Grapefruit and Avocado Salad With Seared Salmon

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Fatty acids from the walnuts and salmon, as well as monounsaturated fats from the avocado keep this dish heart-healthy.
• Grapefruit helps kick up fat-burning and stabilizes blood sugar.
• This salad nets you a good amount of the B vitamin niacin, which helps keep your skin, hair, and eyes healthy.

1 large grapefruit

2 large bunches arugula, stems removed (10 cups)

1 ripe avocado, pitted and sliced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

Cooking spray

3 (5-ounce) wild salmon fillets (skin on)

1/4 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

Peel and segment grapefruit with a sharp knife on a cutting board; reserve juice in a bowl. Toss grapefruit segments and juices with arugula and avocado; divide salad among 4 serving plates. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Sprinkle remaining salt and pepper over both sides of salmon. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add fish (skin-side down) to skillet, and cook until skin is golden and fish releases easily from pan (about 4 minutes). Using a spatula, gently flip fish and cook about 3 minutes more. Break each fillet into 4 pieces; top salads with 3 pieces fish. Drizzle salads with reserved dressing; sprinkle with walnuts.

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The ‘healthy’ snacks that are secretly making us fat and what to eat instead…

It’s common to reach out for a small to stave mid-morning hunger pangs but your snacking choices may be doing you more than good.

Items we consider healthy such as cereal bars, bran-flakes and low fat biscuits, are full of sugar which, while they may provide a temporary energy boost, will end up making you crash.

When preparing snacks, choose low-energy releasing foods and avoid sipping on smoothies or fruit juices.

When preparing snacks, choose low-energy releasing foods,  rather than items which are full of saturated fat and sugar  

When preparing snacks, choose low-energy releasing foods,  rather than items which are full of saturated fat and sugar.

It might be tricky to resist mince pies but hold off for the big day itselfA handful of dried fruit will hit the sweet spot while getting one of your five a day.

It might be tricky to resist mince pies (left) but hold off for the big day itself. Instead try a handful of dried fruit (left) to hit the sweet spot, while getting one of your five a day.

Nutritionist Dr. Sarah Schenker told FEMAIL: ‘So many people are misled by snacks which we’re told are healthy, in reality, people need to be thinking about the nutritional content and how that can help you maintain your energy levels.

‘Snacking still has negative connotations that need to be overcome – which I fully support. Introducing convenient and nutritious foods can overcome the stigma of snacking and help us to become more active and healthier.’

Here she shares ten snacking swaps you can make to ensure you are consuming all the right foods.

SWAP: Low-fat biscuits

FOR: Oatcakes with hummus

Oatcakes have much lower sugar content than many low-fat biscuits on the market and are a great source of fibre. Top this with hummus for a fix of essential vitamins and minerals.

SWAP: Mince pies

FOR: Dried fruit

This time of year can be tricky to resist, however if you’re holding off for the big day itself, then try a handful of dried fruit to hit the sweet spot, while getting one of your five a day.

SWAP: Cereal bars

FOR: Peanut butter on wholemeal toast

Cereal bars are often packed with hidden sugars which can undermine any nutritional value. Peanut butter is a natural source of protein and helps maintain energy levels, perfect if you have a big day ahead.

Cereal bars are often packed with hidden sugars which can undermine any nutritional valuePeanut butter is a natural source of protein and helps maintain energy levels

Cereal bars (left) are often packed with hidden sugars whilst peanut butter (right)  is a natural source of protein and helps maintain energy levels

There is nothing wrong with snacking but make sure you choose foods which are light and healthy  

There is nothing wrong with snacking but make sure you choose foods which are light and healthy

SWAP: Lighter crisps

FOR: Vegetable sticks and avocado dip

Light crisps are often high in salt, as an alternative, swap for vegetables sticks and an avocado dip. Avocados are high in antioxidants and provide you with good, monounsaturated fats that can help keep hair and skin healthy.

SWAP: Processed fruit bars

FOR: Mixed raisins and nuts

Whole fruit has a much higher water content contributing to hydration, helping to prevent dehydration that can be a root cause of the afternoon slump.

SWAP: Smoothies

FOR: A glass of milk

A glass of milk provides essential calcium and minerals and is comparably much better for you than a smoothie, which contains large amounts of sugar.

