Many people have rules about dropping food on the ground including the ever-famous “5-second rule.” Drop food on the ground, as long as, you pick it up in 5 seconds then it is still “good” to eat.
A new study that was recently published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology states: the food is already contaminated with bacteria!
“The five-second rule is a significant oversimplification of what actually happens when bacteria transfer from a surface to food,” said study lead researcher Donald Schaffner, a professor and extension specialist in food science.
“Bacteria can contaminate instantaneously,” he said in a Rutgers news release.
The deciding factor in bacteria contamination is Moisture. Bacteria use moisture to move, so the more water associated with the food, the faster the contamination.
“Transfer of bacteria from surfaces to food appears to be affected most by moisture,” Schaffner said.
Which foods fared the best and the worst in the study?
Not surprisingly, watermelon has the most bacteria. Last on the list was gummy candy.
Another factor for bacteria? The floor.
Food dropped on the carpet had fewer bacteria than tile or stainless steel. Interestingly, wood floors varied with contamination.
So, you might want to think twice about eating that slice of watermelon after accidentally dropping it on the floor.
Zucchini is versatile summer squash that is delicious and easy to use. Zucchini’s flavor lends itself to both being the star of a dish or being easily concealed as a nutritious filler. Zucchini can be eaten both cooked and raw and is extremely versatile in preparation methods. It is grown in abundance during the summer months and quite easy to come by. Its affordability and ease of preparation make it an ideal choice for a healthy and hearty vegetable. Zucchini contains only 36 calories per 1 cup and 10 grams of the recommended daily value of dietary fiber. Zucchini is also a great source of vitamin c, vitamin A, manganese, and potassium. Zucchini has proven to be both delicious and beneficial to your overall health.
1 Lower Cholesterol
Zucchini is rich in dietary fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol. Dietary fiber attaches itself to bile acids created by the liver from cholesterol that is used to digest fat. When the dietary fiber attaches to the bile, it affects the liver’s ability to quickly digest fat causing it to create more bile acid. The liver then uses up more cholesterol to produce the excess bile acid, lowering the overall cholesterol levels.
2 Lower Blood Pressure
The amount of magnesium and potassium found in zucchini promotes lower blood pressure and alleviate stress on the circulatory system. Consuming zucchini on a regular basis can prove to be a great benefit for those suffering from hypertension.
3 Skin Hydration
Zucchini has a high water content that is beneficial to hydrating your skin and flushing out toxins.
Zucchini can help restore moisture to your skin and return it to a healthy glowing state. It is beneficial to your skin both when consumed and when used as a topical ingredient in scrubs and washes.
4 Eye Health
As a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc, and manganese; all of which are crucial to maintaining healthy eyes. The veggie may also be used as an external application to remove puffy bags around the eyes caused by water retention.
5 Prevents Gout
Yes, it is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory carotenoids, which makes it great to counter the effects of gout. Antioxidants work to reduce joint inflammation. Gout can affect both the knees and the feet and often leads to extreme difficulty walking and standing. This veggie works against the uric acid in your joints, helping to remove the pain and inflammation.
Flax, also known as linseed, is a fiber crop that has long been used for manufacturing household linens. Flax seeds are harvested from the flax plant itself. Flax seeds come in a number of varieties, that of which all contain the same nutritional value, with the exception of yellow flax seeds. Flaxseeds are widely used for their nutritional value, and also used to produce a form of vegetable oil that is considered to be one of the oldest commercial oils in production. According to, Wikipedia, the culinary uses for flax seeds range from roasted to being milled for bread. Flax seeds are packed full of nutritional value, such as Omega-3 fatty acid, fiber, protein, vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B6, iron, potassium, copper, and zinc.
The Benefits of Flax Seeds
1 Gluten Free
Even if you don’t live by a strict gluten-free diet, doesn’t mean that consuming some gluten-free options isn’t a good choice. The healthier choices you make, the better your overall health will be. Flax seeds are a great alternative to traditional grains and can be used as a substitute in cooking and baking. Flax seeds are a natural replacement for gluten-filled grains. Flax seeds can be ground and used alone or combined with coconut flour for baking and cooking.
