The Link Between Your Diet and Body Odor

Have you ever considered that what you put inside your body can affect how the outside of your body smells? What you eat can have an effect on your body odor and may even affect peoples’ response to your smell. Additionally, your scent can also tell a lot about your health, especially in relation to your underarms.

People sweat for several reasons. Whether it is due to stress, heat, anxiety, exercise, fear, anger or a fever, you will still have the same sweat response. While age and overall health can also impact your sweat, with these other factors, some people naturally sweat more than others. The skin has been studied to measure levels of carotenoids, which are the naturally occurring antioxidant pigments, to gauge a person’s produce intake.

According to the original theory, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables containing potent carotenoids will positively affect your scent. With over 700 types of natural carotenoids, you are likely to have about 10 or 20 different kinds of carotenoids in your bloodstream at any given time.

One particular study included a food frequency survey. It concluded that men typically emit a more pleasant-smelling odor when they eat more fruits and vegetables as opposed to carbohydrates. Their sweat smells were evaluated by females.

In terms of visual attraction, yellower, more carotenoid rich-skin in this study was generally found to be more attractive. While many people think that their diet will only affect their breath, this study showed that it also definitely does affect body odor.

Some people tend to avoid eating onions or garlic because they don’t want their breath to smell. However, body odor is created when our skin’s bacteria metabolize the contents of our sweat glands.

Additionally, the smell of a person’s sweat can convey a person’s level of health and immune fitness, and can even have an impact on someone’s ability to attract a mate. Odor has been known to be an important component of attractiveness for a while, especially for women. Historically, women have been more attracted to the natural scent of men who eat more vegetables than carbohydrates.

Furthermore, men who admitted to enjoying pasta, potatoes, and bread in the study had the strongest and least pleasant-smelling sweat of all, even when compared to a diet high in fat, eggs, meat, and tofu.

Consumption of fat, eggs, meat, and tofu was associated with pleasant-smelling sweat, actually. This was not the first test to have these results.

A 2006 study reported that women prefer the smell of vegetarian men compared to men who ate meat. The male subjects were separated into two groups, one group being meat eaters and the other vegetarian for two weeks. They were told to wear pads in their armpits to absorb their perspiration during the last day of their study. Thirty females who were assisting the study were then asked to assess the sweat samples for their attractiveness, intensity, and masculinity.

A month later, the same men repeated the study but switched their diets. The scientists were able to conclude that red meat consumption decreases the pleasantness of perceived body odor and the premise of the study remained the same when the men’s diets were changed. In the featured study, meat intake did not affect how pleasant the women rated the sweat, although meat eaters were found to have more intense smelling sweat.

Body odor may be seen by strangers as a “psychosocial” stress indicator, which can possibly lead men to make poor assumptions regarding a woman’s emotional state and then make further evaluations, such as judging a woman’s competence.

Forty-four women gave the following sweat samples:

1) Untreated exercise sweat
2) Untreated stress sweat
3) Treated (with a commercial antiperspirant) stress sweat

The results showed that the odors that were obtained from stressed women could negatively influence one’s judgment of their personality when it comes to warmth and competence from other women. A different group of mixed gender evaluators rated the women in the videos while smelling one of the sweat samples.

The women in the videos were rated as being under more stress by both men and women when they were smelling the untreated sweat. For men, the women in the videos appeared to be less confident, trustworthy and competent when smelling untreated sweat. Women’s social judgments were not affected by smelling the pads.

Today, personal hygiene is important and common to keep up with. But a hundred years ago, body odor was normal. Blocking personal body odor first occurred in 1912 when a high school student tried to see if she could promote a liquid antiperspirant that her father created. The doctor made the invention to alleviate sweaty hands, which was an issue when he was trying to do surgery in the heat of summer.

This invention led to deodorant. Body odor wasn’t considered something that should be repressed prior to this, so the response to this product was mixed. However, people figured they would give the deodorant a try, so while sales were not great at first, they quickly rose.

Now, the deodorant industry is booming. With the invention of synthetic fabric, body odor can have an even more intense smell. Polyester fabric has an increased tendency to absorb the smell of sweat compared to cotton T-shirts.

Sweating is a both a natural and beneficial bodily function, and blocking it with antiperspirant is not always healthy. Using an all-natural deodorant with equal amounts of baking soda, coconut oil and organic cornstarch is also effective.

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Endorphin Release and Exercise Intensity

You may be familiar with a thrill of elation after working out called a “runner’s high”. This comes from your brain and muscles working together after a good workout. This rush of endorphins may come and flood your senses with different degrees of pleasure, making you feel good.