Light crisps are often high in saltVegetable sticks and avocado dip

Light crisps (left) are often high in salt so swap for vegetables sticks and an avocado dip (right)

SWAP Fruit Juice

FOR Coconut water

There has been some debate as to whether fruit juice should continue to count towards your 5-a-day as the process of juicing releases the sugars, having similar impact to added sugars, particularly on teeth. Coconut water has less sugar than most fruit juices and could be a better choice for adults and kids looking for a beverage that is less sweet. It also provides electrolytes that can help you rehydrate more effectively.

SWAP Strawberry ice cream

FOR Greek yoghurt with frozen berries

Strawberry ice cream is loaded with sugar and light on any actual fruit. You can get the same effect by swirling frozen berries through protein and calcium packed Greek yoghurt with a fraction of the sugar content.

SWAP Bacon on toast or a bacon butter

FOR Poached eggs on toast or a fried egg sandwich

Although both eggs and bacon provide protein, that’s where the nutritional similarities stop. Bacon is high in salt and there is concern over the effect that the preservatives contained can have on the gut. Eggs on the other hand are rich in many essential vitamins and minerals needed for good health.

SWAP: Bran flakes

FOR: Porridge

Although they contain fiber, bran flakes are still relatively high in sugar, which means they have a higher GI, releasing their energy more quickly. Porridge will give you a slow release of energy to ensure you start your day right.

How to make the perfect fried egg to go with your sandwich

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Bacon is high in salt and there is concern over the effect that the preservatives contained can have on the gutEggs are rich in many essential vitamins and minerals needed for good health

Bacon (left) is high in salt and there is concern over the effect that the preservatives contained can have on the gut. Eggs (right) on the other hand are rich in many essential vitamins and minerals needed for good health

The tips are part of Sun-Pat’s Spread the Energy study, which revealed that 24 per cent of teenagers felt they lack the energy needed to take part in after-school activities.

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7 Ways to Eat (& Drink!) Turmeric

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Do you have a jar of turmeric languishing in your spice cupboard? Or perhaps you’re looking for ways to add it to your diet in response to all the recent studies indicating its health-promoting and disease-preventing properties. Turmeric has long been a staple in Indian curries as well as in foods like mustard (it provides that golden yellow color!), but there are lots of other ways to eat and drink this spice. Here are seven easy ideas.

  • 1. Add it to scrambles and frittatas. Use a pinch of turmeric in scrambled eggs, a frittata, or tofu scramble. If you or your family are new to turmeric, this is a great place to start because the color is familiar and the flavor subtle.
  • 2. Toss it with roasted vegetables. Turmeric’s slightly warm and peppery flavor works especially well with cauliflower, potatoes, and root vegetables.
  • 3. Add it to rice. A dash of turmeric brings color and mild flavor to a pot of plain rice or a fancier pilaf.

→ Recipe: Fragrant Yellow Rice

  • 4. Try it with greens. Sprinkle turmeric into sautéed or braised greens like kale, collards, and cabbage.
  • 5. Use it in soups. A bowl of vegetable or chicken soup feels even more warming when it’s tinged with golden turmeric.
  • 6. Blend it into a smoothie. While fresh turmeric root is especially great in juices and smoothies, a pinch of ground spice is good, too. The slightly pungent flavor is usually well masked in smoothies.

→ Recipe: Superpower Morning Smoothie (the recipe doesn’t call for turmeric but you can definitely add it!)

  • 7. Make tea. Simmer turmeric with milk and honey to make an earthy and comforting beverage.

→ Recipe:Turmeric-Ginger Tea

 

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Your Amazing Liver

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Keeping an eye open for any early signs of liver problems is an essential part of maintaining a holistic health lifestyle. Without a fully functioning liver, both your health and lifestyle will be compromised. Luckily your liver is capable of repairing itself, so providing that any problems are spotted early, and are not allowed to develop and worsen, your liver is likely to make a full recovery. So you need to be on the alert. Here are some symptoms of liver problems to be on the lookout for.Liver damage can include anything from heredity (i.e., inherited from a family member), toxicity (i.e., due to chemicals or viruses) to a long-term disease (i.e., Cirrhosis) that can affect your liver for the rest of your life.

