Dangers of Dragons Breath and Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream and Drinks

Dangers of Dragons Breath and Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream and Drinks

Dangers of Dragons Breath and Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream and Drinks

If you have been on social media in the last year, you have most likely seen a frozen treat called Dragons Breath. It gets its name from the mist that you exhale created by the liquid nitrogen the cereal is dipped it. While this treat looks cool, it can be dangerous and has led to children and even adults being hospitalized. Let’s take a closer look at Dragons Breath and other treats that are made by using liquid nitrogen.  

What is Dragons Breath Ice Cream?

Dragons Breath is not really ice cream at all. It is made with a cereal that looks like fruit loops, which is put in a cup and then liquid nitrogen is poured over the cereal. This puffs the cereal up and super chills each piece of the cereal. The ‘smoke’ that is released is just super chilled air. People who have tried this treat have claimed that it tastes like watered down fruit loops and the cereal is only fun because of the ‘smoke’ that they can blow out of their noses and mouths, which makes them look like a dragon.

There is also ice cream made with liquid nitrogen. The liquid nitrogen super chills the ingredients in the ice cream, so most liquid nitrogen ice cream shops do not need to have a freezer at all. The ice cream is similar to other kinds of ice cream being made with cream, milk, vanilla, sugar, and other add-ins. When the liquid nitrogen is poured into the ice cream base, the ice cream is formed immediately. The liquid nitrogen starts boiling off and there is ‘smoke’, which is just super chilled air that is coming off of the ice cream. 

This Dragons Breath treat has to be eaten using the sticks and comes with a cup cover that you have to hold it by. The liquid nitrogen ice cream is often served in a cup that is placed inside a second cup. There is usually a warning sign on the packaging saying that the ‘Liquid nitrogen can be dangerous and one should not touch or ingest it’. Some liquid nitrogen ice cream shops recommend that people should actually wait until the smoke stops coming from the ice cream before they eat it. So, the main question most people should be asking is ‘Exactly how dangerous are these frozen treats if people actually eat them?’

What Is Liquid Nitrogen?

There are other frozen treats on the market and even cocktails that use liquid nitrogen in them. Most people know liquid nitrogen from science class. Liquid nitrogen has a very low boiling point (between -346F and -320F) and can freeze anything that it comes in contact with. It is often used to show what happens in extreme cold. A common science experiment is dipping a rose into the liquid nitrogen, and then smashing it against a table or crushing it with a gloved hand. Since the liquid nitrogen is so cold, it is always boiling when it becomes exposed to room temperature and super chilling the air creating a mist known as ‘smoke’. 

Is Liquid Nitrogen Safe to Eat?

Liquid Nitrogen is non-toxic; however, this does not mean that it is completely safe to eat. Since liquid nitrogen has a very low boiling point, it can freeze any item on contact. While cooking with liquid nitrogen is not new, when it is not used correctly it can do a huge amount of damage to your body. It is even illegal in some areas of the world to sell items that have been made with liquid nitrogen. 

When you use liquid nitrogen in food items, the nitrogen gas often evaporates before the item is consumed. So, this means that the food is not as cool as it was when the liquid nitrogen was first poured on it. The issue of the liquid nitrogen being hazardous to a person’s health occurs when the liquid nitrogen is left in the container with the food. The liquid nitrogen in the bottom of the cup of Dragons Breath and inside of the cereal treats is still super chilled and can cause instantaneous frostbite, especially if you come in contact with it. 

A sugary drink made with liquid nitrogen from a popular candy store

So, Exactly How Dangerous is Liquid Nitrogen? 

Across the globe, there have been dozens of cases of people being rushed to the hospital after eating and drinking items made with liquid nitrogen. The effects of ingesting the items that are made with liquid nitrogen range from asthma attacks to frostbite to severe damage to the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. Some people have even gotten frostbite on their hands just from holding the cups with the liquid nitrogen in them. 

Along with freezing the body’s tissues on contact, the nitrogen gas released from the liquid nitrogen can exert pressure, leak into tissues, and even cause perforations. There are so many risks to drinking and eating liquid nitrogen that is hard to know what could happen when you try eating these frozen treats. 

Most people who were hospitalized from ingesting liquid nitrogen needed surgeries to remove the damaged tissues from their bodies. Since the packaging for many of the foods have warnings on them, there is nothing that the victims of liquid nitrogen can do against the companies who are selling these items. Many of the victims have been children and teens, but there are also adults who have been hospitalized because they have touched or ingested items made with liquid nitrogen.   

