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5 seemingly simple and imperceptible habits that are a disservice to promoting a healthy lifestyle

From brushing our teeth to going to bed at night, every day we do small things that can affect our health. We probably don't think much about these aspects, but these daily habits make a big difference in our quality of life. What can be unhealthy about headphones, brushing teeth or sweeteners?

1. The effect of sugar substitutes on the gut microbiome and the environment

Consuming large amounts of added sugars can have physiological harm to our body. Added sugar is one of the most harmful substances, excess consumption of which increases the risk of diseases such as weight gain, obesity, inflammation, heart disease, strokes, and kidney and nerve damage.

But what about sugar substitutes? Recent studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can affect the health of our gut by changing the balance of bacteria there. These seemingly magical molecules, which give a sweet taste without the usual calories, can be found in everything from diet cola to lipstick and toothpaste in our everyday life.

The human body's ability to digest and thereby extract energy from food is determined not only by genes, but also by the activity of trillions of microbes living in the digestive tract - collectively known as the gut microbiome. A study conducted by Israeli researchers shows that artificial sweeteners increase the population of intestinal bacteria, thereby creating a situation in the body where the available sweetened food is stored as fat. In other words, artificial sweeteners promote the growth of bacteria in our intestines, which in turn most likely causes obesity as well as diabetes.

An even more fundamental finding regarding sugar substitutes is that people who regularly consume artificial sweeteners may begin to find less sweet foods, such as fruit, less appealing and non-sweet foods, such as vegetables, to be downright unpleasant. Why? This is because sugar substitutes are calorie-free, but have a much stronger taste, so they overstimulate the taste receptors and cause the above.

Recommended: in order to reduce sweet cravings and to give in to the temptation to get genuine pleasure from sweets, consume less sugar and sweets and prefer low-processed sweeteners in their natural form, such as fruit sugar, honey and maple syrup.

2. Brushing teeth: before or after breakfast?

It is common knowledge that teeth should be brushed twice a day: in the morning and in the evening. But what about the timing - should you brush your teeth in the morning before or after breakfast?

As a result of research, the latest opinion of dentists is that it is better to brush your teeth before breakfast. In this way, the bacteria that have multiplied during the night are removed from the mouth and the protective layer of the teeth is renewed. This protective layer also helps reduce the effect of acidic breakfasts on tooth enamel, and as a result, teeth do not turn yellow as quickly from morning coffee or dark tea. Even after a meal, it is recommended to rinse your mouth with water and you can lightly brush your teeth again. Unfortunately, there is a common misconception from the olden days that teeth are brushed only after breakfast in order to face the day with a fresh mouth. One of the reasons why it is good to brush your teeth before eating is to help the environment of the oral microbiome in your mouth. In addition to destroying harmful microbes and removing them from the mouth, the refreshing toothpaste increases salivation, which later helps to clean the mouth independently. Recommendation: get rid of the baby and baby before your intestines have to deal with them. The microbiome environment of the mouth is in contact with the intestine, and the better the entrance to the food journey functions, the easier it is also at the middle stop of the journey.

3. Volume in headphones? All way up!

Playing your favorite tunes in the background may help you focus, but over-enthusiastic use of headphones can pay a significant price, as exposure to sound above 90 decibels for more than eight hours a day can cause permanent hearing damage. Do you know what volume comes from your valves? What is the difference between in-ear and on-ear headphones?

While you might think that this discussion is only focused on the benefits of sound quality, there is a much more important issue at stake - a health issue like hearing loss. The real question is: Which of the above is more likely to hurt your ears?

The short answer is that wireless in-ear headphones are more likely to cause damage, although over-the-ear headphones can also be harmful to hearing health.

Quiet sounds (such as the volume needed to listen to a podcast while walking in nature) are not harmful, but it is a good idea to avoid loud sounds. In case of too loud sound, the expected amount of hearing loss is related to both the volume measured in decibels and the duration of exposure.

Sound of 85 dB or less is considered safe. Listening to sounds above 90 dB for an average of eight hours a day is already likely to cause hearing loss. As the volume increases, the amount of safe time decreases. To get an idea of how loudly we speak, for example, let's give some everyday examples: a quiet whisper is measured at a frequency of 30 dB; heavy traffic, however, 75 dB; metro train 90 dB; gunshot 100 dB, jet aircraft 140 dB; and the noise found at the launch pad of the rocket at 180 dB.

Most music players these days can produce sounds of up to 120 decibels, but be aware - hearing loss can occur at this level after only about one hour and 15 minutes!

For this reason, as a rule of thumb, it would be good to listen to music at 60 percent of the maximum volume, for a total of 60 minutes a day, if you respect your health.

Another rule of thumb: if you can't hear your surroundings because of the sound coming from the headphones, the sound level is too high. In this case, it is recommended to turn it lower.

But there are a few other aspects to using headphones besides volume. Like, are wireless headphones safe?

Headphone radiation is often at the center of all Bluetooth and wired headphone safety issues. Every time a device is created that is capable of ostensibly transmitting data through something, questions are also asked about what wavelengths we are exposed to in doing so. So, do headphones emit radiation?

