8 Myths About Pregnancy That Turned Out to Be True

Right from the first weeks of pregnancy, the surrounding people start to intimidate the future mother with old wives’ tales: don’t cut your hair, don’t buy new clothes, and don’t even dare to think about knitting. Nevertheless, there is sense in some of these superstitions.

Bright Side has prepared for you a set of beliefs about pregnancy that have some scientific proof.

1. If you caress a cat, your baby will have many enemies.

There is one real enemy called toxoplasmosis, the carriers of which are cats. Therefore, it really makes sense to limit your communication with cats in order to avoid intrauterine infection.

2. If you sit on a doorstep, evil spirits will take your baby away.

A pregnant woman definitely should not sit either on a doorstep or in any other draft. The immune system can be weakened, and neither cold nor pain in your waist will provide you with stronger health.

3. If you eat red fruits, the baby will have rosy cheeks.

All red berries and fruits are strong allergens, although the attitude to eating them varies. According to Russian traditional medicine, pregnant women should not eat them, while Western doctors say the opposite.

4. If you watch scary movies, the baby will become ugly.

There is always a special restriction for pregnant women at the beginning of every movie. And that’s not without reason. Hormonal changes make a woman very sensitive, and too much stress can lead to blood flow disorder. Therefore, it will be better if you put off the horrors for later.

5. If you sit with your legs crossed, the baby will be clubfooted.

Crossed legs can cause problems for the blood supply and increase the risk of varicose veins. That is why it’s better to forget about this position during pregnancy and use safer postures.

6. If you sleep on your back, the baby can choke.

Sleeping on the back, especially in the last stages of pregnancy, can lead to clamping the mother’s vena cava. If she regularly sleeps in this position, a pregnant woman can get weakness, lack of oxygen, and dizziness, while the baby can develop hypoxia.

7. If you hang out clothes, the baby can get tangled in the umbilical cord.

The thing is not in hanging out the clothes but in lifting up both arms. If you do it for a short period of time, nothing scary will happen. However, if you do it for a long time, then the tonus of uterus can increase. That can be dangerous for pregnancy.

8. It’s prohibited to have a bath because the power of the baby will be washed out.

A hot bath, especially in the early stages of pregnancy, can lead to miscarriage. Although it would still be nice to have a warm bath without any concerns.

Boy or girl?

It is said that if the belly of a pregnant woman looks pointed, she will have a baby boy. If it looks round, she will have a baby girl. Unfortunately, it’s only the location of the muscles and organs that influence the shape of a tummy. Hence, this superstition is a myth, just like other ways of finding out the baby’s sex. The best way is an ultrasound, although that can sometimes be mistaken as well.

How to Pick the Perfect Sunglasses for Your Face Type

Sunglasses are more than a major summer accessory: they protect our eyes from harmful radiation, reduce fatigue, and add harmony to our overall image. Provided, of course, we choose the type that suits us.

Today Bright Side offers a selection of tips on how to select sunglasses to match your face shape as well as how to tell a high-quality lens from a poor-quality one. Plus, there’s a helpful bonus waiting for you at the end of the article!

How to determine your face type

Take one of the following: a washable marker, a lipstick, a piece of soap, or a pencil. Stand at arm’s length in front of a mirror. Trying not to let your hand stray, trace the outline of your face on the mirror’s surface, starting from your chin and ending with your hairline. Take a step back, and look at the resulting shape.

Your task is to visually lengthen your face, so choose glasses with dark frames. They narrow the face and bring its contours closer to an oval shape. To balance your facial proportions, choose a frame where the width is greater than the height.

Suitable for round faces:

  • Pointed, rectangular, and square glasses.
  • “Cat’s eyes“ glasses.
  • ”Butterfly“ glasses.
  • Glasses with narrow bridges.
  • “Aviators.”
  • ”Wayfarers.”

Not suitable for round faces:

  • Round glasses.
  • Narrow frames.
  • Glasses with sharply defined edges.
  • Geometrically shaped glasses.
  • Glasses with colored lenses.
  • Glasses that cover the eyebrows.

In this case, the main goal is not to disturb your face’s harmonious proportions. Therefore, you should avoid glasses that look too massive. Preferably, the frame should be as wide as your face, or a little wider. Make sure that the frame’s upper part is in line with your eyebrows.