Research has found that doing high-intensity exercise can simulate the feelings you get when you have pride in a job well done, eat hot peppers, and even watch your children learn new things. These experiences can create a strong response in your brain that can impact your entire body.

High-intensity interval training includes any workout that switches between short bursts of activity and slower, fixed periods of less-intense movement or rest. One popular high-intensity interval training exercise is running as fast as you can for 1 minute and then slowing down to walk for 2 minutes. Repeat this sequence five times to effectively burn fat. Endorphins have been referred to as your body’s natural opiate, and they even work to block pain receptors.

Endorphins Depend on Exercise Intensity

Endorphins are neurochemicals that are produced in your brain that act as natural painkillers similar to morphine. They activate opioid receptors to help minimize any pain. Endorphins are peptides that help reduce the perception of pain and trigger euphoric feelings.

Endorphins released during exercise have a positive impact on you physically, mentally, and physiologically. However, new research shows that the intensity of your workout controls your mood elevation and stress reduction.

Studies have been done on the opioid receptors on healthy, active males between the ages of 21 and 36, using positron emission tomography during intense physical exercise. The males’ endorphin release was repeatedly measured over three days in three different ways:

1) After an hour of aerobic moderate-intensity exercise
2) After a HIIT session
3) After resting

The participants’ moods were also measured after their exercise sessions. Professionals have said that if adults are looking to either improve or maintain their physical health, it is important to either engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio activity each week or 75 minutes of high-intensity cardio activity in a week.

Moderate vs Intense Exercise and Endorphins

The results of exercise go well beyond the physical and extend to mood and may even lessen anxiety and depression. However, professionals have not always known if there is a link between endorphin concentrations and one’s mood.In the study of 22 male subjects, in measuring their moods and endorphins, the researchers found that high-intensity interval training led to a rise in the release of endorphins. The team also found that HIIT led to negative feelings in the men, which is also correlated to an increase in endorphin release.

While high exercise intensities release endorphins associated with increased negative feelings, endorphin release may be required to counteract the emotional and physical challenges that exercise produces. However, the negative feelings surrounding HIIT may discourage doing more exercise.

How High-Intensity Exercise Can Help You

The study concluded that the endorphin release caused by exercise may be an important factor in keeping people motivated to continue to exercise and keep a regular routine.
Also, having the knowledge that you may experience a level of euphoria may even be something that drives people who don’t want to exercise to the gym.

When it comes to the benefits of HIIT, consider this: doing only One minute of intense activity within a 10-minute exercise session could be equally as effective as exercising for 45 minutes at only a moderate pace. That means that having 12 minutes of intense exercise will get you more results than several hours of medium-intensity exercise. This will also positively affect your overall health.

HIIT also helps to improve glucose tolerance more than other forms of exercise, can burn up to 15% more calories, triggers the production of HGH, and produces immediate changes in your DNA that could possibly help you live longer. It can also benefit people who have survived colorectal cancer because people do not realize the harmful effects of neglecting exercise.

The truth is, without exercise, one may lower their survival rate if they have received anticancer therapy. Studies have revealed that cancer survivors who engaged in HIIT or any moderate exercise were able to experience improved peak oxygen consumption.

Even if you choose to do an exercise besides HIIT, it will have benefits on your health. This is beneficial when it comes to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. It also helps to improve your skin, slow down the aging process, aid in disease recovery, and shrink fat cells.

Exercise helps lower your chances of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes in addition to lowering your blood pressure and even preventing depression. Positive changes will be made to your brain to improve your memory and thinking skills while also reducing brain fog.

With these advantages and the benefit of getting happier from the release of endorphins, exercise is an obvious priority to keep in your routine.

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The Benefits of Fiber

Which do you believe is more important, soluble or insoluble fiber? Many people don’t know there is a difference between the two. Most people consider fiber to be a nutrient that helps healthy digestion, but it does other things as well. Dietary fiber, which is plant material that is indigestible, is an essential nutrient because you have to consume it to make this type of fiber available to your body. Some foods have both soluble and insoluble fiber in them.

Any part of a food that is plant-based that is not able to break down in your system or isn’t absorbed into your body is considered to be indigestible. Fiber moves through your colon and helps move food particles along that could otherwise adhere to the sides. Food that stays stuck to your colon can lead to bloating, constipation, pain, and other health problems.

It is important to eat vegetables, nuts, seeds, and certain fruits on a regular basis to provide your body with the nutrients it needs. These foods contain the fiber that is needed to regulate your bowel movements and keep your colon clean, among other health benefits.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and turns into a gel when it gets to your large intestine. It is easily broken down by both liquids and gastrointestinal acids and in turn, releases certain gases.

