Study Finds That People Who Read Live Longer Than Those Who Don’t.
Read Books, Live Longer?
Finally a study we can bury our nose in. Researchers at Yale University School of Public Health have found that book readers have a “significant survival advantage” over those who don’t read books. While the study didn’t address whether reading books on Kindle count, it did find that book readers in general lived an average of two years longer than those who don’t.
The study, which appears in Social Science & Medicine, found that people who read for up to 3.5 hours a week were 17 percent less likely to die over the study’s 12-year follow up period than those who read no books. Since book readers tend to be female, college-educated and in higher income groups, the researchers controlled for those factors as well as age, race, self-reported health, depression, employment and marital status.
Compared with those who did not read books, those who read for more than 3.5 hours a week were 23 percent less likely to die.
The study found a similar association among those who read newspapers and periodicals, but it was weaker.
“People who report as little as a half-hour a day of book reading had a significant survival advantage over those who did not read,” said the senior author, Becca R. Levy, a professor of epidemiology at Yale, in a New York Times post.
But as a few astute commenters noted, since reading a book is a sedentary activity, maybe we shouldn’t expect too much from it in the way of increased longevity. Although if reading means you aren’t going out and thus exposing yourself to all the world’s inherent dangers, maybe you will gain a few years. While we wait for the jury to decide, what’cha reading?
See also: 10 Fruits & Vegetables Peels That Should Go In Your BELLY… Not The Bin!
In all likelihood, the first thing you do when you eat an orange is tear off that thick peel and throw it straight into the garbage. Guess what? You’re missing out on a lot of nutrients. The peel of an orange has nearly twice as much vitamin C as the flesh inside. And though it may seem gross at first, there are plenty of tasty ways you can eat orange peels if you’re willing to get a little creative.
The same is true of lots of fruits and veggies; the peel is often the most nutritious part, and can be eaten despite what you think. Bananas? Yep. Watermelon? Sounds unbelievable, but it’s true: that rind is great for you. Here are 10 foods with powerful peels you should be eating, along with suggestions for how to add them to your diet.
A banana’s peel contains way more fiber than its flesh, and is likewise richer in potassium.
The peel also contains lutein, a powerful antioxidant that plays a role in maintaining healthy eye function. An amino acid called tryptophan is more highly concentrated in the peel than the insides. Among other things, tryptophan is believed to ease depression by increasing the body’s levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that affects mood.
Although the peel has a bitter taste and tough, ropey consistency most people aren’t used to, an overripe banana (brown or black) becomes thinner, sweeter and easier to chew. You can also put the peel (ripe or overripe) through a juicer with the rest of the banana. Or you can boil the peel for several minutes to make it softer, or throw it in the frying pan. If you want to get really creative, bake a banana peel in the oven for 20 minutes or so, or until it becomes dried out, then use it to make tea.
You’ve probably been spooning out the green flesh inside for years, but a kiwi’s fuzzy exterior is also edible. In fact, the skin contains more flavonoids, antioxidants and vitamin C than the insides—and double the fiber. So ditch the spoon, wash the kiwi and eat it like a peach. If you find the fuzz unappetizing, scrape it off first.
Since the skin of a carrot is the same color as what’s directly beneath it (like a tomato or a red pepper), the peel and its flesh have similar nutritional properties. However, the highest concentration of phytonutrients is found in a carrot’s skin or immediately underneath. Just rinse the carrot thoroughly rather than peeling it.
The dark green skin contains the majority of a cucumber’s antioxidants, insoluble fiber and potassium. The cucumber peel also holds most of its vitamin K. The next time you have a Greek salad, ask the chef not to peel your cukes.
A potato’s skin packs more nutrients—iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C—ounce-for-ounce than the rest of the potato. For example, 100 grams of potato peel packs seven times more calcium and 17 times more iron than the same amount of potato flesh. Ditch the skin and you’ll also lose up to 90 percent of a potato’s iron content and half of its fiber.
And don’t forget the skin of a sweet potato is loaded with a significant amount of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A during digestion. Vitamin A is essential for cell health and immune system regulation, and it is extremely useful in maintaining organ function.
6. Citrus (Oranges, Lemons, Grapefruits, Limes)
The peel of an orange packs in twice as much vitamin C as what’s inside. It also contains higher concentrations of riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and potassium. The peel’s flavonoids have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. (Citrus fruit also boosts iron absorption.)
