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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Ants protect and fertilize plants




In a new article, researchers from Aarhus University describe how the waste left by ants on plant leaves serves as a valuable fertiliser for the plants -- handed on a silver platter.

You have often seen ants wandering about on leaves -- even in tall trees. In fact, it is the plants themselves that attract them by secreting sugar-containing nectar, which the ants eat with great pleasure. And on their journey around trunks and leaves, the ants snap insects that could otherwise damage the plants.

This has been known for many years and Danish researchers now use this knowledge in the battle against harmful insects in organic apple orchards. They simply move wood ants from the forest and create new anthills in the orchards.

Now researchers have found yet another positive effect of the ants' visit to the trees. Their urine or faeces, excreted together, contain amino acids and urea -- substances that are commercially used to spray on leaves to fertilise the plants.

A small coffee plantation in the laboratory

In tropical areas, there are many different species of ants that live exclusively in the tree crowns. They do not come down to the ground and therefore cannot get nutrition there. This applies, for example, to weaver ants that live in the crowns of many different trees and bushes -- including coffee trees. Each tree can have up to 60,000 ants.


In the laboratory, the researchers built a mini-coffee plantation with several individual coffee trees. The central coffee tree held a colony of weaver ants. All the coffee trees were placed in water, so the ants could not move from tree to tree unless there was a bridge to take them across. Accordingly, the researchers built suspension bridges between some, but not all, of the trees.

On the central tree, the ants were fed with an amino acid -- glycine -- where the nitrogen atom consisted of the heavier nitrogen 15 (15N). The researchers were able to follow the labeled nitrogen in the neighbouring trees to which the ants walked over via the suspension bridges.

And the results were quite amazing.

Intravenous nutritional supplement

First, the researchers observed that the visited trees had a higher content of nitrogen than the trees to which the ants did not have access. The trees visited by the ants also had larger crowns than the trees without ants.

On the 'visit trees' some of the leaves were wrapped so that the ants could not leave their waste here. But also in these leaves, the researchers were able to trace the labeled nitrogen.

"For the first time, we have shown that nutrients from ant waste are taken up by the leaves and transported to other places in the tree," says senior scientist Joachim Offenberg, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, who was in charge of the studies.



"This has great ecological importance. The ants, which primarily feed on insects in the trees, digest the insects and hand the nutrients on a silver platter to the plants. You can almost say that the plants receive the nutrition intravenously exactly where they need it," explains Joachim Offenberg.

Great ecological importance

The ants appear frequently on new shoots and on fruits -- both areas of the plant that can benefit from an additional nutrient input.

The nutritional supplement to the leaves can be a great advantage for many different plants, and the researchers will now investigate how widespread the phenomenon is.


"We know that globally there are lots of plants inhabited by ants. The nutritional supplement for their leaves can have a major ecological significance and may also have been decisive for the evolution of ant-plant interactions," says Joachim Offenberg.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Almonds may help boost cholesterol clean-up crew



Eating almonds on a regular basis may help boost levels of HDL cholesterol while simultaneously improving the way it removes cholesterol from the body, according to researchers.


In a study, researchers compared the levels and function of high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol) in people who ate almonds every day, to the HDL levels and function of the same group of people when they ate a muffin instead. The researchers found that while participants were on the almond diet, their HDL levels and functionality improved.

Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of nutrition at Penn State, said the study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, builds on previous research on the effects of almonds on cholesterol-lowering diets.

"There's a lot of research out there that shows a diet that includes almonds lowers low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, which is a major risk factor for heart disease," Kris-Etherton said. "But not as much was known about how almonds affect HDL cholesterol, which is considered good cholesterol and helps lower your risk of heart disease."

The researchers wanted to see if almonds could not just increase the levels but also improve the function of HDL cholesterol, which works by gathering cholesterol from tissues, like the arteries, and helping to transport it out of the body.

"HDL is very small when it gets released into circulation," Kris-Etherton said. "It's like a garbage bag that slowly gets bigger and more spherical as it gathers cholesterol from cells and tissues before depositing them in the liver to be broken down."