The thick gel that is created moves into the crevices of your colon and slows down your digestion. This is great for weight control because it can help you feel fuller for a longer period of time. It also helps prevent dietary cholesterol from breaking down, which helps keep your cholesterol levels healthy. Soluble fiber slows down the rate of absorption of other nutrients in your body to prevent your blood sugar from spiking as well.

Soluble fiber also helps lower your risk of developing hypertension and heart disease. It can even aid in feeding the good bacteria in your gut.

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber stays intact while it moves through your colon. It is not digested and is therefore not a form of calories. It works to prevent constipation because it absorbs fluid as it goes through your gastrointestinal tract. It also sticks to other byproducts in your intestinal tract that help to form waste that your body wants to get rid of. This also shortens the amount of time that food spends in your colon while helping your body excrete waste. This helps keep your digestion regular.

Insoluble fiber also decreases your risk of developing diseases such as diverticulitis, which happens when your colon creates folds and increases the intestinal blockages that lead to constipation.

Overall Benefits

Overall, soluble fiber keeps you feeling full for longer by slowing digestion, and insoluble fiber takes up space in your stomach and intestines, which can help you eat less. Both kinds of fiber help decrease your risk of health conditions such as including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Sources of Fiber

Many foods are rich in fiber. The best sources have at least 20% of the recommended daily value of dietary fiber for each serving, but this does not necessarily mean that the food is healthy. For example, grains are not always very healthy, even though they are high in fiber.

Healthy foods with a lot of fiber include vegetables such as green peas, artichoke, sweet potato with the skin, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Some other great sources include raspberries, pears, prunes, dried dates, figs, almonds, pumpkin, apples, and bananas.

Women should aim for consuming 25 grams of fiber each day and men should try to eat 38 grams. However, it is also recommended to consume 25 to 50 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed. When you increase your fiber intake, make sure that you do it slowly and drink a lot of water while doing so. As fiber travels through your gastrointestinal tract, it acts like a dry sponge, meaning it needs water to bulk up and pass through the system. Without increasing your water intake, you can become constipated if you eat too much fiber too soon.

Fiber and Gut Health

Some foods not only provide fiber, but also help improve your gut health. One example of such as food is under-ripe tropical fruits such as bananas, mango, and papaya. These foods contain digestive-resistant starch which help with the process of fermentation.

These resistant starches in your intestines feed healthy bacteria and act as prebiotics. They help to bulk up bowel movements which helps them pass through your body more easily. Additionally, they do not spike your blood sugar like ripened fruit does, so they are more likely to improve your insulin regulation.

Other good sources of resistant starch are seeds and tapioca starch, however, they are not as dense in nutrients as fruits. Some have argued that resistant starch could be considered another type of fiber.

Improving Your Microbiome and Immune System

Keeping a healthy immune system is important for preventing chronic disease. Many foods available these days hurt our immune system and can lead to illnesses and diseases. While grains like wheat and corn are usually considered to be good for increasing your fiber, there are other reasons why they actually should not be consumed on a regular basis.

These foods help promote insulin and leptin resistance and contain lectins. The way these grains are grown is important because the soil and chemicals used to treat them actually makes them worse for your health. These foods are implicated in increasing disease rates in many ways.

It is best to eat the skins of certain fruits and vegetables, especially if they are organic. When it comes to improving your microbiome, make sure to eat fermented vegetables, cabbage, turnips, carrots, parsnips and beets. In essence, root vegetables are the best for this.

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The Benefits of Curcumin and Exercise Together

Endothelial cells, like other cells in your body, are vital and can be affected by several outside factors, including both curcumin and exercise. Studies have shown that the addition of curcumin to a regular exercise regimen can help increase the benefits to the function of your endothelial cells and even improve the function of your heart.

Your blood vessels are lined with endothelial cells from your heart to the miniscule capillaries that deliver nutrients to your body’s organs. Endothelial cells control the permeability of your blood vessels, deciding the number of white blood cells that can pass throughout your bloodstream. Each of these cells has receptors that can sense the pressure of blood flow throughout your body. Your endothelial cells give this critical information to surrounding cells so they can adapt and accommodate the blood flow.

Your endothelial cells also work to protect areas of the vessel walls that are subject to damage. When this happens, neighboring cells divide and multiply so they can cover the damaged area. This happens in vessels that already exist and in cells so new vessels can be created.

