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LifeCycle Stories
Surprising Facts About Coffee

That daily cup o' Joe wakes you up in the morning and picks you up in the afternoon. But how much do you really know about coffee?How coffee gets from the plant to your cupSure, you're aware it comes from coffee beans. However, unless you've traveled in a coffee-growing country (typically in a subtropical or equatorial region), you might not recognize the plants that produce them. Coffee trees can grow up to 30 feet high, although they are usually pruned much shorter and can look more like shrubs in cultivation. Given enough rich soil and mild temperatures, they can live and produce fruit for two or three decades. According to the National Coffee Association of the USA, it takes about a year for the cherries that grow along a coffee tree's branches to mature. First fragrant white blossoms bloom, then the ripe green coffee berries appear that contain beans.The berries are harvested by a machine or picked by hand and then either dry processed (the oldest method of processing coffee beans which involves placing them in the sun for a ....

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Ten Fast Stress Busters

"Don't stress!" "Don't stress!" "You need to work on your stress levels." "You need to work on your stress levels." "Relax!""Relax!"We hear these admonitions a lot. But we don't hear much about specific ways to beat stress -- especially when you need to calm down ASAP. After all, when you feel stressed at work or home, it's not always easy to know what to do, right then and there, to feel better.It's important to acknowledge that we all feel stress, and it's not always a bad thing. The body releases chemicals and hormones in response to dangers and challenges that prepare us to flee if needed or to zero in on solving a pressing problem. The result, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), is a cascade of physiological responses. Your heart beats more rapidly and you breathe faster. Muscles tense and your brain uses more oxygen and increases activity. However, when you don't get relief from stress, some of these responses can remain even if there's no specific danger or worrisome event facing you. The NIMH reports ....

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The Best Ways to Get a Whiter Smile

There's no doubt that a smile can light up your face. However if you've noticed your smile isn't as bright as it used to be, there are many products and lifestyle strategies that can help. We asked Van B. Haywood D.M.D., Professor in the Department of Oral Rehabilitation at Georgia Health Sciences University's College of Dental Medicine, for the facts about what impacts the color of teeth -- and what are the best, safest ways to remove stains and give you the most dazzling smile possible.What discolors teeth?If your teeth seemed a lot whiter when you were a youngster, you aren't imagining it. Teeth tend to become more yellow as we grow older. "It's a natural consequence of aging because, over the years, more tooth structure is laid down on the inside of the tooth (the dentin) and it is yellow," Dr. Haywood explains.Some people are simply born with yellow teeth, or single dark teeth, much like eye color or hair color. In those cases, Dr. Haywood days, only bleaching will help.Some medications can also change tooth color. "Minocycline, the ....

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