Month: June 2016

Stay Away From These Toxic Ingredients in Sunscreen

Sun cancer is a real risk during the entire year, but it poses as an especially greater problem during the summer months. 5.4 Million cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed every year and, of those, over 76,000 will be Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. It’s very important that we protect ourselves from the sun’s rays, but before you grab a tube of sunscreen from your local pharmacy, think twice. There are some extremely harmful chemicals lurking in that bright white, banana scented cream.

  • Oxybenzone

Used to filter UV rays, oxybenzone is used in almost all of the common American sunscreens. It most definitely penetrates the skin, aka the largest organ in our body, and has been detected in mothers’ breast milk! Not only is oxybenzone known to cause high rates of skin problems, it is an endocrine disruptor, causing all sorts of hormonal problems and is associated with endometriosis in women. According to the Environmental Working Group:

“FDA hasn’t assessed oxybenzone’s safety since the ’70s. That’s when they announced plans to develop comprehensive standards for sunscreen safety. Thirty years later, there are still no finalized standards — instead, FDA asks sunscreen manufacturers to voluntarily follow draft guidelines, and you and I get exposed to chemicals like oxybenzone without ever knowing about their harmful effects.”

 

  • Octinoxate

Another chemical used in most American sunscreens, octinoxate causes mood changes, skin problems, and thyroid alterations in animal studies.

 

  • Homosalate: Interrupts the effectiveness and processing of hormones important in both men and women. Androgen, testosterone, and estrogen have all been shown to display changes related to the use of this chemical.

 

Some experts believe that the unintentional side effects of using these chemical drenched creams may counteract the benefit of using them at all. The Department of Growth and Reproduction at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark found that a remarkably low amount of studies have been done on the chemicals. In this university’s journal article, the abstract portion of the document was not blunt in discussing the professional’s worries over the products used in sunscreen.

 

“Few human studies have investigated potential side effects of UV-filters, although human exposure is high as UV-filters in sunscreens are rapidly absorbed from the skin. One of the UV-filters, BP-3, has been found in 96% of urine samples in the US and several UV-filters in 85% of Swiss breast milk samples. It seems pertinent to evaluate whether exposure to UV-filters contribute to possible adverse effects on the developing organs of foetuses and children.”

 

There are alternate ways to protect you and your family from the harmful toxins in modern, chemical sunscreens. The best option is often to just steer clear of direct sunlight during peak times during the day and keep your body covered when possible. Wear long sleeves, large sun hats and sunglasses during the day. Search for clothing made by companies who have begun selling clothes that, while breathable, provide excellent protection against harmful UV rays.

5 Reasons Why You Should be Taking a COLD Shower

We all know the saying that a cold shower is the perfect solution to calm a romantic frenzy, but you might be surprised to find there are many more reasons to hop into a chilly shower. If you’ve got the guts, taking a cold shower has some amazing health benefits.

 

  1. Improved Alertness and Less Stress

You’re probably familiar with the shock of jumping into a cold pool or lake, and afterward feeling the rush of energy delivered as your heart pumps just a little harder. Cold water narrows your blood vessels delivering blood to your brain with slightly higher pressure. This excess blood flow to the brain increases your attentiveness and stimulates you into taking deeper breaths, calming your stressed mind.

 

2. Weight Loss and Decreases Muscle Soreness

Human bodies have two separate types of fat: brown fat and white fat. The white fat is stored as a result of over-eating while brown fat is the “good” fat which stimulates heat production. Studies show that people routinely exposed to extreme cold had their brown fat production increased. Participants were likely to lose nearly ten pounds a year from this practice alone. Cold has the added benefit of decreasing muscle soreness and improving muscle recovery after exercise. This results in more time exercising and less time opting out of the gym due to soreness.

 

3. Better Skin and Hair

Cold water causes your pores to tighten, reducing the amount of healthy oils lost during a hot shower. This prevents them from becoming clogged with dirt or germs which we all know causes pimples. Hair also benefits from starting a cold shower routine by becoming softer and glossier.

 

4. Improved Immunity

Cold showers boost your immunity by increasing the number of white blood cells present in your blood. These blood cells make up the infection fighting component of your blood and are essential in preventing disease.

 

5. Increases Circulation

Cold water also improves circulation and increases gluthatione, an antioxidant known for its ability to keep other antioxidants performing at their best.

 

It’s not easy forming a new habit – certainly one that is so alarming at first – but it is completely worth it. Even if you’re just taking a cold shower every other time, you are making a difference in your appearance, your physical health, and the alertness of your mind (especially morning foggy brain).

Paleo is EFFECTIVE for Weight LOSS, study finds

The Paleo diet (I like to think it more as a wellness plan) has some great press this morning! After being battered around a bit in the news the past few months, a new study, published in Australia, states that the Paleo Diet is more effective for weight loss than following the traditional guidelines recommended by the Australian government.

  • Women in the study, who ate Paleo, lost about 4-5 pounds (2 kg) more than the women who ate the Australian guidelines during the 4-week duration

Scientists from Edith Cowan University divided 39 healthy women on either a standard Australian diet or a Paleo diet for four weeks.

The Paleo diet mainly consists of eating eggs, low carb vegetables, meats, nuts and low sugar fruits. Grains, legumes and dairy are not encouraged.

Lead researcher, Angela Genoni, said that women on the Paleo diet lost an average of 4-5 pounds (2kg) more than the standard diet group.