This may happen during normal bodily processes or in cases where the body has become injured. If you get cut, your endothelial cells initiate capillary growth where the cut is located to begin the repair process. An infection may also encourage capillary growth that then goes away once the inflammation diminishes. This will also help regulate hemostasis, or discontinue the flow of blood by creating clots and regulate the flow of blood through your body.

The vital function of the endothelial cells means that when they become dysfunctional, it can lead to several dangerous health conditions, such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, a reduction in nitric oxide production, and Type 2 diabetes.

Exercise and Endothelial Health

Exercise has a great impact on your health in many positive ways. In terms of endothelial function, exercise aids in clinical improvements that you may experience. For example, exercise increases blood flow and healthy stress on the arterial walls, which results in more nitrous oxide production and its bioavailability. Getting exercise on a regular basis can reduce cardiovascular disease by maintaining or improving endothelial function. Even a small amount of exercise can have a great benefit on your endothelial function and NO production. People suffering from chronic diseases can experience the benefits of even moderate exercise on their endothelial function.

It is important, however, to remember that the benefits of exercise do not continue if you stop exercising. For this reason, you have to exercise on a regular basis in order to keep the benefits of improved health function.

Combination of Exercise and Curcumin

Some people want to take an anti-inflammatory pill and do nothing else for their health, as exercising can be seen as time-consuming and exhausting. However, it is best to mix anti-inflammatories with an exercise routine.

One of the best anti-inflammatories is turmeric. Studies have compared the effects of about a teaspoon of curcumin each day to an hour of exercise and both groups experienced improved endothelial function. Other studies have shown that taking curcumin and exercising can reduce stiffening of the arteries.

Nitric Oxide and Endothelial Cells

Exercise will produce your NO production. In as little as three minutes, you can stimulate the release of nitrous oxide in your body, causing your blood vessels to expand which will then reduce your blood pressure. This will also work to decrease platelet aggregation and reduce your risk of experiencing a heart attack. Reduced NO in your body may lead to inflammation in the heart and the death of heart tissue.

Researchers have explored options to reverse endothelial dysfunction by increasing the release of NO by way of prescription drugs. However, you can increase the release of NO into your bloodstream naturally several times a day through exercise.

Often in chronic diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, and Type 2 diabetes, there is a significant imbalance in endothelial presence, which can lead to worsening of the condition. This means that NO plays an important role in your health and wellbeing.

Prolonged Sitting and Endothelial Dysfunction

There have been many studies on the dangers of prolonged sitting. The human body was designed to move with almost 300 joints that are meant to move in directions through three planes. Sitting for long periods of time makes active changes in your body that can bring on Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, even if you exercise on a regular basis. These conditions can decrease your lifespan.

Millions of people are negatively affected by sitting for long periods. Studies have shown that most Americans sit between 8 and 15 hours every day, including time commuting back and forth to work, sitting at a desk, and watching TV. You would likely be surprised at how long you sit throughout the day.

Studies have found that the amount of time you spend sitting has a direct impact on your risk of developing heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, and experiencing premature death, even if you exercise on a regular basis. However, those who sit for under 30 minutes at a time have the lowest risk of experiencing an early death.

In the first hour of sitting without getting up, your blood begins to gather in your legs and pelvis, which can trigger changes to your endothelial function. The changes in this blood flow result in an increase in arterial pressures and even small changes in your heart rate and blood output.

Incorporating Turmeric in Your Nutritional Plan

Incorporating turmeric into your everyday schedule is one way to add to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to note that this needs to be done along with other things such as a healthy diet and exercise.

Try to limit sitting to 15 minutes before getting up and walking for 3-4 minutes. Make sure you exercise and allow at least two hours between exercise sessions.

A great idea is to add turmeric to your garden so you can have it readily available at home. You can grow turmeric in indoor containers or in your yard. The plants take under a year to mature and either fresh or dried root can be used in homemade meat rubs or marinades, chopped salads, or in a ginger and turmeric golden milk.

Turmeric essential oil is great for topical use. However, it needs to be diluted with a carrier oil. Before using essential oils, it is best to do a skin test to make sure you will not have a reaction to the oil. Talk with your doctor to make sure essential oils are safe for you.

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Save Time and Increase Strength Results

Have you ever wondered if you are lifting weights correctly? Do you know when it is time to increase the amount of weight you are lifting to help get the most benefits out of your time at the gym? Many people continue to lift the same amount of weight, even after their bodies have adapted to the movement. This results in wasted time and no visible changes.

When it comes to exercising, even if you have perfect form, the amount of resistance you use with your weights can play a huge factor in your results. If you lift too heavy, you may be putting yourself at risk for injury. If you lift too light, however, you may be falling short of the results that you could accomplish. You don’t want to put yourself at risk for injury and have to sit out from the gym for a few weeks while you heal, but at the same time, you don’t want to be wasting your time while you are lifting weights at the gym.

