An online pharmacy, Valisure, raised alarm on a carcinogen found in hand sanitizers sold during the coronavirus pandemic. The pharmacy, Valisure, tested 260 hand sanitizer products for toxic chemicals and found high levels of benzene in nearly 44 products sold in the US. According to the 1Source database, Benzene is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and prohibited by the European Commission for use in cosmetic products. Benzene can harm individuals through dermal absorption or inhalation.
Hazards (UN GHS):
1. May be fatal if swallowed and enters airways (H304)
2. Causes skin irritation (H315)
3. Causes serious eye irritation (H319)
4. May cause genetic defects (H340)
5. May cause cancer (H350)
6. Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure (H372)
7. Toxic to aquatic life (H401)
8. Toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects (H411)
Products entered the market by demand due to a nationwide shortage of hand sanitizers. To meet the high demand for hand sanitizer during Covid-19 public health emergency, the FDA allowed an ” interim limit of 2 parts per million (ppm) for benzene in liquid hand sanitizers. Before June 2020, FDA banned benzene in the manufacture of any stage of drug products due to its toxicity. Despite the relaxation, Valisure reported that out of 260 hand sanitizer products tested, 17% contained benzene, with the highest level of benzene detected at 16.1ppm, over eight times the interim limit.
Some of the brands containing carcinogens include Artnaturals, which ironically describes itself as born from a “desire to free beauty from high prices, toxic chemicals”. Star Wars Baby Yoda themed bottle was caught in crossfires. New entrants which appeared to plug the market after household brands such as Purell and Suave sold out were noted to contain Benzene. Tainted sanitizers can be found for sale at Amazon and Target. Out of the 44 hand sanitizer products contaminated with Benzene, 2% are manufactured in Mexico, 50% in China, and 34% in the United States.
List of tainted hand sanitizers:
9. beauty concepts
2. Scentsational Soaps & Candles Inc.
11. Miami Carry On
12. Natural Wunderz
5. The Creme Shop
6. Star Wars Mandalorian
7. Body Prescriptions
15. Hand Clean 100
8. Born Basic
Besides that, Valisure also detected unacceptably high levels of methanol, and a acetaldehyde, defined by the WHO and IARC as ” possibly carcinogenic to humans” . The FDA stated that companies manufacturing hand sanitizers should not ” add other active or inactive ingredients”, for example to enhance the smell or taste. However, out of the 44 batches of hand sanitizers containing benzene, 20 of their product labels indicate the additional ingredients which fail to adhere to FDA guidelines. Enhancing the taste and smell is hazardous, as it may increase the risk of making product more appealing to be ingested by children.
In the letter, Valisure requested that all contaminated batches of hand sanitizer be recalled by the FDA and that they conduct an investigation of products and provide information to the public.
One night when I was on my phone during the hours of when I was supposed to be asleep, I came across a video titled ‘We Tried the 1 Billion Dollar Morning Routine’ produced by As/Is.
The video left me with curiosity and motivation to attempt the morning routine as well. Before I started, I did a little research.
As I believe, The routine was popularized by the motivational Youtube Star, Jim Kwik who showed on the Be Inspired Youtube Channel. The video currently has 6,327,884 views with 177k likes.
Upon research, there is no exact routine set by time. Some would wake up at 4:30, while some others wake up at 7 am. I concluded that the wake-up time would be after 8 hours of sleep. And of course, everyone’s routine is different. Those who wake up at 4:30 usually clock in for work at 7 – 7:30 AM, and those who wake up at 7 AM usually work from home.
It should be noted that some people’s approach to this routine can be modified. Jim Kwik himself said in the video that he just tries his best to do it all.
My Attempt(s) at the Billion Dollar Morning Routine (Long Read Ahead!)
Day 1, the first impression
1. Wake up Early
I woke up to my alarm at 7… but I went for a 30-minute nap. Not the best start but it is definitely a very big improvement to my usual waking hour, which is usually 10. Worse, the latest I woke up was 2:30 pm…
2. Recall dreams
Coincidentally, I dreamed about doing the morning routine in my dream. However, it was more like a nightmare. I cannot remember the events but I knew the energy of the dream was chaotic, the most I remembered was hearing arguing and things crashing like bombs and I felt claustrophobic.
I personally believe that I am sensitive to dreaming, compared to my friends, I have several dreams that I still remember today.
The dream also felt really real, I thought I was already up in the morning. Until the alarm proved wrong.
3. Make your bed
I never make my bed, ever. I don’t see the point of it because I will eventually sleep in it again.
However, the step is not as boring as it sounds. Jim Kwik said that this step is intended to push people to accomplish more tasks, it creates momentum.
He says that, when we go to bed, we go back to the cycle of ‘success’.
4. Drink tall glass of water and take vitamins/prebiotics
I am ashamed to say… I don’t wake up to drinking water every morning.
Although it was only water, I did struggle, I felt like I was forcing down water when I felt full.
