Of course everybody knows that you should eat a balanced diet and go for a regular exercise.
We do this mostly to lose or keep our weight, and maybe even to avoid heart diseases or high cholesterol levels.
But did you know that eating the right foods can also increase your memory and brain function, and dramatically decrease your risk for Alzheimer's or other memory problems once you get to a certain age?
I found this very interesting Ted Talks from Dr. Neal Barnard today which I will link below, and which explains the connection between an unhealthy diet and memory / brain diseases in great detail.
Sadly, many delicious dishes or food items are actually bad for our health - and this means bad for your brain too.
Specifically, I am referring to saturated fats and trans fats.
Saturated fats is contained in many animal products, specifically dairy items and meat.
They are are solid at room temperature, because of its very tightly packed bonds.
Trans fats can be found naturally in some animal products, but only in small amounts.
Mechanically, they are made from vegetable oils through hydrogenation.
You can find trans fats in many pastries, cookies, cakes, and more.
Alzheimer's is one of the most terrifying, but sadly also one of the most diagnosed diseases that affect the brain and memory.
It's often said that the chances to get Alzheimer's are mostly genetically defined... but that's not the whole story.
And apart from that, avoiding these types of fats is also beneficial to lower the risk of heart diseases and cholesterol levels.
Now you might be thinking that the risks for someone who isn't genetically prone to Alzheimer's are pretty low to develop the disease.
But what about cognitive impairment? memory loss, mental lapses especially for names and words that increases with age?
This is something that almost all people over the age of 50 experience.
And studies have proven that there is exactly the same connection between these fats and memory ability!
People who mostly avoided saturated and trans fats showed much better memory abilities and brain function.
"Genes are not destiny" -Neal Barnard, in his Ted Talk
Iron and Copper are contained in different foods, and just like a coin oxidizes, they also oxidize within your body.
This (amongst others) causes the production of free radicals, which are molecules that act like sparks in the brain and destroy neuronal connections, therefore inhibiting your brain's abilities.
Our body actually needs both iron and copper, but nowadays most people consume way too much of it.
Iron gets in our bodies through food that gets cooked in cast-iron pans, and copper can get in our system through drinking water if the pipes are made from copper.
Even many dietary supplements have copper and/or iron in them, because like I mentioned above our body does need them - it's just that we ALREADY consume too much of it!
So how can we fight those free radicals? With antioxidants!
Vitamin E for example is a powerful antioxidant which is contained in many nuts and seeds, avocados, spinach, and many other vegetables.
If you pour some nuts in your hand until your palms are covered, that's already about 5 mg of vitamin E.
In nature, there are 8 different forms of Vitamin E - but in dietary supplements, often only one is featured.
If you consume too much of one certain type, the absorption rate for the other forms of vitamin E is being reduced - which is why you should try to actually get those vitamins from food and not rely on supplements.
They contain anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants, and this is actually what gives them the intense blue/purple color and protects the fruit from the sun while growing.
A study with people of around age 70 who already had some memory problems had them drink grape juice for 3 months.
And the same experiment works with blueberries as well.
The skin is our body's largest organ.
We have hundreds of thousands of touch receptors all over our skin, and a touch can imply so much - it can be friendly, encouraging, violent, sexual, comforting and much more.
But touch is actually a form of social interaction without words as well!
And it's beneficial to our body and overall health.
Touch is the very first of our senses that develops within a baby, and a universal language that every human can understand without ever learning about it.
Scientists have proven that physical touch, especially from a loved one, can really have an impact on our physical health and mental well-being.
Hugs for example trigger the release of a neurochemical called Oxytocin, which promotes trust and compassion.
Also, human touch reduces stress!
It has been shown that only holding the hand of a loved one for a few minutes can already decrease someone's stress level, blood pressure and heart rate.
Experiments with Babies have shown that their heart rate was much lower when they were being held skin-to-skin with their mother, compared to being wrapped up in their crib.
Plus, the babies cried 82% less when they were held by their mother!
Touch may seem like a very straightforward reaction in our body - the signal gets picked up by the receptors on our skin and then travels up to the brain.
But actually, the human brain can distinguish very well between the kind of touch, and it also makes a big difference from whom it comes.