The bottom line is that liquid nitrogen is not safe to eat or drink in any form. Liquid nitrogen treats are not safe for adults, so they should definitely never be given to children of any age. It should be common sense to realize that when someone has to wear dry gloves to even handle the container to avoid getting frostbite or getting stuck to the metal container, you should really question just how safe the item is that you are eating. 

What Other Foods, Treats, and Drinks Use Liquid Nitrogen? 

Liquid nitrogen is mostly used to quickly make ice cream, freeze dry herbs and fruit, along with many more items you may have in your kitchen. It has been used in kitchens around the globe for the last decade to make some absolutely amazing dishes, such as deep-fried hamburgers and frozen truffles. The liquid nitrogen is usually used to quick freeze or chill items to keep the flavor in the specialty dish or food item. The small crystals that are formed during the process of using liquid nitrogen do not affect the food’s quality or nutritional value, so the food’s properties are kept intact. It is also said that using liquid nitrogen intensifies both the smell and flavor in the dishes it is used to create.

There are many safe ways of using liquid nitrogen, since the nitrogen is boiled off the food before it is eaten, like in the case of ice cream drops and some mousses. However, if the food item is left in the liquid nitrogen and served with the liquid nitrogen in the cup or container, there is the risk of tissue damage if it is touched or ingested. Luckily, you can see if there is liquid nitrogen in an item because you can see the ‘smoke’ or the item will be cold but be boiling at the same time.  The ‘smoke’ can even be floating and rolling on the top of the drink or food.  

Is There a Safe Way to Eat Liquid Nitrogen? 

There are many food items that are currently made using liquid nitrogen. Some freeze dried foods, like frozen strawberries, are made using liquid nitrogen. These foods are safe because the liquid nitrogen has been allowed to boil off them, so the items have reached a safe temperature. Liquid Nitrogen is also used to make beer and some sodas. It is even used in some medications and medical treatments.  When it is used correctly and by professionals, liquid nitrogen can save time and even create better versions of commonly made products.                          

If you think that you would like to try these super chilled desserts and drinks, you should allow the gas to boil off and avoid ingesting any of the liquid nitrogen. This can be challenging with items that have liquid nitrogen poured on them, like in the case of Dragons Breath and some liquid nitrogen ice creams. The best option is to not buy these super chilled items in the first place. 

If you are looking for a cool treat, there are many great options on the market that are safe like ice cream, popsicles, and other delicious frozen treats. While the videos of people eating this super chilled, liquid nitrogen treat are shocking and breathtaking, eating them yourself could really take your breath away or have an even worse outcome. The risk of taking a video of yourself eating Dragon’s Breath is simply not worth it. There are many safe treats that make great videos, like rolled ice cream. 

Can Salt Therapy help Respiratory Issues?

Can Salt Therapy help Respiratory Issues?

Can Salt Therapy help Respiratory Issues?

Respiratory Issues are a growing health concern, affecting hundreds of millions of people around the world. Respiratory Issues encompass many types of diverse conditions, which vary in severity, symptoms and length. Treatment options range greatly depending on the respiratory illness, with most being over the counter medications. 

While medications can help reduce symptoms, many do not treat the cause of the respiratory issues. This is why many people look for alternative treatments to improve their overall health and reduce their respiratory issues. Salt Therapy is becoming more popular as a treatment for respiratory issues. 

How does Salt Therapy help Respiratory Issues? 

Salt Therapy can either use a device that releases salt into the air or it can be a room with salt walls. Both types of salt therapy have their benefits and have similar results. Salt rooms have thin sheets of salt on the walls that mimic salt cave walls, which releases the salt microscopic particles into the air. 

There are machines that release microscopic salt particles in the air. Many machines draw air into the device into an air filter to remove airborne pollutants before adding the salt and blowing the air into the room. These machines can be used at a clinic or you can buy your own at home machine. These salt therapy machines are very convenient and cost-effective option. You also have more control over the salt that is used for the treatment. 

No matter which method is being used, the air infused with salt is breathed in because you are in the room. Once you have breathed in the salt air, the air enters your nasal cavities and lungs. The salt helps increase mucus clearances in both the nasal cavity and lungs. The reduced mucus increases the amount of oxygen that the body can take in, while it also helps reduce debris and pathogens in the body.  If you are using an at-home machine, the amount of salt that is released into the air is lower than if you were to go to a clinic. This can be beneficial for some people because the lower dosage does not bother their airways. Many at-home machines recommend that the machines are used for 6 to 8 hours a day, or while you are sleep. Each at-home machine is different, so you should always check the manual before using the machine you have. 

The other way that salt therapy can treat respiratory issues is because the salt is anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Salt can kill many pathogens, which can speed up recovery from infections and it also reduces the associated inflammatory symptoms a person may have. 