Before I drank the water, I had to go to the bathroom first. This step was supposed to be in the 8th step but I knew I couldn’t down a gulp of water if I weren’t going to take a leak first.
I also don’t take any supplements. My prebiotics are in powder form that I put in my morning smoothie.
5. 20 minutes of breathing exercise / meditation
I wasn’t exactly excited for this part, 20 minutes of sitting still sounded like it would put me to sleep. The purpose of this step is to fully oxygenate the body.
I simply searched for a 20-minute breathing meditation on Youtube. For day 1, I am following a guide by the Mindful Movement. I only realized after the meditation that the video was only 19:38 minutes, but better than nothing!
This step was not effortless. I struggled with staying still. So, I helped myself with the breathing exercise by using my body instead. When I breathed in, I would trail my upper leg to my knees with my hands, then sweep them back up while I straightened my back as I exhaled.
It is only after that I realized that I should have done it the other way. And well… I sometimes don’t breathe the right way. When inhaling, the stomach should be expanding, and the opposite when exhaling. However, I sometimes do this in the opposite way. I hoped to correct my breathing habit by doing this routine for the next few days.
By the end of this step, it is 8:02 AM
6. 2 minute intense movement
The purpose of this step is to wake my body. Note: This is not a workout of the day!
For Day 1, I split this step into 1 minute of jumping jacks and the other minute to high knees.
7. Cold shower
This step… I couldn’t take a straight cold shower. Especially since the morning is breezy. However, I did attempt to do it.
Instead of ignoring this step, I did a mix of a hot and cold shower. I turn the water to cold when I am washing off the shampoo and conditioner from my hair. I also did this at the end of the shower.
8. Regular morning routine
For this step, I brushed my teeth.
Cleansed my face. Since I was more conscious to my routine, I gave the #60secondsrule face wash a go.
Despite the positive feedback, I never attempted it. My face actually felt nice after 60 seconds of cleansing.
Then I blow dried my hair and made tea.
9. Write in Journal
10. Read a book
I am currently reading Eye Of The Red Tsar by Sam Eastland. I have issues with focus, so to help me read, I turned on reading music for my 20 minutes read. As much as I like reading this book, I was waiting for the timer to go off in the back of my head.
11. Make a smoothie
I didn’t have any brain berries that were suggested to be used. I instead used a herbal smoothie mix that I was already having as my breakfast.
12. Brain exercise
I downloaded the Elevate app for this step. I am using the free version. For the following days, I do 3 short exercises to strengthen my language and mathematics skills.
I couldn’t wake up early because I was tired. I slept late the night before (1:30 AM) from gaming with my friends. So I missed most of my morning (10 AM).
However as Kwik mentioned, he tries to complete all the tasks. So I tried to tick as many boxes as I can before the morning ends.
2. I couldn’t recall my dream
3. This time when making my bed, I put in more effort. It felt good to look at a neat ‘successful’ bed
4. Drink water – stopped my inner whining dialogue and just went with it.
Wrote in my journal…That is where the routine ends.
Day 3 (PAUSE)
This is the day when I had to stop the routine. I woke up late again from a long night of gaming with my friends. I felt very demotivated. I could have continued the routine as a Day 3, however, I wanted to give it another chance. If the ladies could do straight in the As/Is video, I should too.
So instead of trying to complete the steps, I sat down and wrote in my journal to reevaluate:
“I’m going to restart this journey on Friday the 25th marked as Day 1… clearly I failed twice. And as much as I am lazy, I am a perfectionist! Therefore, I’ll try again BUT I’m going to have to plan it.”
“I realized that I can’t push myself to wake up early at all after a ‘night’ (1-2 AM) of gaming on LOL. So to proceed with this routine, I must not play over midnight.”
“Something I noticed is that I am starting to inhabit step 3 and 4 (make the bed and drink water) with effort”
“For my journal lists, I must also be more specific and actually attempt to finish at least my to do’s”
“Instead of staying in bed for step 2 (recalling your dreams), I should get up and write it down in my journal since I am such a heavy sleeper… staying in my bed eyes closed? I pass out in 30 secs”
Overall, I initially went into this routine without any preparation, which was bad since the Billion Dollar Morning Routine is drastically different from my everyday lifestyle.
Day 3 (Redemption)
Day 3 was a massive improvement compared to the past 2 days of failure. Comparing how my day went between this day and the day before. There is a difference in motivation and drive. Even though the morning routine took some adjusting, it is a rewarding experience.
As normally, the day went fine. However, the night out of Day 4 has caused another dip into my attempt at the routine.
So indeed, after a night out (or to be more specific, an all ‘nighter’), I did not criticize myself as harshly as Day 2 or the paused day. Just like Day 2, I try to finish the morning routine within the hours of the morning. For a chill day, I had a productive workday.
So it’s not as bad as I described it earlier, but this is where the ‘dip’ happens.
As observed, the day was not productive at all. So how did this happen?
When I gave myself an excuse for Day 5 and allowed myself to have a ‘chill day’, the slowly growing discipline I built up vanished. The routine is not for people who rely on motivation, but a habit mentality.
