Month: January 2018

Atlanta: Can the Health of Your Home Affect Your Family’s Health? Part 1

Previously published on Examiner

All too often, Atlanta families get sick and the illness can be attributed to the health of the home. This examiner will expose some of the most common factors within the home that can cause problems with your family’s health.

Cigarette smoke – Smoking in the home creates an environment filled with carbon monoxide, tar, and nicotine. The more one smokes inside the home, the greater the risk of family members becoming sick from inhaling the toxic particles released into the air. The family’s risk for respiratory illnesses may be influenced on the number of cigarettes smoked per day within the home, and whether or not the cigarette has a filter. Cigarettes without a filter release more toxins into the air.

Parents and family members who smoke regularly in the home may notice that a brown sticky film covers the walls and every surface in the home. Is it difficult to imagine the dark, sticky film that covers the walls, windows, shelves and every other surface in the home will also collect in the respiratory tract of the family members? When this examiner was very young, her parents smoked within the home. This examiner suffered from asthma all year round for several years. It wasn’t until her parents stopped smoking, per the suggestion from the pediatrician that this examiner got well.

Bacteria – The floors of the home can be breeding areas for bacteria. The bathrooms are notorious for having E.Coli bacteria. When the toilets are flushed, there is a big chance that bacteria will be released into the air. The bacteria can land anywhere in the bathroom to the floors to your tooth brushes, and affect the health of the family.

Dust mites – Dust mites may be found in your carpet and on your beds, pillows and bed covers. Dust mites not only live in the carpets and beds, they also live in the air. Dust mites can float around in the air on dust particles; they can be breathed into the respiratory passages of the adults and children in the home and cause illnesses.

There is help: The toxins from cigarette smoke can be eliminated by quitting smoking or going outside the home to smoke. Internal air quality experts in Atlanta can diagnose the problem/s in your home and suggest air purifiers. Storing toothbrushes outside of the bathroom or using a toothbrush sanitizer to keep toothbrushes clean.

To be continued

Sources:

http://medicmagic.net/dont-place-your-toothbrush-near-the-toilet.html

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/healthy_living/smoking/hic_dangers_of_second-hand_smoke.aspx

http://healthandenergy.com/dust_mites.htm

Superfood Profile: Goji Berry

Goji Berries are also called Wolfberries, based on the translation of their traditional Mandarin name “Gou qi zi,” meaning “wolf energy berry.” The Goji Berry is a popular superfood, and has been added to many foods, beverages and supplements because of its special nutritive powers. But is the Goji Berry worth all the hype? Below you’ll find a summary of the health benefits of Goji, as well as the health dangers of Goji and ideas for adding this superfood to your diet.

Health Benefits of Goji Berry

Goji Berries are a highly nutritious food with a number of health benefits. Goji Berries contain 21 trace minerals that are important for healthy functioning, including calcium, copper, iron and zinc. Like all berries, Goji Berries are high in antioxidants and strengthen the immune system. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Goji Berries have a significantly higher Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity than blueberries or blackberries. In addition to strengthening the immune system, antioxidants are said to lessen the effects of aging because they help repair damaged DNA. Traditional Chinese Medicine used Goji in remedies for improving eyesight, and modern science has found that the chemicals lutein and zeaxanthin in Goji neutralize the free radicals caused by too much sunlight and may improve eyesight. Scientific studies have found that Goji Juice helped to increase the therapeutic effect of radiation cancer treatment in mice, and one Chinese study found that the consumption of Goji Juice doubled the effectiveness of radiation cancer treatment in humans; unfortunately this study has yet to be duplicated.

Health Dangers of Goji Berry

Goji Berries contain selenium, a trace nutrient which, in excess, can cause brittle hair and nails as well as other health problems. The selenium content in Goji is probably not enough to cause a health risk, since humans can safely consume up to 150 micrograms of selenium per day, but if your diet regularly contains other high-selenium foods such as grains, cereals and meats, you may want to rethink your menu before adding Goji Berry to your diet.

Goji may interfere with some prescription medications. Since the Goji Berry is anti-coagulant, it could cause negative interactions with blood thinners, including a sudden drop in blood pressure or excessive bleeding. Goji may also have negative interactions with diabetes medications. Allergies to Goji Berry have not been documented, but anyone who has pollen allergies may also have a negative reaction to Goji Berries.

Ideas for Adding Goji Berry to Your Diet

Goji Berry may be purchased as juice or as a bulk fruit, and many products, such as cereals, teas and juices, may be already supplemented with Goji. Dried berries may need to be soaked before eating. Goji Berry products tend to be expensive, so it may be a good idea to sample Goji before you buy, in order to make sure you enjoy the taste. Below are some easy ideas for including this superfood in your diet.

*Top your cereal with dried Goji berries.
*Mix Goji juice into your smoothies.
*Flavor plain yogurt with Goji Juice.
*Drink teas that include Goji Berry.
*Make Goji Berry Chocolate by adding Goji powder to melted cocoa. Click here for a unique recipe!
*Add soaked Goji Berries to stir fry recipes.
*Include dried Goji Berries in oatmeal cookies.
*Use Goji Berries to replace sundried tomatoes in some recipes.
*Add dried Goji Berries to granola or trail mix.
*Some traditional Chinese soups call for Goji Berry (remember it may also be called wolfberry).

