According to the so-called five-second rule, it’s safe to eat food after it’s dropped on the floor—at least as long as you do so within five seconds. It’s one of those “rules” that has stood the test of time, as proven by its steadfast presence in everyday culture. In fact, you’ve probably seen your fair share of people swear by the rule. But is it real? Here’s what you should know about the five-second rule for food, according to experts and science.
The Origin of the Five-Second Rule
The rule mostly stems from urban legends. One such story can be traced back to Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire. Allegedly, Khan established the “Khan Rule” at banquets: If food dropped on the floor, it could stay there as long as he permitted. Several centuries later, chef and television personality Julia Child may have further contributed to the myth. In a 1960s episode of The French Chef, Child flipped a pancake only to have it land on the stovetop. She then returned the pancake to the pan, noting that you can always pick it up if you’re alone in the kitchen.
Although these stories don’t explain why five seconds became the magic number, they do shed light on how people may have learned to handle dropped food. But when it comes to safety and the risk of germs, does five seconds actually make a difference?
Ultimately, the Five-Second Rule Is a Myth
Unfortunately, there’s no truth to the five-second rule. When food falls on the floor (or any surface, for that matter), its level of contamination is mainly determined by the “dirtiness” of the floor, rather than the length of contact. In other words, food that falls on a germ-ridden floor will pick up germs, regardless of how long it stays there. Food scientist, Paul Dawson, has even tested the five-second rule in a lab. To do this, he and his team contaminated tile, wood, and carpet with Salmonella bacteria, one of the most common causes of food poisoning. Next, they dropped bologna (moist food) and white bread (dry food) onto the surfaces, then waited for five, 30, and 60 seconds. The team then measured the number of bacteria on each food for each time frame. According to Dawson, high levels of bacteria were found on both the bologna and white bread, regardless of the surface and contact time. And while there were some differences (like less bacteria on dry foods or foods that touched the carpet, for example), there was still a noteworthy degree of contamination across the board.
Bottom line: If food drops onto a surface, it will pick up germs from said surface. The length of contact time doesn’t influence whether or not this happens, and ultimately, the risk of food poisoning.
It’s that time of year! It’s getting warmer, trees are greening up, and we can head outside for some fresh air. Right? Ugh, not so fast. The reality of Daylight Savings Time is waking up groggy in the dark, scrambling out of bed, guzzling down some coffee, and trying to maintain our composure in traffic on the harried drive into school where we will be rewarded for our efforts with late, sleepy, grumpy students.
Parents and teachers aren’t the only ones who struggle with lack of sleep the first week or two of daylight savings. Growing students need their sleep even more. It can make us all scratch our heads and wonder why we do it at all. (Those in Hawaii and parts of Arizona can skip this post and go back to bed for an extra hour of sleep!).
There are more accidents, heart attacks, and strokes in the week or two after daylight savings time. So go easy on yourself, and others.
Be kind to yourself and your students during the daylight savings shift. It takes a while for our bodies to get used to the new schedule. You might find yourself more easily irritated because you lost some much-needed shut-eye. Your students will feel the same way. Be prepared for late, grouchy students. Remember that this too shall pass.
Create a lesson about why we have daylight savings time. Although it was first used in Thunder Bay, Canada in 1908 to enjoy more sunlight hours during the day, it didn’t take off until Germany and Austria started to use it in 1916 to save energy during WWI.
Encourage your students to get enough sleep. In the week leading up to DST, remind them to go to bed a few minutes earlier every night in order to shift their circadian rhythms gradually. Explain how exposure to blue light from technology too close to bedtime hinders their ability to fall asleep. Talk about how important sleep is for our health and remind them that bed-time routines are important for people of all ages to set the stage for a good night. And don’t forget to follow your own advice!
Enjoy Some Extra Sunlight
Especially if you live in a colder climate, you are used to going home during the winter after a long day at school and getting cozy in the dark. DST gives us time to decompress outside before we hang it up for the night. Enjoy an after dinner walk or just relax on your porch. The extra daylight in the evening keeps us alert a bit longer. Use that extra time at the end of the day to prepare for your morning routine. Hopefully, it’ll just take a few days for you and your students to get back on track and get busy enjoying Spring!
Delia Lewis, a marketing strategist from Manalapan Township, NJ started feeling a little foggier than usual. She’d sit down at her desk in her new home office and begin doom-scrolling instead of answering emails. Tasks she used to rip through in 10 minutes started taking an hour.
When Delia started feeling a little less sharp and a lot more distracted than usual, she chalked it up to Zoom meeting fatigue, not being able to blow off steam at the gym, and the sudden lack of socializing with friends. She figured some extra sleep, and a little time would help her adjust to our collective new normal. But when her symptoms persisted, she saw her doctor, who told her she was likely dealing with brain fog—not a technical diagnosis exactly, but a term many people use when they feel absentminded or not as sharp as they used to be or have difficulty focusing. Other symptoms include being more forgetful than usual or sluggish when you’re trying to remember things.