The liver helps the body digest food, absorb nutrients, and eliminate toxic substances. Without this abdominal organ you wouldn’t be able to live.

Causes for liver damage

Liver problems usually occur gradually and over many years. The most common cause for liver problems is long term alcohol consumption. Other causes are:

  • Various viruses including many type of hepatitis
  • Malnutrition
  • Reactions to certain medications
  • Overuse of certain medications
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals
  • Inherited disorders of iron and copper metabolism
  • Diseases like liver cancer and fatty liver caused by obesity
  • Diabetics have an increased risk of liver disease
  • Even smoking can dramatically increase the risk for not only lung cancer, but also liver cancer. Certain chemotherapy drugs can damage cells in the liver, and even too much of vitamin A can cause liver damage.

7 Early Symtomps of Liver Damage

Dark yellow urine

Due to increased levels of the bile pigment in the body that cannot be eliminated by the damaged liver. People may associate it with dehydration, but if they drink enough fluids, it should not happen.

Swollen Abdomen

Cirrhosis, the serious progression of liver disease, causes fluid build-up in the abdomen (a condition referred to as ascites), as levels of albumin and proteins in the blood and fluid are retained. This may actually make the patient appear pregnant. While ascites can be caused by numerous medical conditions, cirrhosis of the liver is the single most common. Sometimes, swelling can also take place in the ankles, as accumulated fluid is drawn down into the body by the forces of gravity.

Diarrhea, constipation or intestinal bleeding

There are noticeable changes in bowel movement. You may have periods of constipation or diarrhea or change in the stool color or traces of blood in it.

Acid Reflux

If you suffer from increasingly frequent attacks of acid reflux with indigestion, with or without vomiting, these are other warning signs that all is not well and needs investigating further.

Jaundice

This is the well known ‘yellowing’ of your skin. Your whole body including sometimes your fingernails and eyes take on a yellow hue. This is mainly due to the build up of ‘bilirubin’ which is a pigment in bile. Bile is made in our livers, and is essential in the digestion process. If your liver is having problems filtering the toxins that you ingest (whether through the digestive tract, the skin or the respiratory system) bilirubin will collect in the bloodstream thus turning your pallor yellow.

Nausea and vomiting

Due the interruption to the digestive system, you may suffer from heartburn, nausea and vomiting.

Abdominal pain

Especially where the liver is located, in the upper right part of the belly under the ribs.

3 Liver Detox Recipes

Beet-Juice

Liver Boosting Beet Juice:

1 beet
1 carrot
1 lemon, peeled
1 handful parsley
Run all ingredients through a juicer and enjoy.

Deep-Green-Liver-Detox

Deep Green Liver Detox:

1/2 cucumber
2 cups kale
1 lime, peeled
1 cup swiss chard
1/2 lemon, peeled
Run all ingredients through a juicer and enjoy.

Liver-Detox-Green-Smoothie

Liver Detox Green Smoothie:

2 oranges, peeled
1/2 rib celery
1 lemon, peeled
1/2 cup dandelion greens (or other bitter green)
1/2 cup parsley
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Why You Should Always Freeze Your Lemons

So why should we freeze lemons?
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“A new study has shown for the first time how limonoids, natural compounds present in lemons and other citrus fruit, impede both ER+ and ER- breast cancer cell growth. This sheds new light on the importance of citrus fruit for breast cancer prevention and supports past studies which showed fruit consumption may lower breast cancer risk.”

All kinds of people are saying that the entire lemon should be used with nothing wasted. Not only for the obvious health benefits but also for the amazing taste! How?

Simple, take an ORGANIC lemon, wash it and then put it in the freezer. Once it is frozen you get whatever is necessary to grate or shred the whole lemon without even peeling it first.

Then sprinkle it on your salad, ice cream, soup, cereals, noodles, spaghetti sauce, or whatever. No holds barred. What you will experience is that whatever you sprinkle it on will take on a taste you may never have experienced before.

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Why would I do this? Because the lemon peel contains 5 to 10 times more vitamins than the lemon juice itself and the peel is the part that is usually wasted. Not only that, but the peel helps to get rid of toxins in the body.

But wait, there’s more. Lemon is effective in killing cancer cells because it is allegedly 10,000 stronger than chemotherapy. This has not been revealed because there are people out there that want to make a synthetic, toxic version that will bring them huge profits. Shades of Monsanto.

