In 1806, Napoleon tried to stop British commerce in an attempt to win the Napoleonic wars.
His actions resulted in a continental blockade which caused the cost of chocolate to rise steeply. But the creative chocolatiers of northern Italy started adding chopped hazelnuts to chocolate to make supplies last longer. They named it 'gianduia'.
In the middle 1900s, chocolate became expensive again due to rationing in Europe during World War II. In 1946, Italian pastry maker Pietro Ferrero added hazelnut once more and created Pasta Gianduja, renamed 'Nutella' in 1964.
It's popularity increased sharply, and it became a popular luxury for Italians. It led to Ferrero (now a global company) having an annual turnover of £6.5bn.
Apart from sugar and fat, Nutella is rich in chocolate. Chocolate contains addictive substances such as tryptophan and phenylethylamine. This causes feelings of excitement and attraction.
American blogger Sara Rosso established World Nutella day on 5th February 2007. It became a global phenomenon. Ferrero took ownership of this holiday in 2015 to allow it to spread further.
You can use them on occasions such as:
When it comes to preventing aches and pains, there is no right way to sit.
Regular chair and desks versus ergonomic work stations do not make much of a difference. If they do work, it is because of novelty and usually short-lived.
Instead of getting up and moving at prescribed intervals, people should just move more.
Cortisol is a stress hormone and has a particular circadian rhythm that is regulated by the brain. According to a 2009 study, interrupting this rhythm can lead to metabolic abnormalities, fatigue, and poor quality of life.
Consuming caffeine when your cortisol levels are high can lead to interference in production of cortisol and increase your tolerance. You may then need more caffeine over time.
Our molecular clock inside our cells aims to keep us in sync with the sun.
When we disregard this circadian rhythm, we are at a greater risk for illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and dementia.
Thomas Edison said that sleep is "a bad habit." Like Edison, we seem to think of sleep as an adversary and try to fight it at every turn. The average American sleeps less than the recommended seven hours per night, mostly due to electric lights, television, computers, and smartphones.
However, we are ignoring the intricate journey we're designed to take when we sleep.
When we fall asleep, the nearly 86 billion neurons in our brain starts to fire evenly and rhythmically. Our sensory receptors become muffled at the same time.
The first stage of shallow sleep lasts for about 5 minutes.
We spend about half our sleeping time in stage 2. It can last up to 50 minutes during the first 90-minute sleep cycle, and less during subsequent cycles.
During this time the brain consolidates the information that has been collected during the waking hours. It makes connections you might not make otherwise. It also curates which memories to keep and which to delete.
Some scientists consider stage 3 and 4 to be one stage. Your body rests during these stages to help cells recover. Your cells produce the most growth hormone here to mend your bones and muscles.
While all this is happening, your muscles are fully relaxed. Mental activity is limited, including dreaming.
We can remain in stage 4 - similar to a coma or brain death - for only about 30 minutes before the brain wakes up and falls back to sleep again.
Even healthy sleepers wake several times a night, but might not be aware of it.
Rapid Eye Movement or REM follows after the four stages of NREM (non-REM) sleep and occupies about one-fifth of total rest time in adults.
During REM, all vivid dreaming takes place. Our internal temperature is at its lowest. Our heart rate increases and our breathing is irregular. Generally, our muscles are immobilized, and we are incapable of physical response, except for our eyes and ears. However, our brain is fully active.
The "science of happiness" was born as a result of Martin Seligman's (the father of positive psychology) endeavour to approach psychology beyond the idea of restoring normality in individuals and to look at happiness and contentment as ways to not only restore normality, but also to prevent and protect as well as potentially cure.
Positive psychology has three main areas: Generation of both short and long term healthy pleasures, joy obtained through the connection with others and happiness that comes from a meaningful life.
Neuroscience research demonstrates the power of positive psychology:
Positive psychology treatments focus on four fundamental areas:
Studies show that individuals with a positive outlook on life have lower blood pressure, fewer illnesses, faster healing times and higher recovery rates.
Positive psychology, just like the the majority of interventions, is not enough on its own. The right importance should be given other aspects such as: overall physical, mental and social wellness of the individual.
Positive psychology will not prevent life's problems but will give a lens through which one can view difficulties. Finding the silver lining in every cloud lays the foundation by which resetting is made possible.
Positive psychology will not necessarily prevent illness, but their approach can be beneficial when combined with other treatments.
Finding a weight-loss diet is usually not a problem, be it paleo, low-carb, or wine-based. The real challenge is sticking to it. A recent study used data from a diet app and concluded that small, short-term goals that responded to the dieter's progress helped them reach their long-term goals.
Despite the goals being self-directed, people take their daily goals seriously. Even if there is no kind of punishment attached, they will reduce their consumption or increase their exercise to keep them near their goals. Those who achieved their short-term goals were more likely to meet subsequent goals.
Researchers built a model to explore how small variations in goal design could influence motivation.
Air conditioning is necessary, but too much of artificially cooled air drives up CFC gas emission, increases our power bills, makes power plants consume more fossil fuels, and makes us addicted to comfort.
One of the most natural ways to get rid of our bodies of excessive heat is to have a good sweat.
Humidity becomes a spoilsport in this, and having dry air around your body helps in regularizing your body temperature.
Curtains and shades can block off the direct sunlight, which can cause the greenhouse effect inside your house if there are too many glass doors and windows. Using solar screens and window tints also help certain radiations.
Houseplants, especially indoor plants that require less maintenance, are great for sponging up the humidity and also blocking a bit of sunlight.
It was easy to dismiss walking as a form of physical activity until recently. But lockdown has reminded us of the pleasures of walking. Both its physical and mental benefits are being appreciated once again.
To walk to the best of our abilities, we need to walk the way our bodies were designed to - which no longer comes naturally in this sedentary, screen-based era.