2 High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
If you are reading anything related to healthy lifestyles or diets, you have probably seen omega-3 fatty acids a time or two. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be the key to unlocking great health and warding off many diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Cancer. More research is needed to prove whether or not Omega-3 fatty acids are the key to a successfully healthy life, but one thing is for sure, they are great for your body and an optimal part of leading a healthy life. Flax seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids and are a great option for people with an allergy to fish, who are looking for a natural way to get their daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
3 Reduces Risk of Cancer
Many studies have suggested that flax seeds can aid in reducing ones’ risk of getting certain types of cancer, such as, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. Lignans that are found in flaxseed are converted by the body into enterolactone and enterodiol, which aid in the natural balance of hormones that are believed to be the culprit of some cancer growth. A large part of this can be chalked up to its high omega-3 fatty acid value and anti-inflammatory properties.
4 Menopausal Symptom Relief
According to, WebMD, there have been significant studies showing that flax seeds can help relieve the symptoms of menopause. Consuming a proper dosage of flaxseed daily is believed to relieve hot flashes, night sweats, and other mild side effects of menopause. The flax seed is suggested to have similar effects to that of hormone therapy. Studies have shown that women consuming the recommended amount of flaxseed twice a day showed a 50% decrease in the number of hot flashes they had in a day and a decrease in intensity of the remaining hot flashes.
5 Lower Cholesterol
Flax seeds ability to help lower cholesterol is mainly credited to its omega-3 fatty acid and fiber content. Flax seeds are also rich in lignans, which have been shown to decrease plasma cholesterol, high plasma cholesterol is associated with atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Studies have shown that flax seeds can reduce bad cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, by 14%-18%
6 Gut Health
Flax seeds are a great source of fiber and are packed full of natural fiber to help keep your gut healthy. The high soluble fiber count makes flax seeds the perfect supplement for anyone looking for a natural laxative or regulating supplement. A key tip for using flax seeds for digestive health, is to use ground flax seeds; whole flax seeds are harder for your body to digest and absorb all of the beneficial nutrients. Flax seeds also contain mucilaginous fiber, which increases the intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients.
7 Blood Sugar
They are low glycemic, meaning that they can help to prevent or reduce spikes in blood sugar. When consuming flax as a normal part of your daily diet, blood sugar levels will begin to level out and show less effect from other foods that you consume, such as foods that are high in sugar. Flax is a great option for diabetic’s looking to more naturally control their blood sugar levels.
8 Weight Loss
Recently the seeds have become growingly popular for people looking to use their nutritional benefits for weight loss. Eating flax before a meal can help to reduce your hunger and give you the feeling of being full sooner. Similar to chia seeds, flax seeds absorb liquid and swell to create that “full” feeling. Thus, allowing you to feel full for longer and consume less food for meals.
There is no doubt that these seeds are filled with nutritional value and regardless of whether you are looking to use them as a weight loss aid, natural health remedy, or just as a source of vitamins; flax seeds are great for your body. A hot topic on flax is their anti-inflammatory benefits. The high levels of omega-3 fatty acid, lignans, flavonoids, and fiber all work in sync to reduce inflammation in your body, including inflammation caused by arthritis and Parkinson’s Disease. A daily serving of flax seeds has 140% of your daily value of these anti-inflammatory vitamins.
10 Skin Health
Generally speaking, we all know that we need optimal nutrition to keep our bodies healthy on the inside. The same is also true for the outside; our skin and hair need all of the essential vitamins and minerals as the rest of your body. Flax seeds benefit your skin by increasing your body’s natural oil production, helping to keep your skin moisturized and hydrated.
I’m from Seattle, so it goes hand-in-hand that I love coffee, and most notably Starbucks. It’s no surprise that I have a sweet tooth, and occasionally indulge in one of those sugary treats. However, recently Starbucks has made some changes to their menu. Most notably, Starbucks has added:
By its very name, wheat germ would seem to preclude a place on a Paleo plate, given its push to avoid wheat and other grains, due to their allergenic and inflammatory effects on the body. However, because wheat germ has very little gluten in it (which is one of the primary allergens in wheat) some question whether it’s possible to include it in an evolutionary diet.
