5 Easy to Follow Tips to Regain or Maintain Your Self-Control Consistently

Our actions originate from our thoughts. These usually range between impulsive and deliberate thinking. The ability to manage what behaviors will result is found in our self-control. There have been numerous texts written on its effects. One of the most fitting descriptions is encapsulated In the words of the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu:

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”

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Biologically, it is our pre-frontal cortex that is responsible for guiding our decisions and behavioral patterns. Our will power or self-control is housed here. Aside from our behavior and judgment, the pre-frontal cortex is also responsible for our attention span and emotional reactions. Making sure that it well-taken care of has definite benefits. Our decision making process is clearer and it is easier to make positive, objective choices that would be beneficial to us in the long run.

  1. Get enough sleep 

Our brain represents only 2% of our body weight yet it uses up 20% of energy derived from glucose, its main supply of energy. When we lack sleep, it is unable to metabolize this energy source properly. It leads to a decreased ability to effectively exercise self-control because the brain is not able to function efficiently. This results in increased engagement in impulsive behavior and the reduced capacity to maintain attention. Resisting the physiological urge to sleep is not only unwise, it could also lead to health and safety risks.

  1. Healthy lifestyle (exercise, meditation and nutrition)

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Boost your will-power reserves by incorporating meditation in your regular routine. It increases positive effects on brain processes in as little as eight weeks. Exercise releases endorphins which helps you feel good. It promotes resiliency to stress, making it easier to train yourself to see tasks through even though it appears difficult in the beginning. By eating the right types of food, you are feeding your brain’s pre-frontal with good sources of energy.

  1. Prevent decision fatigue

Making many choices no matter what they are, diminishes your ability to exercise self-control. Every act of subsequent self-regulation reduces the cognitive resources to do so compared to the first time. Also known as ego depletion, it makes no distinction between important, mundane or routine tasks. Determining which ones to do or avoid requires energy which eventually needs to be replenished. Structuring your day to do the most important functions first, ensures that you have enough of it to perform them properly in a focused manner.

4. Manage your sugar and stress levels

It has already been mentioned that the brain relies on glucose for energy. When your blood sugar drops, it is more difficult for your pre-frontal cortex to resist impulsive urges. This however is only part of the problem. The dip in energy reserves also increases your stress hormones. Studies have found that it was stress that had the most impact on the brain’s reduced power to exercise self-control.

5. Devalue distractions increase value of tasks

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Take out or minimize your contact with things that undermine your productivity. This could be your gadget usage, checking of email, social media, chit-chat or phone calls. Try to block out those that will take your attention away from the task at hand. The key is to focus on what your are doing and take things on one at the time. Multi-tasking is actually counter-productive to the quality of your work output.

BONUS Tip: Remember, be SMART plus If-Then

A great predictor of success is having high emotional intelligence. One of the cornerstones of this is the ability to exercise a high degree of self-control in short-term daily tasks. This is different from grit which is used to complete long-term goals. To be able to achieve either, you must incorporate SMART moves into your plans. This stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based.

Form if-then plans that can automate certain behaviors. An example those trying to lose weight would be “If I am tempted to eat a slice of cake, Then I will drink two glasses of water to get full.”

References:

Cooper, B. B. (2017, January 12). 6 Scientifically Proven Ways To Boost Your Self-Control. Retrieved January 03, 2018, from https://www.fastcompany.com/3032513/6-scientifically-proven-ways-to-boost-your-self-control

Frith, C., & Dolan, R. (1996, December). The role of the prefrontal cortex in higher cognitive functions. Retrieved September 29, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9049084

Heshmat, S. (2017, March 25). 10 Strategies for Developing Self-Control. Retrieved January 03, 2018, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-choice/201703/10-strategies-developing-self-control

Peri, C. (n.d.). 10 Things to Hate About Sleep Loss. Retrieved January 03, 2018, from https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/10-results-sleep-loss#1

Pilcher, J. J., Morris, D. M., Donnelly, J., & Feigl, H. B. (2015). Interactions between sleep habits and self-control. Retrieved September 29, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4426706/

McGonigal, K. (2011, November 21). Stress, Sugar, and Self-Control. Retrieved January 03, 2018, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-science-willpower/201111/stress-sugar-and-self-control

Mergenthaler, P., Lindauer, U., Dienel, G. A., & Meisel, A. (2013, October). Sugar for the brain: the role of glucose in physiological and pathological brain function. Retrieved September 29, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3900881/