When I compared my progress to the ladies who attempted the routine from As/Is, it really demotivated me and in all honesty, it made my mental health fragile. I became demotivated and basically hated myself for the entire day. The day felt awful, productivity was not running, overall, it was grim.
So, still being in the cycle of lack of discipline, I did not get the happy ending I wanted. However, I felt a glimpse of hope.
Although I did not have the best attempt. It made me reevaluate how I ‘drive’ my life.
Life without this routine
So to give the Billion Dollar Morning Routine a more fair judgement. I proceeded with a week of what my normal routine was.
And to no surprise. The week was less productive, unpredictable, exhausting and depressing.
I found myself in a spiral of some days waking up at 10 AM and some waking up in the PM. And with the progress of my work and activities in my life, made me want to stay in bed all day in the dark.
This experience had opened up my eyes. I didn’t think much of my normal routine. And because of how I felt with the Billion Dollar Morning routine, living my life how I normally did. I, for the first time, was hit by the reality of my everyday failure.
What I am taking from this attempt
The thing I did wrong was that I underestimated how challenging this routine was going to be. Especially for me, since I am a person who has more of a go along with the waves type of person. I have to give it to the ladies from As/Is, they made it look so easy!
Even though my attempt was not an accurate representation of this routine. I felt comforted by the women from their attempt where they as well have their own struggles with the routine. And like Freddie said “Do I feel like a billionaire? Actually, I do!”
So they both concluded that they themselves are going to take some things from the routine to add to their morning. Mei cleverly played on the words, made her own “Millionaire Morning Routine”
So for my personal take on the Billion Dollar Morning Routine. I am adding going to the toilet right after I wake up, and turn the 2-minute intense movement into a full workout because I do prefer exercising in the morning before breakfast. I’m going to work on the cold shower, but like the ladies, I’m sticking to the warm shower for now.
The pandemic has affected everyone’s lives in significant ways. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laid down some guidelines to help keep populations healthy. Everyone, including children, needs to practice these guidelines. Parents must teach their kids these guidelines to protect their health during the pandemic. Nutrition and health go hand in hand. Find out the 4 foods to boost immune system here!
Your child should practice frequent hand washing habits during the pandemic and maintain them after. This is because the hands are a common source of infection. Hands easily pick up dirt and microorganisms from the environment and contaminate other body parts like the mouth and eyes. One way in which the coronavirus spreads is through the hands. The hands can pick up the virus from surfaces like public benches and doorknobs. You then get infected when the hands touch any part of the face. Children are more likely to touch their face and put their hands in the mouth. As such, hand washing is a crucial healthy habit to instill in kids to prevent coronavirus and other infections transmitted orally. Teach your child how to wash hands properly. The CDC recommends washing hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds. If your child cannot access a hand-washing facility nearby, teach them about sanitizing. Have your child carry a sanitizer everywhere they go.
One of the CDC guidelines that everyone needs to follow during the pandemic is social distancing. Teach your child the importance of maintaining a distance of at least six feet from other people. Social distancing may not be necessary around the house unless a family member is infected. However, it is important when in public settings like schools. Teach your child that they should maintain a safe distance from people who experience signs of the disease, like sneezing and coughing. With schools now open, teaching your child on social distancing can provide you with relief that the child is safe in school.
Wearing a mask
Teach your child on proper techniques of wearing a mask. Any child above the age of two should know how to wear a mask in public. Reinforce these techniques as much as possible; once is never enough. Your child should know the appropriate mask to wear and how to put them on. The most effective mask that every child should be aware of is the n95 masks. If you are wondering where to buy a n95 mask, try online stores or pharmacies. Some online stores have CDC-approved N95 masks to keep you and your children safe during the pandemic. They do deliveries to your doorstep, saving you from the need to go to public places to buy masks. Surgical masks are also similarly effective. Children can also find it hard to have the mask on for the entire period they are in public. Therefore, emphasize having the mask on at all times, except when the child is eating or in your car.
Do not get too caught up with other healthy habits that you forget one crucial health aspect; mental health. The pandemic period is difficult for everyone, including children. Kids can no longer play with their friends as much as they want. They can also hardly interact with their friends because every parent is trying to protect their child. As a parent, preventing your child from going out to socialize or play is challenging. Entirely preventing the child from social interaction due to fear of the pandemic is also not mentally healthy for your child. Check out our article on the negative impacts of long term isolation. You can organize with other parents in the neighborhood on indoor playdates now and then. Additionally, you can teach your child how to use platforms like Skype. Skype enables the child to interact with friends and family virtually. These will help distract the child from the stress of staying indoors with as little interaction as possible, which can lead to mental illnesses like depression. For additional information, check out more ways to look after your mental health here!
These healthy habits are important for children. They will help protect the children in the pandemic and protect the elderly who are susceptible to the disease. Kids should also be taught to maintain practices like washing the hands frequently after the pandemic. These are not the only habits that parents should instill in their kids. There are a plethora of health habits that every child should be taught.