Gluten is a protein chiefly confined to the endosperm of a grain, which is the tissue produced inside the seeds of most flowering plants around fertilization. The wheat “germ” is the part of the wheat grain that is primarily protein-free that eventually germinates and grows into a new plant—and also contains very little gluten. Yet gluten (or lack thereof) isn’t the whole story when it comes to deciding if wheat germ earns a Paleo pass or fail.
So, is it Paleo?
While wheat germ is very low in gluten, there are other offenders at work that can be counter-productive to our health. One of these is a little antinutrient called wheat germ agglutinin or WGA, for short, which might be as troublesome as gluten. WGA is a lectin protein that protects the wheat from insects, yeasts, and other pests. And while lectins are present in many foods, some of the highest (and potentially damaging) concentrations are found in grains like wheat (and its germ).
There is evidence that, like gluten, WGA can damage the lining of the gut and lead to intestinal permeability. This, in turn, can prompt our immune system to respond, triggering any number of auto-immune issues.
Studies have also shown that WGA can increase glucose transport into fat and liver cells while it blocks the body’s ability to release stored fat. This is detrimental to weight loss efforts, and because more glucose is being brought to the liver, blood triglycerides can also increase (not a good thing).
Additionally, WGA has been shown to obstruct our cell’s’ receptors from absorbing the Vitamin D we all need. These studies might help explain that regardless of the amount of time we spend in the sun, the decreased receptors for vitamin D can lead to possible deficiencies of the vitamin.
What do the Paleo gurus say?
Mark Sisson says: “You certainly can (eat it), but I still wouldn’t. Wheat germ has a little something called wheat germ agglutinin, a potent lectin. This protects wheat from insects, yeasts, and bacteria. It also tries to protect wheat from other, larger predators. Like hairless bipedal agrarian apes, by attacking and perforating the intestinal lining. There’s also evidence that WGA interacts with insulin receptors in fat and liver cells. Even going so far as to replicate the effects of insulin. Mimicking the effect of insulin on a foreign plant protein? Eh, I’m a little nervous about that.”
Kevin Cann (guest-blogging for Robb Wolf) says: “Understanding WGA and the other toxins found in grains and legumes is an important concept to health and weight loss. Counting calories while eating wheat products may work for some. But there are quite a few people who run into failure. How can one reverse insulin resistance by eating a food that acts like insulin? Consumption of wheat can lead to Vitamin D deficiencies. Which may be why we see increasing rates of disease and even osteoporosis. It damages the gut lining and increases inflammation. Inflammation can also lead to weight gain. If anything, remove wheat from the diet for 30 days and see how you feel. Eliminating all grains and legumes would be an even better step towards better health.”
Loren Cordain says: “In vitro studies show that WGA binds the nuclear pore and prevents Vitamin D from causing its normal gene transcription—not a good thing, as proper Vitamin.
Based on what science has shown and what Paleo experts say. It’s a fairly obvious call when it comes to wheat germ. We’ll stamp it clearly “Not Paleo” and take to heart. Wheat germ is, like other grain products, not a wise choice for those seeking optimal health.
I learned early on in elementary school that bringing sardines in for lunch was…not the most popular choice. The fish have a very distinct smell, but they certainly are tasty! Before you give up on these little guys because of their pungent aroma, take a minute to learn more about why these snacks of the sea are so great.
There are actually many fish known as “sardines,” but they’re all so closely related genetically that they’re usually just considered to be the same fish. It’s said that Napoleon was responsible for the sardines’ rise in popularity—who knew?
Why Eat Sardines?
They are packed with calcitriol, a form of vitamin D that regulates cell cycles. Because cancer is caused by cells functioning incorrectly, keeping these cycles regulated is a very effective form of cancer prevention.
The protein within gives us necessary amino acids that build and regenerate our bodies. These amino acids repair tissue by grabbing into oxygen and carrying it around efficiently.
The most prevalent nutrients are vitamin B12, clocks in at a whopping 337% of what you need every day! B12 reduces homocysteine, which is known to be a degenerate bone through osteoporosis. Thanks to their homocysteine-smashing properties, sardines support bone health.
They are one of the absolute best places to get omega-3 fatty acids. This healthy omega-3s help reduce the risk of inflammatory conditions like heart disease by fighting oxidation.
Anchovies, sardines—tiny fish get a bad rap sometimes. But these small fish have a rich, flavorful taste without a fishy aftertaste, so there’s really nothing unusual about them at all. When you’re ready to take the plunge and become addicted to delicious sardines (it’s easier than you might think!), there are a few things to keep in mind.