Mind Tools Content Team. (n.d.). Minimizing Distractions: 10 Ways to Take Control of Your Day. Retrieved January 03, 2018, from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/distractions.htm

Vohs, K. D., Baumeister, R. F., Schmeichel, B. J., Twenge, J. M., Nelson, N. M., & Tice, D. M. (2008, May). Making choices impairs subsequent self-control: a limited-resource account of decision making, self-regulation, and active initiative. Retrieved January 03, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18444745 and http://assets.csom.umn.edu/assets/113144.pdf

 

Make Good Money by Working Anywhere at Anytime Through Freelancing

Doing exactly what you want and getting paid to do it is a set-up that most people can only dream of having. For some, it is having a stable job and earning a secure paycheck. The traditional way of making a living has long been considered as getting employed, going through the daily commute, performing your tasks at an office, coming back home and spending whatever time you have left over as you deem fit. This has worked for many people in the past and is most likely going to continue for the foreseeable future. There are of course other ways to earn that may offer greater flexibility and perhaps, a higher monthly income.

Paying your dues

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Working as a freelancer makes it possible for you to earn from your current skillset with an opportunity to add and improve on them as you go along. The jobs you get would usually allow you to perform them from the comfort of your own home, without having to get out of your pajamas. At first, it may be difficult to find clients that will hire you on a consistent basis. You still have to build up your online reputation in a flourishing and increasingly competitive market. Be prepared for longer working hours when you eventually find your rhythm though you should not expect to receive overtime pay or vacation leaves.

Still interested?

Try to find a good freelancing website you are comfortable using. There are so many of them out there but you really just need one or two to get started. Before you know it, the jobs will start coming in and you could gradually include other interests to earn money from as well. Make sure to take any certification exams (for free if possible) or small jobs that will improve your rating on freelancing websites. They make you stand out and gives a potential employer an easier time in hiring you.

Paradigm shift

There is a growing number of the workforce that have taken that first step toward a different approach to making a living. The two to three hours spent on the road is replaced by more opportunities to earn, increased family time and chosen occasions for rest. A freelancer soon begins to find the distinguishing line between being busy and genuine productivity. There are more specific moves geared toward self-improvement towards the things you like to do instead of doing such things for the requirements of a job. Freelancing creates a positive feedback loop that pays you to apply what you have learned to perform work that you particularly enjoy doing and opens up other areas of interest to do the same.

Test the waters

It does not really matter where you currently are in your career or if you have stopped working. If you have a desire to find out if your expertise, talent or passion can make a migration into the world of freelancing then you are already headed in the right direction. The next things you have to do is to actually join a freelancing platform and start bidding on jobs. Try for anything that you are comfortable with at first. As you get more confident in navigating around your chosen freelancing website, you can eventually bid on jobs that are a bit out of your comfort zone.

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Doing so is a necessary part of the process to help you grow your skills and get better at your current level. This will lead you to be better qualified for a wider range of jobs which could also improve the asking rate for your services. For example, being a skilled writer could land you a lot of writing jobs for articles, speeches or short novels. You can add unto this solid foundation by complementing it with skills in copywriting, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), backlinking, image editing, social media management and Content Management Systems (CMS such as WordPress). Being well-versed in these extra skills could improve a writer’s chances on being hired for jobs beyond strictly writing projects.

A good place to start

So what now?

It’s time to see which online platforms are best for you. Below are some recommendations though you can of course simply go on Google to find a ton of other sites that offer similar services. The following are the more established freelancing communities that could serve as your new source of income or a springboard toward a more suitable digital workplace.

Freelancer.com – It is one of, if not the largest freelancing website available today. It has over 25 million registered users and close to 12.5 million jobs posted. This number will only continue to grow as more people discover the benefits of working remotely coupled with employers finding quality output at competitive rates.

Upwork.com – This is the resulting company between the merger of two well-known freelance job sites, oDesk and Elance. Upwork has the distinction of being the most popular in the industry with over 17 million registered users and over three million jobs posted per year. Its tried and tested system helps you find work, get hired, produce output and get paid for it.

Toptal.com – The place where the top 3% of freelancing talent can be found. This website caters to employers looking to hire experts in the field of software development, digital design and finance modeling. If you have skills in any these areas and are confident in your work then this freelancing platform may be the right one for you.