The good news is that the taste of lemon is pleasant and does not deliver the horrific effects of chemotherapy. What’s bizarre is that people are closely guarding this fact so as to not jeopardize the income to those that profit from other’s illnesses.

Another interesting aspect of the lemon is that it has a remarkable effect on cysts and tumors. Some say the lemon is a proven remedy against all types of cancer.

It doesn’t end there. It has an anti-microbial effect against bacterial infections and fungi; it is effective against internal parasites and worms; it regulates blood pressure, which is too high; it acts as an anti-depressant; it combats stress and nervous disorders.

The source of this information, although not specifically named, is one of the largest drug manufacturers in the world. They further say that after more than 20 laboratory tests since 1970, the extracts revealed that it destroys the malignant cells in 12 cancers, including colon, breast, prostate, lung and pancreas and that the compounds of the lemon tree were 10,000 times more effective than the product Adriamycin, which is a drug normally used chemotherapeutically in the world to slow the growth of cancer cells.

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Even more, this type of therapy with lemon extract only destroys malignant cancer cells and does not affect healthy cells. The process is simple: buy an ORGANIC lemon, wash it, freeze it, grate it, and put it on everything you eat.

It’s not rocket science. Nature has put stuff on the planet to keep the body healthy. The corporations hide this information and create synthetics to treat disease. The synthetic chemical creates other symptoms from its ingestion requiring another drug to combat these symptoms.

And so the cycle continues, which equates to enormous profits coming from an overt intention to keep a body ill and suppressing natural healing foods, minerals and modalities, all withheld by the mainstream media to not jeopardize their advertising dollar income, and payoffs to the politicians to not pass laws that will greatly benefit the people.

Almond-&-Lemon-Crusted Fish with Spinach

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Coating fish with nuts and baking it is an easy, foolproof way to cook it elegantly. And it is especially nice with a mild white fish like cod or halibut. The spinach turns a little yellowy because it’s cooked with the acidic lemon juice, but what you lose in green color is more than made up for in great flavor.

Ingredients

Zest and juice of 1 lemon, divided
1/2 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 1/4 pounds cod or halibut, cut into 4 portions
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, slivered
1 pound baby spinach
Lemon wedges for garnish

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine lemon zest, almonds, dill, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place fish on the prepared baking sheet and spread each portion with 1 teaspoon mustard. Divide the almond mixture among the portions, pressing it onto the mustard.

Bake the fish until opaque in the center, about 7 to 9 minutes, depending on thickness.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not brown, about 30 seconds. Stir in spinach, lemon juice and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the spinach is just wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Cover to keep warm. Serve the fish with the spinach and lemon wedges, if desired.

Per serving: 249 calories
13 g fat (1 g sat, 8 g mono)
46 mg cholesterol
8 g carbohydrates
0 g added sugars
28 g protein
4 g fiber
496 mg sodium
1025 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus:
Vitamin A (184% daily value)
Vitamin C (37% dv)
Folate (36% dv)
Magnesium (35% dv)
Potassium (29% dv)
Iron (22% dv)
Calcium (17% dv)

Creamy Garlic Pasta with Shrimp & Vegetables

MF7212

Toss a garlicky, Middle Eastern-inspired yogurt sauce with pasta, shrimp, asparagus, peas and red bell pepper for a fresh, satisfying summer meal. Serve with: Slices of cucumber and tomato tossed with lemon juice and olive oil.

Ingredients

6 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
12 ounces peeled and de-veined raw shrimp, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
**optional – 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (To toast pine nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. )

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook 2 minutes less than package directions. Add shrimp, asparagus, bell pepper and peas and cook until the pasta is tender and the shrimp are cooked, 2 to 4 minutes more. Drain well.

Mash garlic and salt in a large bowl until a paste forms. Whisk in yogurt, parsley, lemon juice, oil and pepper. Add the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Serve sprinkled with pine nuts (if using).