Depending on how much cholesterol it has collected, HDL cholesterol is categorized into five "subpopulations," which range from the very small pre?-1 to the larger, more mature ?-1. The researchers hoped that eating almonds would result in more ?-1 particles, which would signal improved HDL function.

In the controlled-feeding study, 48 men and women with elevated LDL cholesterol participated in two six-week diet periods. In both, their diets were identical except for the daily snack. On the almond diet, participants received 43 grams -- about a handful -- of almonds a day. During the control period, they received a banana muffin instead.


At the end of each diet period, the researchers measured the levels and function of each participant's HDL cholesterol. The researchers then compared the results to the participants' baseline measurements taken at the beginning of the study.

The researchers found that compared to the control diet, the almond diet increased ?-1 HDL -- when the particles are at their largest size and most mature stage -- by 19 percent. Additionally, the almond diet improved HDL function by 6.4 percent, in participants of normal weight.

"We were able to show that there were more larger particles in response to consuming the almonds compared to not consuming almonds," Kris-Etherton said. "That would translate to the smaller particles doing what they're supposed to be doing. They're going to tissues and pulling out cholesterol, getting bigger, and taking that cholesterol to the liver for removal from the body."

An increase in this particular HDL subpopulation is meaningful, Kris-Etherton explained, because the particles have been shown to decrease overall risk of cardiovascular disease.

Kris-Etherton said that while almonds will not eliminate the risk of heart disease, they may be a smart choice for a healthy snack. She added that in addition to their heart-healthy benefits, almonds also provide a dose of good fats, vitamin E and fiber.


"If people incorporate almonds into their diet, they should expect multiple benefits, including ones that can improve heart health," Kris-Etherton said. "They're not a cure-all, but when eaten in moderation -- and especially when eaten instead of a food of lower nutritional value -- they're a great addition to an already healthy diet."

Claire Berryman, postdoctoral fellow at U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, and Jennifer Fleming, instructor in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State, also worked on the study.


The Almond Board of California supported this study

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together





Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

Dr Shanon Casperson, lead author of the study from USDA-Agricultural Research Service Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, USA said: "We found that about a third of the additional calories provided by the sugar-sweetened drinks were not expended, fat metabolism was reduced, and it took less energy to metabolize the meals. This decreased metabolic efficiency may 'prime' the body to store more fat."



The researchers found that the inclusion of a sugar-sweetened drink decreased fat oxidation, which kick-starts the breakdown of fat molecules, after a meal by 8%. If a sugar-sweetened drink was consumed with a 15% protein meal, fat oxidation decreased by 7.2g on average. If a sugar-sweetened drink was consumed with a 30% protein meal, fat oxidation decreased by 12.6g on average. While having a sugar-sweetened drink increased the amount of energy used to metabolise the meal, the increased expenditure did not even out the consumption of additional calories from the drink.

Dr. Casperson said: "We were surprised by the impact that the sugar-sweetened drinks had on metabolism when they were paired with higher-protein meals. This combination also increased study subjects' desire to eat savory and salty foods for four hours after eating."

The researchers recruited 27 healthy-weight adults (13 male, 14 female), who were on average 23 years old. Participants made two 24-hour study visits, receiving two 15% protein meals (breakfast and lunch) after an overnight fast on one visit and two 30% protein meals after an overnight fast on the other visit. The increase in protein was counterbalanced by a decrease in carbohydrates. All meals were composed of the same foods and they provided 17g of fat and 500 kcals. Participants consumed a sugar-sweetened drink with one of the meals and a non-sugar sweetened drink with the other meal.

The researchers used a room calorimeter, a 25m3 furnished chamber that measures movement, oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature and pressure, to assess how dietary changes affected energy expenditure and the way nutrients were processed by the body. By having study participants stay in a room calorimeter, researchers can determine how many grams of carbohydrate, protein and fat they are using and how many calories they are burning every minute. Study participants stayed inside the room for the duration of each study visit.

Dr. Casperson said: "Our findings suggest that having a sugar-sweetened drink with a meal impacts both sides of the energy balance equation. On the intake side, the additional energy from the drink did not make people feel more sated. On the expenditure side, the additional calories were not expended and fat oxidation was reduced. The results provide further insight into the potential role of sugar-sweetened drinks -- the largest single source of sugar in the American diet -- in weight gain and obesity."