Research has shown that most people don’t lift as much as they possibly could. Instead, they get used to a lifting regimen and stick with it for a long time, way past the time that their bodies have adjusted to the weight. In order to fix this, research has shown that you can do 20 reps of your exercise with your choice of weights without taking a break. If you can do this easily without pausing or resting, your weights are too light. If you have to slow down after about the 12th rep, you may already be lifting the right amount of weight.

The key is, you won’t know your maximum weight until you try. This is not something that you should allow yourself to be in the dark about. If you know how far you can go, it can change both your mental and physical approach to your workout. This can help empower you to push through a workout that you did not previously think you would be able to accomplish.

You can also abide by the “final two reps” rule. This means that the last two reps that you do of each set should be difficult to do, almost approaching technical failure. However, if you can accomplish 20 reps or somewhere close to it without having to stop at all, it is best to increase your weight by 2.5 to 5 pounds when you are working on your upper-body and 5 to 10 pounds when you are working on your lower-body. Once you increase your weight, try to do one set of 20 reps again to see if you need to increase it more.

It is best to choose weights that you can best handle for about 12 reps, otherwise, you may not be getting the strength benefit that you possibly could be. So if you are short on time, which is a common problem, but you still want to see some positive results, make sure to stick to these rules.

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Maximize Your Workout in Minimum Time

Everyone wants to be able to do an efficient workout so they don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get the results they are looking for. You want to put forth some good effort for a short amount of time and get a good return on your investment. So, what is the best way to do this?

Quick and powerful circuit workouts are able to burn some serious calories in a pretty short amount of time. There are a lot of options for entire-body workouts that you can start to do on a regular basis to maximize your time in the gym. Here is one three-move series that will be beneficial for you that will guarantee you some great results.

For each of the following exercises, start with 10 reps, then do nine, then eight, etc., until you are just doing one. While you may look back and think that flew by once you are done, your muscles will definitely feel the effects.


Burpees are relatively simple, but they require a lot from your body. You will not only reap cardio benefits, but you will also work all of your major muscle groups, and quickly burn a lot of calories.

To do a burpee, stand with your feet directly below your hips and bend your knees to place your hands flat on the floor directly in front of you. Jump both of your feet back at the same time to create a plank with your body. Jump your legs back up, returning to the squat position and then stand and jump as high up into the air as you can with your arms reaching toward the ceiling. Land gently on your feet. Repeat this move as many times as necessary in your routine.


These may seem intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of them and build up your strength, they will do a lot of benefits for your body. You only need a bar and you are all set to start. Chin-ups are essentially pull-ups, just in the underhand position. They work to strengthen and sculpt your arms, shoulders, back, and abdomen.

To do a chin-up, grip a bar with your palms facing your body. Just as you would in a pull-up, pull your body up with your arms, take a moment to pause once your chin in above the bar, and then lower yourself down slowly.


Chin-ups can be a challenge that you have to work your way up to. If this is the case, you can switch it up and do rows for your second move.

To do rows, hold a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing down. Bend yourself over at your hips and knees and continue to lower your torso down until it is just short of being parallel to the floor. Allow the dumbbells to hang down before pulling them up by bending your elbows to the sides of your abdomen. Take a few moments to pause in this position and then slowly lower your arms. Continue this move according to your workout schedule.

Goblet Squat

To do a goblet squat, grab a dumbbell or kettlebell and hold it out at a 90-degree angle in front of your chest. Keep your feet hip-width apart and your elbows facing the floor. Lower yourself into a squat by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Allow your elbows to lightly touch the insides of your knees as you are performing your squat. Bring yourself back to your original position.

Doing these three moves on a regular basis will help you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. While it is important to do cardio and other workouts as well, these strength training moves will surprise you and your muscles with their effectiveness.

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The Effect of Sleep on Body Weight

Obesity is a major epidemic in the United States with almost 71% of U.S. adults over the age of 20 being overweight or obese. Additionally, almost 21% of children between the ages of 12 and 19 are considered obese and 17% of 6- to 11-year-olds and 9% of 2- to 5-year-olds are fighting the same battle. Diet and exercise play a huge role in this problem, but many people do not realize that sleep is a large factor as well.

Sleep deprivation is very common with a reported 50 million to 70 million adults suffering from a sleep disorder. Over 35% of adults report that they get under 7 hours of sleep each night. This lack of sleep has serious consequences such as fatigue, but it may also have an impact on one’s weight.

