Going Nuts? Here Is Why You Should!

Going Nuts? Here Is Why You Should!

Nuts have been considered a dieting disaster, with their high amount of fat and calories. Today, our understanding of fat has changed. Now, we know that most of the fats in nuts are mostly monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. And they aren‘t necessarily causing weight gain.

As we know today from nutritional studies, they actually are bite-size nutritional powerhouses. Nut consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of several diseases: major chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus as well as total and cause-specific mortality.

They can help with stress reduction, heart health and cholesterol, weight management and long cancer. Nuts are also brain food as they contain vitamin E which is shown to improve neural health.

They are also great treats of energy. Protein combined with the other minerals in nuts is perfect for providing more constant, longer energy levels. Actually, these crunchy bites are one of the best plant sources of protein. This makes them especially interesting for vegetarians who can have a hard time meeting the recommended amount of protein.

Let’s have a closer look on the nuts out there and what to do with those flavourful crunches!

15 nuts almond-83766


Almonds, after peanuts, are highest in protein and are high in antioxidants, magnesium, potassium as well as iron.

For those of you who avoid dairy, almonds are rich in calcium. They are a good pick to make sure that you are getting enough of this bone-building mineral. Almonds are also high in vitamin E which is a nutrient that supports the appearance and condition of your skin.

Due to its high vitamin E, vitamin B and magnesium content nuts can lower the effects of stress and boost your immune system. If you are interested in how to use almonds for weight loss have a look at this recent article of our friends from Health Ambition.


15 nuts brazil nuts Bertholletia_excelsa_seeds_closeup Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts highest natural source of Selenium which is an antioxidant supporting immunity and healing wounds. If you eat only three or four a day, you have all selenium you need. Brazil nut oil find its application in traditional medicine, as aromatherapy or massage oil, and in the pharma and cosmetic industry.


 Cashew Nuts

15 nuts cashew-nuts-322556 Cashews, in China also called ‘the Happy nuts’, grow on cashew nut trees, which are native to subtropical climates.

Even though they are one of the lowest-fiber nuts, they are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These include vitamins E, K, and B6, along with iron, which is essential for red blood cell function and enzyme activity.

It’s also rich in the mineral magnesium, which plays a role in nerve conduction and muscle relaxation. It also contains copper, which is important for blood vessels and proper brain function. And zinc, which is essential to digestion and metabolism.


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So what makes walnuts special compared to all the others? Well, they have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which other nuts don’t have. To understand why omega-3 is so great for us, have a look at our other article here. Walnuts are also rich in manganese, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), around 400,000 children in the United States are affected by a peanut allergy. It goes without mentioning that they should not be eaten by anyone allergic to them.

In general, they are great snacks, especially during travels, as they satisfy hunger well and are easy to have on the go.

You need some inspiration on how to get cracking the nuts into your diet? Here are some nutty ideas summarized:

15 Nutty Ideas 6

So instead of simply adding them to your dish, they are ideal to replace other food that is high in saturated fats (such as cheese). It’s hard though to not over eat those tasty bites. As with everything, balance is the key. Best is to limit your intake to 1 to 2 oz per day.

A golf ball-sized portion or hand-full of unsalted nuts is a vitality-boosting source high in valuable vitamins and minerals.

For more health benefits and inspiration on nut recipes have a look at here.

Don’t DRIVE yourself nuts! Stay calm and EAT nuts!

Luckily for us they are easily available in shops, because out in the wild nut-collecting can be serious business. Watch yourself!






Running Out Of Motivation? The Power Of Running Unleashed

Running Out Of Motivation? The Power Of Running Unleashed

Your heart is pumping harder. Oxygen-rich blood fills up your body. You hear the sound of your feet beating the street. There is only you and your breath – you are running.

Marathon runners train hard to hit the big 6 (Boston, Chicago, Tokyo, New York, London and Berlin marathon). This running madness made me wonder: Where do they take their motivation? What does running actually do for us and what can it mean to us?

Did you know that a regular jogger can see 13.000 sunsets more than a non-jogger? In average, moving your feet makes you live 6 years longer than coach potatoes (men 6.2 years and women 5.6 years).

We dug a little deeper into the science of running and what it does to our brain. Here we cover the most fascinating findings on running:

1. Therapy

As a natural treatment running is often used to help people with clinical depression and coping with addiction. Lots of runners do short distances as a way to release big emotions like frustration, aggression or sadness.

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Running is known to be mood-enhancing. It increases the release of positive neurotransmitters, serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine which are responsible for regulating mood. Plus, running puts the brain in ‘alpha-wave’ activity. Alpha waves are associated with feelings of calmness and well-being resulting you to feel like a genius, and who doesn’t want that?


2. Brainpower

There are plenty of studies on how exercise affects cardiovascular health, but there are also studies assessing the impact on mental performance. In fact, you literally train your brain as well while you are running.

Researchers from the University of Illinois found that exercising for 30 minutes already results in processing a problem faster and in a cognitive capacity improvement of up to 10 percent.

