• English

Samanta Makurat

Chemistry student at the University of Gdańsk, fascinated with molecular modeling. Nature enthusiast.

(Un)healthy glow

Melanoma skin cancer is the most common form of cancer for adults ages 25 to 29. What is more important, the number of new cases and deaths is growing, almost 20% in last 10 years. What could be the reason of that trend? It was 6 years ago when WHO added ultraviolet (UV) radiation-emitting tanning devices - tanning beds and lamps - to the list of the most dangerous risk factors for melanoma. Using tanning beds may increase it by 75 percent!

Why would you need to be gluten-free?

It is becoming more popular to think, that avoiding gluten will help us live long and healthy. Well, it might even be true, that gluten itself doesn’t contain any special nutritional substances, but still there is something we need to know about going gluten-free. And that thing is, that if we’re not diagnosed with any specific disease connected with gluten ingestion it’s not only useless but also dangerous to give up on it.

Sweet, white death

According to Central Statistical Office every one of us consumes about 42 kilograms of sugar a year (23 table spoons, 115 grams per day). Sounds a lot? Definitely. Especially when you compare it with WHO recommendations that only about 5-10% of our daily energy should come directly from sugar – that is about 5-10 tablespoons (25-50 grams). So you don’t add sugar to tea? I’m afraid it’s not enough. It is easy to exceed these standards just with a glass of apple juice and strawberry yoghurt.

Not that bad - salt

Salt, or sodium chloride is widely known as unhealthy. We are being told to lower its intake to minimum level. Happily, it is impossible to reduce it to zero. If you’re truly serious about your health, take that advice with a pinch of salt. After all, salt is really important nutrient, and reducing sodium intake can have unintended health risks.

To eat, or not to eat – mold.

Even if we buy just as much food as we need and if we store it just the way it should be, every one of us have seen mold. In the best case – on special kinds of cheese or salami, in the worse one – on bread and pork we forgot to eat two weeks earlier. If that happened I hope you immediately put it all into a plastic bag and discarded, but did you know, that there are some products which doesn’t require that step to be so radical?

Attention! Mold!

Molds don’t need much to grow – a bit of moisture, warmness and organic substances (dust is enough). What is more concerning, its spores (which are capable to turn into huge mold colonies, seen with the naked eye, in friendly environment) are floating in air everywhere around us, waiting for an opportunity to start growing, causing even bigger threat for our health or even lives. Therefore it is worth knowing about hazards connected to its existence, how to recognize and prevent it.

Supplements – choose wisely

Many of us are trying to replace healthy, balanced diet of the grocery store variety with supplements from the pharmacy menu. Sometimes this is good, but not always. Maybe it is because some supplements (even if not all of them!) available in a pharmacy are just good advertisement and nothing more, or at least – nothing that our organisms would really need.

Healthy peels

It has once been written about banana peels here. But this time I would like to discuss the topic a bit wider, because not only banana peels are usable. More – edible. Most of the fruits and vegetables peels we throw away can, and should be eaten. And it is not only the environment protection, it is about our health – they are filled with healthy stuff.

The ozone layer is recovering

Located in stratosphere (15-30 km above sea level) layer with an increased concentration of ozone, that is protecting us from harmful ultraviolet radiation is showing the first signs of rebuilding itself, after many difficult years. At least, that is what UN (to be more specific – United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP) says in its report. What’s more, the report says it is definitely caused by globally taken efforts – the prohibition of substances depleting the ozonosphere.

Cabbage season!

The season for fresh cabbage is just coming. The vegetable that was praised for centuries is a great remedy for hangover, arthritis, anemia and much more. Still it is finding new, more surprising applications. It might be pretty soon when the concentrate of cabbage juice will be used to produce totally non-toxic cleaning agents, sandwich paper that also works as a preservative, or ecological plant protection products.

Antiperspirants & Deodorants – with us or against us?

To avoid awkward situations, especially during summer, we spend a lot of time choosing antiperspirants and deodorants. We may wonder what is the difference between them, and which one is better. Some of us decide not to choose any of them – we might have heard about Alzheimer or breast cancer caused by these cosmetics. Should we really be afraid of them?

Umami means ‘delicious’!

The fifth basic taste, umami (Japanese: umai-delicious, mi-taste) is inseparably linked to glutamate receptors. These are the receptors which make eating food with sodium glutamate – a chemical flavour enhancer that is unfairly held in disrepute – so pleasant. Its only fault is the fact that it being added to almost every unhealthy food product makes these delicious and attractive to us.

#jedzjabłka (#eatapples)

Widespread availability of apples makes us forget how good for health they are. The embargo that begun on August 1 and Polish internet’s response to it (called #jedzjabłka - #eatapples) are a great opportunity to remind us how healthy this fruit is, and on addition to support Polish farmers by reducing their losses.

Ecological plastic or about bananas

Ecological plastic, as it is showed by the biggest bioplastic companies, is not any worse that the synthetic one, having identical qualities, not being fragile or brittle. The one made from starch is also biodegradable in normal composting conditions and, what is even more interesting, it can be prepared at home, much easier than it may seem. All you need to do is eat a few bananas.