Medical experts previously recommended the use of facial masks and shields to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. Recent guidelines also include eye protection for individuals who run an elevated risk of being exposed to the new coronavirus. The best eyewear options include face shields, goggles and prescription safety glasses that have facial cavity seals. Learn more about the most effective forms of eye protection against exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.
ANSI Z87.1-Certified Safety Goggles
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend eye protection for healthcare workers and individuals who come into close contact with other occupants in buildings that have poor ventilation. Spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 typically occurs when aerosolized respiratory droplets come into contact with mucosal membranes in the nose and mouth. Eyes also have a similar mucosal lining and can provide an entry point for the new coronavirus.
Impact protection is a primary factor for the ANSI Z87.1 safety rating, but a “D3” marking on frames and lenses indicates that eyewear provides splash and droplet protection. Consider goggles made by a trusted personal protective equipment brand such as the Uvex Classic, Livewire or V-Maxx styles. Goggles with foam seals or rubber gaskets can limit opportunities for aerosolized respiratory particles to enter eyes in addition to direct contact.
Safety Glasses With Gaskets, Seals or Shields
A standard pair of ANSI Z87.1-rated prescription safety glasses frames without a facial seal can protect wearers’ eyes from impact hazards but may not include splash and droplet protection. In order to prevent particles in the air or direct contact spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, you should look for safety glasses with a “D3” splash and droplet rating. This eyewear will probably feature gaskets or seals for a close fit.
Wiley X safety glasses such as the Airrage, Boss, Compass, Enzo and Gravity are all compatible with removable Facial Cavity seals. All of these styles also meet ANSI Z87.1 High Velocity and High Mass Impact standards and can accommodate prescription lenses within specified ranges of sphere and cylinder measurements. Other brands also make conventional frames that have removable side shields or permanent shields along the sides, top and bottom of lenses.
Full Coverage Face Shields
A face shield is a full-coverage solution that is intended to be worn with a cloth or particulate face mask. If you wear standard prescription glasses to improve your vision, you should be able to fit these frames under a face shield. Face shields are effective for protecting your entire face from exposure to aerosolized respiratory particles and direct contact. This PPE functions as source control, but may not be as effective for protecting others unless you pair shields and masks.
Consider purchasing adjustable disposable face shields or TPE face shields. It is also possible to order headgear compatible with replaceable shields or visors. While a face shield is easy to position properly, this type of PPE may be less comfortable than a pair of properly fitted goggles or safety glasses paired with a mask. Fog can pose more of a problem with this full-coverage mode of protection and the combination of a shield and mask forces wearers to speak loudly to communicate.
These types of safety eyewear and facial PPE are effective for reducing the risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 through the mucosal lining of the eyes. Goggles rated for droplet and splash protection provide a close fit and can minimize fogging. If you require vision correction, you may want to upgrade to goggles or prescription safety glasses with facial cavity seals, gaskets or shields for complete eye coverage.
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted society in a number of ways. One of the most concerning is the significant deterioration of the mental health of many of the world’s citizens. A rise in isolation, economic stress and worry about loved ones has led many to experience emotional distress in ways they previously had never encountered. It’s time to enter the new year with increased attention to emotional wellbeing. Here’s why mental health should be your number one priority in 2021 and some ways you can address your state of mind in a proactive manner.
Many have lost valuable social connections due to imposed social distancing since the beginning of the pandemic. One mental health trend that should arise is a renewed focus on the importance of social connections. It’s easy to forget what social creatures humans are and how they depend upon relationships with others. However, mental health professionals are seeing more of a crisis now that so many have been isolated from their social networks.
Chances are, you’re not seeing many people outside of those who live in your household. This is a wise and necessary choice that can, unfortunately, have negative effects on your mood. There are steps you can take to maintain connections and make new ones. Technology offers a number of outlets for connecting. Zoom meetings aren’t just for work. You can use such online services to organize chats with loved ones or friend groups. If video isn’t your thing, text chats through Facebook messenger can be a way to stay in touch with important people. In addition, there are lots of online learning and social options such as virtual tours, classes, and performances. Try to take advantage of some of these outlets for connection. it can do wonders for your mood and mental state.
Many who are spending the majority of their time at home are experiencing disruptions to their sleep cycles. The time you’re spending online might also contribute to a change in your slumber habits. Good sleep is crucial to overall wellness. Not getting enough rest can have you feeling groggy, cranky, depressed, anxious, and stressed. Your productivity can also be negatively affected if you’re not getting plenty of sleep.
Improving your sleep habits can be one way to overcome the negative mental health effects you may be experiencing due to your other life changes. You can take some control of this aspect by adhering to a regular sleep schedule. Shoot for getting eight hours of sleep each day.
Choose a bedtime and stick to it. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Turning off electronics an hour before bed can help you fall asleep better. So can making your bedroom as conducive to sleep as possible. Dim the lights as you prepare for sleep. Read or listen to music quietly. Get the best quality mattress you can afford. You’re likely to notice that things begin to seem quite a bit better once you get your sleep patterns in order.
