Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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Why We All Need Green In Our Lives

(CNN) It’s the color of the Emerald Isle, the hue of sickness and envy, and a shade associated with grotesque monsters. And its most universal interpretation conjures imagery of nature, a vibrant symbol of the environmental movement and healthy living.

Green, the mixture of blue and yellow, can be seen everywhere and in countless shades. In fact, the human eye sees green better than any color in the spectrum.

This, along with many other facts about this earthly color, makes it an essential part of our everyday lives.

But why is that?

Helping you see

We see green with ease because of how light reaches our eyes; the human eye translates waves of light into color.

When we see a green frog, the color that we see is the light reflected off of the surface of the frog’s skin, perceived by our eyes as green.

When we see these colors, the cones in our eyes are able to process the wavelengths and tell the brain what color is being observed.

Humans are trichromats, meaning we perceive three primary colors: blue, green and red. The retina in a human eye can detect light between wavelengths of 400 and 700 nanometers, a range known as the visible spectrum.

Each primary color corresponds to a different wavelength, starting with blue at the lowest (400 nanometers) and red at the highest (700 nanometers).

In the middle of the spectrum resides the color green, at around 555 nanometers. This wavelength is where our perception is at its best. Because of its position in the center of the spectrum, both blue and red light waves are enhanced and better perceived with the help of green waves.

Knowing your environment

Green space sweeps the planet. Before skyscrapers and suburbs popped up, our ancestors resided in forested regions full of greenery.

As they scavenged for food, the ability to differentiate between colored berries against the backdrop of green foliage was critical for survival.

The evolution of eyesight and the increasing ability to detect color with fine detail gave our primate ancestors an evolutionary advantage over other mammals who could not discern such differences as well.

Color changes in leaves, fruits and vegetables can indicate age or ripeness and even offer a warning that something may be poisonous or rotten.

Today, we continue to use this ancestral instinct at a farmers market or grocery store.

Sourcing your food

Bananas, though widely considered to be a yellow fruit, start off as green due to the presence of chlorophyll. Just as grass and leaves have chlorophyll to give them color, so do fruits.
Located in the cells of plants, chlorophyll plays a crucial role in photosynthesis, allowing plants to harvest energy from sunlight and convert it into energy that the plant can use to grow.

The molecule absorbs blue and red light well while reflecting the green light that we see.

The peels of bananas are bright green in color until the chlorophyll inside the peel begins to break down. As the fruit ripens, the molecule in the peel breaks down and we observe a color change from green to bright yellow – and we prefer to eat yellow bananas because they are sweeter.

While the chlorophyll in the banana breaks down, the starch in the peel is converted into sugar, so more yellow means more sugar – until it begins to rot.

Because of their high starch content, greener bananas are sometimes favored as a cure for upset stomachs.

This change in color also applies when glancing over an aisle of bright bell peppers. Our eyes help us find our favored ripeness and sweetness. Green peppers, with more chlorophyll, are less sweet. As they turn yellow and red, the peppers become sweeter.

When we’re enjoying a salad, a brown piece of wilted lettuce or kale is almost always discarded. And our eyes tell us the lawn is overdue for some maintenance when the color darkens.

So although we may not reside in the forests anymore, our keen perception of green continues to play a significant role in keeping us healthy.

Keeping you calm

Some scientists and researchers also believe that because our eyes are at the peak of their perception to detect the wavelengths corresponding with the color green, the shade may calm us down.

With less strain to perceive the colors, our nervous system can relax when perceiving the tone.

This sedative quality of green may explain why there is so much of it in hospitals, schools and work environments. Historically, actors and actresses would recess to green rooms after so much time looking into bright lights on stage, though modern “green rooms” are rarely painted green.

Helping you live longer

Natural environments, full of green vegetation, might help you live longer.

A 2016 study found that living in or near green areas can was linked with longer life expectancy and improved mental health in female participants. Researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital compared risk of death with the amount of plant life and vegetation near the homes of more than 100,000 women.

After the eight-year study was completed, the data revealed that participants who lived in the greenest areas had a 12% lower death rate than women living in the least green areas.