Dietary changes were measured only for a short time and caution must be used when extrapolating the study data to dietary changes over longer periods of time. As this study was in healthy-weight adults only, the authors also caution that overweight individuals may respond differently to dietary changes.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Pairing Wine And Weed: Is It A California Dream Or Nightmare?




Proponents of the emerging pot-for-pleasure industry want to grab a share of the nearly $2 billion tourism business in Sonoma County with events like dinners that incorporate marijuana.





Courtesy of Sonoma Cannabis Company/Kristen Jeanne
In the epicurean world, Northern California is famous for two intoxicants — wine and weed. With recreational marijuana about to be legal in the Golden State, some cannabis entrepreneurs are looking to the wine industry as a model.

On the elegant terrace of a winery overlooking the vineyard-covered hills of Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, a dozen invited guests are sipping pinot noir, nibbling hors d'oeuvres and taking hits off a water pipe.

They have come for a farm-to-table meal of kale salad, roasted vegetables and grilled flatiron steak paired with wine and certain types of marijuana.

"What we've found so far is that sativas go well with whites, indicas go well with reds," says Sam Edwards, president of the Sonoma Cannabis Company.

He's part of the emerging pot-for-pleasure industry that seeks to grab a share of the nearly $2 billion tourism business in Sonoma Valley with events like this.



"What we're beginning is melding cannabis with wine and food in a curated meal that offers the best of all worlds," says Edwards.


Cannabis entrepreneurs are pairing food and marijuana to create dining experiences much like the ones found at Northern California wineries.
Courtesy of Sonoma Cannabis Company/ Kristen Jeanne
Recreational marijuana is now legal in eight states and the District of Colombia.

But the prize is California, where American cannabis has the deepest historical, cultural and agronomic roots. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana 21 years ago; in November, voters gave the green light to cannabis for fun.

Northern California's legendary Emerald Triangle of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties produces some of the world's most sought-after pot.

As it happens, just south of the Triangle lie the state's famed wine-growing counties of Sonoma and Napa.

"I think that the wine industry is going to really want to be part of the cannabis industry, because I feel like there's probably a secure future in that," says Domi Heckei, a 32-year-old special education teacher who attended the wine-and-weed dinner.

While cannabis people are excited to co-market with wine, wine people are taking a wait-and-see approach. Few of the wine trade associations contacted for this story wanted to comment on the coming of cannabis. One longtime Sonoma winemaker acknowledged "a certain level of apprehension" among his peers.

Erin Gore markets cannabis-infused confections for women, under the name Garden Society. She married into a family of grape growers, and this is her take on why those in Sonoma County may be apprehensive:

"Going down (U.S. Highway) 101 are ... all the vineyards going to get ripped out and it's only going to be pot? How bad is it going to smell? A big thing is, everyone's going to get robbed. A lot of people are worried about marijuana-stoned driving."

In fact, Sonoma is already struggling to accommodate its 469 wineries. Though wine tourism is the lifeblood of the economy, residents complain about the endless special events at wineries, the congested roads and tipsy drivers. Adding cannabis to the mix just heightens those concerns.

"We have some challenges, some cumulative impacts from wineries and tasting rooms," says First District County Supervisor Susan Gorin. "And now here comes cannabis."

Oregon, where recreational pot has been legal for two years, has had some cross-pollination between wine and cannabis, but the big experiment is here on the north coast of California.

Sonoma County expects so many applications for cannabis land-use permits that it has hired 14 additional regulators. There are rules for groundwater management, mandatory use of renewable energy, setbacks from highways and schools, and requirements for elaborate security plans.

"Without a shadow of a doubt, cannabis is going to be the most difficult crop to grow in Sonoma County," says Fifth District County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins.

The vineyards own all the good land, and no one knows if they'll want to expand into cannabis cultivation, as a handful have done in Oregon.



Tom Rodrigues, who owns Maple Creek Winery in the hills of neighboring Mendocino County, is bullish on the regulated commercial cannabis market. Rodrigues sits on two advisory boards — one for cannabis, one for wine.


