Health

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Did you ever have mac and cheese with cut up hot dogs for lunch as a kid? I know I sure did. But before you think about feeding your own kids this meal, you need to learn a thing or two about the health impacts of hot dogs.

Hot dogs are controversial because most people aren’t really sure of what’s in them. But they’re cheap and easy to cook, so what could be so bad?

According to one study, children who eat more than 12 hot dogs a month have a 9 times higher risk of developing childhood leukemia. Other reports say that children who are born to mothers who eat at least one hot dog a week during pregnancy double their risk of getting brain tumors at some point in life.

Hot dogs contain nitrates, which are an additive. Nitrates serve to combat botulism, a deadly disease. During cooking, processed nitrates combine with amines naturally in the meat and form a cancer-causing compound in the meat called N-nitroso. This compound worsens the chance that you’ll get cancer of the mouth, bladder, esophagus, stomach and brain.

So here are our healthy hot dog tips:

  1. Don’t buy hot dogs that contain nitrates
  2. Don’t let your children consume many hot dogs, even nitrate free ones.
  3. If your local grocer doesn’t carry it, request that they begin carrying nitrate-free hot dogs only.
  4. Write the FDA a letter and express your concern about nitrates in hot dogs.
  5. Contact your local school board and find out if they serve nitrate hot dogs in the cafe. If they do, request they stop.

Image credit: rob_rob2001 Flickr

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Toothpaste is one of those things that everyone buys, but did you know that standard toothpaste produced commercially is loaded with nasty chemicals? They contain things like Sodium Laurel Sulfate, which exacerbates canker sores, and triclosan, which is similar to BPA in that it causes hormonal disruption.

Hell, just look at the stuff. Why on Earth would you need to put sparkly blue fluorescent paste in your mouth? Fortunately there is an alternative.

Coconut oil is a powerful plant extract that is capable of killing bacteria responsible for oral decay. Irish scientists found that coconut oil is able to kill steptococcus mutans, which is the bacteria that causes dental erosion. It’s also able to kill Candida albicans.

So how should coconut oil be used as a toothpaste? You can use straight coconut oil or try this recipe.

You will need:

  • 6 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 6 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 25 drops of essential oil (if you prefer a flavor)
  • 1 tsp of stevia (only if you want it to be sweeter)

Instructions:

  1. Mix ingredients in a bowl and whip until it’s a light, creamy texture.
  2. Pour into a mason jar. Leave the lid on between uses.

There you go! Have you tried this recipe before? Let us know what you think.

Image credit: Cocomenuts

Did you know that Asthma accounts for about 15 million doctor visits and 2 million emergency room visits every year? That makes sens when you consider that 25 million Americans, 7 million of which are children, have Asthma in the United States.

A recent study showed that children with asthma who drank apple juice on a daily basis suffered less wheezing and other general asthma symptoms that children who drank apple juice just once a month. Children born to women who eat a lot of apples during pregnancy also have a lower rate of birthing children with asthma than those mothers who ate fewer apples. Interesting stuff, huh? That’s what makes this juice so potentially effective in helping both kids and adults with asthma.

You will need:

  • 5 medium organic apples
  • 2 stalks of organic celery
  • 2 organic oranges, peeled

Simply process all of the ingredients in your juicer, stir, and serve.

In addition to relieving the symptoms of asthma, this juice can help relieve constipation, kidney stones, high cholesterol, and may be able to prevent Alzheimer’s disease later in life too.

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The winter time is always the worst for catching cold and flu bugs. The air is cool and dry and we’re all much closer together indoors all the time, which allows these viruses to spread like wildfire and make people miserable all winter long. But there are natural ways to boost your immunity to prevent you from getting sick at all. If you do become sick, taking this remedy may help you kick the bugs even faster. Let’s give it a try!

You will need:

  • 2 medium sized organic lemons
  • 200 grams of raw honey
  • 1 “thumb” of organic ginger root
  • 500 ml glass jar

Instructions:

  1. Wash the lemon, peel the ginger, and slice both into thin slices.
  2. Put them in a blender, mix well, then add your honey.
  3. Blend on a lower mix setting until your mixture is homogeneous.
  4. Transfer the resulting mixture into a jar and store in the fridge.

Simply consume 1 tablespoon daily. Consult a physician before giving to children. An easy way to take this elixir is in a cup of hot tea.

Enjoy!

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According to a study published in 2009, long-term use of benzodiazapines increases the likelihood of of dementia later in life. The study recommends that “long-term use of BZDs should be avoided among the elderly, who may be at a higher risk for developing dementia, in addition to other health problems.”

