are molecules that can safely interact with free radicals and stop the chain reaction from continuing or even starting. If you exercise regularly, you do increase the potential for oxidative stress, making consumption of antioxidants even more important.The following foods and spices are rated by ORAC value. ORAC is an abbreviation for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and was developed by the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore. Theya€™re substances in food which prevent damage to your bodya€™s cells and tissues caused by free radicals. Ita€™s important to keep free radicals in check, as they may contribute to aging, cancer and chronic diseases such as heart disease and Parkinsona€™s disease.Certain vitamins, such as A, C, and E have antioxidant properties, as do bioflavonoids a€“ free radical-fighting chemicals naturally present in certain plants. There are various methods of calculating the antioxidant value of foods, one of which is the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) assay, used by the USDA. The type of spice with the greatest antioxidant capacity is cloves, with an exceptional ORAC value of almost 300,000 units. ChocolateBet youa€™re not too sad to hear that chocolate is an antioxidant super-food! Keep in mind, though, that the more processed chocolate is, the less antioxidants it typically contains.
Pure, unsweetened cocoa powder and baking chocolate both have phenomenal ORAC values of around 50,000, and dark chocolate candies can range in the 20,000s. Steer clear of milk chocolate, which possesses a far weaker antioxidant power (and also contains a lot more fat and sugar than dark chocolate).3. CoffeeCoffee is another great source of antioxidants, with an ORAC value ranging from about 15,000 to 17,000, depending on brew time, type of bean and other factors.
While the ORAC value of coffee is considerably less than those of spices and pure cocoa, consider that in terms of volume, we consume a lot more coffee than we do spices. In fact, based on a University of Scranton study published in 2005, coffee is the top source of antioxidants in the average Americana€™s diet.4.
Other antioxidant-rich berries include elderberries, chokeberries, cranberries and strawberries.5. NutsNuts are jam-packed with antioxidants, while also providing protein, fiber and healthy fats.
Pecans are the best source of antioxidants among nuts, with an ORAC value of close to 18,000. Dried FruitDried fruit is a highly concentrated source of antioxidants by weight since the fruita€™s water content has been removed. The dried fruits with the strongest antioxidant effects include raisins (dried grapes), with an ORAC value topping 10,000, and prunes (dried plums), which clock in at around 8,000. Fruit JuiceLike dried fruit, fruit juice is another super-concentrated source of antioxidants. Berry juices are the best, with the ORAC value of black raspberry juice, for example, coming in at around 10,000.

USDA researchers recently discovered that artichokes actually contain more antioxidants than any other cooked veggie, providing about 9,400 ORAC units.9. BeansKidney beans and black beans are the best sources of antioxidants in the beans-and-legumes family, offering up ORAC values in the 8,000s. Like nuts, beans also provide filling protein and fiber, making them a great weight loss food.10. Colorful FruitsIn general, deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables have higher antioxidant capacities than less vibrant-looking produce (such as white potatoes, for example), as the protective bioflavonoids in plants are what supply them with rich colors.
Though this issue is still debated occasionally, today most of us know that learning a new language and becoming an avid reader have both been proven to increase one’s score on any intelligence aptitude test. IQ tests, while certainly not a great indicator of how well someone will do in life, are a pretty decent indicator of memory, problem solving skills, and other cognitive functions. Obviously, an abundance of these skills is helpful.A better idea than taking IQ tests over and over again is to do some other brain teasers, learn a language, and learn to constantly exercise your brain. Combine these mental push-ups with the right diet, a fitness program, and a few brain boosting herbal supplements, and your focus will be sharp while your cognitive ability will improve significantly.The more you practice using your brain in various, challenging ways, the better you will get at using it. We have a symbiotic relationship with every microbe living inside us, and the highest concentration of microbes is in our gut.
In addition, parasitical influences, like candida running rampant throughout our body causing us to crave junk food, can be traced back to intestinal health.Speaking of candida, this fungus has been identified as a possible cause and a definite contributor to depression. Getting your intestinal health up to par is the most important first step in increasing your intelligence. Healthy gut = healthy body = healthy brain.Good bacterial health is necessary for balanced hormones. Gut bacteria produce 90% to 95% of our serotonin, the key neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood. We need bacteria to assimilate B vitamins, which are essential to the function of the nervous system and the brain. If you’re looking to increase your cognitive abilities over a period of time, and enjoy life with a clear head and all the focus you need, then the first step for most people is to kill the candida and balance the gut, so don’t skip that section above!BacopaBacopa is used to treat ADHD, anxiety, brain disorders, poor memory, and tension.
People use ashwagandha for improving cognitive ability and it treats many other health problems from infertility to inflammation.Vitamins, Minerals, Fats, and Other Nutrition Our Brains NeedA deficiency in any one of the following nutrients can lead to brain health issues. It’s no wonder, since the brain is about 60% fat (if you exclude water, which makes up about 70%). DHA is a fatty acid chain that is one of the major building blocks of the brain, critical for optimal brain health and function. Of the many fatty acids that benefit the brain and offer noticeable cognitive improvement, DHA is the most significant. Balanced healthy fats are also needed to properly assimilate B vitamins.B VitaminsB vitamins are the vitamins of the nervous system and they are needed for the numerous functions critical to every cell in the body. B vitamins are essential for hormone production, stress management, and the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Anyone suffering from an inability to concentrate, PMS or other hormonal issues, insomnia, depression, or virtually any other mental health issues should reach first for B complex.Vitamin CVitamin C is more than an anti-oxidant and necessary vitamin for fighting infections and viruses, it is necessary to synthesize the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. It also helps the body flush heavy metals such as iron and copper from the brain.Vitamin DNormal brain development and function is dependent on vitamin D.
Deficiencies have been proven to impair cognitive abilities.Vitamin EVitamin E is essential to maintain the integrity of cell membranes.