As nutritious as citrus peels are, you’re unlikely to start eating oranges whole. The entire peel is bitter and difficult to digest. Instead, grate the peel using a microplane or another tool and sprinkle it on top of salads, or in a vinaigrette dressing. Citrus shavings make a good pairing with ice cream and chocolate as well.
An eggplant’s purple hue comes from a powerful antioxidant called nasunin, which helps protect against cancerous development, especially in the brain and other parts of the nervous system. Nasunin is also believed to have anti-aging properties.
Eggplant skin is also rich in chlorogenic acid, a phytochemical that boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and also promotes glucose tolerance. Although the eggplant interior contains chlorogenic acid, it’s much more prevalent in the skin.
Researchers found that mango skin contains properties similar to resveratrol, which helps burn fat and inhibits the production of mature fat cells. Mango flesh extracts were also tested, but did not produce the same results, which suggests that one needs to eat mango skin in order to get this beneficial property.
A mango’s peel also contains larger quantities of carotenoids, polyphenols, omega-3, omega-6 and polyunsaturated fatty acids than its flesh. Another study found compounds more heavily concentrated in mango’s skin that fight off cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Mango skin also has quercetin.
The skin of a mango can be eaten raw, or cooked along with the insides. Another way to eat both flesh and skin is to pickle the entire mango.
Like apple skin and mango skin, the outside of an onion’s skin contains quercetin. Although that skin is not directly edible, you can draw out some of those nutrients by adding it to stock.
The skin of an apple contains about half of the apple’s overall dietary fiber content. A medium apple also delivers 9 milligrams of vitamin C, 100 IUs of vitamin A, and 200 grams of potassium. By removing the peel, you lose about a third of those nutrients. The peel also has four times more vitamin K than its flesh; about 5 percent of your daily value. Vitamin K—also prevalent in meat and in spinach and other green veggies—helps you form blood clots that patch you up when you have a bad scrape and helps activate the proteins your body needs for cell growth and healthy bone maintenance.
An apple’s skin boasts potential benefits beyond its vitamin content. An antioxidant called quercetin, found mostly in the apple’s skin, can help lung function, ease breathing problems and protect your lungs from irritants. Quercetin is also believed to fight off brain tissue damage and protect your memory.
One study identified another compound that’s found primarily in the peel, called triterpenoids, which appears to inhibit or kill certain types of cancer cells throughout the body. And the ursolic acid in apple skin has been shown by studies to stimulate muscle growth, increase skeletal muscle and decrease risk of obesity.
See also: 9 Genius Kitchen Hacks That Will Keep Your Food Fresher For Longer
Grocery shopping can be a real chore, so it’s nice to limit the amount of times you have to do it by buying as much produce in one go as possible. However, this means that the food you buy has to last longer, and some fresh products just aren’t up to such a task! Luckily, these easy tips will help you store many common food items in a way that keeps them fresher for longer, saving you time and money!
1. Store Your Avocados with Onion
If you are sick of your luscious, healthy avocados going brown too quickly, then try this simple trick to keep them fresh for longer. Store them in an airtight container but place a couple of slices of onion in with them. Keep the container in the fridge to ensure that the fruits stay moist for several days. It turns out that the enzymes in onion that make you cry when you cut them, are also excellent for preserving avocados!
2. Wash Your Berries in Vinegar
You probably just throw your punnets of fresh berries straight into the fridge when you get them home from the market or store. But if you want them to stay fresh for longer, then give them a bath in some vinegar first. Mix one cup vinegar for every three cups of water to create your preserving solution, and bathe the berries thoroughly. Dry them off by spinning them in a colander (or similar) lined with paper towels. Store the berries in a container lined with paper, but leave the lid slightly open so moisture can escape.
3. Always Separate Your Bananas and Wrap the Stems in Cling Film
Bananas are prone to going brown and soft annoyingly quickly, once you have them home. However, there is a simple way you can keep them fresh for longer! They may look good when you put them in your fruit bowl as a whole bunch, but you should separate each banana and then wrap the top of the individual stems in cling film. This slows the release of of ethylene gas, which is responsible for the enzymatic browning and ripening of a banana, and any fruit around it. Bananas can last for two weeks using this technique!
4. Store Your Cartons of Ice Cream in Plastic Bags
When you are craving ice-cream, it’s a bit depressing to crack open that carton you have been keeping in your fridge and find that it’s frozen rock-solid and full of ice. If this sort of ‘freezer burn’ happens, the ice-cream will rarely be the same again, so you need a solution – and there’s a really easy one! Just store the cartons of ice-cream in sealed freezer bags and your ice-cream will remain soft and delicious!