Have fun with it

Freelancing is not only about flexibility but having a steady stream of repeat clients as well, preferably hiring you for work you like doing. How you feel about an assignment is most likely going to show in your deliverables. The client will see it in terms of the quality of your output, timeliness of submission and the way you communicate. Make sure you maintain good standards and seek to constantly improve on them. Like with any job be it freelancing, contractual or fixed employment, the most important thing to do while performing it is to enjoy yourself.

Try Bringing in More Acceptance in Your Life and See What Happens

Holding onto thoughts that do not enrich our lives have no place in it. True that the deeper the struggle, the greater the reward. Nevertheless, this must be taken under the context that there is a reason or purpose for your efforts. If there is no end goal behind the endeavor then it may be a good time to stop and think what all the hardship is for. The existence of mental conflict while innately occurring in any human being must be dealt with immediately to find inner peace.

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By accepting what is, you are able to move on to other things. Doing so will allow you to grow and bring in more elements to enrich your life with. The focus on what you do not want is released and is ideally shifted to the things that you do want. This will help you concentrate your time and energy to create more positive experiences. In time, that which you have accepted becomes but a distant memory which no longer affects you.

As the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus once said, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

Past and future events

Things that have already come and gone are to be learned from. There is no need to dwell in the past if all it does is to bring unnecessary pain and mental anguish. It is natural for anybody to think about something that has hurt them from time to time. The trick is to be able to get out as soon as possible once you notice something is weighing you down. Cut yourself loose by acknowledging its presence and make a conscious effort to think about positive thoughts.

The same goes with things that have yet to happen. Worrying about something that may or may not take place will only make you anxious. Instead, you may want to build up your confidence by hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. That way when the event does come to pass you are ready to face it. Acceptance of the uncertainty and doing something about it will gradually make you feel more inclined to take it on.

Actions of others

This may very well be one of the best applications for acceptance. People are free to say or do whatever they please as long as it does not pose a threat or danger to others. Outside of that, everyone is free to agree or disagree on a multitude of topics. Respect for one another should ideally be present while doing so. Of course this does not always happen. You do not however, need to contribute to these incidents.

We cannot control what other people think, say or do. Neither could they do the same with us, unless we choose to do so. Every person has the right to live their lives according to how they see fit. As long as doing so does not hurt anybody, then we should just accept our differences. In fact, we should celebrate our uniqueness or at least exercise higher tolerance.

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Believing in the goodness of others and acknowledging their right to live a free, independent and autonomous life breeds kindness, happiness and respect towards each other.

Yourself

Acceptance is not surrendering. It is about allowing. By admitting what is, you release any contradictory tension present in your life and enable yourself to move forward. Such an act empowers you to go beyond your current state of mind and grants access to go beyond previously self-limiting beliefs. It allows you to grow into a better person for yourself and others.

There may be a lot of things you do not like about yourself. It may be how you look, what you said, something you did or a current situation in your life. Whatever it may be, the only thing you can truly change about it is how you feel. Focus instead on what you have and be thankful. It will make you happier in the long run and could eventually bring in more positive things into your life.

A good reminder

So when do you move on and when should you do something about it?

The Serenity Prayer written by Reinhold Neibuhr says it best:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.”

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This saying has had wide application in both sectarian and non-sectarian circles. It inspires patience and action. Moving beyond a state of mind that is self-limiting because of the refusal to acknowledge something for what it truly is or to act to improve a situation is among its objectives. Recognizing however what can or cannot be changed is a necessary part of the process. Perhaps remembering its message is a good reference point to use whenever you need to welcome a more accepting stance into your life.

 

5 Popular Ways to Start Selling Things Online and Increase Your Income

Maximize your earning potential by using the power of the Internet. It does not matter if you already have a blossoming corporate career, run own business or a perpetually busy homemaker. If you are open to the idea of generating sales while you sleep then this may be for you. A little extra time of course, is required to understand how it works and to take care of it. These selling platforms however can be pretty simple to set-up and easy to manage once it is up and running.

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1. Amazon

Founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 to initially sell books through the then developing webspace, this e-commerce powerhouse has become the global leader in online retail. Its market reach is unparalleled world-wide with net sales reaching $136 billion (USD) in 2016 alone. In 2014, it was recorded that Amazon receives 95 million monthly unique visitors and ranks first in reputation according to a 2016 survey by the Harris Poll. You can have access to this market to literally buy or sell goods and services ranging from “A to Z”. All you have to do is sign-up so you can start selling your: products, services, apps, written works or earn affiliate (advertising) income from Amazon.