How to Choose Sardines
If you want whole, uncanned, some stores have them at the seafood counter. You can ask them to remove the large bones for you, but you can leave the little bones; cooking the sardines softens them, and you won’t even know there are still a few bones floating around.
You can buy canned in water, soy oil, canola oil, tomato sauce, and olive oil—make sure to read the labels. It’s best to avoid those packed in soy oil, canola oil, or tomato sauce (which is filled with sugar). Water is always a solid choice; you can spice up your fish with some homemade Paleo mayo or get creative.
Remember that while sardines are a great snack, that’s just one of their many uses. Try mashing your sardines with avocados for a great veggie dip. Be adventurous!
Probiotics are the good bacteria that our digestive system needs to stay healthy. Probiotics are naturally found in your body and probiotics can also be taken as a supplement, but there are also many probiotic rich foods that you can consume to help keep the good bacteria balanced in your body. Probiotics work to move food through your gut and can help with many illnesses, including, IBS and IBD. According to WebMD, Probiotic supplements are monitored by the FDA but not in accordance with drug regulations, rather food regulations. In general probiotic supplements are considered safe, but you should always consult with your Doctor before choosing a probiotic supplement.
Probiotics can easily be consumed from everyday foods that you eat. In many cases, you will actually consume more probiotics from certain foods than an entire bottle of probiotic supplements. Consuming a healthy amount of probiotics is the most natural way to keep your gut bacteria in balance and everything running smoothly. If you have experienced gut trouble, probiotics may be an easy alternative to traditional medicine. Gut bacteria have also been linked to other parts of the body, such as your brain function. The following are great ways to naturally introduce extra probiotics into your intestines without resorting to supplement.
Kvass is a fermented drink typically made from stale rye, similar to beer, that is quickly growing in popularity due to its probiotic richness. Kvass has become so popular, that it is expected to hit grocery stores everywhere very soon. While kvass is considered a non-alcoholic beverage, the longer it ferments, the more likely it is to increase in alcohol content. Beet kvass can also be made at home with just a few simple ingredients and all of the great probiotic benefits.
Kefir Is a fermented dairy product, that is very similar to yogurt. It is made of milk and fermented kefir grains. Kefir contains anywhere from 10-34 strand of probiotics and is higher in probiotics than traditional yogurt, because it is fermented with yeast.
Natto is a traditional Japanese dish that consists of fermented soy beans. Natto contains an extremely powerful strand of probiotic, Bacillus Subtilis, which Is a proven booster for your immune system. Bacillus Subtilis can also support cardiovascular health and aid in the digestion of vitamin K2. As well as a powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme, Nattokinase, that is proven to help fight against cancer.
Raw unpasteurized cheese is a great source of probiotics because all of the good bacteria isn’t killed during the pasteurization process. Goat milk cheese, Sheep’s milk cheese, and Cow’s milk soft cheese are all great sources for probiotics. Just be sure that it is raw and unpasteurized.
Yogurt is among the most popular consumed product from consumers directly seeking probiotics. Probiotics can be richly found in yogurt made of cow’s milk, goat’s milk and sheep’s milk. Both yogurt and Greek yogurt are popular; but only yogurts labeled that they are made with “Live and active cultures” will be rich in beneficial probiotics.
Miso paste is a fermented Asian seasoning that contains a combination of soybeans, barley, brown rice, and several other grains with Aspergillus Oryzae, a fungus. After fermentation the outcome is a smooth paste with a strong and salty flavor. Miso paste contains millions of microorganisms that is similar to those that live in your intestines. The longer that miso paste is allowed to ferment the more probiotics it will contain. Miso paste is commonly used as a seasoning in Asian cuisine, such as, miso soup.
Coconut water kefir, is a kefir made with the water of young coconuts. Coconut water kefir is a great choice for those who are looking to add probiotics to their diet without supplements and cannot have dairy. According to, Natural News, Coconut kefir will promote hydration and give you a great source of natural probiotics. Coconut kefir is said to have a far larger effect on the gut than yogurt received probiotics. Kefir is also said to contain yeast that are beneficial to the body.
