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12 Amazing Things Will Happen When You Stop Drinking Soft Drinks

12 Amazing Things Will Happen When You Stop Drinking Soft Drinks

Soft drinks have been around for decades. They’re a staple drink at parties, restaurants, and in many homes. Unfortunately, soft drinks are extremely bad for your health and they’re highly addictive. Not only do soft drinks contain caffeine, but are usually full of sugar. Even diet soft drinks, although have sweeteners instead, are incredibly unhealthy.

In fact, they’re so bad for you, that they wreak havoc on your entire body, but if you can kick the craving and give up soft drinks for good, amazing things will happen.

1. You will enjoy your food more.

Soft drinks have so much sugar in them that they overwhelm your taste buds, and diet soft drinks are even worse. Most sweeteners are 400 to 8000 times sweeter than sugar! In fact, they are so sweet that they actually alter the sweet receptors in your brain, making you crave sugar even more! By giving up soft drinks, your taste buds will go back to normal and food will once again be flavorful.

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2. You decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Drinking soft drinks regularly will increase your chance of developing type 2 diabetes by 26% according to a study in Diabetes Care done in 2010. In fact, diet soft drinks aren’t any better. The same study found that drinking two-thirds of a diet soft drink before a meal prepared the pancreas to release insulin. By giving up soft drinks, you’ll decrease your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

3. You will lose weight easier.

The easiest way to lose weight is to stop drinking soft drinks. A single 12-ounce can has 39 grams of sugar, and 90 calories! Switching to water will save you an serious amount of calories and sugar throughout your lifetime. Even a diet soft drink, although has zero calories, causes insulin to be released, increasing the amount of belly fat you have.

4. You will be helping out your kidneys.

Studies have found that giving up soft drinks can help save your kidneys from risk of disease and failure. When you drink soft drinks, you are also at a higher risk or developing kidney stones according to a 2013 study.

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5. You will have a healthier heart.

A 2012 Harvard University study found that soft drinks, among other sugary drinks, increased risk of chronic heart disease. Consuming soft drinks raises your blood pressure. To improve your heart health and decrease your blood pressure, stop drinking soft drinks!

6. You will have a whiter smile.

According to a 2013 study, drinking a lot of soft drinks will corrode your teeth so much that it’s comparable to a meth abuser! Needless to say, soft drinks ruin your teeth. The citric acid in soda eats away at tooth enamel, which increases risk of cavities and yellowing. For a whiter, healthier smile, stay away from soft drinks!

7. You will be smarter.

Quitting soft drinks can make you smarter because consuming sugar for a long period of time can have a negative effect on your brain. Once you quit, you will be able to think more clearly, focus easier and improve your memory. If you think you’re safe by drinking diet soft drinks, you’re wrong. Chemicals found in aspartame may alter brain chemicals and nerve signals, and cause headaches, anxiety, and insomnia.

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8. You will use the bathroom less.

Soft drinks are a diuretic and bladder irritant. That means, you will need to pee more often. Soft drinks also irritate your bladder, and can intensify bladder infections and urinary tract infections.

9. You will improve your immune system.

Diet soft drinks are especially bad for you because artificial sweeteners affect your healthy gut bacteria, which can affect your blood sugar levels, weight management, and illness contraction. The acidity in all soft drinks is also bad for your digestive system.

10. You will have more energy.

Just like with coffee, soft drinks have caffeine, which is why a lot of people drink it – they want that pick me up. However, drinking too much caffeine only makes you more tired!

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11. You will have healthier bones.

Studies have shown there is a link between soft drinks and osteoporosis. A study done in 2014 actually found that consuming soft drinks regularly increased the chance of hip fractures for postmenopausal women by 14%.

12. You will live longer.

By giving up soft drinks you will improve your health overall, and potentially increase your lifespan!

Featured photo credit: Soft drink.

Featured photo credit: Dean Hochman via flickr.com

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Last Updated on October 23, 2018

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

The Neural Knitwork Project

In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

The knitting and neural connection

The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

More mental health benefits from knitting

Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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“You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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“People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

The dopamine effect on our happiness

Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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“Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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