2.

The company was started in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar to create an auction website “dedicated to bring together buyers and sellers in an honest and open marketplace.” If you would like to sell your pre-owned items or even brand new goods, this is the place to do it. The site has an Auction and Buy It Now options, depending on how you would like to sell your products. They currently have 171 million active buyers, in 190 markets, viewing 1 billion live listings, through 370 million app downloads from a top 10 retail brand. This gives you an idea of the type of global market reach available to you once you post your first item up for sale.

3. Etsy

This business sets itself apart from the previous two by targeting a different type of market segment. Shoppers can find products that have more of a personalized touch, some vintage items and even antiques. If you like to create unique products that have a lot of character and considered not so mainstream, then you just might be able to turn your hobby into a viable business here. Created in 2005 by a company called iospace, this e-commerce site would eventually grow to 28.5 million active buyers purchasing from close to 1.74 million active sellers in 2016. There is still definitely a lot of room for your wares to gain a loyal customer base.

4. Facebook

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The world leading social network can be used for much more than seeing your friend’s photos, article links or status updates. By accessing the Groups section of the website and using its search bar, you can find an abundance of niche groups to offer your items to. Examples are used cars, real estate, collectibles, electronics and baby products to name a few. Launched in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, its has over 2 billion million active subscribers who have logged on at least once a month. With this many users, there is a good chance that you will find a Group or two that you could display your products on.

5. Your own online store

If you would rather build your own brand and have a good amount of patience, then creating your own e-commerce website is the way to go. It could also potentially help you build skills along the way in terms of website design, computer programming, marketing, photo editing or even content writing. You could simply hire someone to build your website for you through one of the many freelancing websites available if you would rather have a hassle free, turnkey online store. In any case, having your personal website will offer you a lot more flexibility to create your retail space and allow your visitors to focus solely on the items you are selling. Among the leading website builders that make it easy for you to set-up your own website in a few hours or even minutes, if you know your way around are the following:

Wix – Allows you to drag the elements you like to use and drop in onto a selected area of your webpage. Straightforward and easy to use.

Weebly – Very easy to use though it does not have additional tools to eventually improve your website with.

Shopify – Design skills are not necessary. It makes it possibly to acquire apps to upgrade your website.

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How to Start Getting Back to a Positive Mindset in 3 Steps

The road to recovery is different for everyone. This article does not presume to be the most ideal solution or try to present a simple fix to resolve a troubled psyche. To each his own. What it does try to offer is a set of suggestions that someone may possibly relate to. If it happens help a person move toward a more positive mindset then it has served its purpose.

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Unique circumstances

It is understandable to get derailed from your center every now and then. Nobody is perfect and we are all just human. Despite this knowledge, some people do get hit harder than most. A fall from grace seems to weigh heavier compared to those who fail often. Each person has their own coping mechanism and it may take longer for others to recover from their melancholic state.

Regrettably, there are some who do not make it out at all.

This is a reality that is difficult to accept, especially when you see someone you care about going through it. The most you can do is to be there for the person, offering words of encouragement and support. Your presence and pleasant disposition could easily be a ray of sunshine that could brighten up their day. This is all well and good until you have to say goodbye, then they gradually regress to the negative self-talk that took them to such a state in the first place.

Going further, what if this person was you?

Like the oft-quoted scenario with multiple renditions about a disturbed man visiting a doctor:

“Psychiatrist – Why don’t you go to the comedy show tonight? I heard the clown is in town. He will surely cheer you up and make you laugh.

Man – But doctor, I am that clown.”

It starts with us

That story was brought up to isolate the fact that the only person we can ultimately depend on when it comes to our problems is ourselves. Yes, other people can help guide us towards the solution but it has to be us that chooses to see it. Not even the efforts of the best psychiatrist or funniest comedian in the world can provide lasting significance unless a decision has been made to change. Escapism in the form of substance abuse, overeating, sex or work will not make any psychological problem go away on its own. The clown’s scenario should not be viewed as a sad story, but a turning point in the life of someone who has realized his situation and sought for help to pursue a better state of mind.

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The following are some reminders that could possibly jumpstart the process to self-recovery:

1. Awareness

If there is something that is bothering you, it is all right to admit that it is. This is an important first step to avoid getting overwhelmed by any negative thoughts. There will be little chance for it to build up because you are actually addressing the issue instead of simply pretending that there is none. Dwelling on it of course will not help the situation. You must find a way to progress past this point though it is crucial to move at your own pace.