Health and Wellness
Paying better attention to your general health will go far toward improving your mental health. Taking care of your physical condition can go a long way toward making you feel better emotionally. That means trying to eat a healthy diet and getting exercise. These things can be especially important if you find yourself primarily housebound. Stress eating is understandable, but you may be surprised what making a few healthy substitutes can do for your energy level and confidence. Getting out for a safe and socially-distanced walk around the block, bike ride, or hike in the woods are wonderful ways to move your body and experience a change of scenery. You’ll feel happier and more alert when you return.
Taking care of your mental health is obviously part of managing your wellbeing. Don’t hesitate to seek out professional assistance if you’re feeling overwhelmed. There are online programs and counseling available that are safe and confidential. Whether you seek counseling for anxiety or for specific mental health problems, you will almost certainly find benefit in such activities.
There are steps you can take on your own to improve your mood. Give some of these suggestions a try. Your mental health should definitely be a priority in 2021.
We all want to be happier and healthier, however, how to achieve it, is a million dollar question. Luckily, I have compiled a number of things you can do. The following are five ways to accomplish what you want, but bear in mind, it is going to take some work.
1. Dealing With the Physical
Take care of your body if you haven’t been doing so. This means doing everything you can to be your best self, which includes visiting your doctor to make sure your body is working as it should. This step will definitely make you happier and healthier.
On top of that, consistently work on eating well and exercising. Taking an active interest in your overall health should help you feel good. Try to make a habit out of this because happiness and health are life-long battles.
2. Addressing the Issue
Embrace your imperfections. Everyone has a few imperfections that do not fit society’s standard of beauty. However, don’t mistake things that make you unique versus things you can make better, like misaligned teeth. If it bothers you that much, go the extra mile of visiting a dentist. You can also try to address other imperfections, like if you’re losing your hair. You may have to use things like Theradome to help reverse this problem. Be sure to read Theradome reviews before you make your decision, but this should boost happiness and your self esteem.
3. Improving Your Lifestyle
Your lifestyle could also be fighting against your happiness and health. You could take the time to think about your life, and try to figure out where you can make some changes. These changes should help you feel happier and make you healthier.
For example, if you tend to stay up too late, you should fight this habit. Sleep can help regulate your overall mood, and that’ll make you feel happier. In addition to that, sleep also helps your body repair itself, which should make you feel healthier in the long run. Vices such as constantly drinking or smoking is detrimental to your health. Giving these up should help your health, and the accomplishment should uplift you.
4. Let the Heart Drive
It’s important to do something that brings your heart joy, and this goes beyond doing what you’re passionate about. You need to figure out how you can give back in some way. Doing a little charity work every so often or making a donation can do a lot for you. Being altruistic can help your soul sing, and that can help your overall self esteem.
Sometimes, being a good person can fight stress. If you are dealing with chronic stress, you need to find something to do for your mental health. You can try to do a few things until you find something you feel comfortable with. Be patient with yourself. Getting used to this can take some time, but you’ll get there.
5. Positive Friends All Around
The kind of people you have around can be good or bad for you. If you’ve noticed that some of your friends have a way of making you feel worse, then it’s important to minimize contact with these friends. You need to find a group of friends who are willing to back you up every so often and make you feel good about yourself.
This doesn’t mean your friends can’t disagree with you. Sometimes, you need a little push back as this can help you see things more clearly. What you don’t need is a person who constantly depresses you. This is not going to help you feel happy, and it might end up hurting your mental health. If you need to find new friends, this can be good for you because it will get you out of your comfort zone and give you a chance to meet new people.
Hopefully, you can use some of these to make yourself feel happier and healthier. Always look for more ways to achieve these goals because they aren’t incredibly simple goals to achieve, but they are worth the work.
Food is medicine, and the consumption of the right foods can lead us to boost our immune system and protect us against unwanted diseases and colds. Having a good immune system is essential these days as more virulent strains of Covid-19 are appearing all across the globe. As well as taking preventative measures and precautions, take care to add the following foods to your cart during your next trip to the supermarket.
This spicy, yellow, stem is a popular medicinal plant in various cultures and is traditionally used to treat a myriad of conditions such as colds, digestive maladies, fevers, and nausea. Adding slices of fresh or dried ginger in your food to give dishes a lovely aroma. You can also obtain ginger powder and add hot water/ tea to turn it into a comforting drink.
Easing a cold or flu: A study done in 2013 shows fresh ginger is effective against a respiratory virus in human cells. In a separate study, researchers aimed to investigate the popularity of herbal medicine as a treatment for cold or a flu. 69% of the public used herbal medicine out of a total of 300 pharmacies and most found it as effective.
Reducing inflammation: A 2017 review of 16 clinical trials determined that phytochemical properties in ginger leads it to have anti inflammatory properties.