Suitable for oval faces:

  • Glasses with smooth-lined frames: rectangular, oval, round.
  • “Butterfly“ glasses.
  • ”Aviators.“
  • “Cat’s eyes” glasses.

Not suitable for oval faces:

  • Glasses with sharply defined edges.
  • Glasses that appear too massive.
  • Glasses that look too wide.
  • Narrow frames.

Sharp-angled rectangular or square frames can “overload“ your face’s outlines. On the other hand, rounded frames will help to visually balance and soften overall facial proportions.

Suitable for square faces:

  • Large glasses.
  • Glasses where the frame width equals the width of your face.
  • Glasses with colored frames.
  • Glasses with oval, round, or teardrop-shaped frames.
  • Frameless glasses.
  • ”Cat’s eyes” glasses.
  • “Aviators.”

Not suitable for square faces:

  • Square frames with sharp corners.
  • Small, narrow, and petite frames.
  • Glasses where the frame is wider than your face.

Aim to make your face appear visually broader. Go for large, massive-looking glasses. Also, make sure they have transparent lenses and slender frames that match the tone of your skin.

Suitable for rectangular faces:

  • Large-framed glasses.
  • “Aviators” (with large frames).
  • Round-framed glasses.

Not suitable for rectangular faces:

  • Narrow frames.
  • Small glasses.
  • Glasses with bright, colorful frames.

Your goal is to balance out the upper part of your face by making the lower part appear bulkier. Massive-looking glasses won’t help: they’ll just add more bulk to the upper part. We advise you to choose glasses where the width equals the width of your face. Opt for a teardrop-shaped design. “Aviators“ would be ideal.

Suitable for heart-shaped faces:

  • Rounded or round glasses.
  • Small frames with a narrow bridge.
  • Glasses with low-set arms.
  • ”Aviators.“
  • “Wayfarers.”
  • Frameless glasses.
  • Bright or neutral-colored frames.

Not suitable for heart-shaped faces:

  • Glasses with large and heavy frames.
  • Glasses with sharp, pointy outlines.
  • Glasses that cover the eyebrows.
  • ”Butterfly“ glasses or teardrop-shaped glasses.
  • ”Cat’s eyes” glasses.
  • Glasses with brightly colored frames.

Your main aim should be to visually broaden the upper half of your face while making the lower half less conspicuous. Choose sunglasses with a large frame and a broad upper part. The lower part shouldn’t have square or sharp outlines.

Suitable for triangular faces:

  • Round glasses without bright decorations.
  • “Aviators.“
  • ”Cat’s eyes” glasses with transparent lenses.
  • Frameless glasses.

Not suitable for triangular faces:

  • “Cat’s eyes” glasses with dark-tinted lenses.
  • Glasses with square or rectangular frames.
  • Glasses with narrow or small frames.
  • Glasses where the lower part has square or sharp-edged outlines.

Bonus: Testing sunglasses for UV protection

Take a UV flashlight, and shine it through the lens of the sunglasses at any fluorescent object (such as a pen cap, an earphone speaker, a marker, or a sticker). The better the glasses are at filtering out ultraviolet light, the fainter the object will glow.

Testing sunglasses for polarization

Polarized lenses filter out reflected light, remove glare, and reduce eye fatigue. Finding out whether your glasses have polarizing filters is very easy: just look at a reflective surface with unprotected eyes, then put on the glasses and look again. If the glasses are polarized, the glare should disappear.

Also, try turning the glasses in your hand. Under certain angles, the glare will disappear and then reappear.

7 Facts About Coffee That Will Make You Want to Grab Yourself a Cup

Every day, Beethoven made himself a coffee out of 60 coffee beans, while Voltaire drank up to 50 cups a day and lived until the age of 83. So perhaps a coffee addiction isn’t too bad after all?

Bright Side discovered 7 reasons why you might want to get yourself a cup of coffee right now. As a bonus, you’ll find a recipe for a fresh summer coffee cocktail.

