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Soda

say-no-to-soda-bestBelow is a persuasive essay, written by my 11 year old daughter, as an assignment in Language Arts. I thought it worthy of sharing.

Written by Sofia Karrat, 11 years old.

Article writer Kanika Khara said, “Since soda does no benefit to our body other than satiating our taste buds, and in fact causes considerable harm, it is better that we should make healthy choices about our diet.” Only some people agree with that statement saying soda is bad. However, most people think differently. Most people just drink soda and don’t care what’s going into their bodies. In my opinion, I believe soda is not good to drink. I believe we should stop drinking it, too.

First of all, soda can cause deadly diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Sugar is one of the main ingredients in soda. That is why we get these sicknesses, because sugar is one of the main reasons causing it. Once sugar is digested, it is turned into fat by the body. If you drink only one coke a day for a year, your body has stored 17 pounds of fat! Just in soda! There are recommended daily sugar amounts for men, women, and children. For men it’s 9 teaspoons (36 grams), for women it’s 5 teaspoons (20 grams), and for children it’s 3 teaspoons (12 grams). A can of soda has about 39 grams in sugar, so all people have already had more than their sugar amount for the day! Another ingredient is high fructose corn syrup. It also causes those diseases. High fructose corn syrup is sweeter than normal corn syrup. It is made with artificial sweeteners, and it makes the body store more fat. Soda also has other many bad ingredients, such as artificial sweeteners, caramel color, ester gum, Red 40, Yellow 5, and more. These ingredients hurt the body. This drink also dehydrates the body. Dehydration is when your body doesn’t have enough water and fluids as it should. When severe, dehydration can be a life-threatening emergency (but that’s very rare).

Secondly, nobody reads the nutrition labels and ingredients, and it’s one of the problems why America is getting sick. The nutrition label and ingredients are things most people don’t pay attention to. These are where health comes in. Things like sugar, and high fructose corn syrup are in the ingredients. The amounts of helpful and harmful contents are in the nutrition facts. It tells you the amount of everything in grams or milligrams. There are no vitamins, proteins, or fiber in soda. But, there is lots of caffeine. At first, caffeine supplies an instant boost of energy. But, that energy slowly wears off, and you may start experiencing headaches, sleepiness, and fatigue. Another thing that is noticed is the front of the can is “All Natural”. “All Natural” actually doesn’t mean anything. Companies put it on the can to look good. People think it means “All Good” and the ingredients are fresh.

My final reason for why to not drink soda is that one of the reasons people are drinking soda is because of celebrities advertising them. My mom is a health nut. There was a movie that came out, Fed Up, that my mom found out about right away. At first, I didn’t want to watch it. But, when I found out about why Americans are getting deadly sicknesses and diseases, I was glad I watched it. Sugar is why America is getting problems in health, such as diabetes, and it’s not ok for celebrities to make people want it more in soda. Celebrities such as Beyonce shouldn’t allow soda companies to put her on the can. Then kids get influenced by the ads, want to be like a celebrity, and drink soda. But people think,”Well, what’s the big deal? Everyone drinks it anyway.” It’s not a small problem, because some people don’t already drink soda so they start and get addicted to it. Also, people will just start increasing the amount they drink if celebrities advertise soda. I drink seltzer (which is just plain sparkling water), and it is a really good alternative if you drink soda.

My belief is that America should stop drinking so much soda. Soda can cause deadly diseases, nobody reads the labels, and celebrities are advertising it just to make people want it more. I don’t want to risk hurting my body for something that tastes good.

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The Power of Your Heart

There are many well-known health benefits associated with regular participation in physical activity including:

healthy-heart

  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Weight gain prevention
  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Lower risk of cancer
  • Reduced level of depression
  • Weight loss
  • Lower risk of high blood pressure
  • Lower risk of stroke

What you might not know is the remarkable capacity of the body to adapt to exercise.  Exercise creates physiological adaptations to the heart, helping it pump blood more efficiently therefore; allowing it to accomplish more, with less exertion. The more you exercise, the more efficient your heart becomes. This is called “adaptation”.

Facts about the heart:

  • At an average resting heart rate of 70 beats per minute, the heart can comfortably (average fitness level and no heart disease) perform at twice its resting value. The average adult can train between 122-181 beats per minute.
  • The amount of blood pumped by the heart can increase as much as 50-60% above resting values to meet the demands of exercise.
  • The average adult pumps about 5 liters of blood per minute. When exercising, the amount of blood your heart pumps can increase to almost eight times its resting value. A sedentary person will give a cardiac output of 20-22 liters per minute while an elite athlete will exhibit an output of 35-40 liters per minute.

