Author: Sonia

10 Interesting Facts About Pandas

Pandas are bears native to south central China. They can be easily recognized thanks to the distinctive black patches around their eyes, over their ears, and across their bodies. They are folivores, meaning they love eating leaves.  Click “Continue” to read some facts that will help you get to know more about these adorable giants apart from the ultra popular knowledge that they’re crazy over bamboos!

Top 10 Proven Benefits of Avocado

Avocado or Persea americana is botanically described as a large green-skinned berry, which may be spherical or pear- or egg-shaped, that contains a single large seed. It is cultivated all over the globe particularly in tropical and Mediterranean climates. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, avocadoes are some of the healthiest food you can ever find!

1. Avocadoes offer more potassium than bananas. A 100-gram serving of avocado contains 14 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA), compared to a banana that only packs 10 percent. Potassium helps maintain electrical gradients in cells, and high potassium intake has been linked to reduced blood pressure, which can ultimately reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart disease, as well as kidney failure.

2. Avocadoes may aid in weight loss. They are high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, two important factors to consider when you’re trying to lose the flab. One study revealed that people who incorporated avocado into their meal felt 23 percent more satisfied and had a 28 percent lesser desire to eat in the next five hours.

3. Avocado is considered a superfood for countless of reasons. A 100-gram serving of it is abundant in nutrients such as folate, and vitamins K, E, C, B5, and B6. The same amount of serving also contains little amounts of vitamins including vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin, as well as zinc, phosphorous, manganese, magnesium, iron and copper.

4. Avocadoes are packed with antioxidants that promote eye health They contain carotenoids namely zeaxanthin and lutein, which are linked to reduced risk of macular degeneration and cataract that are common in older people.

5. Avocado extract combined that of soybean oil—referred to as avocado and soybean unsaponifiables—can alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

6. Folate, which can be abundantly found in avocadoes, is necessary for healthy pregnancy. Adequate folate intake has been proven to reduce the risk of neural tube effects and miscarriage.

7. Food containing sufficient levels of folate, avocado being one of them, may lower the risk of depression as folate helps prevent the accumulation of homocysteine, a substance that can impede the healthy circulation and delivery of nutrients to the brain.

8. Avocadoes can safeguard you from chronic diseases. Their high fiber content is associated with considerably lower risks of developing the likes of stroke, coronary heart disease, hypertension, gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes, and obesity.

9. Avocado is a natural detoxifier. Its substantial fiber content promotes better digestion that leads to regular bowel movements, which are essential in flushing out various toxins from the body through bile and stool.

10. Avocadoes may help prevent cancer, though there is little evidence to prove this as of the moment. Still, some studies have proven that phytochemicals extracted from avocadoes can, though selectively, inhibit the growth of precancerous and cancerous cells and may even cause the death of these cells, all while increasing the production lymphocytes.

How To Properly Setup IKEA Furniture

IKEA has done wonders to countless homes and offices all over the globe with their overwhelmingly cheap but efficient products. Their pieces of furniture are also lightweight and easy to assemble… well, at least most times. Putting the pieces together can be difficult at times, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be set up at all. All you need are to follow the steps below so you can enjoy the full IKEA experience with less worries.

1. Do a little research. Search out for resources online. IKEA most definitely has how-to-assemble videos, message boards, and FAQs on its official site, however, in cases where the information you need can’t be found there, go ahead and jump on other sites such as, say, YouTube, where there is a barrage of DIY videos from which you can refer.

2. Space. Quite plenty of it. Make sure you have substantial floor space where you can lay out all the parts of the furniture and where you can freely move while setting it up. This can prevent you from losing anything especially those teeny-weeny screws.

3. Do an inventory. Before you start building your brand new furniture, might as well create a little checklist of all its parts. Take better care of the smaller pieces by keeping them in their respective bags and not opening them unless you already need them. Organize them in containers and put them away in spots where they can’t possibly fall or be lost.

4. Prepare all the tools. You will have an easy time gathering all the things you need as they’re indicated in the manual anyway. You’ll most likely need the usual small screwdrivers and Allen wrenches, and any professional would tell you that drills and drivers with Allen wrench bits will save you tons of time and effort.

5. Follow the instructions. That IKEA manual will be your best friend the whole time you are setting up your new furniture. Carefully read and understand the instructions and execute them the best way you can. If something seems too complicated, go look for answers online or ask anyone within reach to help you out.

6. Review. Review. Review. It doesn’t hurt to double check your work as you go along so that in case necessary changes need to be done, you can implement them right away.

Effective Ways To Overcome Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are psychological and physical discomforts people experience from time to time. Stress may stem from situations where you are left feeling nervous or disappointed. Anxiety, on the one hand, is a feeling of worry or fear that may also be rooted in stress. Well, they are not necessarily bad—they can help you meet deadlines and surpass difficult situations—but only until they start to paralyze you from doing your day-to-day activities. That is when you should start doing something about these feelings before things get even worse.

