Smart Solar Greenhouse Grows Healthy Crops

Step aside, fossil fuels — everyone is going solar. With eco-houses and trains now on the market, we might as well redesign as much as we can into solar. This is where electricity-generating greenhouses are stepping in.

Electricity-generating solar greenhouses utilize Wavelength-Selective Photovoltaic Systems (WSPVs), a novel technology that generates electricity more efficiently and at less cost than traditional photovoltaic systems… WSPVs absorb some of the blue and green wavelengths of light but let the rest through, allowing the plants to grow.

In testing a variety of plant species, researchers at UC Santa Cruz found that 80% remained unaffected by changes. The remaining 20%? They actually grew better under the building’s bright magenta windows.

“If greenhouses generate electricity on site, that reduces the need for an outside source, which helps lower greenhouse gas emissions even more,” said [professor Michael] Loik. “We’re moving toward self-sustaining greenhouses.”

The greenhouse uses 5% less water — a success, taking into account that greenhouses occupy 9 million acres of land. And just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, the system costs 40% less than traditional means. Clearly, percentages have demonstrated a win-win situation for these buildings, which will hopefully bring users 100% satisfaction.

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Mediterranean Diet Prevents Heart and Brain Aging

Many people have different concepts of the best diet habits and what the best diet consists of. Here at our blog, I have written before about my personal stakes in maintaining a healthy diet and a co-worker has also said her piece on vegetarianism. Now, I consider myself far from a diet skeptic as I truly believe in having an eating regimen, but some fads just seem quite absurd, like surviving only on lemonade or grapefruit or baby food for weeks. A growing body of research agrees with me.

Scientists continue to affirm that this certain type of meal plan seems to be best: high consumption of vegetables, protein, and healthy fats; then low consumption of processed foods and refined carbs like white bread. This comes in various versions and labels as some people are completely vegetarian, while others choose to include eggs and dairy, or meat and fish, or all of the above, in their meals. But the base principle remains the same.

This Mediterranean diet or “plant-based” diet (or another label that you prefer) seems to be the healthiest.

In the latest issue of the Journal of Gerontology, scientists outline six recent studies of one version of the diet – the Mediterranean meal plan – and suggest that the eating regimen is closely linked to healthy aging, better mobility, a lower risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease, and improved cognitive function.

One study says that a “plant-based” diet may help slow cognitive decline among people who’ve had a stroke, and provide protection of the brain against neurodegeneration (seen in diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s). As for the more physical benefits, this Mediterranean diet provides protein for the muscles, fiber for the digestive system, and vitamins for tissues and bones.

This balance is also key to keeping you full after a meal and energized throughout the day so you don’t feel the need to overeat, Nichola Whitehead, a registered dietician in the UK, previously told Business Insider. “You need to have a balanced meal — things like whole grains, fibre, and vegetables — in order to sustain your blood sugar. Empty calories [like white bread or white rice] give a temporary fix,” she said.

Her use of the word temporary echoes with me as I think about other dieting plans. A “crash diet” doesn’t sound as good when you focus on the word crash, doesn’t it? For me, dieting is best when planned well and executed mindfully. Science can attest to that.

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These Health Tips For Workaholics Will Keep You Fit

We’ve seen the rise of health-tracking devices such as skin sensors and wearable hydration systems. While they are impressive, busybodies may not find them to be equally as useful. However, there are many ways to stay in shape when you’re constantly on the move. Try out these health tips for workaholics to keep your mind and body sharp!

When it comes to food, pack your snacks. Nothing is more of a time-saver than having meals right at your desk. You may even have room to multi-task. While meal planning seems something of a hassle, making it a habit eases the stress of having to think too hard. To make things even simpler, stick to three-ingredient meals that can be easily stored for at least a few days. Anyway, leftovers — whether you agree or not — can taste absolutely delicious!

If you’re looking to get toned or want to maintain your physical health, exercise in intervals. YouTube hosts an abundance of 15 to 20-minute workouts that can easily be achieved in your home or office. (Now, if only we could get our colleagues to refrain from having a laugh…) Quick, high-intensity exercises are sometimes more effective than prolonged routines. And let’s be honest — morning routines? Not happening.

Being constantly occupied, it’s easy to forget that our bodies actually need a substantial amount of water. When the going gets tough, don’t stress — hydrate! Don’t underestimate how energizing eight glasses of water a day can be. And on that note, don’t forget to shower. A fresh bath is more refreshing than we give it credit for.

For the extra-skittish, meditate. There are no skills required — just an ounce of patience and a dash of focus. Spending 10 minutes breathing may seem futile (and for the hyperactive, boring), but you’ll be surprised how de-stressing it is.

While it may seem impossible, shut off technology at least an hour before bedtime. I won’t lie, I tend to struggle with this in particular, but find that I fall asleep faster when I’m not watching videos of baby goats. The temptation to constantly refresh notifications may be a lingering one, but there’s nothing a little willpower can’t handle. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself in the morning.

Though some workaholics are notorious for being scatter-brained, being organized is a valuable skill to have. Set daily, weekly, or monthly goals. Use a journal or go virtual. A calendar always helps. If you miss a goal, don’t beat yourself up — adjust! Find out what you couldn’t handle and make the appropriate changes. Being neat is also vital, as you don’t want to worry about where you may have misplaced your car keys. Set schedules, but leave room for spontaneity on weekends. You want your life to be systematic, not boring!

Most importantly, while spending your free time being productive is great, take a break. Whether you’re treating yourself to a simple long-weekend getaway or a full-on vacation, set aside time to wind down. After all, if anyone knows what it feels like to fall victim to routine, it’s definitely me.

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Beer Can Now Make You Healthier

If you’re planning to lose your beer belly, you may want to think twice. This probiotic beer might change the game.

Researchers at the National University of Singapore recently announced that they’ve created a new beer infused with probiotics, or the sort of “good” bacteria that’s been shown to promote digestion and various other bodily functions.

The recipe, which took nine months to perfect, contains 3.5% alcohol. It undergoes an alternative fermentation process and contains a probiotic strain that regulates the immune system.

There’s been a huge increase in interest in probiotics lately with more and more people consuming things like fermented vegetables, yogurts, and kombucha.

Clearly, probiotics are becoming quite the fad. While we’re all dying to know when this new brew is hitting shelves, we can rest easy knowing the recipe has been patented.

Perhaps a cheers to this Singaporean group of geniuses?

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