While a high salt intake is said to have a negative effect on the body, this only occurs when the salt is being consumed. Salt therapy uses salt particles that are inhaled and enter the respiratory system, not the digestive tract. In the body, the salt that is inhaled is removed with the mucus. There is no risk to your health when you are inhaling the salt. 

What Type of Salt Should You Use in Salt Therapy?

There are many types of salt available, but most people only know about regular table salt and sea salt. Table salt and sea salt are highly processed and contain many additives, so they are not the best options for salt therapy. Sea salt also can contain high levels of pollutants depending on where it was harvested.

Rock Salt, also called Halite, is what is most commonly used in salt therapy. It typically forms colorless isometric crystals, but it can also be gray, orange, pink, purple, or blue depending on the type and amount of mineral impurities. Rock salt is the best option since it is the most natural type of salt available on the market. The minerals in the rock salt can increase the health benefits of salt therapy. 

Himalayan rock salt is a pinkish color because it has high levels of iron oxide. It is good for cooking and looks nice as a salt lamp, but it definitely should not be used in salt therapy due to the amount of iron oxide it has. 

Which Respiratory Issues can Salt Therapy Treat?

Respiratory issues are widespread in today’s society and there are dozens of illnesses and breathing problems that can fall under this specific health concern. Many people with respiratory issues have more than one illness or cause of their symptoms. This is why it can be very difficult to treat all the symptoms of various respiratory issues. Luckily, salt therapy can treat the symptoms and causes of many common respiratory issues, like asthma and common allergies. Let’s take a closer look at how salt therapy treats these two common respiratory issues. 

  • Asthma

Asthma is a condition where a person’s airways become swollen or inflamed, and extra mucus is produced that blocks the person’s airway. These symptoms make it hard to breathe, perform physical activity, and it can even be life-threatening if someone has a severe asthma attack. 

Salt therapy helps reduce the mucus in a person’s airways, making it easier for them to breathe. The salt also helps reduce the inflammation in the lungs. For many people, reducing their asthma symptoms is often the only treatment for their condition.  

  • Common allergies

Common allergies often cause other respiratory issues, such as coughing, sneezing, wheezing and excess mucus production. Allergy symptoms can take away from your quality of life, and can drastically diminish the amount of air in your lungs and body. Like with asthma treatment, salt therapy helps remove the mucus and opens the airways. The removal of mucus is important because it can trap allergens in the body and even make the allergy symptoms worse. 

Other respiratory issues that salt therapy has been found to help include snoring, sinus infection, pneumonia, emphysema, bronchitis, and COPD. It has also been found that some skin conditions like psoriasis can also be treated with salt therapy. 

Other Benefits of Salt Therapy 

Along with reducing mucus, improving breathing, and increasing oxygen in the blood, there are other benefits that salt therapy is a good option for you and your family. 

  • Increases Blood Oxygenation 

Salt Therapy helps open and clear airways in the lungs and the alveoli, where oxygen intake happens. This increases the oxygen in the blood, which increases organ function. Increased blood oxygenation has been linked to better overall health. 

  • Lowers Blood Pressure

The salt used in this particular therapy contains potassium. When the salt is inhaled, the potassium enters the bloodstream, where it stabilizes the blood pressure. 

Should You Try Salt Therapy?

Salt therapy is a natural treatment option for many respiratory issues, including asthma and common allergies. This treatment focuses on treating the symptoms of the respiratory issues to improve breathing and increase oxygen in the blood. Some people have found that salt therapy was the best treatment for them, whereas other people did not see any improvement at all. Like other treatment options, there is no way of knowing if there is going to be an improvement with salt therapy until it is tried. With all the benefits of salt therapy, it is worth trying it, especially if you have respiratory issues that are affecting your quality of life. 

Keeping Cool on Hot Summer Nights

Keeping Cool on Hot Summer Nights

Image Credit

There are many health benefits of the sun, yet when we are trying to get to sleep on a hot summer night we often find ourselves longing for the cooler winter months just so we can get some sleep.  Indeed, there are few things more frustrating than tossing and turning all night in a bed that’s damp due to the sweat pouring from your body in a hot stuffy bedroom.

Not that sweating is a bad thing, indeed it’s very good for you to sweat, as the process of sweating is what actually helps regulate your temperature and cool you down.

When your body temperature rises above a certain point, your internal thermostat kicks in, and tells your body it’s time sweat, as sweating releases moisture onto your skin in an attempt to cool you down.  Whilst this can be advantageous to the jogger running in the park, where the wind circulates around their body, hitting the moisture, which is what cools the body down – whereas, when you’re in bed, all that damp claminess gets absorbed into the bedsheets and mattress; meaning, you’re often uncomfortable as a result of sweating.

