Category Archives: Healthy Eating

Social Media and Mental Health

What is the impact of excessive social media use, particularly for young women who are bombarded with images of seemingly flawless individuals in artfully staged scenarios, on their mental health?

Social media presents an opportunity to portray oneself in a positive light, even if it does not reflect one’s true life. This is a common practice among users of social media.
Young people, particularly young women, are facing a crisis that is no secret. The latest Youth Risk Behavior survey conducted by the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in the fall of 2021, revealed a disturbing and heart-wrenching picture of the mental health of high school students today. This is the first survey since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2021, 57% of teen girls reported feeling persistently sad or hopeless, while the rate for teen boys was almost half that at 29%, which is still shockingly high. Slightly over half of LGBQ+ respondents reported poor mental health, and more than one in five had attempted suicide in the previous year.

The report also highlighted that nearly one in three teen girls seriously considered suicide. In addition, there were increases from previous surveys in the numbers of teen girls who experienced sexual violence and teen boys who were victims of electronic bullying.
Although the report does not conclusively link these concerning findings of mental distress to social media or internet use, other studies have indicated correlations, and public health officials and psychologists have established connections.

The evidence of a strong link is hard to ignore, even if correlation does not equate to causation.

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.

Simple Ways to Improve Your Eating Habits

Diet culture or societal beliefs that encourage restriction of food to get a leaner body are some of the ways people approach eating. Research shows that restrictive diet rarely results in long-term weight loss. Experts say that if you are in good health, you don’t necessarily need to severely  restrict your food choices.

According to the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 85% of your food should be focused on helping your body and leaving the rest for things you enjoy. It’s important to consult a doctor if you have restrictions on your diet related to health conditions.

If you’re trying to rethink your approach to food in the new year, experts suggest using the following three strategies to do it better.

It’s important to listen to your cravings and think about what you haven’t had in a while that will make you feel good. Allow yourself to have a little–remember you get that 15% indulgence!

The human body can tell you when to eat and when to stop, but diet culture has messed with those signals. Slow down, take your time with your meal, listen to the cues your body is giving and don’t over eat. Body-signal driven portion control can help reduce caloric intake.

Restricting what and how much you eat, like telling yourself you can’t have that burger or ice cream instead of allowing yourself to enjoy a treat, is behavior that can lead to eating more than you’re comfortable with later to make up for it.

Use all of your senses to appreciate what you’re eating. Much like listening your body for when to stop eating, use your senses to fully appreciate everything about the food you are eating–this will likely lead to your eating healthy and better prepared food. It will slow down your eating.