Lowering cancer risk: Ginger is packed with antioxidants and multiple studies have shown that ginger can reduce oxidative stress which occurs when too many free radicals build up in the body. Free radicals are toxic substances produced by metabolism and other factors, according to Medical News Today, and antioxidants are needed to eliminate free radicals to prevent them from causing cellular damage as it can lead to a range of diseases such as cancer.
Relieving nausea: Research shows ginger is able to alleviate morning sickness and relieve nausea from cancer treatments. A study in 2010 observed that ginger was able to reduce nausea in most of 60 children and young adults who underwent chemotherapy. Furthermore, a 2011 review of studies reported that a daily dosage of 1,500mg of ginger extract was able to alleviate symptoms of nausea.
One cup of these ruby jewels contain over 50% of the minimum daily target for vitamin C which supports immunity, according to Health Magazine. Furthermore, raspberries are packed with other minerals and vitamins such as manganese, vitamin K, vitamin E, magnesium, copper, iron, and potassium. Besides that, they are associated with cancer protection as research shows that phytonutrients in raspberries may signal apoptosis, programming cell death in cancer cells. Another major attraction to raspberries is that they are easy to add to our diet as it can be served as sweet desserts or incorporated into savory dishes.
Nope, this is not a justification for you to stock up on chocolate bars! Rich in polyphenols, cocoa is a potent antioxidant and is reported to be beneficial for cardiovascular health, brain functions and cancer prevention. More importantly, cocoa influences the immune system, in particularly the inflammatory innate response and the systemic and intestinal adaptive immune response. Look out for cocoa powder (without added sugar) and go wild on different desserts!
When we’re sick, getting a bowl of chicken soup is almost a reflex action. However, there is more to this scenario then we let on. Properties of chicken in the soup may help lower inflammation, thus improve symptoms of a cold. Furthermore, poultry are high in vitamin B-6, which is crucial to the formation of red blood cells. The stock made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin and other nutrients that are beneficial to improving immunity.
A short walk down the meat aisle show shelves full of packaged slabs of meat, minced meat, and processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs, and sausages and Italian cuts. One thing in common is that all these meats are derived from red meats, notorious for increasing the risk of major chronic diseases. Here, we have compiled a list on why we should try to lower our red meat intake.
Why You Should Lower Your Red Meat Intake
Reduce the risk of developing coronary heart diseases
Over the years, there have been plenty of studies done by researchers warning us against the dangers of red meat. A recent study published in the British Medical Journal went one step further and showed that replacing red meat with plant- based diet can help keep the heart healthy, and even reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
The study aimed to find out the relationship of red meat and the risk of men developing coronary heart disease in the United States, and to find out if a plant based diet could positively affect the risk of CHD in men. The findings echoed other studies, where processed, unprocessed and total red meat were associated with a modestly higher risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD).
The study offered an alternative diet solution, and went one step further to report that an intake of one serving per day of combined plant proteins including nuts, legumes, and soy could lower the risk of CHD. Furthermore, the study also found that consuming whole grains and dairy products was associated with a lower risk of CHD.
Processed meat contain carcinogens
According to reports by independent academic research organization, Global Burden of Disease Project, about 34,000 cancer deaths per year was linked to diets high in processed meat. The World Health Organization has classified processed meat as increasing the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer based on epidemiological studies conducted by researchers. Some studies have included links of consuming meat with pancreatic and prostate cancer, and stomach cancer.
Reducing the consumption of red meat and processed meat as recommended by the WHO can help reduce risk of colorectal cancers. Furthermore, reducing our consumption of meat also reduces our intake of fat and sodium, which are risk factors for other cardiovascular diseases and obesity.
Increases risk of type 2 diabetes by 12%
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consumption of processed and unprocessed red meat in adults increased the risk of them developing type 2 diabetes by 12%. Besides that, the study found that substituting a serving of nuts, low- fat diary and whole grains for one serving of red meat was associated with 16-35% lower risk of type 2 diabetes among adults.
So how much protein should we eat?
The World Cancer Research Fund recommended a maximum of three servings a week in their 2018 report.
The National Academy of Medicine recommends “eating a little over 7 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight”.
Can you get enough protein without eating meat?
Yes, we can. Evidence points that we should cut down the amount of red meat we consume. In an interview with CNN Health, director of health promotion and communication at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s department of nutrition, Lillian Cheung recommends swapping meats for fish, legumes, nuts, seeds, and poultry. However, Cheung notes that it is important to ensure that we still get enough proteins and minerals. Cheung highlighted the importance of taking multivitamins containing iron or B12 vitamins or iron rich foods such as leafy greens, lentils and soybeans to ensure we’re getting sufficient iron while cutting back on red meat.
After a long day of work, we’re all guilty of throwing frozen foods into the microwave for a quick fix. Although frozen foods are quick, and affordable, a tiny part of us just knows that it certainly isn’t the healthiest dinner choice. However, what is wrong with eating frozen foods? Why are they bad for us?
Frozen foods may increase blood pressure?
