Go Ahead And Sigh, New Research Says

For a long time, sighs were associated with feelings of sadness, frustration, or despair. However, a recent study suggests that instead of viewing sighs negatively, we should recognize them for their stress-relieving benefits.

Breathing is a fundamental activity that we often take for granted, but researchers are interested in how we can optimize it to improve our health. A recent study published in Cell Reports Medicine investigated the effectiveness of different deep breathing techniques compared to mindfulness meditation in reducing stress.

The study sorted 114 participants into four groups and asked them to practice mindfulness meditation or one of three breathing exercises (box breathing, cyclic hyperventilation, or cyclic sighing) for five minutes each day over 28 days. Box breathing involves breathing in, holding, breathing out, and pausing equally to the count of four. Cyclic hyperventilation requires taking deep breaths in and quick breaths out, with inhalation lasting longer than exhalation. Cyclic sighing involves breathing in through the nose until the lungs are halfway full, pausing briefly, taking another breath to fill the lungs completely, and then slowly exhaling out the mouth.

After each session, researchers assessed the participants’ mood, anxiety levels, sleep behavior, respiratory rate, and heart rate variability. They found that all forms of breathing and meditation increased positive mood and reduced anxiety levels. Breathing techniques were found to be more effective than meditation, with cyclic sighing being the most effective of the three breathing exercises.

Breathing exercises such as cyclic sighing activate the parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for controlling how the body rests and digests. In contrast, sharp inhales of breath activate the sympathetic nervous system, responsible for preparing the body to fight or flee.

In conclusion, while sighs were once viewed negatively, research now suggests that they can be beneficial for stress relief. Breathing exercises, especially cyclic sighing, can be a useful tool for reducing anxiety and promoting positive mood.

Just 11 Minutes A Day of Aerobic Exercise Can Matter

A new study has found that just 11 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic activity per day can reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, or premature death. Activities like walking, running, cycling, and swimming are considered aerobic and can be measured by heart rate and breathing intensity. Moderate intensity activities are those that allow you to talk but not sing, while vigorous intensity activities make it difficult to carry on a conversation.

Previous research has linked higher levels of physical activity with lower rates of chronic disease and premature death, but it has been difficult to determine how the amount of exercise impacts these outcomes. To explore this, researchers from the University of Cambridge looked at data from 196 studies involving more than 30 million adult participants who were followed for an average of 10 years. The results of the study were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The study focused on participants who did the minimum recommended amount of exercise per week, which is 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic physical activity per week, or 22 minutes per day. Compared to inactive participants, those who met the minimum requirement had a 31% lower risk of dying from any cause, a 29% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and a 15% lower risk of dying from cancer. The same amount of exercise was linked to a 27% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 12% lower risk of developing cancer.

Even people who got just half the minimum recommended amount of physical activity benefited. Accumulating 75 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week, which is about 11 minutes of activity per day, was associated with a 23% lower risk of premature death. This amount of activity was also enough to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 17% and cancer by 7%.

The study found that beyond 150 minutes per week, any additional benefits were smaller. Therefore, even a small amount of daily physical activity can have significant health benefits, and it’s important to make physical activity a regular part of your routine.

Best Medication For Lower Back Pain

Ouch, that aching back! Perhaps it’s from sitting too long, picking up a heavy object, a sudden slip or fall, or an aging spine, sudden pain in the lower back is a common complaint.

The leading cause of years lived with disability is low back pain. 4, Global Burden of Disease Study. When low back pain lasts for three months or more, it’s called chronic and can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication. A new study attempts to find out which type of pain med is most effective. 18 randomized clinical trials focused on lower back pain that lasted no more than 12 weeks were found by researchers.

There are many types of drugs, including aspirin, tylenol, Paracetamol and Panadol, which were looked at in the study.

Ibuprofen, naproxen, and celecoxib are not available over the counter.
Muscle relaxers are not available without a prescription.

A combination of an NSAID and a prescription muscle relaxer was found to be the best medication for acute lower back pain.

The study only applies to lower back pain that isn’t ongoing and chronic. The department of orthopedic, trauma, and reconstructive surgery is headed by Filippo Migliorini.

Before any such intervention is recommended, the physician should be sure to rule out any possible specific cause of pain that may require specific actions or diagnostics, for example, a history of cancer or recent trauma, according to Migliorini and his coauthors.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Chocolate Pt. 2

What’s different about hot chocolate?

To make powdered hot chocolate, the beans are soaked in alkali. The powdered cocoa is more likely to be in water if the pH is raised to be more basic. The Maillard reaction is changed when the beans are at a higher pH.

A smooth and mellow flavor of hot chocolate is described by experts as a smooth and mellow flavor with woodsy notes, while regular chocolate flavor is sharp, with an almost citrus fruit finish.

The texture of a chocolate bar is created.
Historically, chocolate was consumed as a drink because the ground beans were not smooth.

Cocoa butter is added after removing the shells and grinding the beans. Cocoa butter comes from the beans. Chocolate makers add extra fat because there isn’t enough fat in the beans to make a smooth texture.

The cocoa butter and the cacao beans are going through a process. It took a team of horses a week to walk in a circle and pull a large stone to crush the particles small enough. The machines can grind and mix in about eight hours. The process creates a smooth texture and drives off some odors.

Why is chocolate hard to cook with?

The chocolate in the store has been softened. The process of tempering chocolate involves heating up the chocolate to just the right temperature before it cools to a solid. The fat makes this step necessary.

Cocoa butter’s fat can be found in six different crystal forms. Five of them want to become the most stable, sixth form. If you see a chocolate bar with white spots on it, it has bloomed, which means the fat has rearranged itself into that sixth crystal form. It doesn’t taste as good as it used to.

You can slow down bloom by heating and cooling chocolate through a series of temperature cycles. The fat becomes the second-most stable form. It takes a long time for this form to be rearranged.

You break the temper when you melt chocolate at home. The chocolate blooms with an unattractive gray or white surface the day after you created it.


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Chocolate Pt. 1

How does chocolate taste?

The bean that makes chocolate is a dull-tasting bean that grows on a tree. The process of creating the characteristic flavor of chocolate involves two key steps.

The beans are left to ferment for several days after harvest. The next step is roasting.
Chocolate is formed during roasting by a reaction called the Maillard reaction. There are two types of chemicals that are present in the cacao beans. Roasting brings them together under high heat, which creates a wonderful aroma.

Roasting is an art form. Different times and temperatures produce different flavors. If you sample a few chocolate bars, you’ll know that some companies roast at a higher temperature than others. The floral and fruity notes are maximized by lower temperatures. It’s a matter of personal preference.

Freshly baked bread, roasted meat and coffee are all created by the Maillard reaction. The similarity between chocolate and coffee seems obvious, but bread and meat? The flavor chemicals that get formed in those foods are dependent on the types of sugar andProtein. If you roasted bread and chocolate in the same way, you wouldn’t get the same flavor. It’s difficult to make a good artificial chocolate flavor.

How long do you keep chocolate?

That wonderful smell has been created after the beans are roasted. The longer you wait to consume it, the more of the volatile compounds responsible for the smell evaporate and the less flavor is left for you to enjoy. You can eat milk chocolate for about a year and dark chocolate for two years. It’s not a good idea to store it in the refrigerator because it picks up odors from other things in there, but you can keep it in the freezer.