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5 Foods To Boost Your Brain Power

Eating doesn’t only lighten your mood and strengthen your muscles but it can also boost your brain and improve your cognitive performance. Adding brain-friendly foods to your diet can sharpen your thinking, clear your memory, and help you learn new skills faster. These brain foods are known for increasing blood flow throughout the body, meaning your brain and your heart can benefit from these healthy snacks as well. So start eating smart by incorporating these power foods into your regular menu.

1. Curry

Not only does this spicy dish clear your sinuses but it can also clear out your brain. Turmeric, the fiery spice that makes curry that yellow-hot colour, is also responsible for clearing plaque out of your brain. Amyloid plaques, the protein buildups thought to be responsible for causing Alzheimer’s in some patients, affect the physical structure of the brain tissue and can disrupt brain function depending on how rampant the buildup is. By eating curry, you can break down the plaque buildup and keep your brain refreshed and functioning.

2. Sage

If you’ve ever used sage to add to your soup or salad dressing, you know how fragrantly wonderful this herb smells. But did you know that sage also has anti-inflammatory qualities that can help enhance your memory and improve your overall brain health? Sage has been shown to improve memory recall. Sage is also an incredibly versatile herb, which you can to add flavour to hearty soups, create sage butter sauces, and even make into ice cream.

3. Berries

Blueberries are among the most essential foods when it comes to boosting your brain power, but strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries all come with their own health-related perks. Studies have shown that cranberries can help patients revive brain functioning after mild to moderate strokes. Strawberries work to counteract age-related cognitive decline, and raspberries are rich in fibre to help strengthen the brain, reduce cholesterol, and lower your blood pressure. In fact, all berries are stock full of antioxidants, and recent studies are finding that these antioxidants can actually improve communication between neurons in the brain.

4. Beets

The betalains in the beet are what give them the juicy, purple colour, but for your body, these nutrients act as detoxifiers and anti-inflammatories. Beets are also rich in natural nitrates that can work to improve memory and cognitive functioning. The nitrates help dilate your blood vessels, increasing blood flow to your brain in order to help you improve your memory retention. Beets are some of the most diverse vegetables in the food pyramid. You can pair them with other veggies by adding them in your salads or bulk up your fruit smoothies by blending them into the mix. If memory loss is one of your major health concerns, eat more beets and other foods that will work to strengthen your memory.

 

5. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are excellent for your brain health, primarily because they contain lycopene and beta-carotene. They are antioxidants that help eliminate free radicals, which are the main cause of inflammation in your brain and occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s. If you don’t like eating tomatoes on their own, try cooking tomato soup or slow-cooked tomato sauce to get your healthy dose of antioxidants.   While these top five foods will boost your brain power and cognitive performance, it is important to discuss with your doctor what kind of dietary changes are most healthy for you. If you have existing heart conditions, cognitive disorders, or mood disorders, some of these power foods can cause complications. Eat smart by researching which foods are best for your diet and how you can boost your cognitive functioning in the healthiest way possible.

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Posted by on September 9, 2014 in 2014, Lifestyle

 

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The Meditative Brain [Infographic]

Infographic The Meditative Brain Infographic The Meditative Brain

 
 

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How Music Affects The Brain [Infographic]

Infographic How Music Affects The Brain Infographic How Music Affects The Brain

 
 

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11 Brain-Boosting Smoothies

Brain health you can blend

You can do crosswords and Sudoku puzzles until your hand hurts, but all that brain-busting work will go to waste if you don’t fuel your thinker with the right nutrients. When you eat for your brain, you will think more clearly and efficiently, says Daniel Amen, MD, author of Unleash The Power Of The Female Brain.

The following smoothies are packed with foods that help boost blood flow, stabilize blood sugar, and neutralize free-radical damage—all important for optimal brain health. Check out all 11 recipes now!

Brain health you can blend

Banana-Coconut Smoothie

Coconut is low in natural sugars, and high in fiber, manganese, and nature’s richest source of medium-chain triglycerides, says Dr. Amen. Medium-chain triglycerides are converted into a stable source of fuel for your brain during periods of low blood sugar, and can even help with memory loss.

Banana-Coconut Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup milk (hemp almond, rice, or organic 1% cow’s milk)
1 frozen banana, slightly thawed
1 scoop protein powder
2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut

METHOD: Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend well.