Not every problem can be dealt with in the same way. Some truly weigh heavier on the mind than others. Realizing that there is something wrong however and acknowledging its presence will start chipping away at its existence. Eventually, you will be ready to move on to the next step. Just keep believing in yourself and incorporating positive self-talk that you can overcome this obstacle.

2. Forgiveness

With awareness, letting go of the source of the unhappiness must necessarily follow. It is definitely easier said than done but you must find a way to forgive a person or event that has wronged you, especially if that cause is yourself. The author Anne Lamott  once said, “Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.”

She is right.

The only person who is feeling bad from all the anger or resentment is the one who took offense or is laying the blame. For all you know, the one who is at fault has no idea of any wrongdoing in the first place. Besides, if being right will not change what has already been said and done then what is the point other than being proven correct? If seeking vindication would neither enhance your life or the opposite party’s then perhaps it would be easier to move forward and accept that past is past.

Gratitude for the peace of mind that will most likely follow is vital. Doing it will build strength of character and will invite more of the same good vibes into your life. By continuously giving heartfelt appreciation, you create a positive mindset that creates stronger self-control to refrain from allowing negative emotions to reclaim its place for longer periods of time.

3. Live in the moment

The famous philosopher Lao Tzu, who is the author of the book Tao Te Ching and founder of Taoism is credited with saying: “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

After awareness and forgiveness comes fortitude or self-control.

You are responsible for your own happiness and must choose to remain positive. By focusing on the here and now, you are able to appreciate events as they unfold. You are released from the prison of your mind because you are not stuck in any past or future event that has no bearing on your current point in time. The past cannot be changed and the future is yet to happen. Only you can dictate what you are going to do and how you are going to feel about it.

No one else. That is your power.

Get to itget to itThese steps are a condensed version of very important precepts towards a positive mindset. It may appear to be simple but a further study into them is recommended in order to have a better appreciation for these concepts. Like any endeavor, you need to keep practicing and using your physical or mental strength in order to get stronger. Keep going in a positive direction. There will always be people rooting for you to succeed, kindly yourself included.

 

 

5 Realistic Budgeting Habits You Can Do

Ok, let’s be honest here. Keeping track of your expenses will take a bit of work. For those who have not done it before, it might take a bit of practice to get things going. Like any skill you want to acquire, being able to budget properly will take a bit of time and effort. The easy part comes in once you get a routine going.

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So let’s get started.

1. Have a goal and make it long-term

Ask yourself, why do you want to get into the habit of budgeting in the first place? The answer does not need to be something you read online or what anyone thinks it should be. They do not know in full detail, what your current spending habits are. You might not know them either. Whatever your purpose may be however, it should have lasting positive effects on your lifestyle.

An example could be: “I want to budget my money to limit my expenses on non-essentials and redirect these funds to create a retirement fund.”

Guess what? You can add to your goals and even tinker with them as time goes by. Just make sure that you stick them. Eventually, you can turn these good intentions into your reality.

2. Save first, then spend

The billionaire investor Warren Buffet once said, “Don’t save what is left after spending; spend what is left after saving.”

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So now that you have your goal, it’s time to do the heavy lifting. Divide your monthly income into three parts: monthly necessities, target savings and luxuries. Your monthly necessities should only include the basics such as: rent / mortgage, food, utilities expenses, transportation expenses and education. You may want to rethink your necessities list if it includes entertainment, gadgets, shopping, travel and dining out. This could probably be classified under the luxuries list.

Your paycheck should first go to your monthly necessities, then to savings and if there is something leftover — savings again, if possible. Luxuries do give you some enjoyment it’s true. What it won’t give you is the opportunity to grow your wealth. In fact, it does the complete opposite by taking it. Now it is good to celebrate and engage in consumerism from time to time but only if your monthly necessities and savings are respected.

3. Keep yourself in check

There is an abundance of budgeting apps available in the market to help you stay on top of your monthly expenses. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses according to the goals you have set out to accomplish. This may be a rudimentary thing to say but it is important that you use them. Your goals will not be achieved by simply downloading the app. Investopedia, the world-wide leader of financial content on the web is a good place to view some suggestions.