5. Store Your Green Leaves With Paper Towels
If you buy lettuce regularly, you will know it doesn’t take long for leaves to wilt, slime over and eventually dry up. If you want to preserve their crispness, then simply line an airtight, plastic container with paper towels, and pop your lettuce leaves inside. Put another paper towel on top before you put the lid onto the container. The paper towel will absorb the excess moisture and preserve the greens inside. This technique is a much better option than the use of a plastic bag.
6. Store Potatoes with Apples
Potatoes sprout when left in a cupboard for too long, and you can end up throwing them out, wasting both food and money. If you are looking for a solution to this common issue, then look no further than your fruit bowl! If you put an apple or two in storage with your potatoes, then you will find they take much longer to sprout. Nobody knows why for sure, but it works, so throw in an apple to save your potatoes!
7. Use Ice Cube Trays to Store Leftover Sauce
It doesn’t matter how many times I make the same dish, you can guarantee that I will always make too much sauce. It’s never nice to throw food away, but it can seem pointless to store sauce on its own. One easy storage trick can help though! Take an ice-cube tray of reasonable size and fill the separate sections with the sauce, before putting the tray in the freezer. Next time you are feeling too lazy to cook from scratch or need a quick fix to liven up some pasta, simply squeeze out the cubes into a pan and heat them for a few minutes to create another delicious meal.
8. Heat Your Honey to Get Rid of Crystals
Honey is a long lasting food product, but it can pick up hard crystals when it’s stored for a long time. You can correct this issue by heating the honey in a pan over a medium heat. The process will dissolve the crystals so that the honey remains good for use. Remember that honey should always be stored in a cupboard rather than the fridge, as cold temperatures can encourage the crystallization process.
9. If Your Fruit Has a Stone, Store it Outside the Fridge
The fridge always seems like the most logical place to store perishable goods, but it simply isn’t appropriate for all foods. Fruits that have a stone at the centre – such as peaches, plums and nectarines – are much better off at room temperature and will last much longer out in the open. You should store them in a bowl, but make sure their stems are facing downwards. Do not keep them in plastic packaging as that will encourage them to ripen too quickly and could even cause mold to grow.
See also: 16 Quick and Easy Home Treatments For Sciatica You Can Do Right Now
Those who suffer from sciatica know just how debilitating the ailment can be. The disorder comes from pain in the sciatic nerve. This pain is intense and radiates from the lower back to the hips. It can make both sitting and standing uncomfortable. The pain begins when the sciatic nerve is inflamed. Sciatica can even cause pain in the legs and prevent those who suffer from it from finding a comfortable position to rest.
If you suffer from sciatica there is good news. There are some simple home remedies that you can use to alleviate sciatic nerve pain. These remedies are not meant as a substitute for medical treatment. You should use them in partnership with other methods of pain relief. When your sciatic pain flares you will do almost anything to relieve the hurt. These home cures for sciatica are easy and effective.
Take Valerian Root
Valerian root has a very calming effect. Some people even use it to help with insomnia. When your sciatic pain is intense you need to rest and relax. You can purchase crushed valerian root and add it to many drinks such as coffee or tea. The odor of the root can take some getting used to. When you are just starting to use it a better choice may be to boil it in water and add honey or sugar.
Use Turmeric as a Drink or as a Topical Solution
Curcumin is one of the things found in turmeric. It is very useful for relieving the inflammation that is often associated with sciatica. Adding turmeric to some warm milk before bedtime will help reduce sciatic pain that may inhibit your ability to sleep. You can also blend turmeric with a carrier oil and apply it to the areas of your body that are affected by sciatica.
Daily Use of Apple Cider Vinegar
There are so many therapeutic uses for apple cider vinegar that it would be hard to list them all. The liquid has been used for many years by those who suffer from arthritis and forms of nerve pain. A daily tonic can be made by adding one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of honey to a glass of water. For the best results in treating sciatica, be sure to drink this tonic each day.
Make a Horseradish Paste
Horseradish probably isn’t something you think of when it comes to pain relief. It can be used to relieve inflammation by simply crushing it until it forms a paste-like substance. You can then apply the paste to the part of your body which is aching from sciatic nerve pain. A great benefit of this is that you can’t apply too much of it. It won’t irritate the skin or cause any kind of rash unless you are allergic. Be sure to check with your doctor first.
Consume Ginger-infused Drinks
Ginger has many natural properties that can relieve inflammation. Best of all, there are many drinks which include this natural remedy. Simply drinking ginger ale is a good start. More useful in the treatment of sciatica would be a home-brewed ginger tea. Just add some powdered ginger to hot water and let it simmer for a few minutes. You can add a dash of milk to increase the calming effect.