Among other symptoms, a deficiency in this vitamin manifests in neurological symptoms including injury to sensory nerves and impaired coordination and balance.CalciumThe brain requires calcium for secretion of neurotransmitters. The body maintains a specific level of calcium in the blood at all times, pulling calcium from the bones, if the level in the blood drops too low. So deficiencies generally affect bone health, not the brain.IodineThe thyroid requires iodine to produce its hormones, which are used in the myelination of the central nervous system. It is also critical in the development of the brain, therefore deficiencies during pregnancy can result in various neurodevelopmental deficits from mild cognitive deficits to mental retardation.IronIron is essential for proper development of the brain cells that produce myelin and for the synthesis of neurotransmitters. Deficiencies can cause congenital malformations, deficits in learning, and other deficits including attention and learning.CholineCholine is another essential nutrient needed for myelination of nerves, neurotransmitter synthesis, and cell membranes and other structures of the brain and nervous system. Deficiency is related to cognitive defects.AntioxidantsYour brain uses a lot of oxygen, and therefore, it is highly susceptible to free radical damage. They protect brain cells by neutralizing free radical damage and preventing premature brain cell aging.
Peppermint, lavender, cedarwood, and sage are other essential oils particularly notable for proven abilities to increase brain function, but the list doesn’t end there. Better quality oils produce better results.Use It or Lose itOur brain works much like the rest of the body in that it is a “use it or lose it” organ. Learning anything complicated that takes lots of time and practice, that uses the brain in many different ways, will have a noticeable effect on intelligence. If speaking another language isn’t in the cards, learning to play a musical instrument, mathematics, or learning computer languages can offer the same benefits. I personally had an IQ increase of 6 points after spending a few years learning HTML, PHP, CSS. Most of us know that reading increases our intelligence, but processing a variety of information has a greater effect than just reading fiction or a single other genre.
All reading, whether it be fiction, magazine articles, blog posts, or historical, has benefit and can work our brains in different ways.Exercise itself is huge for brain health! Exercise regulates proper hormone production, and exercise is the best way to take a break from an arduous brain task.Be sure to keep taking those free IQ assessment tests when you can, too. If you really want to turn your noggin into the mind of a brainiac, playing with brain teasers, puzzle toys, crossword puzzles and the like should be a hobby. Breathe so that your abdomen expands with each breath and your ribcage compresses with each exhale. Sometimes when concentration seems impossible and the day feels like it’s spiraling out of control, chugging a few cups of water can change perception and get things back on track. I make about ? of a cup total, spike it with as much cayenne as I can handle, and take the shot.
For long term, taking something like Shillington’s Brain Tonic, and the right diet makes for a more intelligent, and aware person who isn’t just trying to make it through the day.If your mind is sluggish, detox.

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