Boosted brain performance

It’s no secret that coffee boosts attention, alertness, and concentration, but that’s not all. Coffee with added sugar can turn you into a little genius for a while because the combination of caffeine and glucose activates certain sectors of your brain. However, never drink coffee on an empty stomach since that will do the direct opposite.

Increased blood pressure

A tiny cup of coffee can battle a hypotensive episode, a situation where your blood pressure is too low. But it is not recommended for people who show signs of tachycardia and have a high resting pulse rate after drinking coffee. Hypertensive patients, on the other hand, can drink away, as the body gets used to it and stops reacting to it by increasing blood pressure after a while.

Stronger immune system

According to scientists from several countries, coffee reduces the risk of premature death. The more cups of coffee you drink a day, the lower the risk. This is because coffee alters your immune system, making it stronger and healthier. It also improves your liver, heart, and digestive system. Still, try to stick to natural freshly ground coffee: instant coffee contains fewer nutrients and more chemical additives, which damage your digestive organs.

Cure for headache

The caffeine contained in natural coffee can cure headaches and migraines. But it is still incomparable to painkillers. The latter are more effective because they often contain caffeine themselves, which boosts the effectiveness of all other components by 40%.

Reduced stress and depression

Coffee acts well as an anti-stress substance due to the release of dopamine and serotonin, which “trigger” a good mood. One cup, or even just the smell of coffee, can calm your nerves. Moreover, caffeine is one of the most common stimulators of the central nervous system (CNS), and its constant stimulation is what keeps depression at bay. Interestingly, only the caffeine contained in coffee has this effect, as opposed to the caffeine found in tea, soda, or chocolate, which do not stimulate the CNS as effectively.

Better memory

The stimulators and neuromediators obtained from coffee not only boost your mood and productivity but also improve your memory. Of course, this only works with your short-term memory. But this is good enough because all information is initially stored as a short-term memory, and only an hour later does it enter our long-term memory under particular circumstances.

Lower weight

Finally, your dreams of losing weight can come true. Coffee can keep off and help you lose excess weight. When the level of the hormone leptin is low, your body starts storing fat, and you gain weight. Coffee, however, increases the hormone levels in your body. This is why coffee junkies take longer to gain weight and why exercise yields more results for them.

Bonus

There’s an abundance of iced coffee recipes out there. But there are also very simple ways to go about it.

  • Make your favorite coffee.
  • Let it cool off, then fill an ice cube tray with the coffee. Place it in the freezer.
  • On a hot day, simply add the coffee cubes to a glass of milk.
  • The simplest coffee cocktail is ready!

10 Reasons Why Asians Are so Slim

Statistically, Asians are the slimmest people on Earth. “That’s genetics,” you’ll say. But that’s only partly right: traditions and habits also play a big part in staying fit.

Bright Side has revealed 10 secrets that help Asians stay in shape without strict diets or exhausting exercises.

10. Attitude to food

Apart from the quality and quantity of food, your attitude to it also has an influence on your body. In the West, food is not just a natural need but also an entertainment — an approach encapsulated in eating contests.

It’s not like Asians don’t like to eat. They love food like anyone else, but ultimately this is only a means to sustain life to them.

9. Portion size

As a rule, Asians prefer to eat small portions; they like to choose from a variety of dishes and try several of them during the same meal.

Studies confirm that even a small portion reduction can lead to weight loss. Volunteers at Cornell University ate reduced portions during lunch but continued to eat anything they wanted for the rest of the day. As a result, each of them lost 1.1 lbs (500 g) in 2 weeks. This experiment also disproved the belief that a person will compensate for a calorie deficit by eating more later.

8. Cooking methods

Ethnic cuisine restaurants adapt their dishes to the tastes of the local population, so it may seem that their dishes are almost always deep-fried. That’s not exactly the truth: Asian cuisine surely has plenty of fried food, but that’s not the most popular method of cooking — many recipes include steaming or boiling. The main thing is to stay within limits.

7. Fermented foods

Miso soup, kimchi, natto soybeans — these are just a few typical Asian fermented foods. Being products of lacto-fermentation, these foods act as natural probiotics. Their consumption contributes to weight loss, especially the loss of visceral fat which accumulates around the abdominal organs.

