The human tongue has about 2,000–8,000 taste buds. On each one there are hundreds of thousands of receptor cells. Since the number of taste buds is so different from person to person, taste sensations vary greatly. However, taste buds can be fooled. For example, spoons made from copper or zinc can enhance a food’s saltiness. Temperature is another important factor. Warm beer may taste bitter and cold ham may taste saltier. Recalling a pleasant memory of an item on your plate will actually make it taste more delicious. Color can also influence temperature. Forty eight participants in a French study actually preferred soda from a blue glass because they felt it tasted colder. Our environment can play a big part as to what degree we enjoy our food.
Projecting a three dimensional image of a person’s brain, heart, lung or any organ in question while operating may be the future of medicine. The ability to look through a person in a 3 dimensional way can help physicians more accurately plan and perform surgeries. This will help in removing tumors, taking biopsies and even guiding the placement of catheters in the brain. Within the next 10 years surgeons will be able to glance at these holograms and not be restricted to looking up at a screen. Progress is already under way at Duke University Robotics Program’s Brain Tool Laboratory. A proposal for a Hololens Development Kit was already accepted by Microsoft and is in development.
While most spitting by individuals is uncalled for and unsanitary, it seems that there is a hidden purpose that it is often done by elite athletes. A member of a team will take a mouthful of liquid, rinse and then instead of swallowing spit it out. They choose a particular sports drink recipe which is usually their own concoction. Reluctant to discuss the ingredients, this technique is known as “carb rinsing” or “mouthing washing”. After a decade of research it has been discovered that athletes can gain an edge or boost in performance by rinsing with a carb solution. Messages are sent to the brain that there is extra energy being ingested and this in turn allows the muscles to push further. The 10 second process can increase performance by as much as 30 Minutes. It is the oral receptors in the mouth receiving signals that carbohydrates are being ingested. This is a way of simply tricking the brain into thinking it is receiving more energy. However, this can have its limits in which the body will actually need carb intake. Not beneficial or acceptable when performed on subway platforms or while walking in the street.
-1/2 avocado pitted and peeled
-1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
– 2 slices of whole grain toasted
-1/4 cup diced watermelon
-2 tablespoons feta cheese (low fat if you prefer)
-2 teaspoons chopped mint
-1 teaspoon lemon zest
– Mash avocado and lemon juice together and spread over bread
– Divide watermelon and feta and spread on top of avocado
– Garnish with mint and lemon zest
What exactly is meant by brisk walking? What is the pace that should be sustained? Some say it is that which is faster then a leisurely stroll. Some say that it requires that we increase our metabolic rate to three times that of sitting still. Other say that it should increase our heart rate to 70% of its maximum. The Centers for Disease Control recommend a pace in which you can talk but not sing. How are we able to figure this out? A study published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine put together the results of 38 previous studies that concentrated on the number of steps per minute, heart rates, respiration intensity, different ages and varying body mass indexes to try to come up with a number of steps per minute that would constitute brisk walking. What they came up with was 2.7 miles per hour or simply 100 steps per minute. How do we make this as simple as possible to figure out? Just count the number of steps you take in 6 seconds and multiply it by 10. Following this pace for 30 minutes should be enough for most people to maintain a healthy blood flow throughout their body.
New technology is changing the science of transplants as we now know it. Through use of 3D printers everything from ears to most organs will someday be possible to reproduce. Bio-printing, although in the experimental stage, is expected to be a big part of the future of the medical field. At present many patients die while waiting for a suitable organ donor. Researchers at Wade Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have been creating porous frames resembling the shape of a particular organ they wish to reproduce. The unoccupied spaces can be filled with living cells using the printer’s bio-ink marker. At present bio-printed tissue is being used for drug testing and the first transplantable tissues are expected to be approved within one year. The process involves spraying layer upon layer of different cells and at the same time spraying polymers to help keep a particular shape. If the stems cells come from the patient receiving the transplant, there is little possibility of rejection. Approximately 125,000 people die yearly because they are unable to find a suitable organ donor. The success of 3D printers and bio-technology will make it possible to replace blood vessels, skin, bones, cartilage, organs and tissue in the near future.
It is a fact that carbohydrates fuel muscles while decreasing physiological and inflammatory stress brought on by working out. Sugar is the most digestible whether it is in the form of glucose, fructose, or sucrose. However, most athletes resort to a sports drink which not only supplies the necessary carbohydrates but also provides the body with unnecessary artificial flavorings and dyes. A study was done at the lab in Appalachian State University in which cyclists competed in a 47 mile race. Some used only water, others leaned on a sports drink and the last group bananas. The groups that had either the sports drink or eaten a banana had less inflammatory markers in their blood after the race. However, the group that had eaten bananas had less of a particular enzyme known as COX-2 which increases inflammation in the body. Athletes sometimes have a problem with eating bananas because they feel bloated after eating the fruit. The solution may lie in dates which have a considerable higher level of fructose, a natural fruit sugar. This along with the fact that they are a much smaller fruit and are more economical than the cost of a sports drink makes this a better choice.
Latest science is showing that endurance exercise will not make you more vulnerable to sickness as previously thought. How is it that long tiring workouts can have this effect. In the 1980’s most scientists believed that these intense workouts would leave the body so fatigued that it would be susceptible to any number of illnesses. In the decades that followed scientists began to look more closely at the immune system.The findings contradicted what had been previously thought. It seems that during strenuous exercise the immune cells begin to flow into the bloodstream from all parts of the body saturating all the tissues. After extreme exercise the number of immune cells had actually increased which would be in accordance to what our ancestors experienced while they were escaping predators or chasing prey. Research published in Frontiers of Immunology showed that when mice were put through intense exercise their number of immune cells increased and were flooded into the bloodstream. Unlike previously thought, they did not decrease and die off. Instead they migrated to other organs and tissues strengthening the animals immune system. Testing is now being done to verify this in humans and is showing more and more evidence of the benefits of any form of exercise and how it strengthens our immune system.
One of the best ways to stay on track with healthy eating is to cook once but make enough for three meals. However, this can become very boring if you find yourself reheating the same meal every evening. Let me give you an example of how I work around this. The first night I may make a pan of breaded fish filets covered in spices and lemon. On the second evening, I saute an onion with raisins and cover the reheated fish. On the third evening I reheat the fish covered in marinated red peppers and mushrooms. Not only are you incorporating different minerals and vitamins by adding different ingredients but you are able to make each meal a new experience.