The challenge is that sweat will only evaporate when there is enough of an air supply, and often times, in bed, it’s quite a humid environment that doesn’t have adequate air supply to interact with the sweat molecules – meaning, rather than cooling you down, you end up just lying in a puddle of sweat.  This is where a fan comes in so handy.

1.  GET A FAN

The reason fans, or fresh air from a window comes in so handy is that it forces air onto your body that interacts with the sweat molecules – thus evaporating them, and this is what you want, as the quicker the sweat molecules evaporate the cooler you will be.

2.  DRINK WATER

Something to consider, is that on hot summer nights, you want to ensure you have some water next to your bed – as your body uses a lot of water to release sweat, and if you don’t replace that water then you’ll become dehydrated.

Sleep is a time for your body to replenish and repair itself, and water is vital for this process to function normally.  

Therefore, by drinking a bottle of cool water before bed, you are stocking up on the water required for your body to keep cool at night – and don’t worry too much about then needing the toilet, as if it really is hot, you won’t need to go to the toilet as the water will be processed in the form of sweat anyway.

3. OPEN YOUR WINDOWS

This might sound obvious, but a lot of people in the summer months insist on sleeping with their windows closed in fear that bugs might get it, or perhaps the risk they might be burgled, yet the simplest solution to keeping cool at night is to ensure you have plenty of cool fresh air circulating in your room.

If your windows don’t fully open this can be frustrating, and it might be time to consider getting some replacement windows, as a supply of fresh air really is essential to getting a good night’s sleep on a hot summer night.  After all, there’s nothing worse than trying to sleep in a stuffy sweatbox of a room.

The majority of modern windows now have a security feature that will allow you to lock them with a slight opening, meaning that air can still flow through the window into your space, but nobody will be able to get in through the window as the window is locked in that position.

4.  AVOID AIR CONDITIONING

This might sound counterintuitive, as surely if you have air conditioning in your room, then a hot summer night is the perfect time to blast it out; yet sleeping with air conditioning on is known to dehydrate the body and can leave your skin looking dull and grey, it can also cause a sore throat, as well as earache.  

You therefore, want to blast the air conditioning unit out until you go to sleep, but turn it off, at the point you are actually going to sleep – or set it on a timer to switch off.  In fact, some modern air conditioning units come equipped with a timer that allows you to set it to come on in short bursts, throughout the night, just topping up the supply of chilled air

5. TAKE A SHOWER BEFORE BED

Many people take showers or have a bath before getting into bed, but the tendency here is to use nice warm water to relax their aching muscles.  In contrast, on a hot summer night, what you really want is a short, sharp, cold shower as this will rapidly reduce your body temperature and then welcome the warm ambient temperature.  There are a number of health benefits associated with taking regular cold showers too.

6. FLIP YOUR MATTRESS

The majority of mattresses today have a summer side and then a winter side, where the technology of the mattress is designed differently – one is to trap and radiate heat whilst the other is to wick away sweat and keep you cool; similar to the fabric technology employed within running and cycling gear.

 

7.  USE CONTRAST TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

Have you ever walked off the hot high street into an air conditioned shop?  If so, you’ll have felt the contrast between the warm weather outside and the welcome chill of the store.  You can recreate this, within your bedroom, and it’s a very simple way to trick your brain into thinking it’s much cooler than it is.

 

Quite simply, let’s say your spending time in your living room for a few hours before bed – in this room, turn off the air conditioning units and fans, so that when you open the door to your bedroom (that has had the air conditioning on) it will feel like that feeling of walking into a cool store after coming out of the sweltering sun.

 

8. VENTILATE

The final tip, as mentioned above is somewhat of a repetition but this is intentional as it’s the most important point when it comes to keeping cool on a hot summer’s night, which is to ensure you have an adequate supply of fresh air coming into your property – which can be enhanced by a pedestal fan if required.

 

Top Tips For Autumn And Winter Gardening

Top Tips For Autumn And Winter Gardening

Image

 

Now that the summer is starting to come to and end and we are beginning to see some darker and colder evenings once more, it is time to start really looking at the garden and deciding what you need to do with the space. During the colder months of the year the garden enters a dormant state. Everything goes into a hibernation period and you will start to see your once vibrant space become bare and boring. There are some things you can be doing during this period however to keep the space healthy and make sure it is happy for the winter.