Stroke Volume

Increased stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped through the heart) is a training effect of aerobic exercise and allows a fit individual to pump more blood per beat, resulting in a lower heart rate during a workout.

You may have experienced this when starting a training program. In the beginning, you might have been gasping for breath and not able to keep up with the intensity. As your program progresses, your breathing and stroke volume becomes more efficient, allowing you to breathe easier, hence maximize your performance.

This is why less fit individuals may have a harder time making it up a flight of stairs or walking across a parking lot while for a fit person – it’s just a way of life. For inactive people, their lungs and heart cannot handle the oxygen demands required for performing the exercise. They can’t get it to their organs fast enough.

CO2 Output

When you increase maximum blood flow to pump blood more efficiently it saturates your blood with oxygen and removes CO2 efficiently. Removing CO2 at a higher rate increases your performance and gives you greater aerobic power. As your body becomes more efficient with exercise, it is able to extract oxygen from the blood more quickly.

As much as 88% of your blood flow during exercise is directed to the muscles (active tissues)! The more you exercise, the higher the number of capillaries you build in your muscle fiber, which means more oxygen in your muscles (faster!) and increased fuel storage.

So what does this mean?

As your fitness level improves and your rate of breathing becomes more efficient, you are able to deliver more oxygen throughout your body more quickly. You can accomplish more, with less exertion, at a higher level of performance.

Be good to your heart and it will show you the love in return.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Sleep: A Picture Says a Thousand Words

Thank you, Huffington Post, for publishing this remarkable article on the effects of sleep deprivation. The results will shock you. 

Sleep has such an impact on your well-being and overall health. Even if you take care of yourself in every other aspect, losing sleep can reverse all the good you are doing. I have to admit, sleeping is not one of my strong points. Something I need to personally work on, and will, after reading this article. The article can be viewed directly on their site: http://huff.to/1krWOKn

If you don’t snooze, you lose. Skimping on sleep can wreak havoc from head to toe. In fact, one study published last year showed that just one week of sleeping fewer than six hours a night resulted in changes to more than 700 genes. That’s alarming news, considering nearly half of Americans don’t bank the recommended seven or more hours of shut-eye a night, according to a recent survey. Read on for the nightmare-inducing truth about what could be happening to your body when you don’t get enough sleep, starting the very first night. huff post

After one night you’re…

hungrier and apt to eat more. Studies have linked short-term sleep deprivation with a propensity to load up on bigger portionsa preference for high-calorie, high-carb foods and a greater likelihood of choosing unhealthy foods while grocery shopping.

more likely to have an accident. Getting six or fewer hours of shut-eye a night triples your risk of drowsy driving-related accidents, according to the National Sleep Foundation’s Drowsydriving.org. Plus, just one bad night’s sleep can affect a driver’s eye-steering coordination, according to research from Manchester Metropolitan University. And sleep deprivation can just make you generally more clumsy, whether you’re behind the wheel or not, reports Prevention.

not looking your best — or your most approachable. Beauty sleep is legit. A small study published last year in the journal SLEEP found that sleep deprived study participants were rated as less attractive and sadder, HuffPost reported at the time. A different study from the Medical Institutet Karolinska in Stockholm, Sweden found that exhausted people are also judged to be less approachable. And the problem only gets worse over time: Researchers have linked chronic sleep deprivation with skin aging.

more likely to catch a cold. Proper rest is one of the building blocks of a healthy immune system. In fact, one Carnegie Mellon University study found that sleeping fewer than seven hours a night was associated with a tripled risk of coming down with a cold. What’s more, the Mayo Clinic explains:

During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.

losing brain tissue. A small, recent study of 15 men, published in the journal SLEEP, found that just one night of sleep deprivation was linked with signs of brain tissue loss, measured by blood levels of two brain molecules that usually increase after brain damage.

more likely to get emotional. One 2007 study from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Medical School used functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging to show that after sleep deprivation, the brain’s emotional centers were more more than 60 percent more reactive. “It’s almost as though, without sleep, the brain had reverted back to more primitive patterns of activity, in that it was unable to put emotional experiences into context and produce controlled, appropriate responses,” senior author Matthew Walker, director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory, said in a statement. “Emotionally, you’re not on a level playing field.”

less focused and having memory problems. Being exhausted zaps your focus, and can render you more forgetful (no wonder you keep misplacing your cell phone after a bad night between the sheets). On top of that, sleep is thought to be involved in the process of memory consolidation, according to Harvard, which means shortchanging it can make it more difficult to learn and retain new things.

After a while your risks increase for stroke, obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, sperm count decrease and death. Read the full article on Huffington Post and find out how.

Another great article on sleep can be found here.

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