Survival of the Fittest – How long Naps benefits the Brain

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Benefits of Naps

So what are the most ideal ways to nap? Napping can be seen as a quick reboot or boost for the brain. Think of when your computer is starting to perform slowly and things aren’t responding up to par, after you shut everything down and do a reboot, things are back up to speed. The brain is quite similar in that, as you nap, even for very short periods of time, benefits can be seen in a number of areas.

Sleep experts suggest  that taking a 10-to-20-minute power nap can give you a quick burst of alterness and mental clarity when you don’t have much time. This can be used throughout the day, late at night, before something important or right before you are trying to beat the final boss of a video game you’ve been playing all night right and you know you need the extra quickness.

When I was interested in trying to maximize my time awake (which I still am, but haven’t tried much lately) I did some research into sleeping cycles and how to minimize the amount of sleep you need while still being able to function well. I ended up choosing a cycle that gave me a core sleep and then several naps throughout the day that lasted about 20 minutes. I found that after the 20 minutes naps, I felt great. Very alert, mental clarity was high and I was ready to gofor the next 3 or 4 hours easily.[2]

I found though, that near the beginning of my experiment with cycles, I would start to lose cognitive clarity as I got closer to the end of the day. While this was part of the transition portion of the cycle, I got to feel what its like when the brain just isn’t getting enough deep sleep. According to Dr. Mednick, this is where longer naps of 60 minutes or so are said to be good for increasing that cognitive power again. [1] Mednick also states that the 90-minute nap will likely involve a full cycle of sleep, which aids creativity, emotional and procedural memory, such as learning how to ride a bike. Waking up after REM sleep usually means a minimal amount of sleep inertia.

Naps Summarized

A study evaluating the recuperative effects of short and ultra short naps found that napping for 5-10 minutes can create a heightened sense of alertness and increased cognitive ability when comparing to not taking a nap at all.

If you are looking for a quick recharge: nap for 5 – 20 minutes.

If you are looking for deeper sleep rejuvenation: nap for 60 – 90 minutes.

Final tip: When you take your shorter naps, sit up slightly as it will allow you to avoid falling into a deeper sleep. If you dream during these power naps, it could be a sign that you are sleep deprived.

Credit: online.wsj.com / www.collective-evolution.com

The Scientific Power of Naps:

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Science Behind The Brain’s Response To Dangerous Situations (Science is Awesome) – Tell us what really Scares you!!?

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According to ByteSize Science “Fear is the expectation or the anticipation of possible harm,” Dr. Abigail Marsh, associate professor of psychology at Georgetown University, says in the video. “We know that the body is highly sensitive to the possibility of threat, so there are multiple pathways that bring that fear information into the brain.”

And which part of the brain is central to the fear pathway? The amygdala, an almond-shaped group of nerve cells that release neurotransmitters, chemicals that relay signals in the brain. Neurotransmitters trigger a cascade of responses in the body responsible for that “fight or flight” response — and that adrenaline rush that not only may be key to our survival in dangerous situations, but also may make scaring yourself so fun. Adrenaline raises your heart rate and blood pressure, and gives you a boost of energy and alertness.

Luckily, the brain dials down the amygdala’s response and returns your system to normal if it recognizes that you’re not actually in danger — and you can keep scaring yourself without getting too stressed out.

Nightmare on Elm Street Secret Wishes Miss Krueger Costume

The Decomposition Of McDonald’s Burgers And Fries (Science is Awesome) – *Warning Scary Video

Giving Up Junk-Food Relationships: Recipes for Healthy Choices

Are you going to eat after learning these Horrifying Facts about McDonald’s Food?

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Here are some of the most disgusting additives you are eating when you “treat” yourself to a MacDonalds.

Ammonium Sulfate – This is used to mass-produce bread, it is alsoused to fertilizer soil and kill bugs and more commonly used in strong household cleaning products. Unbelievably, the FDA has deemed it safe at the low levels which are found in food products, but the issue has been raised as to effects on people who eat bread daily. Ammonium sulphate has been linked with irritation to the gastrointestinal tract causing diarrhea and nausea.

Silicone Oil – Chicken McNuggets are full of dimethylpolysiloxane, a silicone oil that is often used to make contact lenses and other medical items. Dimethylpolysiloxane is also an anti-foaming agent.