NUTRITION (per serving) 365 cal, 30 g pro, 46 g carb, 5 g fiber, 9.8 g fat, 7 g sat fat, 137 mg sodium


Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Inflammation is just as bad for your brain as it is for your body. Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which experts believe are necessary for transmitting signals between brain cells. Blueberries and raspberries are also known for encouraging healthy connections between the cells of the brain.

Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 small banana, peeled and frozen
1/4 cup diced pineapple
2 Tbsp chia seeds
3 ice cubes
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 serving whey protein powder (vanilla)

METHOD:

1. COMBINE all the ingredients except the protein powder in a blender, and blend at high speed until smooth.
2. ADD the protein powder and lightly blend until incorporated.

NUTRITION (per serving) 380 cal, 24 g pro, 67 g carb, 14 g fiber, 4.4 g fat, 1.1 g sat fat, 59 mg sodium

 


Dopamine Delight Smoothie

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in motivation, emotion, and pleasure, and it’s easily boosted by a healthy serving of protein—found here in the form of protein powder and soy milk. Chia seeds keep your blood sugar steady, says Dr. Amen, while a moderate amount of caffeine will keep you focused. Mix up this smoothie when you really need to get things done!

Dopamine Delight Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup small banana, peeled and frozen
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup soy milk (vanilla or plain)
1 double shot (approximately 1/2 cup) organic espresso
1 serving whey protein powder (vanilla)

METHOD:

1. COMBINE all the ingredients except the protein powder in a blender, and blend on high speed until smooth.
2. ADD the protein powder and lightly blend until incorporated.

NUTRITION (per serving) 383 cal, 24 g pro, 31 g carb, 3 g fiber, 18.6 g fat, 2.8 g sat fat, 143 mg sodium


Pomegranate-Strawberry Smoothie

Fiber helps regulate blood sugar. And since glucose is your brain’s chief source of energy, it’s important to keep those levels steady, says Dr. Amen. This low-cal smoothie is full of fiber, along with other brain-friendly antioxidants.

Pomegranate-Strawberry Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup pomegranate juice
2 tsp raw honey
3/4 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
2 Tbsp fat-free plain yogurt
1 Tbsp flaxseed oil
4 ice cubes

METHOD:

1. WHISK pomegranate juice and honey in a small cup to dissolve the honey completely.
2. COMBINE the strawberries, yogurt, oil, ice cubes, and pomegranate mixture in a blender.
3. PROCESS for 1 to 2 minutes, or until thick and smooth. Pour into a glass.

NUTRITION (per serving) 262 cal, 3 g pro, 35 g carb, 3 g fiber, 14 g fat, 1.3 g sat fat, 31 mg sodium


Blueberry Beet Almond Smoothie

Beets are high in fiber, phytonutrients, folate, beta carotene, and natural nitrates that increase blood flow to the brain.

Blueberry Beet Almond Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup unsweetened carrot juice
1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1/2 cup peeled and grated raw beet
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup unsalted raw whole almonds
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
dash of ground ginger

METHOD: Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.

NUTRITION (per serving) 325 cal, 10 g pro, 35 g carb, 8 g fiber, 18.9 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 65 mg sodium


Mango-Avocado Smoothie

Avocados are rich in vitamin E, which has been shown to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The spinach offers up brain-supporting omega-3s and also help replenish your iron supply

Mango-Avocado Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 fresh mango
1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup chilled low-fat vanilla soymilk
1/4 avocado
5 tsp agave nectar

METHOD: Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.

NUTRITION (per serving) 304 cal, 8 g pro, 57 g carb, 6 g fiber, 7.5 g fat, 0.8 g sat fat, 145 mg sodium


Almond, Blueberry, and Banana Smoothie

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants that protect brain cells from free-radical damage. Mineral-rich raw honey and iron-packed kale round out the brain-boosting power of this smoothie.

Almond, Blueberry, and Banana Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1½ cups plain unsweetened almond milk
3/4 of a medium frozen banana
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1 cup chopped kale
5 unsalted whole almonds
2 teaspoons raw honey

METHOD: Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.

NUTRITION (per serving) 323 cal, 7 g pro, 60 g carb, 10 g fiber, 9.7 g fat, 0.4 g sat fat, 300 mg sodium


Green Tea and Blueberry Smoothie

Besides containing antioxidants, green tea also has theanine, an amino acid that helps you focus and relax at the same time, says Dr. Amen. The honey contains all 22 essential amino acids, which provide the building blocks of protein for brain cells.