Although wireless and Bluetooth headphones emit lower levels of radiation than cell phones, their use can be more worrisome to the body. This may mean that certain Bluetooth headphones are more dangerous than others. A set of Bluetooth-equipped headphones is more dangerous than a mobile phone when used for long periods of time. This is because the low frequency is held close to the head for a longer period of time. The deeper the earphone goes into the ear, the closer it gets to the brain. Because of this, some health professionals are also concerned about the radiation that the bud headphones send to the brain.

Using any type of headphones still exposes you to electromagnetic field radiation, so excessive use can cause health problems such as earaches and headaches.

Recommendation: The key to safety, as with most things, is moderation. This can be done by reducing the listening time or by spreading it over the day and lowering the volume - as little as possible and as much as necessary.

4. Keeping your smartphone next to your bed

Sleep is related to mental well-being in many ways. Although it may seem that nothing much happens in the body or brain during sleep, in reality, the brain is engaged in several processes necessary for a quality life during sleep. For example, memories are stored in long-term memory during sleep. If the quality of sleep is disturbed, it is likely that the deep sleep phase will be lacking and this may lead to everyday memory problems.

When falling asleep, the brain first moves into the shallowest phase of NREM sleep, called the N1 phase. In this stage of sleep, we are easily awakened if disturbed by an external factor. In this phase, we usually stay only for the first few minutes of sleep. Then we move a little deeper into the N2 sleep phase, where our brain waves are already slower and therefore the sleep is deeper. About half an hour after falling asleep, we finally reach the deepest stage of sleep, N3 sleep, which is part of NREM sleep. Based on research, the N3 sleep phase is primarily necessary for the recovery and support of our physical health.

Blue light from phones a few hours before sleep inhibits melatonin production and disrupts the circadian rhythm. Just like beeps or vibrations from notifications in the middle of the night, being in front of a screen right before falling asleep makes falling asleep anxious. This is also because we are used to reacting to every incoming notification throughout the day, and it is very difficult to give up this reaction at night. Studies have shown that there is a direct connection between sleep and the gut microbiome, and therefore the entire body. With a bad microbiome balance, sleep is bad, and with bad sleep, the gut microbiome environment is also disturbed. Recommendation: You should consider placing your phone out of your reach to charge while resting, but where the alarm clock can still sound, which also contributes to postponing it, because it makes you get out of bed already.

When you go to bed, it is recommended to read a book, write in a diary, stretch or drink tea. It slows down brain activity and prepares the body for good sleep

5. Keeping the salt shaker running

The human body needs salt to function normally. It regulates electrolytes, which allow the brain to transmit electrical signals through nerves and muscles, and it also controls fluid levels, which in turn affect blood pressure. Salt also stimulates the adrenal glands and helps keep other important minerals in the bloodstream. However, only a very small amount of salt is needed on a daily basis to perform these important functions. The recommended daily salt intake for the average adult is approximately 2400mg per day, which is equivalent to one teaspoon of salt. However, many people consume far more salt than the recommended daily amount.

Too much sodium in the daily menu can cause high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. It can also cause calcium loss, some of which can be removed from the bones. According to research, Estonians consume at least 1.5 teaspoons of salt per day, or about 3400 mg, which is much more than our body needs.

Liiga suure soolatarbimise sagedased lühiajalised kõrvaltoimed on käte ja jalgade või näo turse. Mõned inimesed paisuvad veepeetuse tõttu või tunnevad pärast soolast sööki liigset janu. Sellised kõrvalnähud on üldiselt lühiajalised ja pärast mitme klaasi vee joomist ja soola vähendades naaseb keha vähem tursunud olekusse.

Tõsisemad mõjud tekivad siis, kui tarbitakse pika aja jooksul suures koguses soola. Suurenenud naatriumisisaldus vereringes vähendab neerude võimet vett kehast väljutada, suurendades seega üldist veremahtu ja avaldades stressi keha veresoontele. Kõrge vererõhk võib lõpuks põhjustada insulti ja halvimal juhul ka südamepuudulikkust. Kuna neerud teevad liigse soola väljutamiseks pidevalt ületunde, võivad tekkida ka neeruhaigused.

Ent sool ei ole ainus kõrge naatriumisisaldusega ühend. Söögisooda ja küpsetuspulber on samuti kõrge soolasisaldusega, seega tasub jälgida nende kolme tarbimist ühe päeva lõikes, et hoida oma tervist.

Soovitus: Pidage meeles, et sool on siiski oluline toitaine meie organismile, seega võib liigväike tarbimine samuti avaldada negatiivset mõju tervisele. Parimaks nõuandjaks siinkohal on, õppida oma keha kuulama – kas soovitatav kogus on suur või väike, see sõltub Sinu tervisest.

Paljudel juhtudel ei ole see rohkem-on-parem mentaliteet või uus treeningprogramm, vaid üks neist ülaltoodutest, mis tervist ja elukvaliteeti paremuse suunas mõjutavad ilma, et sellest aru saaks.

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by Sinu Turundus