As we near the completion of the alphabet, there are still more nutritious mind-boosting foods to savor as they make their way from your lips to your brain, keeping you focused and at your peak all day long. After learning the benefits of salmon, turmeric, and udon, it's time to discover the "V, W, and X" foods that are just as great for the mind as they are the appetite.

No matter your culinary tastes and dietary preferences or restrictions, there is always something you can consume to fuel your body and take your brain to the next level. See what veggies like broccoli, walnuts, and xocolatl (you'll love it, don't worry!) can do for your brain.

It's time to whet your appetite and prep your mind to be blown!


Veggies (Like Broccoli)

Veggies are so important for the body and brain, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli are recommended for their mind-boosting properties.

As per Dr. Axe, "Thanks to its high levels of vitamin K and choline, (broccoli) will help keep your memory sharp." And mindbodygreen adds that broccoli is, "high in sulfurophane, a chemical that aids in detoxification, reduction of inflammation, and control of damaging free radicals."

Get your daily dose of broccoli by chopping into fresh salads, steaming as a healthy side dish, tossing into pastas, or dipping into light dressings and smooth hummus. The crunch-factor and filling properties of broccoli will keep you satisfied and sharp!

Walnuts

Nuts of all sorts have wonderful brain-boosting elements, and walnuts make the grade too. According to mindbodygreen, walnuts are, "rich in a variety of nutrients to support brain health including vitamin E, omega-3 fats, copper, and manganese."

Dr. Axe also gives the thumbs up to walnuts since they "improve mental alertness and can help ward off Alzheimer's."

Munch on a handful of walnuts as a snack, mix into trail mix, cereal, or oatmeal, add into salads, or stir into yogurt. Just get some walnut goodness in your belly and you'll go nuts over the effect they have on your mind!

Xocolatl

Via cooking.allwomenstalk.com

Never heard of xocolatl? That's understandable, but once you know how yummy it is and the wonders it does for the mind, you'll wish you'd heard of it sooner. Xocolatl is basically Mexican chocolate derived from cacao beans. It is made into a hot chocolate of sorts, since, as per Casa de Xocolatl, "Xocolatl comes from the Aztec language Nahuatl , meaning 'bitter water'." It is usually prepared by being melted into warm milk to create a delicious and all-natural beverage.

According to Dr. Axe, "Chocolate is chockfull of flavonols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They can also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to both the brain and heart."

You can find this chocolate at specialty and health stores to make your own blend. Drink up to a brain-boosting beverage that will tantalize your taste buds and make your mind work wonders.

The A-Z finale is coming soon, so stay tuned for the rest of our mind-boosting food choices!

PayPath
Follow Us on

Afghan women

NBC

Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.

via Tiffany & Co.

When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.

Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.

Keep reading Show less

Stacker

Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.

From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.

1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance

If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.

2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping

All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.

Camping camping road tripConde Nast Traveler

If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).

3. Bring Food From Home

Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.

Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.

4. Avoid Tolls

Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).

You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.

Road Trip Road TripThe Orange Backpack


5. Save on Gas

Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.

6. Get a National Park Pass

All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.