Among these apps are:

Mint – for money management

You Need a Budget (YNAB) – debt control

Wally – expense tracker

Acorns – saving made easier

4. Use Cash, Avoid Credit

The only card that you should be swiping is a debit card, unless you can be absolutely sure that you have existing funds to pay off your credit card bills when they are due. Do not under any circumstances, spend money that you do not have even if you are going to earn it at the end of the month. Going against this habit is a surefire way to get you into debt. You could likely end up paying around 3.5% in interest rates or higher should you fail to pay them off completely at the end of the month. Yes, the reward points may be great but you should ideally earn them without having to pay for any finance charges.

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Use credit cards at your own risk.

5. Reward yourself

Remember, the purpose of practicing good budgeting habits is so that you can track your expenses. Doing so will maximize your income by focusing on your monthly necessities and leaving you some savings to grow your wealth with. The reward for sticking to your good habits comes after you have performed these steps, not before. It would be great of course to splurge on some luxuries. Any surplus however could also be invested in stocks, bonds, property or any investment vehicle you may fancy.

The choice is yours. Hopefully any reward you choose to give yourself and your family would be in line with your long-term goals.

The Sweet Perks Of Eating Sugar Beets

Super good for you

There are many vegetables that could be eaten to provide you with great health benefits. Among those which should probably be a regular mainstay in your diet is the sugar beet. These root vegetables are packed with plenty of nourishing essentials. Where else can you find a good combination of magnesium, iron, copper, potassium, manganese, folate and other B vitamins? Including some of these beets throughout the week would definitely be to your advantage. Yes, they are higher in sugar content compared to most vegetables though eating it in moderation is all that is necessary.

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A colorful vegetable

The taproot has a shape slightly similar to a turnip though smaller in size. It has a dark brown skin and a deep red cross section. The stalks which contains edible leaves are likewise reddish in color. These used to be eaten more than the taproot and is still advisable to be consumed as well. Sugar beets also comes in orange and yellow variants.

Take note that they are hard and crunchy when raw. Cooking them however would result in a more succulent texture. Try boiling them in under fifteen minutes to retain most of the nutrients. Serving them raw is best though you can steam them lightly as well.

Then and now

Mostly found in Europe, Asia and North Africa this vegetable was used to treat digestion problems and blood related afflictions in the Middle Ages. It was the early Romans who first cultivated this crop as a source of nutrition. Other European countries soon followed suit. They became a source of sugar by the turn of the 19th century. Beets are currently commercially grown throughout the USA, Russia, Germany, France and Poland.

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Making a solid case

The amino acid betaine which is found in this amazing vegetable helps minimize the presence of fat in the liver. This decreases its size and in turn, making it more efficient to perform its function which is to clean your body of toxins.

Because sugar beets contain folate, it also reduces homocysteine levels in the blood. This may improve your fighting chances against developing heart disease and strokes.

Consuming beets will allow you to get a good dose of nitric oxide which help your blood vessels relax as well as lower blood your pressure. This results in better delivery of blood to your brain, boosting  memory and other functions. Nitric oxide can also increase your stamina by minimizing oxygen requirements when engaging in moderate to heavy physical activities. Athletes consume beets prior to practicing or competing for improved performance.

Perhaps one of the most important benefits of this underrated superfood is its anti-inflammatory side effects. This is attributable to the existence of betalains, which are rich in anti-oxidants that may help ward off diseases brought about by inflammation. A form of betalain called betacyanin is responsible for the reddish purple pigments in beets. Studies have shown that it could decrease the growth of certain types of cancer cells such as breast, prostrate and colon.

Sugar beets can also contribute to better digestive functions. The dietary fiber found in this vegetable (about 3 grams for every 100 gram serving) can aid in lessening the occurrence of constipation as well as hemorrhoids. Do not be alarmed if you suddenly see a distinctive red color the next time you visit the bathroom. It is probably just from the betalains from eating beets or an occurrence known as beeturia.

Whatever rocks your boat

Beets can be prepared in a variety of ways. Most people enjoy them raw by adding them to salads. These can be grated over some greens or can be sliced and made into the main ingredient of a vegetable dish. Making it into borscht is of course one of the most popular ways of serving it. This can be a very tasty meal, especially during the cold months. There are also those who like to have them pickled. Again, beets may lose the potency of some of its nutrients when cooked.

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If you would like a quick fix, juicing them is an easy way to derive its many health benefits. You may want to consider doing this as well though it would mean that you would have to forego the  advantages provided by its dietary fiber.

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