6. Seafood

Asian cuisine is difficult to imagine without fish and seafood, which contain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to their beneficial effects on the immune, vascular, and reproductive systems, omega-3 contributes to weight loss.

Researchers conducted a 3-week experiment which showed that when under the same conditions (calorie restriction and regular exercise), the group that received omega-3 capsules lost 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg) more than those who consumed the placebo.

5. Lots of greens

As mentioned above, Asian dishes are rarely served in large portions, but this doesn’t apply to vegetables, especially green vegetables: they are eaten in substantial amounts. Another important difference is the taste: Western vegetable dishes often seem bland to Asian palates.

4. Tea instead of cold water

Unlike Europeans and Americans, Asians usually wash their food down not with cold water or soda but with warm, typically green, tea. There is an opinion that cold water, especially in combination with fatty foods, slows down the digestion process and can trigger weight gain as a result.

3. Healthy desserts and snacks

In Asia, a wide popularity is enjoyed by sweets and snacks based on rice, seaweed, and red beans, as well as nuts, seeds, and fruit. These delicacies are undoubtedly much healthier than the chips, cookies, and cakes we’re familiar with.

2. Walking

Surprisingly, this habit is related to high population density. Residents of large cities use public transport instead of cars; they also live in small apartments in areas where shops, laundries, and other public places are located within walking distance.

Because of that, a typical Asian walks a longer distance in a day than an American who usually gets around by car.

1. Exercise and meditation

Traditional Asian medicine pays much attention to the prevention of diseases and seeks to eliminate the root of an illness, while Western medicine works mainly with its consequences. That is why meditation, Tai Chi, and other activities are widely practiced in Asia to prevent the development of certain diseases, including obesity.

Bonus: A 1-minute exercise to give you a flat belly

All you need is a surface you can lean on (such as a table) and 1 minute of free time.

How to do it:

  • Stand with your back to the table, straighten your shoulders, and raise your chin as shown in the picture.
  • Raise your hands, and start to reach up, alternating your right and left hand. Make 4 repetitions with each hand.
  • Turn your torso to the right (with your feet remaining in the original position), and touch the table with your hands; repeat the same with the left side.

Do this exercise every day for 1 minute, and you’ll notice the first results in as little as a week.

17 Ingenious Ideas to Reuse Plastic Bottles

Plastic bottles are something that most of us use every day as water containers. But there are many ways of giving a plastic bottle a second life. Don’t recycle — reuse them!

Bright Side’s search yielded these 17 fantastic ideas plus one cool bonus. You’ll be shocked by the downright practicality of some of these hacks.

17. Phone charger holder

A cool and easy DIY idea. You’ll never find your phone on the floor again.

16. A “lid” for plastic bags

Say “no” to impossible knots. Use plastic bottles to seal your plastic bags.

15. Bottle bag

A large water bottle turned into a bag is a great way to organize small toys.

14. Cell phone loudspeaker

An eco-friendly loudspeaker for your phone that uses recycled materials to amplify sounds. This idea doesn’t require a ton of time and skill to accomplish.

13. Sponge holder

This double-bottom sponge holder keeps a sponge dry and fresh. Any water left in the sponge will leak through the holes in the upper part. It takes just a few minutes to makeyour own holder.

12. Finger guard

Keep your fingers safe by making the guard shown in this video instruction.

11. Quick tea infuser

No more tea problems when you are camping. Make your own infuser by clicking here.

10. Funny pencil holder

The best way to organize your kid’s pens and pencils! You need only a couple of minutes to make it.

9. Flowerpots

A creative flowerpot will brighten up your home. Make your own in less than 10 minutes.

8. Mini greenhouse

A mini greenhouse will protect young plants from cold and drought. Do you want to know how?

7. Garden sprinkler

When your regular garden sprinkler is broken, a plastic bottle is the best way to solve the problem.

6. Mudguard

Not all bikes come with fenders, but they can be really handy to have. If you’re looking for great protection from road spray from your rear wheel, think about reusing a plastic bottle.

5. Camera lens protection

You can use a plastic bottle to cover your camera lens. Follow these instructions to make your own.

4. Faucet extender

A helpful way to use plastic bottles is to extend a faucet so you can reach the water without splashing it all over the sink. Another way to recycle these bottles without much more than scissors and creativity.