Per serving: 385 calories
6 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono)
168 mg cholesterol
53 g carbohydrates
0 g added sugars
34 g protein
10 g fiber
658 mg sodium
887 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus:
Vitamin C (130% daily value)
Vitamin A (71% dv)
Folate (60% dv)
Iron & Magnesium (35% dv)
Calcium & Zinc (28% dv)
Potassium (25% dv)

Bottled Water – Things You Need To Know Before You Make Your Next Purchase Of Bottled Water

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“Understanding the differences between types of plastic will help you make better decisions in choosing and recycling plastics…”

The well-recognized “chasing arrows” symbol we see on plastic containers and products does not mean the product is recyclable. The little number inside the triangle tells the real story.

Within each chasing arrows triangle, there is a number which ranges from one to seven. The purpose of the number is to identify the type of plastic used for the product, and not all plastics are recyclable or even reusable. There are numerous plastic-based products that cannot break down and cannot be recycled.

Understanding the seven plastic codes will make it easier to choose plastics and to know which plastics to recycle. For example, water bottles that display a three or a five cannot be recycled in most jurisdictions in the US. A three indicates that the water bottle has been made from polyvinyl chloride, a five means that it’s been made of polypropylene, two materials that are not accepted by most public recycling centers.

Here are the seven standard classifications for plastics, and the recycling and reuse information for each type:

#1 – PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)

plastic_1

PET is one of the most commonly used plastics in consumer products, and is found in most water and pop bottles, and some packaging. It is intended for single use applications; repeated use increases the risk of leaching and bacterial growth. PET plastic is difficult to decontaminate, and proper cleaning requires harmful chemicals. Polyethylene terephthalates may leach carcinogens.recycle-logos-1

PET plastic is recyclable and about 25% of PET bottles in the US today are recycled. The plastic is crushed and then shredded into small flakes which are then reprocessed to make new PET bottles, or spun into polyester fiber. This recycled fiber is used to make textiles such as fleece garments, carpets, stuffing for pillows and life jackets, and similar products.

Products made of #1 (PET) plastic should be recycled but not reused.

#2 – HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene)

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HDPE plastic is the stiff plastic used to make milk jugs, detergent and oil bottles, toys, and some plastic bags. HDPE is the most commonly recycled plastic and is considered one of the safest forms of plastic. It is a relatively simple and cost-effective process to recycle HDPE plastic for secondary use.

HDPE plastic is very hard-wearing and does not break down under exposure to sunlight or extremes of heating or freezing. For this reason, HDPE is used to make picnic tables, plastic lumber, waste bins, park benches, bed liners for trucks and other products which require durability and weather-resistance.

Products made of HDPE are reusable and recyclable.

#3 – PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

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PVC is a soft, flexible plastic used to make clear plastic food wrapping, cooking oil bottles, teething rings, children’s and pets’ toys, and blister packaging for myriad consumer products. It is commonly used as the sheathing material for computer cables, and to make plastic pipes and parts for plumbing. Because PVC is relatively impervious to sunlight and weather, it is used to make window frames, garden hoses, arbors, raised beds and trellises.

PVC is dubbed the “poison plastic” because it contains numerous toxins which it can leach throughout its entire life cycle. Almost all products using PVC require virgin material for their construction; less than 1% of PVC material is recycled.

Products made using PVC plastic are not recyclable. While some PCV products can be repurposed, PVC products should not be reused for applications with food or for children’s use.

#4 – LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene)

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LDPE is often found in shrink wraps, dry cleaner garment bags, squeezable bottles, and the type of plastic bags used to package bread. The plastic grocery bags used in most stores today are made using LDPE plastic. Some clothing and furniture also uses this type of plastic.

LDPE is considered less toxic than other plastics, and relatively safe for use. It is not commonly recycled, however, although this is changing in many communities today as more recycling programs gear up to handle this material. When recycled, LDPE plastic is used for plastic lumber, landscaping boards, garbage can liners and floor tiles. Products made using recycled LDPE are not as hard or rigid as those made using recycled HDPE plastic.

Products made using LDPE plastic are reusable, but not always recyclable. You need to check with your local collection service to see if they are accepting LDPE plastic items for recycling.

#5 – PP (Polypropylene)

plastic_5

Polypropylene plastic is tough and lightweight, and has excellent heat-resistance qualities. It serves as a barrier against moisture, grease and chemicals. When you try to open the thin plastic liner in a cereal box, it is polypropylene. This keeps your cereal dry and fresh. PP is also commonly used for disposable diapers, pails, plastic bottle tops, margarine and yogurt containers, potato chip bags, straws, packing tape and rope.

