You Can Make a Fruit Tree Produce Multiple Types Of Fruit
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The Tree of 40 Fruit is a series of unusual fruit trees by artist Sam Van Aken that each grow multiple types of fruit—40, to be exact. As spellbinding as its multicolored springtime blooms and summer fruits are, Van Aken used no special lab equipment or cutting-edge technology to create the tree. He just used a simple process that's been relied upon by farmers for ages.
Urushiol: What Poison Ivy and Mangos Have In Common
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Whether its on ourselves or on camping companions, most of us are familiar with the red, itchy rash caused by touching poison ivy. The culprit behind that rash is a chemical called urushiol, which lurks not only on the plant's leaves, but also in its stems, roots, flowers, and berries. What you may not know is that this same chemical is also contained in the skin of the mango fruit, plus the bark and leaves of the mango tree. If you get a reaction from poison ivy or its cousins, poison oak and poison sumac, you may find yourself with an itchy, blistering, swollen lip after eating mango straight off the peel. Luckily, the fruit itself doesn't contain urushiol, so if you slice the fruit from the skin beforehand you'll most likely steer clear of any reactions. Interestingly, cashew shells also contain urushiol, but because they're sold shelled and processed at high enough temperatures to destroy the chemical, they're unlikely to cause problems.
Pomegranates May Be The Antidote For Aging
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Researchers from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have discovered a molecule in pomegranates that could help muscle cells protect themselves against one of the main causes of aging. The only catch: the pomegranate molecule must be converted into the anti-aging ingredient by specific microbes that inhabit the intestines—but only the intestines of some people. Here's how it works: normal cells regularly swap out old "batteries," known as mitochondria, for new ones through a process called mitophagy. As you age, that process breaks down and faulty mitochondria begin to build up in your cells. This is what causes weakness in aging muscles along with other age-related diseases such as Parkinson's. The scientists discovered that a molecule called urolithin A is able to reboot the renewal process of mitophagy and thereby slow down cells' aging process. In a study of nematode C. elegans, a popular research subject because of the worm's 10-day lifespan, exposure to urolithin A resulted in them living more than 45% longer. In studies with two-year-old mice, the aging rodents had 42% better running endurance when exposed to urolithin A. Human studies are currently being held to test a urolithin A supplement, which would bypass the need for specific gut bacteria.
Eat Fruits And Veggies To Boost Your Happiness
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It's common knowledge that fruits and vegetables are vital parts of a nutritious diet. Recent research shows strong evidence that eating fruits and veggies provides even more positive benefits than just for your physical health. Reported in July 2016, researchers at the University of Warwick found evidence that eating fruits and vegetables is associated with a substantial increase in happiness levels. In the study, happiness increased for each extra daily portion of fruit and vegetables up to eight portions per day. This was one of the first major scientific attempts to look at the link between eating fruits and vegetables and positive psychological effects. Some researchers believe there is a link between optimism and blood levels of carotenoid, which is present in many fruits and vegetables, although more research is needed. We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.
The Seeds Aren't The Spicy Part Of Peppers
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When cooking with hot peppers, most recipes will instruct you to take out the seeds. This might cut down on the tough and tasteless parts of your meal, but it won't do much to reduce the pepper's heat. That's because the heat isn't in the seeds; it's in the white tissue or pith inside the pepper, also known as the placenta. This is where you can find the glands that produce capsaicin, a colorless, waxy chemical that binds to receptors in your mouth to produce the sensation of heat. Though capsaicin may coat some of the seeds while they're in contact with the placenta, the seeds aren't spicy on their own. Deseeding a pepper is still a good idea if you want to cut down on its spiciness, just as long as you go the extra mile and remove the white part too. We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.
Key Facts to Know
Capsaicin is what gives peppers their heat, and it's most heavily concentrated around the tissues that connect the seeds to the pepper. 0:20
Capsaicin binds to TRPV1 receptors in your mouth designed to detect hot substances. 0:46
Capsaicin is a nonpolar molecule and water is a polar molecule, so it spreads capsaicin around your mouth. Milk is nonpolar, so it will dissolve capsaicin. 2:09