Most people have eaten or at least heard of sauerkraut. It is a fermented cabbage that typically accompanies sausage, it is also a common German side dish. Sauerkraut is packed full of natural probiotics. Cabbage on its own contains a healthy amount of probiotics. As with other fermented foods, the amount of probiotics continues to grow the longer the cabbage is allowed to ferment.
Kimchi is another form of fermented cabbage. It is a traditional Korean dish that is made and served beside most every meal. Kimchi is a combination of cabbage with spicy seasoning such as red chili paste. It is a spicy, somewhat sour cabbage, that pairs well with many Korean dishes. Kimchi is very rich in probiotics; both from the cabbage and the fermentation process. As with other fermented foods, the longer the kimchi is allowed to ferment the more probiotics it will contain. Kimchi is often prepared and sealed in large containers for fermentation and sometimes buried just below the ground for the extent of the fermentation process.
Kombucha is a fermented black or green tea that is lightly sweetened. Kombucha has been used for centuries and is believed to have many health benefits, such as, increased energy, overall well-being, weight loss and of course, a healthy dose of probiotics. One 8oz serving of Kombucha can contain around 1 million probiotics. Kombucha can easily be purchased in serving sized containers in stores, especially stores directed at natural and organic living. It also comes in a variety of sweet flavor combinations.
Botox has been growingly popular and most of us don’t even think twice when we see someone with an obvious amount of Botox injections. But have we ever considered that Botox could have an effect on our natural emotions? Researchers believe that there is sufficient evidence that Botox injections may affect the way a person reacts to emotional circumstances.
What exactly is Botox?
According to Wikipedia, Botox or Botulinum toxin, is a neurotoxic protein that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is used both commercially as a cosmetic aid and is also used as the treatment for severe medical purposes, including, vocal cord dysfunction and chronic migraine, as well as being used for research purposes. The two main commercially used types are, Botulinum toxin type A and Botulinum toxin type B. The FDA requires that a boxed warning is used to inform all users of the risk of botulism. Botulism is a potentially fatal disease caused by an infection related to the Botox. When locally administered, the toxin may move from the injection site to other areas of your body causing Botulism. This warning from the FDA has been put in place after a number of deaths associated with the injection of Botox. Botox is commercially used as a cosmetic drug to prevent the development of wrinkles. The Botox is injected into the area and essentially paralyzes the facial muscles. It is used by millions of people around the world as a beauty aid. Botox is used as in injection in the forehead, between the eyebrows, the corners of the eyes, crow’s feet and under the eyes to help smooth wrinkles and aid in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
Are Botox injections safe?
Botox injections are considered relatively safe as long as they are properly administered by an experienced doctor. Botox parties have become a bit of a fad amongst the wealthy and the famous, but are considered to be dangerous and risky. The possible side effects are typically minor, such as a headache, pain and swelling at the injection site, bruising, droopy eyelid, crooked smile, and eye dryness. Some more serious side effects that warrant a consultation with your doctor, include body muscle weakness, trouble breathing, vision problems, trouble speaking or swallowing, and loss of bladder control.
How can it affect our emotions?
Studies suggest, that when you can’t physically express your emotions, you feel less emotion. By injecting Botox into your face, you are temporarily paralyzing facial muscles. So for instance, you see a tear-jerking video clip that is making people around you bawl their eyes out, but you don’t have a similar reaction. Could it be because you can’t physically express the pain or dismay you feel? Is Botox a semi-permanent poker face that hides the most sensitive of human emotions? It has been suggested that by not responding to emotional situations in the same way as others, you may actually have lost empathy by getting Botox injections. Most scientists believe that our reaction to emotions has a great deal to do with reproducing others emotions in our own body. Botox may affect one’s ability to exhibit those emotions, affecting whether or not you have the same reaction to the present emotion.
According to a recent study conducted by scientists at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste, “The thankfully temporary paralysis of facial muscles that this toxin cause impairs our ability to capture the meaning of other people’s facial expressions”, explains Jenny Baumeiste. The study is based on a theory known as the embodiment. It is believed that one’s ability to process emotions, involves their ability to reproduce the same emotions on their own bodies. For instance, when you see someone giving a smile it generally makes you smile as well, sometimes unknowingly to ourselves. It is typically an automated response to emotion. That being said, when you are under the effects of Botox, your facial muscles are temporarily paralyzed, affecting one’s ability to mimic the natural response to the emotions of others.