With more green space, study authors said, came more opportunity to socialize outdoors.

Additionally, the natural settings – compared with residential regions where plants and greenery were sparse – proved to be beneficial to mental health.

“We were surprised at the magnitude of the mental health pathway,” said Peter James, study author and research associate at the Harvard Chan School’s Department of Epidemiology.

Of those who did not live in greener areas, respiratory issues were the second highest cause of death. The study indicated that less exposure to polluted air may have been one of several reasons for increased life expectancy among for those who lived in green areas.

Our ancestors lived their entire lives outdoors. The benefits we stand to gain from adopting an outdoor mindset, James says, could have a positive impact. “We know already that vegetation can help mitigate the effect of climate change. Our study suggests the potential co-benefit for health.”

Article by Robert Jimison, CNN        Mon June 5, 2017
source: www.cnn.com


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Fun Fact Friday

  • Optimistic people are 23% less likely to die of cancer and 30% less likely to die from heart diseases.
  • Porphyrophobia is the fear of the color purple.
  • When people feel physically cold, they seek out psychological warmth, like watching a romantic movie that will make them feel warm inside.
Optimistic people are 23% less likely to die of cancer
and 30% less likely to die from heart diseases.
  • Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per day.
  • Eating mangos one hour before smoking marijuana can heighten the effects.
  • 85% of people have experienced a dream so real that they were not sure if it happened in real life or not.
Happy Friday!
 source:   factualfacts.com   https://twitter.com/Fact   @Fact


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Fun Fact Friday

  • It takes about 7 minutes for the average person to fall asleep.
  • A “gut feeling” is a chemical signal that your stomach creates to warn the brain of danger.
  • Fast food restaurants use yellow, red, and orange because those are the colors that stimulate hunger.
  • In the next 30 seconds, you will, on average, produce 72 million red blood cells, shed 174,000 skin cells, and have 25 thoughts.
  • Studies show those who don’t eat breakfast, or eat it only sometimes, are twice as likely to be overweight as those who eat two breakfasts.
  • It only takes 0.2 seconds to fall in love.

 

Happy Friday  🙂
 
source:       factualfacts.com       https://twitter.com/Fact       @Fact


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Fun Fact Friday

  • Coffee improves short term memory, creativity and alertness.

  • Bees are directly responsible for the production of 70% of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts that we consume on a daily basis.

  • Faking a smile will actually boost your mood.

 

  • Chocolate, sex and laughter are all key to a healthy brain.

  • North American school buses are yellow because humans see yellow faster than any other color, which is important for avoiding accidents.

  • Eating strawberries can improve vision and also help to reduce cancer risk.

 

Happy Friday  🙂
 
source:       factualfacts.com       https://twitter.com/Fact       @Fact


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Fun Fact Friday

  • Lonely people take longer, hotter showers or baths to replace the warmth they’re lacking socially or emotionally.
  • Marilyn Monroe’s IQ(168) was higher than Einstein’s (160)
  • Singing when tensed helps you avoid anxiety and depression.
  • Too much stress and high blood pressure can lead to a condition called “hematidrosis” – where a person sweats blood.
hugs-hand-holding

 

  • 80% of people keep their feelings to themselves because they believe it’s hard for others to understand their pain.
  • North American school buses are yellow because humans see yellow faster than any other color, which is important for avoiding accidents.
  • Hugging and or holding hands with the person you love has been proven to reduce stress almost instantly.

 

Happy Friday  🙂
 
source:       factualfacts.com       https://twitter.com/Fact       @Fact


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Fun Fact friday

 

Billions of souls have inhabited Earth, 
but there have only been about 500 original human templates
to choose from throughout human history. 


A sleeping human brain can still understand
 the words being spoken around it.


Lack of sleep can cause weight gain of 2 pounds 
(0.9 kg) in under a week. 


Beauty sleep is real – 
scientists found that faces of well-rested people 
look younger and are more attractive 
than sleep-deprived people.

meow

Cats only meow to communicate with humans 
not other cats.


People see you as 20% more attractive 
than you think you are, according to one study.


Fast food restaurants use yellow, red, and orange 
because those are the colors that stimulate hunger.

