Do you want consuming tea or taking a stroll within the rain? Do you know that strolling backwards might help your reminiscence – or that stopping your self from being a mouth breather is nice in your oral well being?
This would possibly sound like a foul mash-up of the ‘pina colada tune’, however actually these are all topics (and extra) that I am masking within the new collection of my podcast, Simply One Factor (which launches subsequent week).
As a reminder, in every episode of this collection I take an in depth take a look at a distinct ‘factor’, one thing easy that might enhance your psychological and bodily wellbeing in shocking methods. Here is a preview of what I found…
Have a cup of tea
We have turn out to be a nation of espresso drinkers, a latest survey discovered, with extra Britons now consuming espresso than tea.
However has the pendulum swung too far – is it time to begin consuming extra tea?
The preferred tea within the UK is ‘black’ tea, which comes from Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to East Asia. The leaves are uncovered to the air to darken, which, amongst different issues, will increase their caffeine content material.
They’re additionally packed filled with plant compounds referred to as polyphenols which have a number of well being advantages, together with being good for our bones.
The preferred tea within the UK is ‘black’ tea, which comes from Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to East Asia (Inventory Picture)
One research in Australia, which monitored greater than 1,000 girls aged over 75 for greater than ten years, confirmed that those that drank greater than three cups of tea every day have been 30 per cent much less prone to endure a fracture attributable to osteoporosis, in contrast with those that drank one cup or much less per week. (I am notably on this, as I’ve a household historical past of osteoporosis.)
On prime of that, you’ll not be stunned to listen to that consuming tea is a good way to calm down. However not, as you would possibly count on, merely right down to the ritual; you cease work, put the kettle on, maybe have a chat.
Actually, there is a substance in tea, L-theanine, which research present will increase the exercise of alpha brainwaves, that are related to being calm and inventive.
And after your cup of tea, why not put in your strolling footwear and go for a stroll? Backwards. This would possibly sound eccentric, nevertheless it’s a method that is been utilized in physiotherapy for many years to rehabilitate decrease leg accidents.
It may enhance your gait, stability and mobility, plus a research by Roehampton College in 2018 confirmed that strolling backwards can sharpen your reminiscence.
The scientists behind this experiment suppose that once you stroll backwards bodily, this helps you ‘stroll again’ mentally, retrieving recollections from one thing you probably did earlier. So if you happen to’re questioning the place you set these keys, maybe a brief stroll backwards will jog your reminiscence.
After I first heard about this I used to be intrigued that one thing so easy and, frankly, bizarre may have such an impact.
It may be executed on a treadmill, however with care you are able to do it safely in your personal dwelling or exterior.
For those who fancy giving it a go then begin slowly, doing a couple of steps, then construct up. Attempt it with a companion: the concept is that you just face one another, holding palms, so if you are strolling backwards they’re strolling forwards. Then you definately swap.
0r when it rains
If strolling backwards is not your factor, go for a traditional stroll – however within the rain.
For starters, if you happen to’re in search of contemporary air, there is not any higher time to go for a stroll than a wet day, as a result of rain improves air high quality.
A latest research in Japan discovered that because the rain falls, the droplets appeal to and wash away tens of hundreds of polluting particles from the air. These particles, that are generated by visitors, are very dangerous as a result of they’re sufficiently small to penetrate deep into our lungs once we inhale them.
After which there’s that great, earthy odor simply after it is rained.
For starters, if you happen to’re in search of contemporary air, there is not any higher time to go for a stroll than a wet day, as a result of rain improves air high quality (Inventory Picture)
It is bought an incredible identify: petrichor, from the Greek phrase ‘petra’, which means stone, and ‘ichor’, the fluid that in Greek mythology flowed by means of the veins of the immortals. That earthy odor happens as water hits dusty or clay soils, releasing tiny air bubbles that scent the air.
The primary element of petrichor is a chemical referred to as geosmin, which is made by micro organism within the soil. There’s proof that inhaling geosmin could make us really feel good.
In a 2022 research within the Worldwide Journal of Environmental Analysis and Public Well being, researchers requested 30 adults to deal with soil that contained geosmin, and soil that did not.