The study involved a number of people carrying out numerous test to gauge their responses to emotions. The test was administered directly before the Botox injection and two weeks following the injections. The results were then compared to those of individuals who had not been administered any Botox at all. The effects of the injections were said to be obviously different in comparison to those who had received no Botox injections. “The negative effect is very clear when the expressions observed are subtle. Instead, when the smile is wide and over, the subjects were still able to recognize it, even if they’ve had the treatment”. “For very intense stimuli, although there was a definite tendency to perform worse, the difference was not significant. On the other hand, for “equivocal” stimuli that are more difficult to pick up, the effect of the paralysis was very strong”. explains Francesco Foroni, a coordinator of the study with the International School for Advanced Studies.
The study is believed to confirm at least a portion of the theory this famous injection procedure effects the way that we process emotions. Researchers found that one’s inability to process certain emotions may affect their ability have a normal social interaction. Lessening one’s emotional readability and sensitivity may affect more than just the aspect of compassion. Your emotion also affects your mood, more so than anything else. “Our study was devised to investigate embodied cognition. At the same time, we think that awareness of this consequence will be of use to those involved in aesthetic medicine, not least to adequately inform people seeking to undergo these treatments” commented Foroni. The effects of Botox on our emotions still require further research to understand, but should still be taken into consideration before choosing to have Botox Injections. The biggest question in research, beyond the effects of Botox, is, can our physical perception of emotion truly have that great of an effect on our actual emotion?
Magnesium or (Mg) is one of the most important macro-minerals needed for human function. Without it, we’d lose our ability to move, to digest food, and think straight. It’s naturally present in many of the foods we should be eating every day, such as nuts, leafy greens, and soy-based products. Unfortunately, most people aren’t getting enough of this mineral in their diets these days because of intensive farming, poor soil quality, and eating too many foods that have been extraneously processed and refined. To ensure that you’re getting enough Mg in your diet, eat whole foods and take a chelated Mg supplement. When you increase the mineral levels in the body you’ll reap the benefits of this important substance.
#1: High Magnesium Intake is Good for Your Heart
A study performed by Harvard’s School of Public Health found that an adequate intake of magnesium can prevent high blood pressure. Other studies found that the nutrient also lowers established cases of high blood pressure. Not only that, when given intravenously, Mg decreases the risk of death after a heart attack!
#2: Solves Constipation Issues
Studies show the diets low in water and Mg are associated with constipation. Mg-based digestive aids, such as Milk of Magnesia, have long been used to treat moments of acute constipation.
#3: Diets Low in Magnesium Cause a Decrease in Bone Strength
The American College of Nutrition reviewed several popular studies and noted that a diet low in magnesium correlates with poor bone health. A decrease in bone strength, volume, and development was found in people with diets low in the mineral.
#4: May Solve Your Migraines
Both clinical evidence and established studies lead Dr. Alexander Mauskop, head of the New York Headache Center, to believe that magnesium has a strong influence on migraine headaches. He believes that the mineral can both prevent and treat these headaches. Magnesium is an inexpensive and safe alternative to the usual migraine treatments.
#5: A Diet Rich in Magnesium Decreases Anxiety and Depression
In 1996, studies began finding a correlation between depression and low Mg levels in clinics. Current studies confirm these findings and also have found that magnesium can improve acute anxiety!
Ensure That You’re Getting Enough
Take a high-quality, chelated Mg supplement, eat whole foods rich in this mineral, and make sure that you’re getting at least 400mg of dietary magnesium daily. If you’re interested in more information, contact your healthcare professional or a Registered Dietician.
What Foods Are High in Mg?
• Fish, especially Atlantic Cod and Salmon
• Dark Leafy Greens
• Greek Yogurt
• Dark Chocolate
• Nuts especially Cashews and Almonds
• Pumpkin and Sesame Seeds
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.
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.”
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 contributes to possible adverse effects on the developing organs of fetuses 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.
We all know the saying that a cold shower is a 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.
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 to 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 number 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 glutathione, 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).
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. This was for 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 percent of their body weight over the testing period, compared to 1.6 percent 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.