Tom Rodrigues, owner of Maple Creek Winery in Mendocino County, thinks wine and weed will make a good marriage. He says visitors to his tasting room are starting to ask where they can get some cannabis.
John Burnett/NPR
He says he grows pot for personal use, but has no plans to slap the Maple Creek label on the green, resinous buds.

"My first passion is the wine," he says. "If the laws were different I could grow (cannabis) because I have 164 acres here. But I would have to move my tasting room off the property, because the law is that you cannot be selling alcohol and growing cannabis on the same property."

In terms of the market, Rodrigues thinks fine wine drinkers are a natural clientele for Emerald Triangle cannabis.

"I speak to people every day here in the tasting room and people want to know about it. It's no longer hush-hush. 'I'm from Iowa, I've heard Mendocino County has great cannabis. Where can I get some?' " Rodrigues says.

They'll have to wait until Jan. 1. That's when retail recreational marijuana opens for business in California.


At a wine and weed dinner held at a Northern California winery, the offerings on an hors d'oeuvres table include cannabis lemonade.
John Burnett/NPR
A preview was available at the recent Cannabis Business Summit & Expo down the highway in Oakland. Vendors were there hawking the latest in cannabis farm security, insurance, fertilizers, grow lights, potting soils and consumables.

Humberto Torres is the COO of GFarma Labs, a company that infuses chocolates and lemonades, as well as sells marijuana bud.

In Sonoma County, the talk is all about the marriage of wine and cannabis, but at the trade show, Torres sees alcohol as the competition. "Instead of coming home and pouring myself a glass of chardonnay," he says, "I'd make a (cannabis) tea, 2 ½ milligrams, and take that and try to take the edge off."

The two industries will come together next month for the first time at the Wine & Weed Symposium in the city of Santa Rosa to explore cooperation and competition.


What will north coast tourists be looking for: a wine with notes of berry, leather, and a hint of quince or a joint that delivers a calming body buzz with a cerebral creative boost — or both?

Monday, July 3, 2017

How The Story Of Beer Is The Story Of America

Story by Ari Shapiro/NPR


A group of men with full glasses proudly pose with their keg of beer in San Francisco, 1895.
If you crack open a beer this Fourth of July, history might not be the first thing on your mind. But for Theresa McCulla, the first brewing historian at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, the story of beer is the story of America.

"If you want to talk about the history of immigration in America, or urbanization or the expansion of transportation networks, really any subject that you want to explore, you can talk about it through beer," McCulla says.

Since taking the job earlier this year, she has combed through the Smithsonian's archives and pulled out treasures that show beer's part in American history — whether that has to do with advertising, technology, gender roles or even popular entertainment.

Pointing to some sheet music in the collection for a song called "Budweiser Is a Friend of Mine," she explains that the tune premiered on Broadway at the Ziegfeld Follies in 1907.



National Museum of American History, Archives Center
"The lyrics of the song tell the story of a man who goes out drinking in a bar and sings about how he prefers his Budweiser to his wife, because his beer does not talk back to him," McCulla says. "But the song concludes with his wife pouring him a schooner of Budweiser at home so he does not need to drink elsewhere."

You can't truly tell the American story of beer, though, without talking about immigration. More than 1 million German immigrants came to the U.S. in the second half of the 1800s — and they were beer drinkers.

"They brought new kinds of brewing yeast, they brought different kinds of brewing methods, and suddenly they produced this lager beer — a very light, crisp brew that became very popular with Americans," McCulla says.

Those immigrants transformed the kind of beer Americans drink and established a new industry in the process. The drink evolved from heavy, English-style ales to the cold, quaffable style that's common today. And instead of homebrews, by 1900 many cities had entire neighborhoods full of breweries.

McCulla says one of the most interesting aspects of the story of American beer is that it has come full circle: from the early days of homebrews to mass-produced beer, through the crash of Prohibition and back to a resurgence of microbreweries.


"We now have so many breweries in this country, we have exceeded the pre-Prohibition number of breweries," McCulla says. "We have reached over 5,000 breweries at this point, so it's truly the golden age to be a beer drinker."