A clinical review reports that exercise leads to structural changes in the hippocampus which results in better learning and memory. Also, physically active people have a 60 percent lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease than non-movers.

3. Energy tank

Do you have this energy drop in the afternoon and even a coffee wouldn’t help? Go for a run in the morning or during lunch break. Running increases your energy level and keeps it higher throughout the day.

By engaging in low-intensity exercise such as a 10-minute walk your body produces more mitochondria to meet your needs and you can decrease your fatigue by 65%. So if you want to boost your energy get moving!

4. Power-walking

13 Running If you want to running with me

Walking has a tremendous effect on our brain’s activity. These brain scans from Hillman and colleagues tell enough. Here you can see our brain after sitting versus after a 20-minute walk:

Running Cogitive effects of exerciseSo there is no need to do a professional run to train your brain. Even more, cardiologist and researcher James O’Keefe states that we are born to walk rather than to run.

For those who are passionate about running: Light and moderate jogging was found to be more beneficial than being inactive. This isn’t an eye-opener yet, but did you know that light and moderate jogging is also more beneficial than going for a strenuous jog? In fact, fast-pace jogging appeared to be just as deadly as not moving at all!

It’s found that jogging for 1 to 2.4 hours per week is best for you and optimally not more than 3 times per week.

5. Running addiction

The effects of exercising have an addictive effect. If you can’t abstain from your running routine, you might be addicted in a similar way as seen in heroin addiction. After training for a while you need to exercise more to get the same level of euphoria.

However, aspiring runners and running starters, you don’t need to run far to feel upbeat! Only after having trained for quite some time, you have to do that extra-mile to still get that kick.

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 6. Runner’s High

Imagine yourself experiencing this:

‘Endorphins flood your brain and you are in euphoria. You realize: You have just finished conquering the world when most people have not even started their day. You feel like you could run forever. There isn’t any sore feeling in your body and you just feel amazing.’

This is how long-distance runners describe the so-called ‘Runner’s High‘. This god-like feeling is made possible by endorphins. The release of these naturally produced endogeneous opiods reduce feelings of pain and stress.

Whether you are a walker looking to become fit, a marathon runner aiming to recover faster or a starting runner who wants to improve endurance, moving your feet holds incredible powers for us to be fitter, stronger and of course smarter. 😉 Make sure you wear suitable shoes and maintain a proper posture to minimize risk to injury.

Now, get on your trainers and may the power of moving be with you!


6 Benefits Of Cold Showers For Your Mind And Body

6 Benefits Of Cold Showers For Your Mind And Body

How can something that seems to be a punishment be beneficial? Cold showers are not immediately associated with good events. Some of you might have been surprised by the sudden shock of cold water because your house mate or family member just washed their hands while you were in the middle of your shower ritual.

Or you might have come across the Guinness book world record holder Wim Hof aka the Ice Man and look at mastering the cold as something only for daring individuals. No, it’s not! Shower with cold water can be amazingly beneficial for everyone!

Have a look at these 6 benefits that we highlighted for you!


1. Learning to live with discomfort

Changing nice warm water to a chilling cold temperature does initially not feel comfortable for our bodies. Learning to accept the discomfort that is felt when the water is cold, is not just good for that moment. It helps you to live with uncomfortable situations and moments during the rest of the day and week, because you know that you can endure them and this makes you stronger for it.

If you handle 5 minutes of discomfort in the shower voluntarily, you will more easily be able to do something that is difficult or uncomfortable in real life.

Not convinced? Check out this inspiring TEDx talk by the creator of the Cold Shower Therapy app.


2. Increases recovery rate after a work-outAfter work out cold water

Cold immersions or showers help to improve the recovery rate after a work-out. The cold water on the body constricts blood vessels and brings pain relief locally – like an icepack on a bruise. With the improved circulation more oxygen, white blood cells and helpful substances can reach tissues that need healing more easily.

Cryotherapy (i.e. cold therapy) is well-known in the professional sports world and as a medical therapy since the seventeenth century. An ice bath or jumping in a winter lake are to the extreme spectrum of cold therapy and can be potentially harmful with the risk of getting hypothermia, frostbite or cold shock response. There is not enough research yet to prove the benefits of cold water immersion, but there is some evidence that showed delay in the start of muscle soreness.


 3. Improved blood circulation

During a cold shower your body is forced to adapt to the new temperature. Vasoconstriction is the process of the constriction/tightening of the arteries and veins. This changes the way blood flows since it will go where it is easier to go. As a result most of the blood flow is directed to your torso and your organs. After a session of cold water the blood flow is redirected back to the limbs. These changes in your cardiovascular system are great for your blood circulation.

Adaptation is a healthy process and the better your body is trained to adapt to new situations, the more resilient it becomes.


 4. Improves the body’s ability to handle stress and disease

A good cold shower or a swim in a cold lake or pool can reduce your level of stress in your body. In a study performed on ten healthy persons that swam in ice-cold water, the participants were measured to have an improved adaptation to oxidative stress in the body.