There are a number of reasons your mind may feel foggy. When Delia’s brain fog settled in and nothing she tried—extra sleep, meditation, even a week off from work—seemed to help, she got a little nervous: “I started wondering if I was really sick.”
The most likely causes of brain fog, it turns out, are things that many of us are dealing with right now (or will at some point), including:
The human body is amazing at adapting in the face of tension. When we perceive that we’re in danger, the brain releases a cascade of neurochemicals and hormones to help us mobilize (hello, fight-or-flight mode!). But this cocktail is only meant to pump through our bodies for a limited time, and these substances exhaust our brains when they stick around longer than they should. That’s why there’s a feedback loop built into the system, where your brain eventually gets a message that says, Let’s shut this stress hormone release down—there’s no acute threat anymore.
✔️ Not enough sleep
This is one of the biggest culprits behind brain fog simply because it makes you feel less alert. Not getting enough zzz’s also means you miss out on important brain cleansing that happens when you’re snoozing soundly.
Yes, mood swings and night sweats often show up during perimenopause, but Dr. Gayatri Devi, M.D., a clinical professor of neurology says brain fog is a major symptom that’s too often overlooked. “I’ve actually had patients misdiagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease when really it was menopause-related brain fog,” she says.
✔️ Medication side effects
A number of medications can cause brain fog, from migraine and antiseizure prescriptions to over-the-counter drugs for sleep or allergies. Add alcohol to any of these drugs—even a moderate single glass of wine per night—and you might feel even less clear.
✔️ Medical conditions
There are times when brain fog might be the result of a health issue such as a head injury, thyroid problems, or the early stages of multiple sclerosis. These cases are much more rare, but it’s important to pay attention to signs that your muddled mind might be due to something more critical.
How to treat and prevent brain fog
Take control of your stress reaction
“It’s easy to get into a mindset in which everything is negative, and it feels like there’s nothing you can do about stress,” says Jessica Caldwell, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist. “But if you really look at what’s making you feel the most anxious, you may see things you can take off your plate or different ways to cope.” Even simply acknowledging what’s stressing you out can help you refine the way you cope with the tough stuff life will inevitably throw at you. Even better, it’ll help your brain turn off that cascade of stress hormones that tires out your hippocampus.
Nail your sleep routine
“Too many of us think of our brain like a motor that can be switched on and off, but the brain is more like a plant that’s growing and changing all the time,” says Dr. Devi. “And nothing is more elegant than or as powerful as sleep to feed that plant and keep it healthy.” While a night or two of poor zzz’s won’t have a huge impact, consistent sleep trouble is worth fixing. “There are many proven ways to treat insomnia these days,” says Dr. Devi. “You can train yourself back into a good sleep routine.”
Move your body
What’s good for your heart (read: exercise!) is good for your brain. That’s because upward of 40% of blood from your heart ends up circulating to your noggin, says Dr. Devi. “It’s proof of how much energy your brain requires, and how much it relies on your heart to get that energy.” If your heart isn’t pumping blood properly, your brain won’t get the oxygen-rich blood it needs to support memory function and alertness. Plus, exercise improves your mood and reduces stress. “If you can do one thing to get multiple benefits when it comes to preventing or treating brain fog, exercise is a great choice,” says Caldwell.
Check in with your brain
Try an exercise Chapman prescribes to all her patients, which she calls “five by five”: Set an alarm to go off at five intervals throughout the day and spend five minutes stopping all brain activity (don’t even meditate!) and just being in the moment. You might close your eyes and take a rest or sit outside and look at trees. Go for a walk (without listening to a podcast!) and zone out. “Just five minutes with no major input is the best way to reset your brain,” says Chapman.
It may make you feel super productive, but multitasking actually irritates your brain, ultimately slowing it down, says Chapman. Instead of trying to juggle multiple things at once, focus on one goal at a time—and make it doable in a 30-minute chunk of time.
Overthink one thing every day
“Thinking deeply is like push-ups for your brain,” Chapman says. When you read an interesting article online, spend 15 minutes thinking about it and how you might apply it to your life. If you and your partner watch a movie, talk about its message and how it connects with your life rather than just rehashing the plot. Chapman’s research has found that when people engage in deeper levels of thinking, they increase the speed of connectivity across the brain’s central executive network, which is where decision-making, planning, goal-setting, and clear thinking happen, by 30%. “That’s like regaining almost two decades of neural function,” says Chapman.
Excite your brain
Your brain actually hates the same old thinking and ways of doing things. That means the best way to give your gray matter a shot of excitement is to innovate, says Chapman: “This prompts the brain to produce norepinephrine, a brain chemical that makes us excited to learn.” Even simple things can help. At work, try a different approach to a task you’ve done a thousand times. In your downtime, take a new route to the grocery store or listen to different music as you walk around your neighborhood.
Delia Lewis joined the quarantined masses in starting to bake banana bread when her brain fog got really bad, and she says spending time in the kitchen gave her a surprising shot of joy—and a chance to turn her brain away from the worry and stress.