Green Tea and Blueberry Smoothie

SERVINGS: 2

INGREDIENTS:

3 Tbsp water
1 green tea bag
2 tsp raw honey
1½ cups frozen blueberries
1/2 medium banana
3/4 cup calcium-fortified light vanilla soy milk

METHOD:

1. MICROWAVE water on high until steaming hot.
2. ADD tea bag and let step for 3 minutes. Remove tea bag.
3. STIR honey into tea until dissolved.
4. BLEND all ingredients (including the tea) on the highest setting until smooth.

NUTRITION (per serving) 125 cal, 1.8 g pro, 29 g carb, 4 g fiber, 1.3 g fat, 0.2 g sat fat, 32 mg sodium


Almond Smoothie

Almonds are full of dopamine and protein, giving you a boost of motivation and focus, Dr. Amen says. The ground ginger helps support a robust metabolism, while the cinnamon works to keep your blood sugar steady.

Almond Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1 small frozen banana, sliced
3/4 cup kale, slightly packed, stems removed
3/4 cup almond milk
3/4 Tbsp almond butter
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger

METHOD: Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.

NUTRITION (per serving) 236 cal, 5.4 g pro, 37 g carb, 5 g fiber, 9.7 g fat, 0.9 g sat fat, 185 mg sodium


Winter Greens Smoothie

A Harvard Medical School study of more than 13,000 women found that those who ate the most cruciferous veggies (like the spinach, kale, and broccoli in this smoothie) lowered their brain age by 1 to 2 years.

Winter Greens Smoothie

SERVINGS: 2

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup carrot juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup spinach
1 cup roughly chopped kale, ribs removed
4 small broccoli florets, sliced and frozen
1 banana, peeled, sliced and frozen
1 apple, cored and roughly chopped

METHOD: Combine all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth.

NUTRITION (per serving) 258 cal, 5 g pro, 63 g carb, 8 g fiber, 1.3 g fat, 0.3 g sat fat, 76.3 mg sodium


Green Goddess Smoothie

You’ll get a kick of brain-healthy antioxidants and iron from the baby spinach, vitamin E from the avocado, and fiber from the kiwi.

Green Goddess Smoothie

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup baby spinach
1 cup cucumber chunks
1/2 avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
1 large kiwifruit, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup frozen kefir or low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt
1/2 cup fresh orange or tangerine juice
1/4 cup mint leaves

METHOD: Blend all ingredients and enjoy!

NUTRITION (per serving) 188 cal, 5 g pro, 29 g carb, 6 g fiber, 7.7 g fat, 1.2 g sat fat, 57 mg sodium

CONCLUSION:

Sip your way smarter with these yummy recipes 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in 2014, Lifestyle

 

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10 Best Essential Oils for Women’s Health

Essential oils have made a difference in women’s health for centuries and, whether you realize it or not, they are all around us. When you walk through a field of flowers, enjoy the shade of a tree or squeeze the juice from a citrus fruit, you’re enjoying the benefits of essential oils. They are found in plants, roots, seeds, flowers, bark and fruit.

Consult this guide for the 10 best essential oils for women’s health, and tips on how to incorporate them into your everyday life. You’ll also want to be sure to familiarize yourself with the oil you use and make sure the oil is safe for consumption or topical application. Here are our picks for the best essential oils for women.

10 Best Essential Oils for Women's Health | Henry Happened

1. CLARY SAGE

  • anti-depressant
  • soothing properties
  • beneficial during women’s menstrual cycles and mood swings, eases discomfort

Everyday use: You can add a few drops into an epsom-salt bath or, if the oil is labeled safe for topical use, you can massage a few drops directly onto your abdomen to ease cramps and discomfort.

2. LEMON

  • energizing and de-stressing properties
  • wonderful for cleaning and cooking

Everyday use: I add a drop of lemon essential oil into a glass of cold water each day. It is so refreshing, and I believe it is the reason I have been able to stay so healthy the last few months.

3. LAVENDER

  • reduces stress and calms nerves
  • helps with sleeping problems
  • aids with skin irritations

Everyday use: This is probably the most-used oil in our home. We diffuse it aromatically before bedtime, add it to our baths, and apply it to the soles of our feet before bed.

4. GERANIUM

  • balances oil
  • aids with skin irritation
  • conditions skin

Everyday use: Add a drop to your facial or body moisturizer, and to your shampoo or conditioner to help balance oil production and moisturize your skin.

5. BASIL

  • soothes sore and tired muscles
  • can be used in cooking
  • helps memory function and focus
  • soothes insect bites

Everyday use: Apply directly to an insect bite or sting, and if you are feeling sore from an extra hard workout, add a few drops into a massage oil and massage tired muscles.