Polypropylene is recyclable through some curbside recycling programs, but only about 3% of PP products are currently being recycled in the US. Recycled PP is used to make landscaping border stripping, battery cases, brooms, bins and trays. However, #5 plastic is today becoming more accepted by recyclers.

PP is considered safe for reuse. To recycle products made from PP, check with your local curbside program to see if they are now accepting this material.

#6 – PS (Polystyrene)

plastic_6

Polystyrene is an inexpensive, lightweight and easily-formed plastic with a wide variety of uses. It is most often used to make disposable styrofoam drinking cups, take-out “clamshell” food containers, egg cartons, plastic picnic cutlery, foam packaging and those ubiquitous “peanut” foam chips used to fill shipping boxes to protect the contents. Polystyrene is also widely used to make rigid foam insulation and underlay sheeting for laminate flooring used in home construction.

Because polystyrene is structurally weak and ultra-lightweight, it breaks up easily and is dispersed readily throughout the natural environment. Beaches all over the world have bits of polystyrene lapping at the shores, and an untold number of marine species have ingested this plastic with immeasurable consequences to their health.

Polystyrene may leach styrene, a possible human carcinogen, into food products (especially when heated in a microwave). Chemicals present in polystyrene have been linked with human health and reproductive system dysfunction.

Recycling is not widely available for polystyrene products. Most curbside collection services will not accept polystyrene, which is why this material accounts for about 35% of US landfill material. While the technology for recycling polystyrene is available, the market for recycling is small. Awareness among consumers has grown, however, and polystyrene is being reused more often. While it is difficult to find a recycler for PS, some businesses like Mailboxes Etc. which provide shipping services are happy to receive foam packing chips for reuse.

Polystyrene should be avoided where possible.

#7 – Other (BPA, Polycarbonate and LEXAN)

plastic_7

The #7 category was designed as a catch-all for polycarbonate (PC) and “other” plastics, so reuse and recycling protocols are not standardized within this category. Of primary concern with #7 plastics, however, is the potential for chemical leaching into food or drink products packaged in polycarbonate containers made using BPA (Bisphenol A). BPA is a xenoestrogen, a known endocrine disruptor.

Number 7 plastics are used to make baby bottles, sippy cups, water cooler bottles and car parts. BPA is found in polycarbonate plastic food containers often marked on the bottom with the letters “PC” by the recycling label #7. Some polycarbonate water bottles are marketed as ‘non-leaching’ for minimizing plastic taste or odor, however there is still a possibility that trace amounts of BPA will migrate from these containers, particularly if used to heat liquids.

A new generation of compostable plastics, made from bio-based polymers like corn starch, is being developed to replace polycarbonates. These are also included in category #7, which can be confusing to the consumer. These compostable plastics have the initials “PLA” on the bottom near the recycling symbol. Some may also say “Compostable.”

#7 plastics are not for reuse, unless they have the PLA compostable coding. When possible it is best to avoid #7 plastics, especially for children’s food. Plastics with the recycling labels #1, #2 and #4 on the bottom are safer choices and do not contain BPA. PLA coded plastics should be thrown in the compost and not the recycle bin since PLA compostable plastics are not recyclable.

The plastics industry has conformed to regulations by applying the required codes to consumer products, but it is up to individuals to read and understand the codes. BY understanding these simple classifications, we can best use plastics to our advantage while minimizing the health and disposal issues that may otherwise arise.

Health Benefits of Cherries

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Tart cherries are loaded with important nutrients. You would have to eat an entire sack of them to obtain all of the nutrition you can get by sipping the juice. Many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents are in tart cherries. Tart cherry juice contains just 137 calories per 1-cup serving, and it is beneficial for cancer prevention, heart health, as an anti-inflammatory agent and offers protection against a host of other conditions.
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Cherries help ease arthritis pain

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For those who suffer from arthritis and gout, you will be relieved to find out that adding cherries to your diet can greatly decrease the intense pain associated with those ailments. Excess uric acid in the blood is the culprit behind the excruciating pain that causes swelling, tenderness and inflammation.  A study done by the USDA found that uric acid can be reduced by as much as 15 percent by eating 2 cups of Bing cherries. Cherries can also help reduce painful inflammation by decreasing the amount of C-reactive protein produced. So add a little zing to your diet by choosing Bing (cherries).