Studies have shown that humans can even interpret small differentiations between the emotions linked to a touching sensation - for example, if this contact implies love or gratitude.
Researchers suggest that touch has always been a crucial part of human social interaction - for primates, it was especially the grooming of one another.
Experiments have shown that primates tend to share their food with members of their group that they groom, which leads to the conclusion that the grooming is an act of kindness and trust.
Studies that analyzed touch amongst sports teams have found out that it makes a team more successful!
Teams that had more physical contact in terms of high fives, celebratory hugs, fist bumps, chest bumps etc. helped each other out more and even performed a little better than other teams throughout the season.
Children that experienced much love and physical bonding with their parents are much less likely to become violent as adults.
Healthy for our immune system:
Studies have shown that women who received frequent hugs from their partners had lower blood pressure and heart rates than control groups.
Hugs stimulate the thymus gland, which is needed to produce white blood cells and reduces the risk for diseases.
Positive outcome for social interactions:
Studies have shown that friendly, encouraging touches were beneficial in many different social situations.
For example, when teachers encourangingly patted students on the back or the arm, the student was more confident to speak up in class.
When a salesperson touches the customer on the arm during his pitch, the customer tends to trust him more and when a waitress touched a guest's hand, the guest was more likely to give a largr tip.
We've all heard this news story a thousand times: Violent video games are dangerous, they promote violent behaviour and increase crime rates.
But other studies show the exact opposite - violence in video games could actually reduce violence in the real world!
It sounds totally logical - violent games promote violence, they make the gamer feel like shooting things / people was normal , they make people more aggressive and they tend to pursue crimes in real life after that.
They set a bad example and encourage people to act violently as well.
Many studies have proven that this is true - but the problem seems to be that the studies were looking at short-term effects, and not long-term ones.
Long-term effects have actually come to mixed results in this matter.
New studies have shown that violent video games might not have the same impact on real-life crime that we always assumed.
A study from January 2016 analyzed the crime rates shortly after popular, violent video games had been released.
And this wasn't just one time - the same result could be proven multiple times.
When violent video game sales increased for 10%, crime rate decreased 0.3% - a decrease that was not found wihen comparing to non-violent video game sales.
This effect was actually not only shown in video game sales, but also for violent movies.
Crime rates decreased 1.1% for every 1 million people that watched a violent movie.
Obviously this is only a theory and experts are still arguing over this.
But some suggest that people who are attracted to violence or aggression are also more attracted by violent media.
Of course, this is very simplified and it certainly doesn't mean that this theory is the answer to this whole debate.
But still, one can't deny the statistics, and this theory also makes quite a lot of sense.
It's not only that people are occupied - maybe they also use gaming as a way to express their negative emotions, instead of acting aggressively in real life.
Also, these games make the player happier, and can even promote social interaction since there are often multiplayer modi in these kinds of games.
The conclusion is that you could probably find arguments, studies and examples for both sides.
This is definitely a tricky topic, and there's no easy way to figure out which theory is right and which one isn't.
In the end, it all depends on how you look at it and what you personally think has more of an impact.
This is not only unhealthy for our back, circulation, blood flow and entire body, it can also seriously increase the risk for diabetes and heart diseases and actually decreases our brain's abilities - and therefore limits our productivity.
I have written an entire post about this topic already, and it's really quite shocking!
Now, more and more companies are trying to combat these negative effects by inventing standing desks or work stations that are adjustable, more comfortable and more healthy to sit and work on for long periods of time.
It consists of a chair with a foot rest, and a crane with a monitor, desk plate, and an additional spot to hold your laptop.
You can either work sitting down or standing up.
Or, you can recline the seat (up to a totally flat position!) and actually work while completely laying down!
Of course, this doesn't fix all the problems that come with a sedentary lifestyle, but with this desk you can adjust the way you sit a lot more, and switch positions every few hours to release the pressure on your back, shoulders and neck.
But of course, something as innovative and high-tech as this also has its price - the complete work station costs $5,900.
This may sound like a lot, but if someone works on a laptop constantly from home and this really improves their efficiency as well as their health, it might be worth considering to invest that kind of money!
The startup was founded in 2015, but they only just started shipping out the first models to their customers.