6. WILD ORANGE

  • invigorating, mood lifter

Everyday use: Add a few drops into your body scrub and feel refreshed and awake as you step out of the shower each day.

7. OREGANO

  • purifying
  • boosts immunity
  • helps with digestive and respiratory function

Everyday use: You can diffuse oregano aromatically to purify the air, or add a drop into a teaspoon of honey to soothe a sore throat.

8. MELALEUCA (TEA TREE)

  • contributes to healthy skin and nails
  • antibacterial

Everyday use: Add a few drops to your laundry detergent for its antibacterial benefits.

9. FRANKINCENSE

  • mood lifter
  • helps with skin injuries and irritation

Everyday use: Add a drop to your moisturizer if you have sensitive skin or diffuse it aromatically for a boost in mood.

10. GINGER

  • aids digestion
  • helps eliminate motion sickness, nausea
  • alleviates joint discomfort

Everyday use: Apply a drop to the bottom of your feet after a meal to help aid digestion, or add a drop to a glass of water to take internally.

 
 

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9 Breakfasts That Jump-Start Your Brain

There’s no getting around the fact that you have to eat breakfast. That is, if you want to maintain a healthy weight, shed pounds, or simply have enough energy to make it to lunch. So why not make your morning meal count even more by choosing these mind-sharpening meals from the book Brainpower Game Plan?

The plan incorporates foods shown to keep brain cells healthy and stave off age-related cognitive decline, including berries, nuts, olive oil, veggies, fish, and more—all power nutrients that will keep your whole body well, too.

In this article, we are going to learn to make breakfast better. Morning meals will give your brain a boost.

Yogurt Parfait

Plain yogurt gets smarter when you top it with walnuts (a good source of brain-saving omega-3s) and berries (one of the most concentrated sources of antioxidants). Protein from the yogurt, combined with fiber and whole grains from shredded wheat squares and high-fiber cereal, gets digested slowly for steady energy (and better concentration) all morning long.

Yogurt Parfait

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

¾ c low-fat plain yogurt
½ c shredded wheat squares
¼ c high-fiber cereal
1 Tbsp chopped walnuts
¼ banana, sliced
¼ c berries

METHOD: LAYER all ingredients in a bowl and eat immediately.

NUTRITION (per serving): 336 cal, 16 g pro, 59 g carb, 10 g fiber, 9 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 159 mg sodium


Egg Sandwich

Fried eggs become healthier when you cook them with a brain food like olive oil; tomatoes, spinach, and an apple on the side round out the meal with important antioxidants.

Egg Sandwich

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1 egg
1 tsp olive oil
1 whole wheat English muffin
1 slice reduced-fat Swiss cheese
1 slice tomato
3 baby spinach leaves
1 sm apple

METHOD:

1. FRY 1 egg in olive oil.
2. FILL English muffin with cheese, tomato, spinach, and fried egg.
3. SERVE with apple.

NUTRITION (per serving): 360 cal, 20 g pro, 50 g carb, 9 g fiber, 22 g sugars, 12 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 350 mg sodium


Berry-Banana Smoothie with Toast

A quickie breakfast for busy women; you can even whip up this smoothie the night before so it’s ready when you walk out the door. Packed with antioxidants, omega-3s in flaxseed, and fiber from fruits and whole grains, this breakfast will help you stay sharp—and full—until lunch.

Berry-Banana Smoothie with Toast

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz fat-free milk
½ c frozen berries
½ banana, sliced and divided
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
⅓ c high-fiber cereal
1 slice whole wheat toast
¼ c regular or no-salt-added 1% cottage cheese
Dash cinnamon

METHOD:

BLEND milk with berries, ¼ banana, flax seed, and cereal.
SERVE with topped with cottage cheese; ¼ banana, and cinnamon.

NUTRITION (per serving) 361 cal, 23 g pro, 64 g carb, 17 g fiber, 6.5 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 597 mg sodium


Cereal with Peaches and Milk

Shake up a blah bowl of cereal with pumpkin seeds and sliced peaches, good sources of vitamin E, healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants.

Cereal with Peaches and Milk

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

¾ c whole grain cereal
½ c high-fiber cereal
4 tsp pumpkin seeds
1 med peach, sliced
8 oz fat-free milk

METHOD:

1. MIX cereals together.
2. TOP with pumpkin seeds, peach, and milk.

NUTRITION (per serving) 348 cal, 18 g pro, 75 g carb, 21 g fiber, 6.5 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 248 mg sodium


Homemade Muesli

Adding raisins, apples, and almonds to plain oats provides a tastier and more satisfying texture, not to mention a great source of brain-boosting flavonoids and vitamin E.

