Bio Concepts Blog

    RECIPE: Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt

    It might surprise you how easy it is to make chocolate at home - without vegetable fats or refined sugars. The following quantities can be adjusted to taste, they’re just a guide to use as a starting point. Cacao powder can be quite bitter for new users, so it’s best to start with a smaller amount, and keep adding small amounts to find your desired taste.
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    RECIPE: Chia Pudding

    This make-ahead dessert is low in sugar and packed full of antioxidants. Make a couple to keep in the fridge for when the craving strikes!
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    RECIPE: Chocolate Popcorn

    This chocolate popcorn can be made ahead of time and will keep for several days if stored in an airtight container. This recipe will make 5-7 servings.
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    Is it really necessary to enteric coat fish oils with low oxidation levels?

     
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    The 10-Minute workout you can do at home

    Moving your body is so incredibly important for your health, and yet for so many of us, it's low on the priority list. It might be a little too hot, a little too late or a little bit too much effort to drive to a gym, and struggle your way through an hour long class. 
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    Why We Should Care About Stress

    Stress, for almost all of us, is an inevitable part of life. Everyone experiences stress at some point, and different things will be stressful for different people. For some, being late can send them into a stress spiral, for others, being late is no big deal, but going a few hours without access to emails warrants a full blown meltdown.  There's no shame in feeling stressed, it is a natural part of life, and there's no hard and fast rules about what should or should not stress you out.  Is Stress a bad thing?  It might surprise you to learn that stress is not necessarily a bad thing. Some people thrive on that bit of adrenaline, and it helps them to work better or faster to meet an impending deadline. However, stress is a bad thing if it is prolonged. Too much stress can have long-term consequences on both our physical and mental wellbeing.  We experience stress as an evolutionary mechanism from our "fight or flight" days, as a surge of adrenaline to protect ourselves from/in a dangerous situation. Thankfully, these days the "danger" is less about running away from a lion, and more about meeting deadlines etc. However, these days, the modern lifestyle lends itself to long term stress, which opens us up to suffer from more debilitating effects of stress.  Physical Effects of Stress If we're exposed to long-term, chronic stress, a number of systems are affected, including:  Cardiovascular Endocrine Gastrointestinal Nervous system Reproductive  Cardiovascular  Have you ever experienced a stressful moment, and physically felt your heart rate increase?  This happens because stress hormones are acting as messengers to tell the heart rate to increase, and make the contractions of the heart stronger. Prolonged exposure to these stress responses can cause inflammation, contributing to long term damage to blood vessels, and increasing the risk of heart attack.  Endocrine Stress triggers a response from our autonomic nervous system, which in turn leads to the production of epinephrine and cortisol, known as the "stress hormones". These hormones, via the adrenal glands and liver, give your body the energy it needs to "fight or flight". However, for most of us, we won't use that extra energy, which will then lead to an increase in blood sugar levels.  Gastrointestinal We've all felt the butterflies or nausea when we're stressed, so it's no surprise to hear that long-term stress can lead to damage in the gastrointestinal system. It can slow down your digestion, create ulcers and even make heartburn more severe.  Nervous System Chronic, long-term stress can result in a long-term drain, causing wear and tear on the body. While stress doesn't wear down the nervous system itself, systems connected to the nervous system can be damaged if it is consistently engaged. Reproductive System Both the male and female reproductive systems are affected by long-term, chronic stress. In men, it can restrict the production and quality of sperm. For women, it can affect mensuration and PMS.  Stress and Mental Health While stress is largely a physical response, it has a huge effect on the brain, and in turn, our mental health. Prolonged periods of stress can start to chip away at your mental health, in a number of ways: Emotional and Personality Behavioural and Cognitive Long term stress has even been linked to an emergence of anxiety and/or depression.  Emotional Changes When we're stressed, we tend to not be happy, and when we're unhappy for long periods of time, we suffer emotionally. If we remain stressed and unhappy over the long term, we can essentially forget who we are without stress, which can lead to more severe mental health issues.  Behavioural Changes Stress affects our behaviour in a number of ways, we might turn to a specific vice to try to alleviate the feeling, might withdraw from others, and could start eating either more or less than we need.  Cognitive Changes Memory problems, poor concentration, constantly worrying and anxious thoughts are all related to exposure to long term stress.   
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    Why We're Mental for Mindfulness

    When you hear the word “mindfulness”, what comes to mind? For many of us, it’s thinking about travelling to some remote, serene location and spending days sitting with your legs folded. As idyllic as that sounds, it is not practical for most of us. But what if we told you, it is possible to practice mindfulness, and reap its benefits, wherever you are?  
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    Stress-Supporting Nutrients

    It can be hard to care much about your nutrient intake when you’re in a period of mental anguish or stress. But the right combination of nutrients can help alleviate your stress and support you on your journey to mental wellbeing.  
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    Why your newsfeed is full of yellow today

    R U OK day fills up our newsfeeds with bright yellow once a year, to remind us to start a conversation that could save a life. These open and honest conversations explore a topic that, while taboo, will affect many of us at some point in our lives in one way or another.   
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