Altwork was also present at CES 2017, where the Verge reporter Nick Statt had the opportunity to test it:
We'll see how far this company will develop and when they will start worldwide shipping (for now, they only ship in california due to logistic reasons).
But this idea definitely has the potential to become big and change the way we work from home!
We think that drugs are not that easy to get legally - right?
Well, I have found this interesting list of everyday things that can actually get you high or drunk!
Hand sanitizers are very useful, especially when you carry them around if you're on the go.
But it has been shown that these sanitizers can cause intoxication - and lead to a positive result on an alcohol test.
They contain about 60-65% of Ethyl Alcohol, which is a lot more than wine, beer or other alcoholic drinks.
A study has shown that people who applied hand sanitizer multiple times during the day were tested positive for alcohol in urine.
Allergy Pills are used to prevent symptoms like sneezing or a stuffy nose.
But some Allergy Pills actually contain Diphenhydramine, which can lead to a
**high** with hallucinations, dizziness, sedation and more when taken in large doses.
It can also lead to a state between dreaming and reality.
What makes chilli peppers hot is the chemical Capsaicin, which is responsible for the burning sensation.
After eating a chilli pepper, this capsaicin makes the brain release endorphins to block the heat.
This leads to a feeling of euphoria! (If consumed in large doses).
Scientists even report that there have been some case where people experienced mild hallucinations after consuming large amounts of capsaicin.
Nutmeg is a spice that's used for many dishes or hot drinks.
But actually, if you consume large amounts of nutmeg it can lead to a psychedelic experience.
Nutmeg contains myristicin, a psychoactive compound with similar effects to LSD.
While many people have used this as a cheap method to get high, they will experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea about 1 hour after consumption.
Everybody knows the strong smell that permanent markers have - some love it, some hate it.
Scientists have proven that inhaling a lot of these fumes can lead to psychoactive experiences.
At first, the user will feel euphoric, dreamy and confused at first, but after about 45min. the negative side effects, for example nausea, start to show.
Long term use of this method to get high can result in permanent damage to vital organs.
Vanilla Extract is a popular ingredient in baking.
But did you know that Vanilla Extract actually contains about 35-40% of Ethanol?
This is quite similar to Vodka, which has about 40% Ethanol Alcohol as well.
A woman in Georgia has actually been arrested for DUI because she was drunk after drinking a bottle of Vanilla Extract.
Open the Gates- Chequerboard
We travel not to escape life, but for live not to escape us.
*break from life*, a break from all duties and sorrows.
Today, I was in the mood for something a little bit different - still Asian cuisine, but more spicy and hearty.
I love a good curry - all the different spices are so unique and flavorful!
I already like Naan on its own - something about this special kind of flatbread just makes it super delicious!
The combination of the warm dough, molten butter, garlicky flavor and fresh herbs was just perfect.
The curry itself had just the right level of spicyness - not too hot, but with a nice kick to it.
(When you order something
spicy in Asia, it can be a huge risk since
spicy here has a whole different meaning than in western countries!)
The chicken was very tender, and accompanied by the mellow flavor of the lentils inside the curry.
I ordered both a hot green tea and an Ice Tea, and yes I finished both!
The Ice Tea was the perfect refreshment when the curry got a little too hot, and the green tea felt nice and soothing at the end of the meal.
You stick your hand in the bathtub to check the temperature, and for a moment, your hand feels ice cold - but then only moments later, you realize that the water is actually piping hot.
Temperature is actually just a measure of energy, and it depends on the speed of the molecules that move inside of a liquid or object.
And there are different thermoreceptors for warm and cold temperatures.
We actually have more cold thermoreceptors than warm ones, and specific parts of our body, like the ears for example, have a very high concentration of cold thermoreceptors, which is why those body parts tend to feel cold very quickly.
*paradoxical cold*, and scientists still aren't exactly sure why it occurs.
The most popular theory states that it's a misinterpretation of the thermoreceptor system, without any evolutionary advantage.
Pain receptors that warn the body of high heat operate on the same sensory fibers as cold receptors.
Also, signals from the cold thermoceptors can travel to the brain up to 10 times faster than signals from warm receptors, which is why we might feel as if something feels very cold at first, but only a split second later, we can already feel the
real, hot temperature.