And the potentially devastating effects it has on your body

My daily breakfast looks a little like this: warm oatmeal, dash of cinnamon, splash of milk, chopped bananas, and a generous drizzle of honey. Sound delicious? I know. I’m a bit of a robot when it comes to breakfasts, I eat this exact same thing everyday. Naturally, that dash of cinnamon has been a part of my morning routine since my high school years.

Cinnamon. They’re cheap, smell amazing, taste wonderful, and pack a healthful punch. They’re loaded with cancer-preventing antioxidants, improves glucose metabolism, possesses anti-inflammatory properties — which helps your body fight off infections and repair cellular damage —…

A recently published paper suggests so, but do their conclusions stack up?

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide. For some, they are a daily staple, used to boost performance and curb mid-day slumps. While others, including a growing body of coffee enthusiasts, enjoy them for the culture and distinct flavour profiles. Therefore, it is not uncommon for someone to end the day having consumed high volumes of coffee.

An article published in the Journal of Nutritional Neuroscience appears to have discovered some drawbacks to high coffee consumption. …

Good things rarely come to those who wait

Months of social isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic did weird things to me. The lack of external stimulation meant I had to pick my own brain for entertainment. This led me down an interesting path of self-introspection, for which my latest musings explored impatience: how we’re often taught to perceive it as a negative human trait, and why I believe it’s in fact a superpower in real life.

I am usually patient around people. I don’t mind when someone cuts in line, or when my earlier order takes longer than a neighbouring table’s. …

To make work and education more entertaining

The entertainment industry is one of the most rapidly evolving industries of the last decade. Think about the variety of recreational activities we have today, from social media and on-demand film streaming to music, video games, to gaming consoles built into cars. Big bucks and plenty of science have gone into figuring out how to keep human beings constantly engaged and entertained, resulting in spectacles of entertainment unparalleled in human history. And herein lies the rub.

A large percentage of economic growth is rooted in optimising for entertainment. Other valuable aspects of our lives, mostly in areas of non-entertainment, are…

Theories on our affinity towards unlikely heroes

Centuries ago, a measly shepherd from Judah was given the impossible task of toppling a colossal warrior.

The giant was said to have been six cubits and a span in height, equipped with a bronze helmet and ironclad armour weighing some five thousand shekels. His arsenal of weapons was no less impressive. Geared with nothing more than five stones and a sling, the shepherd was severely underequipped. This was of course the Bible’s infamous story of David and Goliath, and we all know how that story went.

But this biblical parable is just one example of many. Think Rocky, who…

Exploring one of intermittent fasting’s most nefarious side effect

My partner often calls me a weirdo for this, but one of my favourite pastimes is experimenting with my body’s physical limits. As a medical student at my junior college year, I underwent quasi-military training with the first responders unit for six months, pushing my physical boundaries with very little to no food. It was intense, but I was surprised at what the body was capable of doing in extreme conditions.

This experience led me to start my adventures with diets, shifting in between diets, quick to follow the ever-changing internet trends. My latest musing was intermittent fasting. Having tried…

Relearning a behaviour humans are naturally born with

Diets do work for some people. For others though, deliberate food restriction — or more commonly referred to as diets — could ironically be counterintuitive for losing weight.

Several studies have demonstrated that the dieting mindset can lead to food preoccupation, binge-eating behaviours, and weight cycling. As illustrated by this 2006 study by Professor Neumark-Sztainer from the University of Minnesota, dieting predicts a 5-year weight gain and increases activation of areas in the brain that is responsible for attention and reward in response to food.

Why then, do we still fall to the temptation of diets? The same reason we…

And why you tend to regain any weight that’s lost

Calories Out > Calories In = Weight Loss

It seems quite simple, doesn't it? Considering the above equation is true, there are two strategies to losing weight. One could plan a rigorous exercise regimen to keep caloric expenditure constantly above the intake, or one could just simply eat less.

While the idea appears convenient, our biology does not conform to those premises. Homeostasis seeks to maintain nearly constant conditions in the internal environment. Any biological function will therefore oscillate around a predetermined mean, within a range that is considered normal.

The concept of homeostasis is rarely talked about outside medical…

“Friendship gives flavor to life.” — David Perell

Last year was tough on all of us.

I was bound to start my penultimate year as a medical student, finally stepping feet into the exciting trenches of the clinical scene and getting a feel of what I signed up for almost half a decade back. Instead, I saw the academic schedule halt indefinitely by mid-March, and by a matter of weeks, the impact of the pandemic came into full swing.

Medical training screeched to a standstill, and I was forced to retreat into physical isolation.

Life in isolation was very uninspiring. With the absence of social company and interesting…

But can it be justified?

The vegan diet has gained major popularity in recent times. The diet, often deemed as the healthiest diet in the world, has shown to be able to promote heart health and reduce cancer risk. But some people see beyond the health reasons and instead owe it upon ethical concerns for their dietary preferences.

I first came across the concept of weganism through Tim Ferriss’ Five Bullet Fridays newsletter, who also wrote New York Times bestsellers 4-Hour Workweek and 4-Hour Chef. Here’s how he defines weganism, quoting from his blog post verbatim.

Wegan /ˈwēɡən/ noun. Someone who follows a vegan diet…

Jonathan Adrian

Junior doctor, writer, photographer, and part-time social media strategist.

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