When a man see their infant in distress, 
their testosterone levels drop, 
making them more nurturing.


Research has found that everyone is able to sing well 
— it is a learned skill that gets better with practice 
and worse with disuse.


Depression can cause you to dream 
up to 3 to 4 times more than you normally would. 


Socially anxious people can lessen their anxiety 
by performing small acts of kindness, a study found.

 
Happy Friday  🙂

source:       factualfacts.com       https://twitter.com/Fact       @Fact


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Food dye amounts revealed in brand name products

Artificial food colouring in brand name products highlighted in new study

By Anna Lazowski, CBC News     May 15, 2014

Colourful candy like M&M’s and Skittles are dyed with several artificial colours. Skittles has 33.3 mg of dye per serving.

Artificial food colouring in packaged food tends to be listed on ingredient labels, but until now, the amount of food dye in brand name food products was a mystery.

But a new study, published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics, looks at just how much artificial food dye is those popular products.

Laura Stevens is a research associate at Purdue University’s Nutrition Science department in West Lafayette, Ind. She said the data collected allows parents to look at what their kids eat and determine how much food dye they’re ingesting.

Orange Crush

orange-crush
Beverages are commonly coloured with food dye.
Orange Crush was found to contain 33.6 mg per 8 oz. serving.

The research indicates a meal of two cups of Kraft Dinner, 237 mL or eight ounces of Orange Crush and a bag of Skittles for dessert adds up to 102 milligrams of artificial food dye in one sitting.

Stevens said the data revealed surprises like lemon pudding tinted yellow with artificial dyes, and marshmallows and white icing tinted with multiple shades of food colouring.

“I thought it was interesting that pickles have yellow and blue dye to make them green, and I’ve looked through the pickles at our grocery store and haven’t found any that don’t contain those dyes,” she said.

Vanilla Frosting

frostingvanilla
Vanilla frosting made by Duncan Hines
lists Titanium Dioxide, Yellow 5,
Red 40
as the colours used in this product. (Duncan Hines)

This issue has been looked at before, but supermarket shelves and buying habits have changed a lot since then.

“There’s been a lot of studies back in the ’70s and ’80s that used 26-27 milligrams of dyes and found that very few kids seemed to react to that amount,” Stevens said.

“But when they increased it to 50-100 milligrams then a greater proportion of children reacted.”

That initial amount of 26 milligrams used in the original studies seems pretty tame now, considering one serving of Kool-Aid’s Burst Cherry drink has twice that amount.

While nothing definitive has been found, artificial food dyes have long been studied for links to behavioural issues in kids.

“There were studies done in the U.K. recently that gave food dyes to a large group of healthy children, including ADHD kids,” Stevens explained.

“And they found that not only did some of the ADHD kids react to the dyes, but also some of the children without ADHD reacted. And they reacted with more hyperactivity and inattention.”

The results of that study were motivation enough for the European Union to start labelling foods with high amounts of food dye, linking them to potential behavioural problems in some kids.

The European Food Safety Agency said that though the effects of food dyes on behaviour were somewhat uncertain, the lack of nutritional benefits from the food colouring meant removing them wouldn’t compromise a healthy diet.

And while no study has statistically proven the potential connection between food dye and behaviour problems, consumer pressure is forcing some companies to make changes.



Pepperidge Farm

pepperidge-farm
Pepperidge Farm swapped artificial colours
for natural dyes a few years ago.

Kraft has removed some dyes from its macaroni and cheese products, Pepperidge Farm switched to natural dyes for its coloured Goldfish crackers a few years ago and Frito-Lay has removed some artificial food dyes from several of their products.

While future studies are likely to continue looking for links between behaviour and artificial food dyes, Stevens said parents can try an elimination diet protocol with their own kids at home.

“All they have to do is avoid the foods that are coloured for a week or two. Then get the little bottles of red and green and yellow and blue food dye, put a few drops in a glass of water and ask their child to drink it. Then observe the behaviour.”

Stevens said to watch for things like hyperactivity, runny nose, muscle aches, inattentiveness or higher levels of frustration.

source: www.cbc.ca