 

  1. Hard work and maintenance


When the cold, harsh weather starts to creep in you will see a rapid decline in your plants and they will all begin to retreat back for the winter. This is usually the ideal time for you to get a tree service in to remove and prune trees, and it the ideal time for you to start thinking about cleaning out the beds in your garden ready for the spring. It will take work to make sure your plants stay safe during the winter, but they will be all the healthier for it once you have put the work in.

 

  1. Get planning

    Winter is the perfect time for you to start planning what you want to do with the garden next year. You can note down what plants used to be where and start to think about different ways you can change the layout and atmosphere in the space. As long as you don’t move plants around during the cold seasons you can start to create patio spaces and new beds ready to plant things in the spring.

 

  1. Leave it wild

    When it comes to maintains your garden during the winter it can be tempting to start raking leaves every day and making sure that everything is kept neat and tidy for the season, however this isn’t the best thing for you to do at all. During the winter wildlife become much more exposed to the elements, and they will use things like leaves and twigs in order to hibernate for the winter, if you start getting rid of all of your leaves they will have nothing to use for shelter and this can be dangerous for them.

 

  1. Improve your soil

 

Now that your plants are done growing for the year, it is the ideal time for you to use the empty soil beds as a chance to improve your soil quality. You can add things such as mulch, compost from your garden and even coffee grounds into the flower beds which will give your soil some amazing nutrients which will be well appreciated at the start of next year. By doing this little bit of work you will ensure the happiness and healthiness of your plants the next year.

  1. Bring in some colour

 

There are actually some plants which thrive in winter conditions and they will start to flower and fruit during the colder months. Trees such as the Prunus Autumnalis are beautiful and they flower with cherry blossom during the winter. You can also plant winter berries, holly and other Christmas inspired things in the garden to bring it a little bit of life for the colder season.

 

Tiny Space? No Problem – Turn To These Small Garden Hacks To Help You

Tiny Space? No Problem – Turn To These Small Garden Hacks To Help You

 

https://unsplash.com/photos/0JbiBIHmQtE

When you don’t have a lot of room to work with in your garden, you may feel as is there’s just no hope. But space should never be an issue when it comes to garden design. Because there’s always something that you can do. Whether you want to create a really comforting outside space to dine in and enjoy, or you want your own green mecca, you can make this happen. You just have to be incredibly smart and creative. So, to help you really make something of what you’ve got, let’s take a look at these small gardening hacks that can really help you to do that.

  1. Go With A Patio

So first of all, you may be tempted to lay some grass because you really want that leafy, garden feel. But don’t. Well, you could if you really, really wanted to. But you will find that you get more out of a patio area. Here, choose stone slabs or wood over grass. This means that you have less maintenance, which can be reassuring when you have a small space. But also, you get to sit out and enjoy the space, rather than feel like you don’t want to ruin the grass.

 

https://unsplash.com/photos/O6gvQe70DD4

  1. Choose Minimal Furniture

But then when it comes to putting in some furniture to then be able to sit out on, don’t go overboard. Remember, you’re limited with space, so choose smaller furniture and less of it. Maybe even get one piece or a small table, and then get collapsable chairs that you can then store away and bring out when you have guests.

  1. Make Use Of The Walls

Now, you know that you really don’t have much space. But that’s really not a problem. You just need to make sure that you’re not covering the floor with all of your plants. With your stone or wooden flooring, you don’t want to go with a ton of potted plants. Instead, you’re going to want to build up the walls instead. You could even choose a tower garden so that you can fill in lots of different plants and build upwards, instead of outwards. Then, use hanging baskets or climbing plants to fill the walls around you with gorgeous flowers.

https://unsplash.com/photos/Mml4uZaIn8g

  1. Stick To Minimal Maintenance

So we’ve already said that the patio idea is going to be great for maintenance. But then, you don’t want to be putting in plants that are going to take a lot of work to cultivate because you only have a select amount of space. So think about the low maintenance flowers and plants you can bring in to make your space serene and not a stressful area to work on.

  1. Choose Wisely

And finally, you’re just going to want to make sure that you’re really picky about the choices of plants you make. Remember, you only have so much space, so choose wisely. Make sure that you’re picking out plants and flowers that you really love, and that will complement the space. Don’t be tempted to just go for filler flowers.

 

How to Teach Science in a Fun Way for Kids

How to Teach Science in a Fun Way for Kids

How to Teach Science in a Fun Way for Kids

Many students feel like science is just another subject that schools mandate to be included in the curriculum so early on. Some think science is boring and useless most especially if they don’t plan on going into the medical field. Being a more complicated and a forever advancing subject, it is sometimes taken for granted because of its complexity.