The US Food and Drug Administration defines processed foods as “any food other than a raw agricultural commodity and includes any raw agricultural commodity that has been subject to processing, such as canning, cooking, freezing, dehydration, or milling.” This defines nearly all food served in restaurants and grocery store products as processed. Food processing process involves the addition of sodium containing additives, hence increasing the sodium level in food products.
This is an issue as according to the CDC, up to 70% of sodium Americans consume comes from processed and restaurant foods. Consuming too much sodium can increase blood pressure, hence increasing the risk of stroke and heart disease. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend Americans to consume less than 2300 milligrams of sodium each day. But here’s a more important question: How do we cut down sodium in our food?
Similar products may vary in sodium content, hence, compare food labels and opt for foods with the least amount of sodium.
Use fresh ingredients instead of processed ones
Request for lower sodium options when dining out
Reduce portion sizes can limit salt consumption
Frozen food may clog arteries
In processed / frozen food, trans fat is known as “partially hydrogenated oils” on ingredient labels which is notorious for clogging arteries and increasing the risk of heart diseases, stroke, and developing type 2 diabetes. Trans fats raises bad (LDL) cholesterol, while lowering the good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Trans fat is created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid, according to Heart Organization.
Why do companies use trans fats? Besides being inexpensive and giving food a desirable taste and texture, trans fats can be reused a number of times. However, its undesirable health effects have trumped its usefulness, leading countries such as Denmark, Switzerland, Canada, and several jurisdictions of the US to restrict or reduce the use of trans fats in food service establishments. In November 2013, the FDA determined that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in human food.
Unknown chemicals in frozen foods
A report from Environmental Working Group estimated that up to 2,000 synthetic chemicals can be found in conventional packaged foods. Furthermore, the chemicals may not be approved by the FDA but as it is approved by industry group, the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association, it is used in products while not being required to be labeled on the package. This is disturbing as these added chemical preservatives may cause long term effects such as increase the risks of diseases ranging from hormonal problems to cancer.
The EWG has conducted their research and summarized some common synthethic preservatives found in packaged foods:
World Health Organization reports gastrointestinal effects.
Source: EWG, from EWG’s Food Scores database
Try to reduce the consumption of frozen foods as there are too many synthetic chemicals that may cause long term health problems. Furthermore, trans fat and sodium contained in frozen foods may increase the risk of one developing heart diseases, strokes and other complications. Instead, try to use natural and organic foods as all synthetic chemical compounds has to be stringently approved by the FDA. If you really suffer a lack of time, try to ask your server for dishes with the least amount of sodium when dining out, and to check nutrition labels carefully before purchasing frozen foods.
Tea is one of the most popular beverages, aside from coffee. If you need a daily caffeine fix, read our article discussing how much caffeine we should consume. From weight loss benefits, heart healthy benefits and cancer fighting properties, drinking a cup of tea a day can be a beneficial to the human body. However, is there a limit to drinking too much tea? Here is a compilation of positive and negative effects of drinking tea every day. But before we jump into it, here is a brief history on the origins of tea as we know it today.
The origins of tea
Tea drinking has been present in China several centuries before reaching the west. Tea originated from China in 2737 B.C when leaves blew from a tree Chinese emperor Shuen Neng was sitting under, into his cup of boiling water. This tree was Camellia sinensis, and is now more commonly known as tea. Since then, containers of tea can be found in tombs dating from the Han dynasty but it was only during the Tang dynasty where tea was formally declared as the national drink of China.
How did tea reach other countries?
Japanese Buddhist monks who studied in China brought tea back to Japan. Tea drinking soon became a huge part of Japanese culture.
In the 16th century, the Dutch utilized Portuguese trading routes to the east to bring back tea to Holland where it spread around Europe.
Despite the popularity of English tea, the English were one of the last to hop on this continental trend. It was only the marriage of Charles II to Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese princess with a tea addiction who spread her love for tea around England.
Effects of drinking tea
Tea may cure insomnia
Traditional East Asian Medicine prescribes certain herbal teas to cure insomnia. A study published by PMC tested a group of 40 patients with mild to moderate insomnia and split them into two groups, with one serving as a control group. The test group consumed a type of herbal tea, (Christina Loosestrife Tea) twice a day for a period of 4 weeks. Outcomes assessed using Insomnia Severity Scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and 12 – item Short Form Health Survey concluded that a 4 week treatment with HT002 herbal tea may reduce the severity of insomnia.
Tea can aid your weight loss
Instead of getting a sugary cup of coffee topped with whipped cream and caramel, opting for a cup of regular tea can help save up to 450 calories. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that catechins in green tea is able to enhance exercise and boost abdominal fat loss in overweight adults. However, make sure that you aren’t adding condiments such as sugar, honey, or milk as an overconsumption of those condiments can lead to a weight gain.
Tea could protect you from certain cancers
According to 1Source, Epigallocatechin Gallate is a phenolic antioxidant found in a number of plants such as green and black tea. It inhibits cellular oxidation and prevents free radical damage to cells and is currently under study as a potential cancer chemopreventive agent.