Not far from the Smithsonian, this entire cycle is happening in one place. Outside the Portner Brewhouse in Alexandria, Va., a sign says: "Established 1869, Re-Established 2012." The company was founded by Robert Portner, a German immigrant. At its peak, the company was the biggest employer in the city. More than 600 people worked for Portner, churning out more than 6 million bottles of beer every year.

Portner's company was forced to close during Prohibition in 1916. But a century later, sisters Catherine and Margaret Portner, two of his great-great-granddaughters, reopened the brewery just a few miles from its original site.

Some of the company's early marketing materials are in the Smithsonian's collection. The original advertisements note Robert Portner's company as the original king of beers, says Catherine Portner — long before Budweiser began using that phrase.
Sisters Catherine (left) and Margaret Portner have re-established Portner's Brewery, which was opened in Alexandria, Va., in 1869 by their great-great-grandfather, then closed during Prohibition.
Historical artifacts line the walls of the Portner Brewhouse, and the kitchen serves up food with a German twist. And at the in-house brewery, the sisters have re-created some of the original Portner's brews, based on the notes that Robert Portner wrote in German. But they have also made some innovations themselves.

And, harking back to the early days of homebrewing, the company also has a "Craft Beer Test Kitchen Series," which gives homebrewers professional experience and feedback on their original recipes, which are brewed at Portner's and then sold to thirsty customers.

Catherine Portner pours a cloudy yellow beer from the tap. "This is the Hofbrau Pilsner that we have reconstructed from the Robert Portner brewing company," she says. The Pilsner was one of the company's flagship beers.

It doesn't look or taste like a glass full of American history, or technology or immigration — even though on some level, it is all of those things. It just tastes like a really good beer.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Food Waste: Did you know you throw out about 20 pounds of food every month? Nearly 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. goes to waste



There is a good chance there are fresh vegetables in your refrigerator that will end up in the garbage instead of on your dinner plate.

Not that anyone goes to the grocery store with the intention of later throwing the food in the trash, but we all do it more often than we probably realize. Ruth Litchfield, a professor of food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University, says we waste about 20 pounds of food each month. And that is per person.

"It's a huge problem," Litchfield said. "When you think that 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. goes to waste, that is just irresponsible."


There are several reasons why so much of our food ends up in the trash and eventually a landfill, which all relate to our mentality about food. Litchfield says we need to move past the idea that more is better. Whether it's purchasing more than what we need at the grocery store or consuming large portions at a restaurant, our habits feed our tendency to waste.

According to a 2012 Business for Social Responsibility study on food waste, 44 percent of food going into the landfill comes from the home, followed by 33 percent from the food service industry. To do its part, the food service industry is employing a variety of initiatives, said Susan Arendt, a professor of hospitality management at Iowa State. Donating food to shelters or soup kitchens, incorporating leftover foods into other menu items -- for example, using unserved green beans for vegetable soup the next day -- and collaborating with farmers to feed unused food to farm animals are just a few examples.

"Some restaurants are also training servers to ask customers what they don't want with their meal. For example, instead of bringing both butter and oil with bread, they're asking the customer which one they prefer, rather than letting one go unused and have to be thrown out," Arendt said.

How to limit your waste

Consumers can take similar steps at home to limit waste and ultimately save money, Litchfield said. She recommends:

·        Meal planning for the week. There are several benefits to making a weekly menu, not just cutting waste. If you know you're going to be at a ball game or other activities during the week, cut back on what you're buying at the store, Litchfield said. Make meals using frozen or canned vegetables and other non-perishable items that you can use the following week, if plans change.
·        Find an alternate use for produce. Consider freezing or donating fresh produce that you're not going to eat before it starts to wilt or rot. Cut and package the fruits and veggies so that they're easy to pull out of the freezer and add to a smoothie or casserole.


·        Composting. Some communities offer composting programs, but Litchfield says it's relatively easy to do your own composting at home. Food converted to compost is waste diverted from the landfill, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
·        Understand sell by dates. Litchfield says we throw away 160 billion pounds of food that is fine to eat because of confusion over "sell by" or "best by" labels. The date that follows has nothing to do with the safety of the food, it's related to quality, she said. Infant formula is the only product in the U.S. required to have an expiration date. A provision in the proposed Food Recovery Act of 2015 would standardize the language to reduce confusion.
Finding ways to make an impact

When discussing food waste in class, Arendt breaks it into two categories for students. There is product waste, such as eggshells or coffee grounds, and service waste or food that is served and not eaten. She says product waste is often unavoidable, although some items are good for compost, while with service waste there are several opportunities to make an impact.