Cold water exposure improves the ability of the body to handle physical stress and can consequently better ward of disease. Hydrotherapy with repetitive short-term cold water showers is therefore used in physical medicine.


5. Good for skin and hairSkin_Water_Droplets_Bathing

Hot water dries out skin and can strip it from its natural protecting oils. In contrast, cold water helps to close pores and hair cuticles, and helps the skin to retain its natural oils. Closed pores will not easily get clogged, this can aid in preventing acne. The hair cuticles are also closed which makes it harder for dirt to attach to your hair strands. Great for making your hair shiner too!


6. Makes you alert

A shot of energy in the morning usually comes in the form of coffee, but what about getting the boost in your morning shower? The sudden change in temperature will make your breathing deeper and the improved blood flow will invigorate your whole body. Ready to start the day energized!


Starting tips!12 cold shower head

Only hitting your legs with cold water can be a good beginning to get used to the sensation of cold water.

Then you can start out ending the shower with a cold session or doing intervals of hot and cold periods of a few minutes each.

You can then move up to 5 minutes or completely showering cold.



Enjoy the cold embrace during your next shower and feel the benefits instantly!



Don’t feel like having a full body cold shower? Try this to start off instead:

You could simply put your face under streaming cold water or put it in a bucket of cold water. You will experience a reflex that is triggered when cold water contacts your face called the Mammalian Diving Reflex!

Then you can notice these changes happen in our body in the following 3 stages:

  1. Heart rate slows down, this lessens the transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream to the limbs and more oxygen is used for the organs.
  2. Capillary (i.e. smallest blood vessels) blood supply is stopped, leaving less blood circulation to the fingers, toes and then the limbs.
  3. Your blood starts shifting to your brain, heart and lungs.


Share your experiences with us below in the comments or below the facebook/twitter post!


How To Combat Procrastination And Get Back In Control

How To Combat Procrastination And Get Back In Control

Do you have difficulties meeting appointments? Or stress about deadlines or just can’t get it done? Do you feel you could do better if you just could get back in control? Would you like to stand above things and still enjoy (student) life? Then this article is for you.

Beat Procrastination: ‘Prevent Stress and Save Energy!’

Research studies found that students report to smoke more, consume more coffee and junk while skipping sports and cleaning sessions in examination period. It’s not surprising that stress is our biggest enemy when it comes to improving self-control, in particular procrastination. According to the Resource Model of Self-control, managing stress requires lots of energy and depletes our limited regulatory resources. Therefore, it is essential to prevent stress escalation. We collected some science-proved, useful tips that will empower you to improve self-control and be at your best.

Let’s get organized: ditch procrastination and save some energy for the good stuff!

 1. Scheduled and Prioritized To-Do-List

Make use of a to-do-list which includes every single detail you have to do. It will work out much better if you include a study schedule here as well. That is, make sure you also plan in what you have to learn and not just that you have to learn. You will want to prioritize what’s urgent and what’s important on it. Then write everything down in your agenda and schedule exactly when you plan to do what. This way you won’t have to make any decisions during the day on what best to do when. This will save you lots of energy that you will need for the studying itself and procrastination will be past.

 2. Earlier Deadlines

We all know the moment when you tell yourself that if you would have just one more day it would be all perfect. Simply put deadlines earlier for yourself, write them in your agenda and take them seriously even if it seems silly to you. It will give you that extra time. Plus: You will feel ridiculously heroic when celebrating your paper while everyone else is still stressed out.

 3. Create an If-Then Mantra!

Research found that as an effective strategy using so-called implementation intentions is very helpful. Here are examples of how to formulate good ones:
‘If I have finished my dinner, I will do 30 minutes of research.’ or Every time before I go to sleep I have a look at my schedule for the next days. ‘
When making up your own If-Then mantra make sure you cover the when/where and how in order to make your mantra work. After a while you will automatically do it without requiring any energy to remember it and get more efficient.

Bye, bye procrastination!

With these three simple tips you will be on top of things, won’t miss any meeting or deadline again and will have a much more enjoyable, stress-free study or work time.


Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2004). Fostering healthy self-regulation from within and without: A self-determination theory perspective. In A. P. Linley & S. Joseph (Eds.), Positive psychology in practice (pp. 105-124). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Gollwitzer, P.M. (1999). Implementation intentions. Strong effects of simple plans. American Psychologist, 54, 493–503.

Inzlicht, M., & Schmeichel, B. J. (2012). What is ego depletion? Toward a mechanistic revision of the resource model of self-control. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 450-463.

Muraven, M., & Baumeister, R.F. (2000). Self-regulation and depletion of limited resources: Does self-control resemble a muscle? Psychological Bulletin, 126(2), 247-259.

Oaten, M., & Cheng, K. (2006). Improved self-control: The benefits of a regular program of academic study. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 28, 1-16.

Webb, T. L., & Sheeran, P. (2003). Can implementation intentions help to overcome egodepletion? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 279-286.