1. Spend quality time with people who truly matter. A strong support system is one of the things that will help get you through difficult situations. Surround yourself with family and friends for they can reinforce your feelings of self-worth and belongingness. One study has found out that people with the fewest social connections are more likely to experience stress and anxiety. Another study has revealed that women who spend time with friends and children experience an increase in oxytocin, a natural stress reliever.

2. Listen to music. By simply listening to music that you love can be effective in combating stress hormones. Slow-paced instrumentals can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure, which, in turn, induces your relaxation response. Nature sounds can also help calm your spirits.

3. Yoga your way out of stress and anxiety! Yoga quite magically unites your mind and body by strengthening your body and breath awareness. One research has discovered that yoga can boost your mood and may even have the same effect as antidepressant drugs.

4. Keep a journal of your feelings. Though it helps to write down the things that stress you out so you can be more aware and wary of them, it is much more important to take note of the things of which you are grateful. Focusing on the positive events in your life, however small they might seem, may help you overcome stress and anxiety.

5. Physical fitness is key. Interestingly, subjecting yourself to physical stress through working out can help alleviate mental stress, and the positive effects could be significantly much more when you do it regularly. Exercise aids in the release of endorphins, chemicals that trigger positive feelings and act as your body’s natural pain busters, as well as in lowering your cortisol or stress hormone levels. Exercise can also boost your confidence and can help you sleep better, too!

6. You might consider drinking less coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant that elevates mood and offerstemporary energy boost, however high doses of which trigger anxiety. If you’re already feeling jittery, chances are you got way too much caffeine in your system that you need to cut back on tea, energy drinks, coffee, or chocolate.

7. Laugh more often! Laughing is more than what it is. It can do amazing things to your body such as improving your mood and immune system, and it is almost impossible to still feel anxious when you’re laughing your heart out. It relaxes your muscles, which relieves you from tension and stress. One study reveals that cancer patients who are part of laughter intervention groups experience less stress.

8. A little intimacy doesn’t hurt. Physical contact such as sex, kissing, and hugging can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as drop your stress hormones while increasing your oxytocin levels.

9. Learn to breathe deep. Mental stress gets you into fight-or-flight mode, which constricts your blood vessels and make you experience quicker breathing and faster heartbeat. Deep breathing exercises such as paced respiration, as well as diaphragmatic and abdominal breathing activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling your relaxation response.

10. Don’t fear saying NO.  Juggling more stuff than you can handle is not and will never be healthy at the end of the day. Take control of your life and be selective of the responsibilities you take on. Have the courage to say NO whenever it’s necessary.

10 Interesting Facts About Cats

Our feline friends are some of the cuddliest, most amazing creatures on this face of the planet! Yes, they can be moody and bossy at times (there seems to be some truth to these accusations), but nobody can deny the happiness and comfort they bring. Now, let’s go beyond their squishy bodies and try to discover more interesting things about them. Why do they act the way that they do? Do they have superpowers? Do they sweat, too?

1. A purring cat is not always a happy cat. Though most cats usually purr out of contentment, they can also make this sound when they’re stressed, sick, or hurting. They also purr when they’re giving birth!

2. Ancient Egyptians respected cats to the point where any person guilty of harming or killing cats had to face harsh punishments including death penalty. They loved cats so much they altered the image of their goddess Bastet’s lion head into that of a domesticated cat.

3. Fur-less Sphynx cats actually have warmer bodies—by four degrees—than the typical cat species.

4. Cats sweat through their paws and they pant when they feel extremely hot.

5. A cat can jump to as far as six times its length, and as high as five times its height.

6. Meowing may seem like a usual thing for cats to do, but nobody knows the science behind it. Adult cats don’t meow to interact with their fellow felines, though when they were babies, they would make such sound to call their mothers’ attention. Some experts have explained that meowing is possibly a way for them to demonstrate their physical needs and express their emotions.

7. A cat has 244 bones. A human being only has 206.

8. Experts claim that felines hate water because having wet fur may not be the most comfortable feeling in the world as it can get too heavy, or they are simply frightened to lose control of their buoyancy while in the water.

9. A cat spends almost two-thirds of its entire existence snoozing. Well, for cats, sleep is life!

10. Cats are such grooming addicts they spend up to half of their day cleaning themselves up. For felines, grooming allows them to evenly distribute natural oils all over their coats, keeping them warm and dry. It also helps them de-intensify their scents so to avoid predators, and promotes blood flow as well. Furthermore, grooming may also be a sign of affection between two cats. Additional fun fact: Their saliva has enzymes that act as natural antibiotic for their wounds!

Top 10 Interesting Facts About Airplanes

You have probably boarded a plane a couple of times in your life so far, but have you really sat down and made an effort to understand aircrafts a little bit better? Airplanes and aviation in general are such complicated topics you usually content yourself with just seeing them do their thing rather than give them much thought, but below are facts that could somehow bring you closer to the truth about how they work.