3. Yolk separator

Separate yolks from whites like a chef. Click here to see how to do it.

2. Shovel

A quick DIY shovel. It takes a minute to make it.

1. Phone cover

Are you a bicycle enthusiast who can’t imagine their life without their phone? Then you need to think about simple and smart protection for your gadget. Here’s an idea! A plastic bottle cover will protect your phone from mud and rain.

Bonus: a boat

For the true desperado in you! Find step-by-step instructions here.

15 Effective Hair Care Tips Everyone Should Know

Beautiful healthy hair is an important component of any modern girl’s image. But hair care requires a lot of time and effort.

To help you with this daily challenge, Bright Side offers a collection of genuinely useful tips on how to attain perfect looks with minimal effort!

15. Use straws to curl your hair.

 

The maker of this video tells how you can wind your hair on straws without the need to use curling irons.

14. Lighten your hair with lemon juice.

Here a blogger tells how to use lemon juice and the Sun to create sun-bleached strands. Also, this tip should help blondes get rid of any yellow tinge in their hair.

13. Mix conditioner with water.

This life hack is useful for those who like to wear various types of braids or buns. Mix your regular conditioner with hot water, as shown here, apply to wet hair, then proceed with styling. Your hairdo will remain intact longer, with your hair looking shiny and well groomed.

12. Spray bobby pins with hair spray.

While doing your styling, ensure that bobby pins stay in place by spraying them with hair spray or dry shampoo 2 minutes before use, as shown here.

11. Make your ponytail longer.

The author of this blog demonstrates a simple but effective trick for making your ponytail look visibly longer.

10. Make your ponytail look fuller.

Make your hair look fuller by fastening the ponytail in the middle with a small hair clip, as shown here.

9. Brush your hair before taking a shower.

To minimize hair loss during washing, carefully comb your hair before going into the shower, as advised by the author of this blog.

8. Make DIY hair chalks.

Multicolored strands have been en vogue for a few seasons already. However, there’s no need to buy hair paint or color chalks — you can make everything yourself if you follow these instructions.

7. Use eye shadows instead of chalks.

You don’t even need chalks or paint to make impressive colored strands. Take some brightly colored shadows, hold a strand of hair as shown here, and apply a shadow along the length of the strand from top to bottom. For pink strands, use blushes.

6. Remove static electricity from your hair.

Before brushing, attach a dryer sheet to the brush, as shown here, and swipe it along the length of your hair. This will help to keep your hair from electrifying, making it stay smooth for longer.

5. Smooth unruly hair.

When making a ponytail, a braid, or a bun, prevent individual small hairs from sticking out by putting some conditioner (or ordinary body lotion) on a toothbrush and swiping it through your hair in the direction of its growth, as shown in this video. Such a technique will help your locks remain smooth and shiny all day long!

4. Achieve light waves with tin foil and a flat iron.

To create light waves, apply a heat-protectant spray with fixing effect to your hair, separate your hair into strands, curl the strands into loops, and then wrap each loop with tin foil. Next, scrunch the foil for 1-2 minutes with the flat iron. Finally, remove the foil.

3. Create the “beach hair” effect.

To achieve tousled and natural-looking locks, put your hair into an ordinary “fishtail” braid, following these instructions. Do it prior to going to bed. Before you start braiding, rinse your hair, leaving it slightly damp. Next morning, undo the braid, and fix your hair with hair spray.

2. Use coconut oil.

Coconut oil moisturizes the scalp and helps combat dandruff. Apply some oil to your hair roots, and leave overnight. Next morning, wash it off using shampoo for normal hair.

1. DIY bangs.

If you’ve always wanted bangs but were hesitant to cut your hair short, use clip-in extensions along with the above video instruction.

15 Inventions for Your Home That Deserve the Nobel Prize Right Now

We already have many things that make our daily lives a lot easier. But there’s still room for imagination and improvement even in this prosaic sphere of life.

Bright Side has made a selection of household objects that will certainly make you admire the cleverness of their inventors.

15. Heated mirror

Part of the mirror never mists up due to the heating.

14. Two-way toothpaste

This two-way tube invented by Dominic Wilcox will allow you to easily squeeze out the remaining toothpaste.