Better Sleep Equals Lower Body Weight

Studies have shown that sleep duration is negatively associated with BMI and waist circumference, suggesting that the longer a person sleeps, the smaller their waist and lower their BMI tend to be.

In fact, people sleeping about six hours per night tend to have a waist circumference over 1 inch larger than those getting nine hours of sleep. A lower amount of sleep has also been linked to lower levels of beneficial cholesterol and a higher likelihood of obesity, which comes with many comorbidities.

Additionally, studies have found that sleeping more on the weekends could positively impact one’s weight. People who slept an additional two hours on weekend days than weekdays have been found to have a significantly lower BMI than those who do not catch up on their sleep over the weekend. Sleep deprivation has a strong influence on hormone levels, including increasing ghrelin, which increases hunger, and decreasing leptin, which helps your body know it is full.

Sleep and Your Waistline

Sleep allows your body to function properly. If you don’t get enough, your self-control and willpower will suffer, which will likely cause you to make unhealthy eating choices. Biologically speaking, a lack of sleep disrupts important hormones and metabolic function. If you lose as little as 30 minutes of sleep every night, you can disrupt your metabolism just enough to gain weight.

For every half-hour of sleep debt that you get during weeknights, your risk for obesity and insulin resistance is increased by up to 39% after one year. This means if you should be getting eight hours of sleep each night but only get seven, you could raise your risk of obesity by 34% and increase your chances of insulin resistance by 78%.

Studies have also shown that people who sleep only five hours a night tend to gain almost 2 pounds a week because they eat more calories throughout the day. Alternatively, adults and children sleeping nine hours a night tend to keep their weight the same and eat fewer unhealthy foods.

If weight loss is your goal, it is important to make sure you are getting enough sleep, otherwise, your dietary interventions to help you lose weight may be compromised.

How to Know If You Are Getting Enough Sleep

The amount of sleep that people are getting is on the decline. about one third of Americans get under seven hours of sleep each night, and over 83 million adults in the U.S. are sleep-deprived.

In addition to weight gain, not getting enough sleep can result in diseases such as type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It can also interfere with thyroid hormones and promote inflammation in the body. Sleep deprivation can affect the immune system similarly to physical stress and illness, which helps explain why sleep deprivation is tied to an increased risk of chronic disease and acute illness.

If you are not sure if you have sleep deprived, go to your bedroom in the afternoon to take a nap and hold a spoon over the side of the bed. Place a metal tray next to the bed so when you fall asleep, the spoon will fall out of your hand and hit the tray and wake you up.

If this happens in under five minutes, you’re severely sleep deprived. If it takes 10 minutes, you could still likely use more sleep. However, if you stay awake for over 15 minutes, you are likely well rested.

Try to Get Eight Hours of Sleep a Night

How much sleep you need will depend on your age, your level of activity, and your overall health, but most people need around eight hours of sleep each night. Keep in mind that this means more than just being in bed for eight hours, you have to actually be asleep for that amount of time.

You can use a fitness-tracking device to give you the data you need each night to help you determine what time you need to go to bed to get a full eight hours of sleep. If you need to improve the amount of sleep you are getting, take a look at your sleep hygiene. This includes your sleeping environment, your regimen prior to going to bed, and the schedule of your exposure to light.

Getting enough exposure to bright light throughout the day will help regulate your circadian rhythm and ensure that your body is producing the right amount of melatonin.

In the evening, limit your exposure to light by turning off electronic devices and switching to low-wattage light bulbs. Using candle light is a good alternative to artificial light and can help you go to sleep faster.

If you are able to get enough sleep, you will be more likely to lose weight and stay healthy. Keep in mind that sleep is as important as diet and exercise when trying to maintain a healthy weight.

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The Shocking Truth About Sponges

While you have probably heard how much bacteria your kitchen sponge holds, you might not realize how difficult it is to kill that bacteria and clean your dishes with a sanitized sponge.

While you can microwave your sponges to kill some of the bacteria, it will not eliminate the worst ones. A used kitchen sponge carries a wide variety of germs, and microwaving it will only kill the weak ones. The strongest germs, however, will survive. These germs then reproduce and take up the empty space of the dead. This will result in an even dirtier sponge.

Microbiomes in Kitchen Sponges

Studies have shown that there are as many as 362 bacteria species at any given time in a used sponge. Additionally, these microbiomes are very dense because they are all living in such a tight space. All in all, around 82 billion bacteria live in one single cubic inch of a sponge. Some of these sponges have even been cleaned to the best of the user’s ability.