For example, Arendt and a colleague conducted a milk waste study in elementary schools. By implementing simple changes, schools reduced the amount of milk waste. One school noticed students were throwing away unopened cartons of milk, and created a "share table" for students to leave unopened milk for other students to drink. She said another school limited technology in the lunchroom so students focused on eating, and not working or playing on their computers.

Portion control is another step the foodservice industry is taking, but health-conscious consumers are more often the motivating factor. Still, this can help with waste.

"Many restaurants are offering a half-portion size and a regular-portion size. Yes, customers want to receive 'value,' but it also depends on the type of customer," Arendt said. "Customers who are more health conscious are open to smaller portion sizes."

Policy that packs a punch

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture set a national goal to reduce food loss and waste by 50 percent by 2030. Litchfield is doubtful that many consumers are aware of this goal or are making an effort to do their part. She says it is going to take policy, similar to seatbelt laws or tobacco taxes, to motivate people to make change.

"If you look at when people really started using seatbelts, it was when there was potential for a fine," Litchfield said. "In some communities you are charged for garbage service based on pounds or number of cans. If you were charged based on the amount of food waste leaving the home, it might change habits."

Another contributing factor is the cost of food. Litchfield is not advocating for higher prices at the grocery store, but she says food in the U.S. is cheap compared to other countries. If it were more expensive people would be less likely to overconsume, and be smarter about their purchases so food is not going to waste.

Source:
Iowa State University


Find more information online at: http://www.foodwastealliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/FWRA_BSR_Tier1_FINAL.pdf

Monday, June 19, 2017

Are You Drinking Enough Water



Is your pee so light you can barely tell you went to the bathroom? Good job. But if your pee looks more like lemon lime Gatorade, we've got some work to do.

Water is the most underutilized tool when it comes to your health. From clearing your skin and helping with headaches to giving you an endless supply of energy, simply drinking enough H2O each day can save you a lot of money on skin care products, pain relievers, and vitamins.

Yes, remembering to carry — much less sip on — a water bottle throughout the day is a challenge, but drinking enough water is essential for your wellbeing. How much is enough? Well, much like calories, the amount of water each person needs depends on a few different factors. Read on to calculate how much water you should be drinking each day based on your own unique needs.



Are You Drinking Enough Water for Your Body Weight?

According to the Mayo Clinic, men should generally drink about 13 cups of water a day, while women should aim for 9. But if you want to determine the exact amount you should be drinking by your body weight, it's easy to do.

Step 1: Take your weight (in lbs.) and divide that by 2.2

Step 2: Multiply that number depending on your age

if you're younger than 30, multiply by 40
if you're between 30 and 55, multiply by 35
if you're older than 55, multiply by 30
Step 3: Divide that sum by 28.3

Step 4: Your total is how many ounces of water you should drink each day. Divide that number by 8 to see your result in cups.

Are You Drinking Enough Water for Your Activity Level?

This one's a no-brainer: Anyone who works out on a regular basis should be drinking more water than someone who's sedentary. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you should aim to add 12 ounces of water to your daily intake for every 30 minutes you're hitting the gym.

To calculate exactly how much water that is, use this equation:

your above result in oz. + (X minutes of exercise divided by 30 minutes) x 12 oz. = oz. of water you should drink per day

Are You Drinking Enough Water for Your Diet?


Your diet plays a big role in your water intake. Foods that already contain a lot of water — think Brussels sprouts, celery, and cabbage — get rid of unwanted fluids, so you'll want to drink more water to replace what was excreted, Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RD, CDN, told Self magazine.

On the other hand, foods that have a lot of sodium — like some popcorns and soup — will do the opposite, causing your body to retain water, and in turn, increasing your blood pressure. You'll be thirsty for a reason: Your body is begging for some fluids.