13. Buckleless belt

This belt doesn’t stick into your belly and is invisible under clothes.

12. Double-sided lamp

This lamp is a perfect solution if your bedroom has 2 beds and the owner of one of them likes to stay up late reading.

11. Multifunctional phone rest

Thanks to its construction, the Keizus Quadopod + Clamp can be adapted to serve any purpose.

10. Digital coin bank

With this coin bank, you will always know if you have enough money to buy what you want.

9. Folding sunglasses

Hilx Unfold glasses won’t take up much space in your bag and can be unfolded in a couple of seconds by simply shaking them.

8. Overlapping curtain tracks

The closed curtains overlap, so they won’t let a single sunray in.

7. Mini iron

This iron is ideal for traveling. Because of its compact size, it can easily fit even in hand luggage.

6. Portable light balls

You can easily take along one of the light balls of this night lamp by Boon if you need to get somewhere at night.

5. Mini Power charger

The main feature of this portable charger invented by designer Tsung Chih-Hsien is its miniature size. The device will fit even in the smallest bag.

4. Illuminated showerhead

No, this isn’t just for decoration: it’s a temperature indicator. Also, it is hydropowered and doesn’t require any batteries or chargers.

3. Smart bed

“Knows you. Senses you. Adjusts to you.” This is the Sleep Number bed that reacts to body temperature, warms you, and can even wake you up in the morning.

2. Butterfly keyboard

Keyboardio is a modernized version of the keyboard we are so used to. Due to the unusual arrangement of the keys, it allows you to keep your hands in a natural position when typing.

1. Easy fruit slicer

This creative tomato slicer that looks like a hair comb will help you hold and slice any fruit quickly, safely, and easily.

5 Wonderful Tips To Pick The Sweetest Watermelon

Who doesn’t love watermelon? Most people are obsessed with this delicious and refreshing fruit. Sometimes we think that unless you’re an experienced farmer, buying a juicy, tasty, fully ripe, and sweet watermelon is hit or miss.

However, it doesn’t have to be if you look for a few things when you’re picking out your melon. In fact, you can tell whether a watermelon is ripe without actually cutting it.

Here are five tips to help you find the best watermelon in the market:

Look for the field spot

Field spots are the white spots you find on the peel of a watermelon. It is found on the places where the watermelon rested on the ground and is ripe and sweet inside. These spots could be anything from creamy-yellow to orange.

Look for “webbing”

It shows the amount of bees touched the flower. The more you see the pollination, the more better it is.

Boy or a girl?

Watermelons also have genders. The “boy” watermelon is more elongated and the “girl” watermelons are round and stout. And of course, the girls are sweeter.

Pay attention to the size

It is better to choose neither the largest nor the smallest watermelon. Select an average-sized fruit. And note, please: large or small, the watermelon should feel heavy for its size.

Inspect the tail

The tail of a watermelon shows how ripe it is. A green tail shows that the watermelon was picked too soon. The dried tails show that they are ripe enough.

You Want To Quit Smoking? Use This Herb And It Will Destroy Your Desire For Nicotine

Everyone knows that smoking is bad for us. However, quitting this unhealthy habit can be quite the challenge.

One of the main reasons smokers keep smoking is nicotine. Nicotine is the chemical in cigarettes that makes you addicted to smoking. Over time your body gets used to having nicotine – the more you smoke‚ the more nicotine you need to feel normal.

When your body doesn’t get nicotine, you may feel uncomfortable and crave cigarettes. This is called withdrawal. It takes a time to get over withdrawal. Most physical symptoms go away after several days to a week, but cigarette cravings may stick around longer.

If you’re serious about giving up cigarettes, then you need to add the following herb to your diet – Stevia.

How to use Stevia to quit smoking

According to a recent German study, Stevia can help cure smoking and alcohol addiction.

This herb will help you give up smoking by blocking the craving signals your brain is trying send.

Stevia is a plant from the chrysanthemum family, that originate from Paraguay, which has been used as a natural sweetener for centuries.

For anti-smoking therapy, just apply a couple of drops of stevia directly on your tongue whenever you feel the desire for a cig. This simple routine instantly and remarkably kills any craving for a smoke.