It is not shocking that bacteria live in used sponges since they come in contact with raw chicken juice, dirty food, seafood, and other germs that are on food packaging. This type of cross-contamination is one of the main causes of foodborne disease.

People typically use sponges to clean the kitchen sink and other things in the kitchen that have come in contact with raw food or other germs from outside of the house. These bacteria stay on the sponge and start to grow and reproduce.

One issue with sponges is that they are usually stored under warm or hot running water, which facilitates the growth of bacteria because the moisture and warmth make a perfect living environment for bacteria to grow. Some bacteria that are often found on sponges include:

  • Moraxella osloensis
  • E. coli
  • Campylobacter
  • Enterobacter cloacae
  • Klebsiella
  • Proteus
  • Salmonella
  • Staphylococcus
  • Your Kitchen Sponge vs. Your Toilet

During their research, scientists found that the sponges they tested contained more bacteria than an average toilet. This depends on how long the sponge has been used and what it has been used for. However, scientists have noted that there is no single thing on earth that contains more bacteria than a kitchen sponge.

Studies also show that a lot of people don¬ít thoroughly wash their hands, or don’t wash them as often as they should. Additionally, because your kitchen is likely the main room in your house, is the room that has the most foot traffic that brings in germs.

While you may be tempted to disinfect your sponges every now and then after using them for a while, it is best to throw them away and buy a new one. Better yet, use a brush to clean your dishes rather than a porous sponge.

While there are some things you can do to make your sponge smell better, those tactics are not likely to reduce the bacteria on the sponge or make it cleaner to use on your dishes. Even microwaves are unable to sanitize sponges like people think they do.

Some people think that boiling their sponges or even putting them through the dishwasher might be enough to keep them clean, but this is not true.

If you are not sure if your sponge is clean or dirty, it is best to throw it out. This should be done at least once a week even if your sponge appears to be clean. Not only will you then be sure that you are not spreading germs around your house, you will have the peace of mind that you are living a sanitary life.

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The Effect of Sugar on Depression

Eating sugar has been linked to anxiety and depression, which are both on the rise. Studies have shown that people who eat a high amount of sugar are more likely to experience anxiety and depression, regardless of other factors such as socioeconomic status, use of alcohol, exercise, smoking, body weight and overall health.

After eating sweet foods, people experience positive feelings for a short amount of time. Sometimes when people are not feeling well emotionally, they actually turn to sugar to increase their happiness. However, a high intake of sugar is likely to have the opposite effect from what people intend.

Studies have linked the per capita consumption of sugar with the prevalence of major depression in 6 countries, discovering a significant correlation between sugar consumption and depression. Studies have even specifically linked eating baked goods to depression.

High sugar diets also increase depression in postmenopausal women. With a high dietary glycemic index, the risk of depression rises. However, a diet that is full of whole fruits and vegetables, fiber, and lactose is associated with a lower risk of depression.

How Sugar Increases Your Depression Risk

Eating excessive amounts of sugar has several impacts on your body. It affects mental health by contributing to insulin and leptin resistance, it suppresses the activity of a growth hormone that creates healthy brain neurons, it affects dopamine levels, and it damages mitochondria.

When your mitochondria are damaged, your energy declines and your brain is unable to properly function. Including healthy dietary fats in your diet can help improve the health of mitochondria. One of the healthiest types of fats are the long-chained animal-based omega-3 fats, DHA and EPA. These are anti-inflammatory fats that can lower one’s risk of depression.

Inflammation and Depression

Studies have found that inflammation may be the primary risk factor for depression.
Physical and psychological factors can increase inflammation, which is a risk factor for depression that underlies all the others.

Inflammation explains why other risk factors also increase the risk of depression. In fact, depression may come from a chronic inflammatory syndrome, perhaps in the gastrointestinal tract.

Artificial Sweeteners and Depression

While many people swap refined sugar for artificial sweeteners, this is not a healthy thing to do. Artificial sweeteners can be even more harmful to your health than refined sugar. Aspartame has been linked to anxiety, agitation, depression, and irritability and people with mood disorders are especially sensitive to aspartame. Research has also shown that excessive aspartame consumption may compromise emotional functioning.

Address the Root Causes of Depression

Depression is the leading cause of poor health worldwide, affecting around 322 million people, including over 16 million Americans. Rates have continued to increase and 11% of Americans over 12 are already on antidepressant drugs. Additionally, 25% of women in their 40s and 50s are on antidepressants.

There are several factors that contribute to depression, with diet being one of them. Reducing or eliminating sugar from your diet is a vital step to preventing depression.

One way to reduce your sugar intake is to eat whole foods instead of replace processed foods. Eating fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of depression and anxiety. It is important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables so you are sure to have a complete diet of all of the important nutrients.