Why would students need to study science and be good at it? Science is a wonderful world of its own. It teaches us about the world around us, how things work, what makes them work and what roles each plays. It teaches students of analytical and critical thinking, patience, problem-solving and much more which are important in any course or career path they may take.

We understand that learning science can sometimes be boring, confusing and sometimes frustrating at times, but teaching doesn’t have to be boring. With a little creativity and resourcefulness, we can help our little scientists be more curious and hungry for knowledge.

  • WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE CAN DO TO TEACH KIDS SCIENCE IN A FUN WAY
1. INTERACTIVE AND COOL ACTIVITIES.

By creating cool activities where kids can have a more in-depth view on how science topics works, they get to learn while being entertained and enlightened at the same time. Experiments fall into this category. There are so many different types of activities that can be found on Pinterest that you’re sure to never be bored!

2. VIDEOS AND ANIMATION.

The internet offers a huge collection of science videos you can show kids to aid you in teaching. Lively and animated characters will surely catch kid’s attention while they teach students with science topics.

3. SONGS AND SING-A-LONG STORY BOOKS.

More often than not, we are able to memorize a song faster than a page of a book. By incorporating topics into a song or putting tune and melody into it, much like nursery songs, chances are kids will be able to remember facts just by singing, and they get to retain the memory a bit longer.

4. COLORING BOOKS.

Little kids would rather color than listen to a boring subject, so why not do both? Coloring helps reduce stress by relaxing the brain. By incorporating colors when teaching, you get to have a material that is effective, fun and memorable.

5. FIELD TRIPS TO SCIENCE FAIRS.

This one can peak any little scientist’s interest almost instantly. Kids, being curious ones and all, gets to experience science like no other way. Science fairs help kids to test, evaluate and tinker with available projects teaching them more than words can.


These are just some of the things we can do to make learning science a fun way. We appreciate each and every teacher’s effort in teaching students with the knowledge they need to have a good grasp of the science subject the traditional way, but sometimes, this is not enough.

Give your child the opportunity and advantage to learn more about science with the help and guidance of a competent science tutor. With Smile Tutor, learning is fun, creative and practical.


sponsored 

The Six Healthiest Staple Foods in Middle Eastern Cuisine

The Six Healthiest Staple Foods in Middle Eastern Cuisine

Middle Eastern cuisine encompasses the fresh ingredients and aromatic flavors used by countries such as Syria, Morocco, Lebanon, Israel, Armenia, Turkey and, to some extent, Greece. Always full of fresh herbs, warm spices and savory flavors, typical Middle Eastern meals include salads, vegetables, bread and sometimes a small amount of meat.

An abundant mezzes course (mezzes are appetizers similar to tapas) commonly precedes the meal, and it’s not uncommon for restaurants to advertise 70 mezzes or more. In fact, Middle Eastern meals were said to be so lavish that French Crusaders brought the Persian word for stew, “ghormeh,” back to the western world, where it took on its present-day meaning: gourmet.

Middle Eastern cuisine is also quite healthy, and increasing numbers of Americans are indulging in the once-exotic flavors of Middle Eastern favorites like hummus, baba ghannouj and tabbouleh. If you’re interested in tasting some Middle Eastern flavors for yourself, start with these six healthy staple foods, then check out the two recipes below.

1. Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)

Chickpeas, with their subtle nutty flavor and buttery texture, are used as a main ingredient in hummus, a rich garlicky dip that’s growing in popularity here in the United States, and falafel, ground chickpeas and spices that are fried and eaten as a street food or fast food in much of the Middle East. Chickpeas are also popular in soups, stews and side dishes.

Health Benefits: Chickpeas contain healthy nutrients including protein, manganese, folate, tryptophan, copper, phosphorus and iron. Plus, they’re an excellent source of fiber, which is known to help lower cholesterol, fight heart disease and stabilize blood sugar levels.

2. Tahini (Sesame Seed Paste)

Tahini, a paste made from ground sesame seeds, is mixed with chickpeas as a key ingredient in hummus and is also often used in the eggplant dip baba ghannouj. Tahini is also part of a popular sesame confection called halvah, and is mixed with lemon juice and used as a sauce for meats, vegetables and salads.

Health Benefits: Sesame seeds contain beneficial fibers called sesamin and sesamolin, both of which belong to the lignan group. These substances help lower cholesterol and have been found to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E in animals. Sesamin also protects the liver from oxidative damage. Sesame seeds are also rich in manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, vitamin B1 and zinc.

3. Mint

Fresh mint leaves are a popular herb in Middle Eastern cooking, used in tabbouleh salad, yogurt sauces, vegetable dishes, soups and beverages, including a strong mint tea, which is traditionally offered to arriving guests.