This study looked at adults over 65 who use benzodiazepines and found a 50% greater chance of developing dementia within just 15 years. What’s worse is that these drugs can accumulate in your body over time, which increases your risk of accidental overdose.

So what can we do as an alternative to treat anxiety?

St. John’s wort, according to some research, proves to be just as effective at treating depression and anxiety than their benzo counterparts. It can also help regulate digestion, has anti-inflammatory properties, and can potentially restore nervous system tissues.

St. Johns wort also contains:

Essential oils

These are aromatic volatile substances. They provide antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and other potent properties.

Vitamins, ascorbic acid, rutin (strengthens the blood vessels), carotene (vitamin A is produced in the body).

Vitamin A protects against damage and aging of skin, nails and hair. It also works to improve eyesight. Vitamin PP, or nicotinic acid, is essential in the exchange of protein and carbohydrates.

Tanning substances (tannins)

These are anazotic aromatic compounds with a distinctive taste. Thet have potent astringent and antimicrobial properties.

Resinuous substances

Solid or sometimes semi-liquid compounds with distinctive smell. They have similar chemical composition with essential oils.

Phytoncides

They are volatile substances with strong antimicrobial properties.

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Photo credit: Nan Palmero

This is an old recipe invented by a military doctor. It works like magic! If you have trouble with back, joint and leg pains, this recipe is a good one to try.

  1. Buy 150 grams of edible gelatin.
  2. In the evening, pour 5 grams of gelatin into a quarter cup of cold water.
  3. Stir this mix and let it stand until morning at room temperature.
  4. The gelatin will swell and turn into a jelly.
  5. In the morning, add a bit of honey and yogurt to the mixture and drink.
  6. Do this daily for one month. If the pain isn’t relieved, see a physician and consider trying this treatment again in one month.

Note: gelatin is not vegan. It is often of animal origins.

Gelatin has two amino acids, proline and hidrosiprolin, which have a positive impact on the recovery of connective tissue. It also helps the growth of connective tissue, which has shown to be helpful for those with damaged joints.

The liver is the organ in the body in charge of detoxifying the body of a variety of toxins and metals. It also helps stimulate your body’s digestion. If you’ve been eating lots of bad food and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, it may be time to think about taking care of this vital organ.

It turns out, you can help the liver stay healthy and do its jobs with the simple grape. Be sure to pick up grapes that are a darker color. The light green grapes won’t do the trick.  In the morning, soak a half cup of grapes in warm water for 15 minutes. Then run them under the sink giving them a thorough cleaning.

Put the grapes in a glass and fill it with boiled water. Allow to sit at room temperature until the next morning.

The following morning on an empty stomach, drink the water and eat the grapes. Recline for an hour or two and put a warm compress on the right side of the abdomen (where the liver is located. Conduct this cleansing exercise 4 times a month.

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I love coconut oil. I make deodorant out of it, use it as a lip balm, use it to treat my hair, and cook with it too. But I’m always searching for new uses for the stuff. I’ve compiled this list of 10 amazing uses for coconut oil because I’d never heard of them, and you might not have either. Let’s spread the word about this awesome, versatile oil.

1. Cooking oil.

Okay, this one is kinda obvious. You can use coconut oil as a substitute for vegetable oil. It comes out tasting pretty good and it’s a good oil for you too.

2. Insect repellent.

This one was news to me. I had no idea that you could use coconut oil to repel bugs. Instead of using repellent filled with DEET, try mixing coconut oil with a bit of peppermint, tea tree or rosemary essential oils and applying it to your skin before you head out. The bugs won’t bug you!

3. Deodorant.

I mentioned this one before. Simply dabbing some coconut oil in your pits will help keep you odor free without the cancer-causing deodorants that contain aluminum. You can mix in a bit of arrow root powder and essential oils to give it more of a scent.

Note: I’ve used coconut oil as a deodorant for about a year now. I don’t stink and my armpit hair is downright shiny.

4. Relieves dandruff.

You can apply coconut oil to your hair before taking a shower. Take about a tablespoon and massage it into your scalp. Let stand for 20 minutes, then rinse with hot water. It may take a bit to fully rinse out, so give it time.

5. Makeup remover.

I’m a guy who hasn’t worn makeup since the Rocky Horror Picture Show stopped playing here in 2007. So I had no idea that it could be used with this. Dampen a washcloth with warm water, add a dime sized amount of coconut oil to the cloth, and the oil will break down the soluble compounds of your visage. It’ll even remove waterproof mascara.