Cherries help fight cancer

purple-cherries

The distinctive deep red pigment cherries are known for comes from flavonoids; powerful antioxidants that help fight free radicals in the body. Cyanidin is a flavonoid from the anthocyanin group found in cherries that helps keep cancerous cells from growing out of control. And, for cherries with the most anthocyanins go for sweet cherries with the deepest pigment; crimson-purple rather than bright red.

Cherries help you sleep

cherry-sleep

If sipping a cup of chamomile isn’t enough to induce restful sleep try having tart cherry juice before bed. Tart cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that helps make you feel sleepy. Two tablespoons of tart cherry juice has been shown in studies to be just as effective as a melatonin supplement. So, pour yourself a little cherry juice nightcap for a tasty bedtime sleep aid.

Cherries and blood pressure

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Cherries are an excellent source of potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure by getting rid of the excess sodium in our body. Eating cherries helps keep potassium and sodium in balance, and can prevent hypertension from occurring. One cup of cherries has the same amount of potassium as a banana making it a great substitute when you are not in the mood for banana.

Cherries help keep you trim

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Eating cherries can help you lose weight and stay trim.  A cup of cherries is less than 100 calories and packs in 3 grams of fiber, which will keep you feeling full longer. Also, these little beauties contain many B-vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin and vitamin B6; these vitamins are crucial for metabolism and convert nutrients into energy. What could be better than eating cherries to help you stay fit & lean?

Here are some great recipes using cherries!

 

Binge Drinking Affects Your Immune System Immediately

Binge Drinking

Binge Drinking

Just one night of binge drinking affects the immune system, and it can happen within just 20 minutes of ingesting alcohol. The findings, published in the journal Alcohol last month, are the first to document the immediate effects of alcohol on the human immune system.

The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend the body against disease, infection and viruses. If this system is damaged, reduced or does not work as efficiently as it should, a person will become sick with illness from infections or viruses. Alcohol is known to inhibit the immune system which means that those who abuse alcohol will find it takes longer and they are affected by infections much longer than other people.

When the immune system is deficient and a person abuses alcohol, they have an increased risk of contracting certain diseases such as pneumonia, respiratory infections, blood-borne viruses such as HIV or Hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases. Additionally, if they have a predisposition to cancer, heart disease or kidney disease, these conditions are more likely to occur.

balanced-immune-system

Balanced Immune System

It is well known that binge drinking alters behavior. “But there is less awareness of alcohol’s harmful effects in other areas, such as the immune system,” Loyola University Chicago’s Elizabeth Kovacs says in a news release. Previous studies in both humans and animals revealed that alcohol intoxication exerts effects on the immune system several hours to days after the exposure—when blood alcohol is no longer detectable.

Now, to study the effects while blood alcohol is still elevated, a team led by Majid Afshar of Loyola University Health Systems collected blood from seven men and eight women before they voluntarily became intoxicated after “high-dose alcohol consumption.” This was achieved by downing up to five shots of vodka within 20 minutes. A 1.5-ounce shot of vodka is the equivalent of one 5-ounce glass of wine or 12-ounce can of beer.

The team also collected blood 20 minutes, two hours, and five hours after the participants first imbibed (these are the times when intoxicated patients typically arrive at trauma centers for alcohol-related injuries). The researchers isolated immune cells from the blood sample, and then measured their response to introduced proteins from potentially harmful bacteria, New Scientist explains. An early pro-inflammatory state was already evident at 20 minutes when blood alcohol levels were about 130 milligrams per deciliter. The immune system was revving up: There was an increase in total circulating leukocytes, monocytes, and natural killer cells. Additionally, there was also an increase in cytokines, a protein that signals the immune system to ramp up.

The responses eventually diminished, and the immune system became more sluggish than when the volunteers were sober. At the two and five hour post-peak-intoxication intervals, the team found an anti-inflammatory state with reduced numbers of monocytes and natural killer cells circulating in the blood. This was accompanied by higher levels of a different kind of cytokine that signals for the immune system to become less active.