Sources:

A 2 Z of Health, Beauty and Fitness; The Health Benefits of Wolfberries; Dr Paul Gross http://health.learninginfo.org/wolfberries.htm

Buddy Slim; Calories in Dried Goji Berry (EatRaw) http://www.calories-nutrition.buddyslim.com/dried-goji-berries-eatraw/

Chet Day’s Health amp; Beyond Online; Goji: A Friendly Skeptic Looks at Goji Juice; Dr Ralph Moss http://chetday.com/gojijuice.htm

Eco-USA.net; Selenium http://www.eco-usa.net/toxics/chemicals/selenium.shtml

Garden Guides; What are the Dangers of Goji Berries?; Lauren Wise http://www.gardenguides.com/90564-dangers-goji-berries.html

Phytochemicals; Wolfberry http://www.phytochemicals.info/plants/wolfberry.php

WebMD; Goji Berries: Health Benefits and Side Effects http://www.webmd.com/balance/goji-berries-health-benefits-and-side-effects

You Deserve Better… Than Eating Out

With the never-ending recession gripping the heart of the American economy and its consumers, it quickly becomes evident that families need to spend less money than ever before. It’s very hard not to fall into the temptation of eating out. It’s fast and easy, and you won’t have to scrub dishes to get them clean. On the other hand, eating out is less healthy and more expensive. Let’s look at why this is.

Going to a fast-food joint, you’ll quickly note that every place has a cheap menu where they’ll sell you any hydrogenated fat for under a dollar. You need to save money, and have little faith in your skills in the kitchen. Fear not! You can grab a burger for a buck. You think about the bottom line at the grocery store and shudder at blowing fifty bucks for a scant few bags of foodstuffs. But here, you can eat instantly for a buck. Sounds good? Wrong!

My wife, who’s on her way to being a Registered Dietician (RD), can tell you that the numerous long-term damaging effects that hydrogenated oils, excess salt, and saturated fat can easily eclipse the money you’ll be saving at the counter with future medical bills. Even if you’re young and at an optimum weight, these foods can still tear apart your arteries. Soda is loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), an especially evil non-food additive that companies sneak into products to stretch the supply of goods-making them more profit per unit at the expense of forcing your blood vessels to improperly expand when required. You’ll be hard-pressed to find this out online or elsewhere without an RD education since the conglomerates that love the stuff suppress the info, but that doesn’t mean it’s false. Excess salt and saturated fat can clog your heart and cause many other problems, and I’m just hitting the tip of the iceberg.

So you think the reputable dinner dive is a better place to eat at then? Nope. Sorry. The reason here is that most restaurants clog up anything not covered in leaves with salt. Although when eating out, note that many restaurant salads are also full of condiments and accessories that have enough salt to kill a rhino. The reason: the saltiness, the companies believe, acts as a natural addictive agent. And they’re right! This is why lots of places love using MonoSodium Glutamate, known as MSG. Beware, this is a synthetic salt that can damage your hypothalamus, a part of your brain that partly controls… your appetite! Some people like to joke how eating food out makes you hungry again fast, and this is because your brain’s receptors are being damaged into thinking that you need to walk in that door again. Also, on “low calorie” menus you’ll rarely if ever see the salt content these dishes contain. Just because something is low on the amount of energy your body receives from its biochemical processing, don’t believe it’s healthy!

You can avoid this vicious cycle! You’ll need to develop a good eye for things that are leaner and better. Even grocery store products often contain MSG, HFCS, Carrageenan, and a whole host of other crummy synthetics that can hurt your body in bizarre ways so don’t be fooled. Tune into my next article to find ways to feed your families for cheap, using foods that won’t clog arteries or necrotize liver tissue.

Boomers, Health Nuts, and Medical Insurance

Having been fortunate enough to have gravitated toward a group of older friends, I have long been privy to the fact of the medical insurance crisis this country is now encountering.

In younger days, the thought of old age isn’t usually in the forefront. But these older friends knew what would be happening up the road with the boomer generation.

Younger by about ten years, I got into an obsession about these folks, because they were fascinating and because of other reasons I couldn’t explain.

But they knew what would be happening up the road because it was rather obvious. Yet hardly anyone was thinking about the future of medical insurance at the time. In those days the economy was great.

Fortunate to know and learn from these people, I discovered healthy living, and a philosophy that embraced caring for the body, mind, and soul.

The one thing that everyone knew about our future was that the population swelled when we were born. The rest of the story was apparent. There were too many of us, and this would eventually reflect in the current medical insurance predicament.

The Health Nut Era

It was a time when taking vitamin supplements and practicing yoga came into vogue with certain members of our generation. Everyone in our group knew that once we got older there would be a medical insurance dilemma since we were so plentiful, and would be aging en mass.

At the same time, it was a taboo to be interested in taking care of your own health. The medical profession held domination on society as the space age loomed in the skies. Science was a god, though medical science hadn’t included nutrition in the overall health picture.

Anyone advocating self help in those days was often disparagingly ridiculed as a health nut.

As it were, we have come to the proving point of the health nut extremists. The boomer generation begins in the late forties and goes on through 1964. It’s almost divided into two parts with a thinning in the middle.

Now, the younger part of this generation can look to taking care of the elders as a main vocational pursuit.

The Medicare system is in the state of shock. On one hand, these people who had decided to advocate for self health care, do happen to be healthier statistically compared to generations past. Now, the medical insurance management is hoping to rely on this factor.

So, the knowledge of what was logically foreseeable led to the best preparation for old age, independent of government, or medical insurance statistics.

Senior citizens might be seen jogging down the road or on a beach. Active senior communities host tennis courts and are filled with silvery haired competitors.

Government and medical insurance statisticians are encouraging former health nuts to continue these self help methods of prevention. They are also encouraging the older generation to find a work niche, so they can continue working through their elderly years.

Statistic ref

PBS. org