Health Benefits: Aside from being a good source of manganese, vitamin C and vitamin A, the peppermint oil in fresh mint leaves is soothing for the stomach — it’s been found to relieve irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, colonic muscle spasms and more. It also contains potent phytonutrients that have been found to protect against cancer, neutralize free radicals, and benefit asthma and allergies. And, peppermint oil is anti-microbial, which means it can stop the growth of various types of bacteria and fungus.

4. Eggplant

Eggplant is perhaps the most commonly consumed vegetable in Middle Eastern cuisine, and is the featured ingredient in baba ghannouj (eggplant dip). It’s served grilled, stewed, fried and even pickled in a number of dishes, or on its own.

Health Benefits: Nasunin, a phytonutrient found in the eggplant’s skin, is an antioxidant that protects against free radical damage and protects the fats in brain cell membranes. Eggplants also contain chlorogenic acid, which is known to have anti-cancer, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties, as well as help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. They’re also a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, copper and vitamin B1.

5. Cumin

Cumin, a spice with a nutty, peppery flavor, is used in whole-seed and ground form to flavor a host of Middle Eastern dishes. Cumin is so popular in some Middle Eastern regions that it’s kept in a shaker on the table, as salt and pepper are kept in the United States.

Health Benefits: Cumin is rich in iron, which is excellent for energy and keeping the immune system healthy. It is also known to benefit the digestive system, as cumin may stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes that help with digestion and nutrient assimilation. Cumin may also have cancer-fighting properties.

6. Turmeric

Ground turmeric, which lends a characteristic yellow color to foods, is used in many Middle Eastern meat and vegetable dishes. It has a peppery, slightly bitter flavor that is a staple ingredient in curries.

Health Benefits: Turmeric is a nutrition powerhouse. Most notably, it contains curcumin, which gives it not only its color but also many of its health benefits. Turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory properties and has been found to be helpful in fighting inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It may also provide cardiovascular and liver protection..

story and photo source: http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/06/09/20/the_six_healthiest_staple_foods_in_middle_eastern_cuisine.htm

Proactive Parents: Aiding Your Child’s Elementary School Education

Proactive Parents: Aiding Your Child’s Elementary School Education

Image

As a loving parent, you’d naturally do anything to support your child.

This statement remains true even when they reach higher education. However, helping them through elementary school is undoubtedly one of the best things that you can do. The key to achieving this goal is to take a proactive stance.

While you don’t want to step on the toes of the school teachers, doing all you can to support your son or daughter’s development is vital. Here are five ways you can provide useful help.

Help With Homework

The most obvious way to support your child’s development is to help them with their homework. This builds on the work that they’ve been doing in the classroom but gives you a chance to play a role. The one-on-one tutorship gives you a chance to spot signs of dyslexia or other problems far sooner than the teacher may detect them. So, if you do notice problems like this, it’s important that you bring it up with the school at the earliest stage possible.

Prepare For Exams

Teaching the syllabus is largely the school’s responsibility. Still, you can go a long way to removing the fear of taking exams with these free test papers. Even if they aren’t the exact same modules, getting into the idea of working under timed conditions can be very useful. Meanwhile, you should try encouraging your child to get into a routine. From having the lucky pencil case to taking the same brand of water into the exam hall, those repetitions make life a lot less scary.

Encourage Extracurricular Activities

Whether it’s joining the dance classes or the Little League doesn’t matter. Social interactions in fun activities will help your child develop communication and leadership. At such a crucial stage in their young lives, this can be almost as valuable as the lessons learned in the classroom. After all, no child wants to feel left isolated or left unable to connect with their classmates. So, in addition to being great fun, those activities are integral to their development.

Promote Good Home Routines

Proper nutrition, and a generally healthy lifestyle can have a big impact on your child’s life. The effects will spread to their schoolwork too. Perhaps the most significant idea, then, revolves around sleeping routines. When your child is well rested, the mind will be more active while the energy levels will soar too. Essentially, following a healthy routine out of school will allow your son or daughter to get more from the school day. You’ll notice the benefits at home too.

Be Supportive

Above all else, you should be a supportive parent by being there on the big occasions. From attending field trips to being available for sports days, those steps are vital. Children remember those moments more than any other. It will make your relationship stronger. Besides, these opportunities to meet teachers and interact with other parents can be beneficial on a personal note too. Given that the incentives are there for both parent and child, you’d be a fool to ignore it any longer.

`

5 Easily Forgotten Issues That May Impact Your Mental Health

5 Easily Forgotten Issues That May Impact Your Mental Health

Source:

Mental health is a big talking point in modern society. Despite noticeable efforts to promote good health, millions of people find themselves in trouble. The issues may range from minor frustrations to significant faults. Either way, ensuring that you’ve paid attention to the little items that could be impacting your mindset is essential.