After simply 5 minutes’ publicity to geosmin, the volunteers had increased ranges of the mood-boosting chemical serotonin of their blood and decreased ranges of C-reactive protein, a marker for irritation that is linked to despair (although why this occurs is not but clear).
Attempt to breathe by means of your nostril
I would at all times dismissed claims that inhaling by means of your nostril is more healthy than by means of your mouth – in spite of everything, it nonetheless leads to the identical place (your lungs). However as I’ve found, being a mouth breather has appreciable downsides, together with decreasing the quantity of saliva you produce, making your mouth drier and rising the chance of tooth decay and infected gums.
Nostril respiration may additionally give your mind a lift. In a latest research, volunteers got a reminiscence check whereas in a mind scanner: after they breathed by means of their noses they carried out higher, and the scans revealed their brains have been working extra effectively (Inventory picture)
And nostril respiration may additionally give your mind a lift. In a latest research, volunteers got a reminiscence check whereas in a mind scanner: after they breathed by means of their noses they carried out higher, and the scans revealed their brains have been working extra effectively.
Research on the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have proven that nostril respiration boosts ranges of nitric oxide, a chemical that fights off an infection in your sinuses and will increase the blood movement in your lungs, elevating oxygen ranges in your blood and presumably your mind.
Hearken to Simply One Factor on BBC Radio 4 each Wednesday from September 20 at 9.30am – when it’s also possible to obtain the entire collection on BBC Sounds.
Early nights could shield mind
Making an attempt to perform after a foul evening’s sleep is troublesome: you’re feeling drained, irritable and, in case you are like me, you additionally really feel an insane want to eat one thing candy.
Whereas one stressed evening is not going to do a lot harm, evening after evening of poor sleep can increase the chance of dementia.
One principle is that if you aren’t getting sufficient sleep, particularly restorative deep sleep, you get a build-up of poisons within the mind that may result in mind harm.
That is as a result of when you’re in deep sleep, a community of channels in your mind, generally known as the glymphatic system, opens up and washes away any poisonous waste from the day.
Whereas one stressed evening is not going to do a lot harm, evening after evening of poor sleep can increase the chance of dementia (Inventory picture)
Sadly, as we grow old, we are inclined to get much less deep sleep, which signifies that our brains aren’t nearly as good at washing away the toxins. Certainly, younger folks usually have a few hours’ deep sleep an evening, however once you get to my age (66), you are fortunate to get half-hour.
However the excellent news is that researchers at Binzhou Medical College in China have now recognized a protein, pleiotrophin, that may – not less than in mice – shield mind cells from harm by toxins. When mice have been disadvantaged of sleep, their pleiotrophin ranges drop.
The hope is that we’ll discover some strategy to pump up pleiotrophin ranges. Till then, get an early evening to attempt to maximise the quantity of deep sleep you get.
Eat inexperienced bananas for wholesome liver
In final week’s column, I discussed that cooking, cooling and reheating pasta turned the carbs in it into resistant starch, which is not readily damaged down within the intestine however acts extra like fibre.
So not solely do you get much less of a blood sugar spike after consuming it (as a result of much less of it’s absorbed), nevertheless it additionally feeds the pleasant micro organism in your intestine. They, in flip, convert the resistant starch right into a fatty acid referred to as butyrate, which has many advantages for the intestine, together with decreasing the chance of growing colon most cancers.
The excellent news is you may simply improve your consumption of resistant starch by consuming oats, legumes and inexperienced bananas
Now a research has proven that consuming extra resistant starch helps your liver, too. Researchers at Shanghai Sixth Individuals’s Hospital in China recruited 200 folks with non-alcoholic fatty liver illness (NAFLD), a build-up of fats within the liver – one in three Britons has early indicators of this situation, which is related to a raised threat of coronary heart assault, stroke and liver harm.
Sufferers within the research got a resistant starch powder constructed from maize or corn to have twice a day, for 4 months. When put next with a management group, they’d 40 per cent much less fats of their livers.
In addition they had decreased ranges of liver enzymes and inflammatory elements related to NAFLD. The excellent news is you may simply improve your consumption of resistant starch by consuming oats, legumes and inexperienced bananas. Or by cooking, cooling and reheating rice, pasta or potatoes.
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