Because there are many harmful side effects that are associated with antidepressants, it is important to address the lifestyle-based root causes of depression. Drugs will mask the problem of depression, but are not able to heal it.

Antidepressants can also worsen a situation because some are associated with an increased risk of violence and suicide and even a worsened mental state in the long term. Before taking medication, it is important to consider addressing some lifestyle changes such as:

  • Limiting microwave exposure from wireless technologies
  • Get regular exercise
  • Optimize your gut health
  • Eat a healthy and well-rounded diet

It is very important to make sure you do not have any vitamin deficiencies because they can result in depression. There are also several herbs and supplements that can be taken instead of antidepressant medications to help reduce symptoms. Some of these include:

  • St. John’s Wort
  • S-Adenosyl methionine
  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan
  • XingPiJieYu

Overall, limiting sugar consumption and making sure that your body is healthy are the best ways to decrease your odds of experiencing depression. Watch your diet and exercise as well as other lifestyle choices to keep your mental health in tact.

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A History of Bananas

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits, perhaps because they are inexpensive and easy to come by. They are a convenient snack to bring with you to work or school and they are perfectly nutritious for people of any age.

Most people don’t enjoy bananas before they become ripe or after their prime. Bananas go through a process starting with being green and moving to yellow and then brown. When stored at room temperature, bananas will go through this process on their own and can be eaten at any point that you prefer during the ripening process.

Bananas are full of fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C, manganese, biotin and copper. They are even known to fight stress. However, they are high in sugar and carbohydrates, so people who are on a strict diet should limit their banana intake. They are a starchy fruit and become less starchy as they ripen. This starch is digestive-resistant, meaning that it can actually be used to relieve diarrhea. With time, the starch decreases and is converted into sugars.

Bananas and the United Fruit Co.

Founded in 1899, the United Fruit Company profited greatly from bananas by making investments in Guatemala. Beginning in the business of bananas, the UFCO built a business empire that began shipping bananas to the U.S. During this time, the U.S. became gained an interest in the nutritional value of bananas and wanted to incorporate more of them into the American diet, which sparked sales.

UFCO dominated the banana industry and moved on to sell other produce such as tomatoes, pineapples, and cantaloupes, which led to its being known as the “banana republic.” Bananas coming from other countries were often diseased or were infested with insects.

Disease, Monopolies, and Politics and Banana Distribution

In 1903, a widespread disease demolished a lot of the banana supply in Panama, and by 1960, many banana plantations were abandoned. When this happened, the Gros Michel banana variety was essentially wiped out, but Cavendish variety seemed immune. After regaining about 90% of the banana market in 1970, UFCO changed into the current Chiquita Brands International.

When bananas arrive in the city in which they are sold, it is just the beginning of their journey. This is followed by a wide loop of distribution where the bananas are handled by customs officials, blasted with a ripening gas, haggled over in a market, and then taken to a fruit stand to be sold.

Today, small businesses make about a dollar per box of bananas that they sell, even though they supply the bananas for a wide radius of people. But no matter where bananas come from, they have to go through a “radiation portal” when they enter the country because they are “slightly radioactive” because of their potassium content. However, a person would have to eat 274 bananas each day for seven years to be killed by the radiation.

The Most Common Banana

Cavendish is the variety of banana that is seen most often for sale in U.S. grocery stores. They have been on the market since the 1970s and have a mild and mushy taste. Some other varieties of bananas include:

  • Churro
  • Plantain
  • Red Bananas
  • Pisang Raja
  • Manzano
  • Lady Fingers
  • Pisang rastali or kesat
  • Ae Ae
  • Pitogo
  • The Ripening Process

Bananas take weeks to ripen on a tree but continue to ripen once they are cut down. Once they arrive at a store, cardboard boxes of bananas are put in a dark, cool room and stacked to ripen.

They are kept at 56 to 66 degrees F in a room with an ethylene generator, which is a synthetic version of the hormone that naturally ripens bananas. This can either slow down or speed up the ripening process.

Depending on sales, people selling bananas can use digital controls to speed up or slow down the ripening process. The process typically takes four days for in-city delivery to restaurant suppliers, grocery stores, and wholesalers. The ripeness chart runs from one to seven, with green on one end to yellow with brown spots, suggesting that the banana is too ripe.

The nutrition of bananas changes depending on its ripeness. They are the most healthy when they are unripened because this is when they contain the most digestive-resistant starch, which helps improve gut health. Many people do not prefer to eat bananas that are not ripe, but if they are combined with other foods they can become palatable.

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