Prostate cancer: A study conducted among men in three geographical areas of Canada aimed to find out risk of prostate cancer from alcohol and other beverage use. Results showed that coffee and cola intake had no effect on prostate cancer, however a decrease in risk can be observed from men who consumed more than 500g of tea per day.
Lung cancer: A study published in the National Library of Medicine investigated the correlation between the risk of lung cancer in cigarette smoking men and the consumption of tea and coffee. The study concluded that those who drank coffee had no effect on lung cancer where else those who drank two or more cups of black tea per day reduced the risk of cancer.
Pancreatic and colorectal cancers: A study published on PubMed discussed aimed to investigate how the consumption of green tea affects the risk of pancreatic and colorectal cancers. Numerous animal studies and epidemiologic investigations have supported this theory and a recent study in Shanghai concluded that consuming green tea may lower the risk of these cancers.
Tea reduces inflammation
Green tea contains catechin EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) has anti- inflammatory effects. Studies involving animals and humans provide evidence that EHCH “surpresses gene and / or protein expression of inflammatory cytokines and inflammation related enzymes,” according to a study published by Pub Med. This function is “beneficial against cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases”, according to popular health and wellness magazine, Eat This, Not That!
Tea can give you yellow teeth
Acid and tannins in tea can give teeth a yellow hue if drank daily. Tannin is a plant based compound that makes it easier for stains to stick to teeth, hence causing discoloration. Acids on the other hand, make tooth enamel softer and rougher, hence easier for stains to set in. Black teas in particular are the biggest culprits for tooth discoloration.
Tea may help us develop stronger bones
Tea is found to contain nutrients that stimulates bone formation and slow its breakdown, hence serving as protection against osteoporosis. A study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry showed that catechin EGC or epigallocatechin has positive effects on bone growth.
Teas may contain traces of heavy metal
News alert! Heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury may be found in brewed teas. According to a study, tea leaves originating from China contained traces of heavy metals. Contaminants in the tea could be related to being grown and harvested in close proximity of coal fired power plants, according to researchers in the Journal of Toxicity aiming to explain the presence of heavy metal in tea leaves.
Chun, Hay Ko, et al. “Effects of Tea Catechins, Epigallocatechin, Gallocatechin, and Gallocatechin Gallate, on Bone Metabolism.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2009, https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jf901545u. Accessed 29 December 2020.
Eat This, Not That! Side effects of drinking tea, 14 December 2020, https://www.eatthis.com/side-effects-drinking-tea/. Accessed 29 December 2020.
“Green Tea Catechin Consumption Enhances Exercise-Induced Abdominal Fat Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults.” The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 139, no. 2, 2008, pp. 264-270, https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/139/2/264/4750912. Accessed 29 12 2020.
National Library of Medicine. “Alcohol and other beverage use and prostate cancer risk among Canadian men.” 1998. Alcohol and other beverage use and prostate cancer risk among Canadian men, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9833763/. Accessed 29 December 2020.
National Library of Medicine. “Anti-inflammatory Action of Green Tea.” Anti-inflammatory Action of Green Tea, vol. Pub Med, 2016, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27634207/. Accessed 29 December 2020.
National Library of Medicine. “Consumption of tea and coffee and the risk of lung cancer in cigarette-smoking men: a case-control study in Uruguay.” Pub Med, 1998. Consumption of tea and coffee and the risk of lung cancer in cigarette-smoking men: a case-control study in Uruguay, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9567246/. Accessed 29 December 2020.
National Library of Medicine. “Green tea consumption and the risk of pancreatic and colorectal cancers.” Pub Med, 1997. Green tea consumption and the risk of pancreatic and colorectal cancers, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9033623/. Accessed 29 December 2020.
National Library of Medicine. “Influence of drinking green tea on breast cancer malignancy among Japanese patients.” 1998, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9600118/. Accessed 29 December 2020.
1Source. “Caffeine: How much should you drink.” Caffeine: How much should you drink, 30 September 2020, https://1source.com/holistic/caffeine-how-much-should-you-be-drinking. Accessed 29 12 2020.
1Source. “Camellia Sinensis.” Camellia Sinensis, https://1source.com/ingredients/camellia-sinensis. Accessed 29 December 2020.1Source. “Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate.” https://1source.com/ingredients/epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Accessed 29 December 2020.
1Source. “Tannin.” Tannin, https://1source.com/ingredients/tannins. Accessed 29 December 2020.UK Tea & Infusion Association. “The History of Tea.” The History of Tea, https://www.tea.co.uk/history-of-tea. Accessed 29 December 2020.
US National Library of Medicine. “Effect of Traditional East Asian Medicinal herbal tea (HT002) on insomnia: a randomized controlled pilot study.” Integrative Medical Research, 2018. Accessed 29 December 2020.
Web MD. “Foods and Habits That Stain Your Teeth.” https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/foods-stain-teeth-feature#1. Accessed 29 December 2020.