TBHQ – You can find this additive in 18 McDonald’s menu items. TBHQ, is ususally listed as an “antioxidant,” what it doesn’t state is that it is a SYNTHETIC chemical with antioxidant properties and NOT a natural antioxidant. The chemical stops oxidation of fats and oils which helps to prolong the shelf life of processed foods. It is used in processed foods of all kinds, but it is also found in varnishes, lacquers and pesticide products. It is also used in cosmetics and perfumes to reduce the evaporation rate and improve stability. It is a chemical preservative so deadly that just five grams can kill you, but don’t panic, the FDA says it’s generally regarded as safe (GRAS).

Cysteine-L – Fast food restaurants use Cysteine-L, it is an amino acid derived from human hair, duck feathers and hog hair and is used to flavor their meat and soften their breads and pastries. This is an amino acid which also shortens the baking time of mass produced bread. This is mostly produced in China by dissolving the hair or down in acid and sent around the world as a bread softener.

Prescription Drugs -Researchers from Johns Hopkins University tested feathers from farmed raised chickens and found some interesting facts. Anti-depressants as well as other prescription drugs are added to chicken feed for fast food “poultry”. Basically, the chickens are raised on a steady diet of prescription, over-the-counter and banned drugs.

Propylene Glycol -Propylene glycol is a chemical compound that can be found in anti-freeze, e-cigarettes and fast food.

Carminic Acid – derivived from Cochineal beetles, Carminic acid is used to dye foods, especially meats, red.

Dimethylpolysiloxane - This is found in almost all fried fast food menus and it can be also found in contact lenses, silly putty, cosmetics, shampoo and conditioners, polishes, heat resistant tiles to name a few!

Silicon Dioxide - This usually added to processed beef and chickento prevent clumping and is listed ingredient for chili from Wendy’s and Taco Bell. Experts suggest that it isn’t harmful for consumption, but it’s interesting to know that the ingredient keeping chili meat nice and non-caking is also the primary component of diatomaceous earth, commonly used as a natural insecticide.

Cellulose – ~This is processed wood pulp and is found in nearly every fast food menu item. It is used in proactically everything ranging from cheese to salad dressing, from muffins to strawberry syrup. Food processors use it to thicken and stabilize foods, replace fat and increase fiber content. It also lowers the cost due to minimizing on ingredients such as oil or flour. Powdered cellulose is produced by cooking virgin wood pulp in chemicals to separate the cellulose which is then purified. Modified versions require extra processing, such as exposure to acid to break down the fiber further. Here are just a few of the fast food restaurants that include cellulose in their foods: McDonald’s, Arby’s, Jack in the Box, KFC, Pizza Hut, Sonic, Taco Bell and Wendy’s.

Thank you for reading this article, please share this information with family and friends by hitting the share buttons below.

Credit: Natural Cures Not Medicine

FAST FOOD NATION: THE DARK SIDE OF THE ALL-AMERICAN MEAL

Would you eat this? Burger King in Japan Launches Black Cheeseburger

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The black buns? We’ve seen those before. But why, Burger King, why black cheese? Why?

NariNari reports that Burger King Japan is rolling out another “Kuro Burger” (“Black Burger”), with buns made from bamboo charcoal, an onion and garlic sauce made with squid ink, beef patties made with black pepper, and black cheese, which is also apparently made with bamboo charcoal.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen black cheese in my entire life. This could be a first for me.

The ugly burger launches nationwide in Japan on September 19 with two varieties – one with salad and one without, but there’s no plans as of yet to bring them to the UK market.

Japan is at the top of the game when it comes to strange snack foods, bizarre burgers, and robot restaurants.

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Credit: narinari.com

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

Happy National Filet Mignon Day!!! – August 13

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Filet Mignon with Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 6 ea. 6 oz. Filet Mignons, thawed
  • 3/4 lb. firm, fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 9 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 2 tsp. flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream, heated
  • 6 slices French bread
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup scotch

Directions

  1. Remove filets from package and set aside.
  2. Heat 3 Tbsp. butter in large saute pan, over medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms for about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add flour, blend well.
  4. Stir in warmed cream, reduce heat to keep warm. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. In a separate pan, heat 2 Tbsp. of oil on medium high heat.
  6. Sauté the filets for 2-1/2 minutes per side for rare, 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare.
  7. Meanwhile in a separate pan, heat 6 Tbsp. butter over medium high heat. Add the bread slices, turning often until golden brown.
  8. Place one bread slice on each serving plate.
  9. Top each bread slice with a cooked filet.
  10. Add the scotch to filet pan juices and boil 1-2 minutes.
  11. Add mushroom sauce to pan with scotch and bring to a boil. Spoon sauce over filets and serve.