Look for stevia in powder or liquid form in supermarkets and health-food stores. You’re likely to find it on the baking goods aisle or in the health food aisle.

Besides all that, Stevia is excellent in the fight against obesity and also helps in the treatment of diabetes and hypertension, but most importantly, it kills any desire for nicotine. Moreover, it can be used as a mask for skin care as it nourishes, tightens and makes it smooth. Stevia can also be used to combat acne and effectively acts against dermatitis.

This is how to grow it at home:

It cannot survive in freezing conditions as it likes warm temperatures and the sun. Its root survives in zones 9 and warmer and might grow again in spring.

If well protected, it can also survive in zone 8. Plant the Stevia in 12-inch containers, with high-quality soil. Place them to be exposed to direct sunlight and water it when the soil is dry.

Leave the plant to have a space of 18 inches, in a well-drained, loamy, and loose soil. It might reach a height of 1-3 feet. Plant it after the end of the frost, and use nice compost.

To prevent drying, use mulch in the summer. Do not use soggy soil, and make sure it has a good drainage. Note that the roots are rotten or attacked by insects if the plant wilts.

Trim off the flowers in fall, as it blooms then, in order to stimulate the growth of new leaves. The flowers are white, and to help the plant release more leaves, clip off the blooms. On the other hand, the leaves are the sweetest in autumn, before it starts blooming.

When the leaves are plucked, dry them to be able to use them longer. Cut off the stems, and eliminate the leaves and tender stems. Scatter it on woven fabric or some non-metal surface, and dry the leaves in the sun.

This process lasts for a day, and you should then collect them and place them in a container. Crush the leaves and make a powder.

Pour the powder into airtight containers, and add it to your foods and drinks to sweeten them.

How to use stevia

For nicotine cravings: just apply a couple of drops of liquid stevia directly on your tongue whenever you feel the desire for a cigarette. This will instantly stop the craving.

To replace sugar: use about 1/8 teaspoon of dried stevia to equal the sweetness of 1 teaspoon of sugar. You can also use fresh leaves during the growing season. Fresh leaves are approximately 1/4 as concentrated as powdered stevia.

Nauli Is the Freaky Yoga Pose Taking Over Instagram, But Should You Try It?

We love following talented yogis on Instagram, from “Yoga Girl” Rachel Brathen to Jessamyn Stanley. The poses that seem to get the most “likes” on the social network often involve gravity-defying bends or headstands against amazing backdrops (such as the incredible Aruba beaches where Brathen practices). But the latest move we’ve been seeing everywhere is a little different. Called nauli, it’s an advanced core-strengthening technique that’s weirdly mesmerizing—and Instagrammers who attempt it are racking up thousands of views.

Nauli involves sucking in the stomach, then flexing the abdominal muscles back and forth. The result, which resembles a wave, has to be seen to be believed. (Check out the video above.) Enthusiasts claim the strange-looking move aids digestion and strengthens your abs. But should you try it?

“[Nauli] is actually quite uncommon,” says Kristin McGee, a celebrity yoga instructor and Health‘s contributing yoga and wellness editor. “I remember learning this at an ashram years ago when I was first doing my yoga teacher training. It’s not typically practiced in your general yoga class.”

Nauli may help advanced yogis master poses that require lots of abdominal control, such as headstands and arm balances, says McGee, but it is extremely difficult to master. She also warns that doing it incorrectly could give you an upset stomach, or cause you to become lightheaded from breathing incorrectly.

According to gastroenterologist Roshini Raj, MD, Health‘s contributing medical editor, nauli is probably not harmful to your internal organs, but over-exercising the abdominal muscles could lead to a breakdown of muscle tissue called rhabdomyolysis, which in turn can cause kidney damage.

“If you are repeatedly stretching or contracting one muscle group too much, you can damage those muscles,” Dr. Raj explains.

If you’re interested in yoga for better digestion, you may want to try some less-advanced poses that help stimulate the digestive tract, such as lunging twists, cobra, and child’s pose. And if you still want to try nauli, McGee recommends doing it on an empty stomach and learning with the help of a certified yoga instructor to make sure you’re doing it correctly.

Source: curiositiesandnews.org

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