“Baking has become a chance to give my brain a break,” she says. “Plus, it has the added bonus of helping me feel like I’ve accomplished something on days I don’t get enough done on the work front.” And that has helped her feel sharper all around.
Article ByMeghan Rabbitt for Prevention.com
Source: What Is Brain Fog? – Brain Fog Causes, Symptoms, and Cures (prevention.com)
This bright & fresh artichoke salad is abundant in vegetables & Italian herbs! Each bite is filled with marinated artichokes, fire roasted red peppers, and paired with a simple herbed vinaigrette.
This is one of my all-time favorite salads! As of late, I’ve been eating it almost every day. And I also served it at two separate family dinners for Easter this past weekend! It’s full of vibrant color, fresh flavor, and is the perfect salad for any occasion.
You’ll need a handful of fresh produce and a few pantry items to make this beautiful salad! Here’s the full list: marinated artichokes, garbanzo beans/chickpeas, red onion, fire roasted red pepper, cherry tomatoes, oregano, basil, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, salt & pepper, and maple syrup.
Whisk dressing ingredients: in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together all of vinaigrette ingredients together. Season with generous pinch of salt & black pepper to taste.
Toss salad with dressing: in a large bowl, arrange all of chopped vegetables. Drizzle with dressing and toss until coated, taste and adjust seasoning if needed and enjoy!
Dried herbs vs fresh: you can of course use dried herbs but fresh will give a beautiful bright flavor! If you use dried herbs the measurements will be a lot less than fresh herbs since they are much more condensed.
Vinaigrette sweeteners: In the dressing I use a touch of maple syrup to balance out the tang from the red wine vinegar, but you can also swap for honey (not vegan), coconut sugar, or agave.
More vegetables you can add: you can also use veggies such as asparagus, sliced fennel, white beans, cucumber, shredded carrots, olives, and leafy greens.
We’ve all grown up hearing “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but it turns out the benefits of a banana a day could be just as good. Bananas are packed with vitamins and nutrients and when you eat a banana on a regular basis, they help to maintain and improve your overall health. In other words, eating a banana a day is definitely the way to go to stay healthy.
However, it’s important to remember not to go overboard with your daily banana intake. According to Healthline, you should stick to the recommendation of one or two bananas a day, but no more than that. Eating too much of any food, even one as healthy as bananas, can lead to weight gain or deficiencies in nutrients. There are plenty of benefits to your body when you eat a banana every day
1. You’ll be supporting your gut health.
Now, more than ever before, we are seeing the importance of gut health on overall wellbeing. There are many strategies to best eat for your microbiome, but it can start with a banana. According to a 2017 study review in Nutrition Bulletin, bananas contain resistant starch, which works to increase the production of short-chain fatty acids—essential for gut health. So, we can thank bananas for stabilizing our gut and providing nutrients for our microbiome.
2. You may lose weight.
A benefit that never goes under-appreciated, eating bananas daily can help us reach our weight loss goals. Packed with fiber and protein, bananas will keep you fuller for longer, despite being just over 100 calories a piece. They even made Healthline’s list of the 20 Most Weight-Loss-Friendly Foods on The Planet. So, the next time you’re at the grocery store, make sure to pick up a bunch.
3. You can improve your skin.
When you think of foods that improve your skin, you probably think of salmon, avocados, or maybe walnuts—but bananas can be a game-changer when it comes to skin health. It’s all due to the vitamins and minerals in bananas, specifically the manganese that boosts collagen levels. No matter what your skin difficulties are—acne, wrinkles, dry skin—eating a banana a day can help. Healthline even suggests a banana face mask could help to do the trick, but I think we’ll stick with eating our bananas instead.
4. You’ll improve your energy level.
Especially when eaten before or after a workout, bananas can be instrumental in boosting your energy levels and keeping you from feeling fatigued throughout the day. The results from a PLOS One 2012 study on male athletes found that those who refueled with a sports drink every fifteen minutes as opposed to a banana and water performed worse overall in long-distance cycling races. Therefore, there was a direct correlation between eating a banana and increasing energy levels on performance.
5. You’ll get a boost of potassium, which supports heart health.
Bananas are known for their potassium, but did you know that potassium can help to strengthen your heart? Well it absolutely can—so eating a banana a day can lead to a healthy heart. Most people do not consume enough potassium in their daily diet, which often can have a direct impact on blood pressure control and other components of heart health. Additionally, a potassium-rich diet—AKA eating a banana every day—can lower your risk of heart disease by 27%. So, it’s time to add this fruit favorite into your daily routine.
6. You will enhance your vision (both during the day and at night).
No, we’re not talking about carrots. According to the National Institute of Health, bananas contain Vitamin A, which works to do three things, protect your eyes, maintain normal vision, and improve vision at night. So, there’s no need to overdo it with your carrot consumption and risk your skin turning orange. Instead, the move is definitely to stick with a banana a day because not only does it enhance your vision, but it has so many other health benefits too.