Mind & Body

Mind & Body

Why do you get a lump in your throat when you’re sad?

Whether it’s the result of sorrow, stress or anger, before the tears start to flow, you might find yourself with a lump in your throat. Why? It’s a chain reaction unleashed by the body. If an animal fears for its life, it produces huge amounts of adrenaline – and flees.

Mind & Body

Why are people afraid of insects?

Are you terrified of moths? Does the thought of an earwig bring you out in a cold sweat? Well, you’re not alone: research has shown that we’re genetically predisposed to dislike creepy-crawlies.

Mind & Body

What does protein do to my body?

Fats, carbohydrates (sugars) and proteins are the three main components of our diet. Proteins (mainly absorbed from meat, fish, nuts and grains) are especially important: there are just as many calories in a gram of protein as there are in the same amount of sugar.

Mind & Body

What are proteins?

Practically every cell on the planet (including hormones and enzymes) is made up of hundreds or even thousands of proteins. These consist of a combination of 20 amino acids.

Mind & Body

What happens to the brain during a diet?

The brain’s stress response is activated during an energy crisis – like a diet. During a diet, the brain’s stress response can’t return to its normal mode, meaning that the cortisol level is continually raised.

Mind & Body

How far can a surfer fall?

If a surfer rides a wave too slowly and it breaks while they’re on the peak, or if the wave’s simply too steep, they could be heading for a huge wipeout. Tom Dosland survived one such encounter when he plummeted from a 12-metre wall of water at Waimea Bay in Hawaii.

Mind & Body

What causes the roller coaster sinking feeling?

The heady mixture of adrenaline, dizzy heights and the famous sinking feeling is what makes roller coasters so enjoyable. However, few people know that the latter is actually caused by organs moving around in your body.

Mind & Body

How do you stop a nosebleed?

The time-honoured trick of squeezing the middle of your nose can help, as can xylometazoline-based nasal sprays such as Otrivine. These help stem the bleeding because they cause blood vessels to contract.

Mind & Body

Why do diets make skin age faster?

When you reduce your calorie intake, you’re robbing your brain of energy. The brain declares a state of emergency to prevent this – and the level of cortisol in the body increases. The result? Fatty tissue is drawn out from areas such as the face and stored as abdominal fat.

Mind & Body

Why do we wake up feeling hungry?

If this happens, it’s highly likely that a lack of energy is to blame. Usually, the brain’s energy demands are up to 40% lower at night. That’s why we normally don’t experience feelings of hunger while we sleep.

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