There are many influential features to consider, but here are five that people are most likely to overlook. Whether it’s a precautionary measure or attending to existing concerns, this info could change things for the better.   

Staying Physically Active

A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. However, it’s not only the rewards of seeing a better reflection in the mirror that should encourage you to stay fit and healthy. Exercise directly benefits your mental health and general positivity levels by releasing endorphins. Besides, cycling, swimming, or team sports are all fantastic hobbies. Having something to look forward to at the end of a hard day’s work can be one of the most rewarding elements of all.

Source:

Losing Financial Control

Stress is the biggest danger to your mental health, and money worries are the most common source of it. While you don’t need to be rich, you do need to regain control. Experts at http://www.debtconsolidation.co/debt-relief/ can provide great help. Simply reducing your monthly bills and learning to make your money last longer can have a telling influence on the situation. In turn, this should promote reduced stress levels and increased mental health.

Not Getting Enough Sunlight

Everyone knows that it’s important to take care in the sun. This is especially true for those with fair skin. However, this should not be an excuse to stay locked up inside. Regular exposure to the sun can bring a host of health benefits, and the emotional ones are huge. The fact that gaining a tan will boost your self-confidence thanks to the improves appearance too, relegating this mistake to the past is vital. Even if it means going for a walk on your lunch break.

Staying Needlessly Loyal

Whether it’s a friendship or a relationship, it has to be a two-way street. If you are continually giving without anything in return, it may be time to take a step back. Visit https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/ to discover the warning signs. There’s no question that it can be difficult and leave you feeling guilty. Once you pass through those initial moments, though, it’s likely that your life will improve. Positivity breeds positivity. Do not forget it.

Source:

Not Sharing Your Problems

While the stigma surrounding mental health conditions has become a thing of the past, many people still bottle up their problems. In many cases, it won’t even start out as a mental health issue and could be related to relationships, money worries, or physical concerns. Left untreated, they can quickly take over your life. As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved. Whether speaking to an expert or a friend, it could be the key to keeping your emotions under control.  

 

Or if you have a genuine mental health condition, getting professional treatment is vital.

3 Family Car Problems – Solved!

3 Family Car Problems – Solved!

[image credit]

In the 21st century, many families find that their lives are nigh-on impossible to run without a vehicle. With the school run, playdates, commuting to work, and running household errands, the need for a vehicle is undeniable. The convenience that running a family car offers is hugely beneficial – but it’s not without its problems.

There are three key problems that you may experience with a family car. These issues are not overwhelmingly difficult to deal with – and they don’t detract from the benefits of running a vehicle – but they do fall into the category of “less than ideal”. To ensure that your love for the wonders of your family car is never dented by small problems, we’ve put together a simple fix list for those nagging little problems you may experience…

#1 – Car sickness

Nausea while traveling is an issue that impacts all ages, but children are particularly susceptible. If your children struggle with this issue, it may be worth investigating the natural remedies that are available; www.draxe.com has a number of “no pill” suggestions that many families have found to be invaluable over the years. You may have to experiment to find the right solution for your child, but one of the suggested remedies should provide an effective fix that relieves the nausea for your child, as well as your own worries about their discomfort.

#2 – Bad odors

The interior of a car is a haven for bacteria and other causes of bad odors, and many families find themselves swimming against the tide when it comes to resolving the problem once and for all. The most common solution is to grab an air freshener to hang from the rear view mirror – but these genuinely provide little help, and their sickly, artificial scent can actually make the odor problems worse rather than better.

If you are struggling with in-car odors, head to the likes of www.aromatech.com for a natural solution. Using beneficial essential oils ensures you avoid the synthetic scent that standard air fresheners are infamous for, and you’ll also benefit from the antibacterial properties that essential oils are able to offer.

#3 – Trash collecting

No matter how hard you try, trash will collect in your vehicle – often at a rate that seems almost impressive. The most obvious answer to this issue is to remove trash from your vehicle every time you use it, but this simply isn’t realistic for busy parents who find themselves rushing from one appointment to another.

The best way to deal with trash, then, is to opt for a specific receptacle. You could buy a special in-car trash can, but these tend to be cumbersome and expensive. Instead, opt for a plastic bag that is looped over the headrest of the front seats. It’s not the most stylish choice, but it does ensure that every time there is a wrapper or piece of food to discard, you can do so without cluttering up the footwells.

In conclusion

With the small issues above fixed, making use of your family car will be as pleasant as it can possibly be – enjoy!