Put White Willow Bark in Water
Salicin is found naturally in white willow bark. This is one of the ingredients used in aspirin. You can consume this method of pain relief just like the Native Americans did by brewing it in hot water. Be sure to let the bark simmer for about ten minutes and strain it afterwards before drinking. This mixture will need to be sweetened before drinking. It is excellent for sciatica because it addresses both inflammation and pain.
Mix Lemon Juice with Water
This home remedy for sciatica is very easy, and you probably have the ingredients in your cabinet. Lemon juice can be added to water and sweetened with sugar. Lemon is known for a wide variety of therapeutic uses and pain relief is one of them. Just remember that lemonade mixes will not accomplish the same purpose. Use pure lemon juice and water for treating sciatic pain.
Drinking Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has long been prized for its ability to relax and calm those who drink it. The best way to use it begins with buying loose herbs. Add a teaspoon of the herb to a tea diffuser and place it in hot water for about fifteen minutes. The tea has a pleasant taste but can be flavored with your choice of honey or sugar. Chamomile tea works best when it is consumed on a regular basis so be sure to drink it three times each day.
Blend Celery Juice and Honey
Put that juicer to good use by blending some celery and honey. Celery has a wonderful pain-relieving aspect. There is also the additional benefit that celery is very healthy on a variety of levels. Honey is a good choice for a sweetener. It is especially good when you are able to obtain it from local growers. This drink can help you to relax and find a comfortable sitting position when your sciatic pain flares.
Try Elderberry Juice
Those who endure sciatica will find a juicer to be a good investment. Some items, however, like elderberry can be simply brewed with hot water. You can buy crushed elderberry and add it by the teaspoon to your hot water. Strain the mixture after it has been allowed to steep for a few minutes. You can also add sugar or honey to the drink to make it more palatable. This drink is best consumed while it is still warm.
Apply Essential Oils
Essential oils aren’t just for New Age holistic health gurus. Many people find that a few drops of essential oil can serve a variety of purposes. Lavender, for example, promotes better sleep. Ginger and peppermint are two of the most common essential oils used to manage sciatic nerve pain. Remember to add the oils to a base such as coconut oil or olive oil so that it can be more easily applied to the area in which you are hurting.
Drink Garlic Milk
This one might turn you off because it creates garlic breath but it can be very effective. Making the solution is very easy. You’ll need about ten cloves of crushed garlic, a cup of water, and two cups of milk. The taste of the garlic can be mitigated by adding honey or another natural sweetener. Garlic is a natural anti-inflammatory. Just boil the ingredients for a few minutes, let cool, and drink for pain relief.
Taking Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
Vitamins and minerals help the body to function at an optimum level. The body can heal itself of many minor ailments when it is properly maintained. Start by increasing your intake of B12, C, and D vitamins. Remember that you do not need to purchase costly supplements. Many of these vitamins are present in foods. Just eat more of the foods which are rich in them. Magnesium and calcium are good supplements for alleviating nerve pain. It is vitally important that you consult your doctor before taking supplements.
Alternating a Hot and Cold Compress
The key to using hot and cold compresses for pain relief is to alternate them frequently. Heat helps to reduce inflammation and swelling. This is a big cause of sciatic nerve pain. Cold has a numbing effect which will decrease pain and sensitivity. When you alternate these treatments you are getting the best of both worlds. Making compresses at home is easy. All you need is a washcloth. You can soak the cloth in hot water or fill it with ice cubes from your refrigerator.
Applying Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a plant with many therapeutic uses. Among these is sciatic pain relief. You can drink small amounts of aloe vera juice each day or apply a topical solution to the affected area. One of the best things about using aloe vera to manage pain from sciatica is that the plant is very easy to grow. You can easily maintain your own supply. Just break the fronds and apply the substance inside to your lower back.
Make a Paste of Fenugreek Seeds
A paste of fenugreek seeds and hot milk can be easily made and applied to areas where sciatic nerve pain occurs. You should purchase the seeds in powdered form so that the paste is easier to mix. Once you have applied the paste just let it dry and remain on the affected area. It can be washed off later with ease. Fenugreek seeds are known for having anti-inflammatory affects.
Your quality of life doesn’t have to suffer because of sciatica. Take control of your well-being by trying these home remedies. If you have your own home remedies for sciatic nerve pain, be sure to pass them along in the comments and don’t forget to hit SHARE so your friends can cure their pains too!