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What happens when you Dunk a McDonald’s Cheeseburger in Stomach Acid (Science is Awesome)

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Researchers from The University of Nottingham filled a container with hydrochloric acid solution, a chemical  found in our stomachs that aids in the digestive process, and dipped a burger in it for 3 and 1/2 hours.

The results were grimy, as the burger turned into a black sludge. Hydrochloric acid breaks down food in the early stages of digestion, so that means one of the first things that McDonald’s cheeseburger does when hitting your stomach is turn into goop. Now, someone try this with a kale salad and get back to us.

Credit: Food Beast

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

Happy National Ice Cream Day!!! Fried Banana with Ice Cream

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Fried Banana with Ice Cream

Ingredients

2 oz Butter

1 Bananas, Peeled and cut into quarters, lengthways

1 Tablespoon Rum – Dark

1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon

2 scoops per person Ice Cream – Vanilla

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Instructions

Melt the Butter in a Skillet.

Cut the Banana in Half and cut each half lengthways.

With the butter just bubbling fry the banana for about 20 seconds and turn over for a further 20 seconds.

with the Bananas still in the Skillet, sprinkle each Banana with Cinnamon and Turn each piece over again and again sprinkle with Cinnamon. It doesnt matter if the Cinnamon mixes with the butter.

Place two pieces of the Banana onto each Ice Cream Portion.

Remove the killet from the heat and add the Dark Rum to the Butter/Cinnamon sauce.

Pour sauce over each portion of Ice Cream aand Banana. Enjoy

You can substitute Brandy for the Rum or Omit the Spirit altogether.

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Fun Summer Recipes – Pork Kebabs with Orange and Thyme

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Pork Kebabs with Orange and Thyme

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup fresh orange juice, plus 1 tablespoon freshly grated zest, and orange wedges for garnish

5 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme, plus sprigs for garnish

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/4 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

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DIRECTIONS

STEP 1

Whisk together orange juice and zest, garlic, thyme, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Whisking constantly, pour in oil in a slow, steady stream; whisk until emulsified. Add pork; toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let pork marinate 20 minutes at room temperature

STEP 2

Heat a grill or grill pan until medium-hot. Thread 5 or 6 cubes of pork onto each of 4 skewers; season with salt and pepper. Discard marinade. Grill pork, turning occasionally, until cooked through and slightly charred, about 12 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs, and serve with orange wedges.

Credit: Martha Stewart

World Cup Food – German Schweinebraten (Bavarian Roast Pork)

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German Schweinebraten (Bavarian Roast Pork)

PREP 20 mins

COOK 3 hrs

READY IN 3 hrs
20 mins

Ingredients

Original recipe makes 6 servings


2 1/4 pounds boneless pork loin roast


1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste


1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste


1 teaspoon sweet paprika


1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds


2 teaspoons grainy mustard


1 tablespoon vegetable oil


1 large onion, quartered


2 carrots


1/8 celeriac (celery root), chopped


1 spring onion, chopped


2 cups water, or as needed – divided


2 tablespoons butter, or to taste


2 tablespoons cornstarch

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Directions

.                Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

.                Season pork loin with salt, black pepper, paprika, and caraway seeds; spread mustard over pork.

.                Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; fry pork until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer pork to a large roasting pan. Add onion, carrots, celeriac, and spring onion to the same skillet used to fry pork; cook and stir until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Spread vegetable mixture around pork in roasting pan.

.                Pour 1 cup hot water into the skillet used to cook the pork and vegetables; simmer and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom with a spatula. Pour water over pork.

.                Bake in preheated oven until pork is slightly pink in the center, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, basting often. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). If vegetables become dry, add 1 cup hot water, or as needed.

.                Transfer pork roast to a large platter and keep warm. Strain remaining liquid through a sieve into a saucepan; reserve vegetables.

.                Bring liquid to a boil and add butter and cornstarch; simmer until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Slice pork and serve with sauce and vegetables.