Homemade Muesli

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

½ c raw oats
2 Tbsp raisins
¼ c chopped apple
1 Tbsp slivered almonds (or 6 almonds, chopped)
4 oz low-fat plain yogurt
2 oz fat-free milk
½ tsp brown sugar or honey (if desired)

METHOD: MIX ingredients together and eat immediately.

NUTRITION (per serving) 361 cal, 17 g pro, 57 g carb, 6 g fiber, 8.5 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 114 mg sodium


Lox Toast

Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which experts think make brain cells communicate with each other better. Use it, along with cottage cheese, to top whole-grain toast for a filling, fiber- and protein-rich meal.

Lox Toast

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

2 slices whole wheat toast
¼ c regular or no-salt-added 1% cottage cheese (whipped or regular)
2 slices red onion
2 oz smoked salmon
1 med orange or 6 oz orange juice

METHOD:

1. TOP toast with cottage cheese, onion, and salmon.
2. SERVE with orange or orange juice.

NUTRITION (per serving) 338 cal, 24 g pro, 52 g carb, 9 g fiber, 4.5 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 523 mg sodium


Breakfast Quesadilla

Feta cheese and salsa flavor this healthy egg wrap. Healthy fats from olive oil and antioxidants in the salsa provide a brain-healthy ingredients; filling fiber from the wrap and protein from the yogurt will help you avoid mid-morning cravings.

Breakfast Quesadilla

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

1 egg
2 egg whites
1 tsp olive oil
1 8-inch whole wheat tortilla
¼ c crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
2 Tbsp low-fat plain yogurt
¼ c salsa
4 oz black currant juice or orange juice.

METHOD:

1. SCRAMBLE egg and egg whites in olive oil.
2. FILL tortilla with feta and eggs. Fold in half and microwave (or heat in a skillet) until cheese melts.
3. TOP with yogurt and salsa.
4. SERVE with black currant juice or orange juice.

NUTRITION (per serving) 352 cal, 23 g pro, 35 g carb, 5 g fiber, 15 g fat, 5 g sat fat, 590 mg sodium


Pumpkin Yogurt Crunch

This yogurt is anything but vanilla! Pumpkin, pear, honey, and walnuts meld for a tangy-sweet, crunchy flavor. Even better, this tasty mix of omega-3s and antioxidants will help your brain cells stay young and pliable.

Pumpkin Yogurt Crunch

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

¼ c canned pumpkin
1 sm pear, chopped and divided
1 tsp honey
¾ c low-fat plain yogurt
½ c Kashi GoLean cereal
1 Tbsp walnuts, chopped

METHOD:

1. STIR pumpkin; ½ pear, and honey into yogurt.
2. TOP with cereal, walnuts, and remaining ½ half pear.

NUTRITION (per serving) 362 cal, 19 g pro, 61 g carb, 12 g fiber, 8.5 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 177 mg sodium


Waffle Parfait

Skip the syrup and top this breakfast favorite with brain-boosting berries, yogurt, and flax seed instead. It’s healthy, yummy, and a great weekend meal for the whole family.

Waffle Parfait

SERVINGS: 1

INGREDIENTS:

2 whole grain waffles
½ c frozen berries (thawed)
½ c low-fat plain yogurt
2 tsp ground flaxseed

METHOD: TOP waffles with berries, yogurt, and flax seed.

NUTRITION (per serving) 367 cal, 24 g pro, 44 g carb, 6 g fiber, 11.5 g fat, 3.5 g sat fat, 367 mg sodium

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2014 in Lifestyle

 

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12 Reasons Your Business Needs to Get Visual

The shift to the visual is evident everywhere we look, in all media — the infographic below explains why. A good, strong visual married to a good concept — with the right strategy and the right words — wins every time, especially in today’s busy, noisy media world.

  • One thing is clear: visuals and all that traditional creative expertise brings to the table has never been more important for capturing eyeballs, expanding brand influence, and getting people to act.
  • The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text.
  • Visuals satisfy our short attention spans and distracted lives.
  • Visuals tap into our primitive selves, inspiring powerful emotions.

Visuals are important, as it plays major role. This infographic from re:DESIGN attempts to summarize the reasons why in 12 Reasons Your Business Needs to Get Visual. So, use visuals and start growing your business.

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2014 in Business, Infographic

 

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