So next TGIF, before you have your night out consider this information.

You can find out more about helping to boost your immune system here.

Common Bad Habits That Damage Your Kidneys

Have you ever wondered what causes kidney failure?

kidneys

The answer always lies in our bad habits and insufficient health care. We have listed the top bad habits that damage your kidneys:

– delayed emptying of the bladder
– insufficient consumption of water and fluids
– consuming too much salt
– improper and untimely treatment of infections
– consuming too much meat
– poor nutrition
– excessive use of analgesics
– untimely use of prescribed medicines to improve the function of the kidneys
– consuming large amounts of alcohol
– fatigue

Disruption of their function can cause a long list of visible symptoms such as:

– changes in the urine
– swelling
– dizziness and vomiting
– anemia and concentration problems
– feeling cold most of the time
– loss of breath
– fatigue
– itchy skin
– bad breath
– pain in the legs and waist

If you have any of these symptoms it is recommended you consult your doctor immediately.

Kidneys purify the blood from the waste material which is then discharged through the urethra. These organs are located along the posterior muscular wall of the abdominal cavity, or in the retroperitoneal space starting from the last thoracic vertebra to the second lumbar vertebra.

Kidneys are bean-shaped organs and their main function is to maintain the homeostasis or constancy in your body. They are the main executive organ in the body.

kidney_infection_symptoms_and_complications_456_x

The most common diseases associated with the kidneys are: disease of the urinary tract, urinary channels, crystals, inflammation of the kidneys, urethra, bladder, problems with urination, urinary tract problems, inflammation of the urinary tract, prostate, kidney stones, kidney sand, night urination, kidney failure, increased level of creatinine, uric acid (kidneys sand, renal stones, inflammation, sediment).

To help keep your kidneys healthy try this cleansing juice:

Parsley Juice Combination for Detoxification

Ingredients for 2

2 large or 3 medium organic carrots.
2 sticks of organic celery.
1 medium beetroot.
1 small or half a large organic cucumber with the peel (peel non-organic cucumbers).
The juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons (always discard citrus seeds).
1 ounce of organic parsley (roughly half an average sized bunch) soaked in warm water and a dash of apple cider vinegar.

Ways to Protect your Kidneys

fresh-berries

1. The salty taste can benefit kidneys, but too much salt can tighten them.
2. Avoid or modify your intake of coffee, chocolate, sugar and stimulants.
3. Avoid eating too many cold foods and iced drinks.
4. Reduce or eliminate pasteurized fruit juice, except unsweetened cranberry juice, which is beneficial for the kidneys and bladder.
5. Kidneys can be strengthened with homemade bone stocks from grass-fed animals.
6. Drink 8-10 glasses of water each day. This can be in the form of soup, tea, water, cooked grains and boiled vegetables.
7. In the winter months slightly increase your sea salt and oil intake.
8. Include sea vegetables and other ocean foods (sea salt, wild caught fish) in your diet.
9. Make sure to rest and get plenty of sleep.
10. Avoid overeating or eating late at night.
11. Have a daily balance of protein, carbohydrates and quality fats in moderation.
12. Eat a mineral rich diet by including sea vegetables and micro-algae.
13. Since the emotion for kidneys is fear, do something that frightens you and step out past your fears.
14. Use meditation as a way to see your fears and let them go.
15. Eat kidney-strengthening foods:
Grains: buckwheat, black rice, barley.
Beans: adzuki, black soybeans, black turtle, kidney.
Vegetables: beets, beet greens, burdock, radicchio, red cabbage, salsify, water chestnuts, parsley.
Fruits: blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, boysenberries, concord grapes, cranberries, watermelon.
Sea Vegetables: dulse, hiziki, Irish moss, kelp, kombu, nori, wakame.
Micro-algae: spirulina, chlorella.
Seeds: chia, black sesame, wild rice.
Nuts: walnuts, chestnuts.
Seafood: caviar, abalone, bluefish, catfish, clam, crab, cuttlefish, lobster, mussels, octopus, oyster, sardine, scallop, squid, turtle.
Condiments: sesame salt, miso, pickles (brine cured), sea salt, soy sauce, umeboshi plums, umeboshi vinegar, green tea.
Cooking Methods: steaming, salting, pickling.