6. Toothpaste.

I’m a little on the fence about the dental uses of coconut oil, but some people have had good luck mixing a little coconut oil and baking soda and using it instead of standard toothpaste. You may experience tooth whitening, but it’s worth a shot for sure.

7. Lip balm.

Did you know brands like Chapstick have alcohol as a preservative in their lip balm? It preserves the balm, but it also dries out your lips, making you dependent upon the balm. Quite the cycle, huh? I’ve used coconut oil as a lip balm for years and it really does the trick.

8. Coffee creamer.

I take my coffee black, but coconut oil can help make your coffee richer and will cut down on your dairy intake as well. One teaspoon in a full cup of coffee is more than enough.

9. Moisturizer.

If you have chapped skin, rubbing coconut oil on your skin can help moisturize. I’ve also heard it can reduce the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite, but I haven’t personally experienced that.

10. Butter substitute.

On popcorn, on your morning toast, and in baking recipes, coconut oil can serve as a substitute to butter. but use raw, fresh-pressed coconut oil. It’ll yield the most flavorful results.

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Did you know that food products labeled MSG-free may still actually contain MSG in some form or another? “MSG-free” simply means that there was no intentionally added MSG.

MSG or “free glumatic acid” can be found in many foods labeled healthy because of vegetable protein breakdown and hydrolysis. They’re not added to the food as a flavor but they do still exist in varying quantities.

At the end of the day, some of us are able to break down glutamates just find without any kind of an issue, others don’t. Regardless of how well your body breaks it all down, it’s something that should be avoided.

Hidden Names For MSG And Free Glutamic Acid:

Names of ingredients that always contain processed free glutamic acid. [Parentheses denote UK ingredient numbers]

  • Glutamic Acid (E 620)2
  • Glutamate (E 620)
  • Monosodium Glutamate (E 621)
  • Monopotassium Glutamate (E 622)
  • Calcium Glutamate (E 623)
  • Monoammonium Glutamate (E 624)
  • Magnesium Glutamate (E 625)
  • Natrium Glutamate
  • Yeast Extract
  • Anything hydrolyzed
  • Any hydrolyzed protein
  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Sodium Caseinate
  • Yeast Food
  • Yeast Nutrient
  • Autolyzed Yeast
  • Gelatin
  • Textured Protein
  • Soy Protein Isolate
  • Whey Protein Isolate
  • Anything :protein
  • Vetsin
  • Ajinomoto [name of Japanese company, one of the largest MSG producers – often found on labels abroad and in Latin America]

Names of ingredients that often contain or produce processed free glutamic acid

  • Carrageenan (E 407)
  • Bouillon and broth
  • Stock
  • Any flavors or flavoring
  • Maltodextrin
  • Citric acid, Citrate (E 330)
  • Anything ultra-pasteurized
  • Barley malt
  • Pectin (E 440)
  • Protease
  • Anything enzyme modified
  • Anything containing enzymes
  • Malt extract
  • Soy sauce
  • Soy sauce extract
  • Anything protein fortified
  • Seasonings

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Your liver works overtime filtering toxins out of your body. It never gets a break! When you do things like eat excessively fatty foods and drink excessive amounts of alcohol, your liver has to work harder and harder, and inevitably will begin to wear down. How do we prevent it?

First and foremost, eat a healthy diet, get exercise, limit alcoholic intake and drink plenty of water. But if you’re looking for a good detox for your liver, try these five liver-cleansing tips.

Drink warm lemon water.

This goes back to what I was talking about with regards to hydration. Warm lemon water doesn’t just boost your vitamin C levels and detox your liver, but it helps hydrate your body. Try warm lemon water instead of hot coffee in the morning.

Eat plenty of garlic.

Incorporate garlic into your cooking as much as possible. Not garlic powder, but actual garlic. Slice it up into a salad, add it to your soups, whatever it takes to get it into your diet. Garlic contains allicin and selenium, which are both useful for protecting the liver.

Have an avocado!

A Japanese study found that avocados contain a compound that protects us from liver damage from things like galactosamine, which is a powerful toxin that can damage the liver in the same way viral hepatitis does.

Eat cilantro.

This is another easy one to add to your food. It can be chopped into almost anything. It adds a refreshing flavor to most salads too. This herb helps remove heavy metals from your body, which is something your liver might be struggling with.

Stock up on turmeric.

This powerful spice is said to protect the liver from damage and also can potentially regenerate liver cells. It also helps increase natural bile production and keeps the body toxin free.

If you’re looking for a supplement for detoxing the liver, this is the one we recommend.

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