Your spine, also called the backbone, runs down the length of your back from the base of your neck to your pelvis. The spine has 25 joints connecting 33 individual bones. (The bottom four bones of the spine are fused together to form the terminal vertebrae called the coccyx, or tailbone—and the five bones above that are fused together to form the sacrum. They are caged within the bones of the pelvis.) Each bone in the spine is called a vertebra and they are grouped together to perform specific tasks.
The spine supports your head, lets you twist and bend, and holds your body upright. It also protects the spinal cord, a large bundle of nerves that sends information from your brain to the rest of your body.
The immune system protects the human body against germs, which are microorganisms that cause sickness and disease. There are four major types of germs— harmful bacteria (pathogens), viruses, fungi, and protozoa. This defense system begins with the skin, which stops germs from getting into your blood or tissues. If germs get into your body, for example through your nose or mouth, white blood cells called phagocytes and lymphocytes attack them. Phagocytes scout out and destroy invaders, and long-living lymphocytes remember the invaders and release chemicals called antibodies to make the body resistant, or immune, to them.
White blood cells live in the bloodstream, lymphatic system, and spleen. The lymphatic system (or lymph system, for short) is a far-reaching network that extends throughout your entire body. A clear liquid called lymph runs throughout the system, washing the body’s cells with nutrients and water and detecting and removing pathogens. Lymph is filtered through the lymph nodes, and then passes into the body’s bloodstream.
Absolutely! Strong, healthy teeth help you speak clearly, chew harder vegetables and meats, and help you look your best. Brushing your teeth helps prevent plaque, a clear film that sticks to your teeth. The sticky film acts like a magnet for bacteria and sugar. Bacteria eats the sugar on your teeth, breaking it down into acids that deteriorate tooth enamel, causing holes called cavities. Plaque also causes the gum disease gingivitis, which make your gums red, swollen, and sore. At around age six, you lose your baby teeth and a larger set of teeth begin to surface. Eventually, 32 new teeth will line your growing jaws, the last coming in around the age of 18.
These permanent teeth will perform all of your eating tasks for the rest of your life, so they are worth taking care of! Your four front teeth (on top and bottom) are sharp incisors that cut and tear off food when you bite, along with your four pointed canine teeth. The flat-topped bicuspids (premolars) and molars near the back of your mouth crush and chew your food.
Quickly gobbling up cold ice cream may result in “brain freeze,” also know as an ice cream headache. When the cold object touches the roof of your mouth, the blood vessels contract in order to prevent loss of body heat. As the coldness stops, the blood vessels relax again, quickly increasing blood flow to the brain.
This sudden release is What causes the intense headache sensation. You can relieve brain freeze by quickly warming the roof of your mouth: Touch your tongue to the top of your mouth or, if you can roll your tongue in a ball, press the underside of your tongue (which is warmer) to the roof of your mouth. Slowly sipping room-temperature water or pressing a warm thumb against the roof of the mouth also works for some people.
Bed-wetting is fairly common and is often just a developmental (age-related) stage. Twenty percent of five-year-olds and 10 percent of six-year-olds wet the bed, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. And it’s twice as common in boys as it is in girls. Although there are many reasons for wetting the bed at night, doctors say it is often because these children have a difficult time waking up from their deep nighttime sleep.
Some children have a small bladder that is more easily overfilled. Since bedwetting is physical, the child has no control over it when it is happening. However, there are things that you can do to help limit bed-wetting accidents, such as not drinking liquids after dinnertime and using the bathroom right before you go to bed. The majority of children grow out of bed-wetting naturally.
Although everyone eats different foods, doctors and nutritionists (people who plan food and nutrition programs) generally agree that a healthy diet is one loaded with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; one that includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and one that is low in saturated fats (like those fats found in butter), trans fats (also called partially hydrogenated oils, found in foods like French fries and donuts), cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
Foods like processed cheese that squirts from a can, frosted pastries filled with sugary jam, and deep-fried fish, nuggets, or French fries do not provide the types of nutrients your body needs to grow, and are sometimes called “empty” foods. For example, 1 ounce of potato chips has 152 calories and 10 grams of fat (3 grams of which are saturated fat).
People with light skin and eyes are more likely to have freckles because they have less melanin, a chemical in the skin that protects it from sun damage by reflecting and absorbing ultraviolet (UV) rays. Instead of tanning, they freckle.
Some people’s freckles fade away almost completely in the winter, and then return in the summer, when the person is more likely to sunburn. Sunscreen can help protect everyone (freckled or not) from the Sun’s harmful rays.
Chocolate contains a range of nutrients which include minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron. It also contains the B-vitamin riboflavin. It is true that most of chocolates’ calories do come from fat but the ingredient, known as cocoa butter, is the kind of fat that consists mostly of monounsaturated fatty acid also found in olive oil; the ‘healthy’ fat needed in all diets.
Although studies are constantly being done with chocolate (and why not?), studies in the past have shown two significant additional positives. In these test studies, the people who consumed cocoa regularly had a lower blood pressure than those that did not, were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and had better peripheral blood flow.
Dark chocolate has the potential to have the largest quantity of cocoa solids – at least to 70%. This means that 70% of the chocolate is from the cocoa bean and less from added sugars, oils and perhaps other fillers. Thus the antioxidants in the dark chocolate surpasses pecans (14% less) and red wine (25% less).
Besides the wonderful benefits from our all natural chocolate, nuts are a great food. In general, nuts are loaded with protein. Peanuts have the most, followed by almonds, cashews and walnuts. Protein is essential for healthy brain and muscle function, and for vegetarians, are a great substitute for animal protein. Nuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber. Thus with all the added benefits of chocolate, chocolate dipped nuts are a great snack.
“Dog days” are the hot, humid days of summer that usually take place in the Northern Hemisphere in July and August typically between July 3 and August 11. The days get their name from the dog star Sirius of the constellation Canis Major.
At this time of year, Sirius, the brightest visible star, rises in the east at the same time as the Sun in the northern hemisphere. Ancient Egyptians believed that the heat of this brilliant star added to the Sun’s heat to create this hot weather and they blamed the star for everything from withering droughts to sickness.
All living things need water to survive. Without water, the human body stops working properly. Water makes up more than 50 percent of your body weight and a person cannot survive for more than a few days without it. Water flushes toxins out of your organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for ear, nose, and throat tissues.
Water is also in lymph, a fluid that is part of your immune system, which helps you fight off illness. You need water to digest your food, to get rid of waste, and to sweat. Too little water in your body leads to dehydration, and it can make you tired and unable to function. Your body gets water from drinking it, but lots of foods, such as fruits and vegetables, contain water too.