“While both groups lost weight over the period, the Paleo group lost an average of 4.3 per cent of their body weight over the testing period, compared to 1.6 per cent for the recommended dietary guidelines group,” she said.

The women on the standard diet were asked to increase fruit, vegetable and whole grain products; reduce fat intake; and eat low-fat dairy products.

The researcher stated, “Advice was also given to reduce intake of discretionary food items, such as cakes, biscuits, sugary drinks and candy.

Health experts said people on the Paleo diet lost weight because they ate fewer calories.

“Our results showed loss of weight was significantly associated with the reduction in energy intake, and percentage of daily energy from protein,” Genoni said.

Researchers stated that they will research the Paleo Diet over the long-term.

Why Eating Fat WILL give you energy

Eat Fat for Energy Paleo
Eat Fat for Energy Paleo

There are many arguments, especially those based around Paleo diets, as to whether or no fat is the preferred fuel for the body over glucose. So, what is the difference between fat and glucose when it comes to our body’s fuel and energy levels and do our body’s prefer one over the other?

We depend on our daily food intake to replenish our daily fuel supply and the body requires this fuel in order to function at a normal rate. Our body’s fuel takes on three forms: Carbohydrates, which are converted into glucose, fat, and protein. The body can also store some fuels in a form that offers our muscles an immediate supply of energy.

What is glucose and how do our bodies use it?

Glucose is derived from carbohydrates, such as sugar and starch, and is the body’s principle source of energy. Glucose can immediately be used as fuel for the body or it can be sent to other parts of the body, such as the liver and muscles, where it is stored as glycogen. The body’s liver can convert the glycogen back into glucose as well, but it is then directly released into the blood stream in order to maintain the bodies blood sugar level also known as blood glucose levels.

When you are exercising, your muscles pick up a portion of the glucose and use it as energy in addition to their glycogen stores. Blood glucose is also the most significant source of fuel for the body’s brain, both while exercising and when at rest. The body requires less oxygen to burn energy from glucose compared to energy from fat. Your body is constantly using glucose and working to replenish your glycogen stores. Both, the amount of carbohydrates you consume and the amount of physical activity you endure, effect the size of your glycogen stores. Your body is limited on the amount of muscle and liver glycogen it can store, at approximately 1,800 to 2,000 carbohydrates or roughly 90-120 minutes of vigorous physical activity. As you exercise, your reserve continues to deplete and your body relies more on blood glucose to meet your body’s energy needs.

How fat is used for energy

While glucose is the principle source of energy for our body’s, Fat is the most concentrated source of energy and supplies more than twice the amount of energy of carbohydrates (glucose) and protein. As you exercise, stored fat in the body is broken down into fatty acids, which are then transferred through the blood to the muscles to be used as fuel. The process is however, slower than that of carbohydrates being broken down into fuel. During the process, fat is also stored within the muscles where it can be easily accessed during vigorous activity. Unlike the limited storage of glycogen, fat has a virtually unlimited supply of energy.

Fat is also a more efficient fuel in comparison to carbohydrates, mostly because carbohydrates must be stored along-side water. If our bodies were to the same amount of fuel from carbohydrates as it does fuel from fat, we would be double our body weight, due to the added weight of the water needed to store the carbohydrates. Thus leaving glucose as an unrealistic source of all our bodies energy supply. The body also continuously converts and stores excess calories from all of the named energy sources as body fat that we in turn burn off as an energy source. Fat provides a much more concentrated amount of energy in comparison to glucose and it aids in endurance by preserving glycogen reserves within the body.

Protein used for energy within our bodies

As for protein, it doesn’t stand much of a chance in this argument. Our body’s do not maintain official reserves of protein for later use as energy. Protein, is more used towards building and maintaining body tissue and synthesizing certain hormones and enzymes. Typically, protein only meets 5% of the body’s energy needs, with the exception of when glycogen is depleted within the body, in which case muscle is broken down and used as energy within the body.

Overall, fat is the most substantial source of energy for our body’s for many reasons.

  • Though glucose is the body’s principle source of energy, it is not the most substantial. Glycogen stores are limited and can burn out easily, leaving you depleted and low on energy. Especially, when you are involved in a highly vigorous activity.
  • Fat is also, the most concentrated form of energy for our body’s. Fat supplies us with more than double the amount of energy supplied by carbohydrates and protein. Thus, allowing your body to withstand more vigorous activity for longer periods of time.
  • Fat is a far more efficient source of energy for our body’s due to the water storage needed to store glycogen. Fat is virtually an unlimited supply of energy for our bodies as it has no limit on its storage capacity within the body.
  • Though too much fat can be a bad thing, leading to obesity. It is also, extremely beneficial to the body’s source of energy. Since the body can continuously store fat, you also need to continuously burn fat in the form of energy.

In conclusion, our body’s need both Fat’s and glucose in order to function properly. Both supply our body’s with different energy sources, of which we need. In the long run, they work together. Fat helps to reserve the glucose stores within our body that we count on to supply our brains with an adequate amount of oxygen. Which otherwise, would quickly deplete when solely depending on glucose as a source of the entire body’s energy supply. Meanwhile, fat can be stored in much easier quantities and doesn’t deplete in the same sense as glucose, providing us with a longer lasting supply of energy. Fat is also a more concentrated form of energy providing your body with the energy needs for longer periods of activity.