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Fast Facts About Toxins

Here are the facts:  there are currently 82,000 synthetic chemicals in the foods we eat, the products we clean our homes with, the toys our children touch, the air we breathe, and the cosmetics we apply to our skin.   The best way to deal with this fact, is to be conscious of the chemicals we interact with and limit them as often as possible.  Here are some facts Health Fitness Revolution would like you to know about toxins:

  •  You’ve already been exposed to 127 different synthetic chemicals today:  before you even left your house.  Most personal care products such as soaps, deodorant, shampoo, lotions, and makeup carry numerous highly toxic chemicals, including cadmium, mercury, aluminum and lead.  We recommend you inspect the ingredients of your care products as you would the ingredients in your food.  Educating yourself on ingredients is the best way to minimize toxins.
  • There are over 200 synthetic chemicals in our bodies right now. Because our bodies do not know how to purge themselves of all the synthetic toxins we are exposed to, many can stay in our bodies for a long time.
  • 85% of the chemicals on the market have not been tested.  Which is why we can’t be sure how the effect our bodies.
  • Chemicals account for $3.7 trillion in sales every year around the world.  19% percent of that is produced in America.
  • Childhood disease is increasing exponentially. Cancer is the leading cause of death (after accidents) in children younger than 15 in the United States. Autism now affects one in 50 children. In the last 20 years, there’s been a 300% increase in allergies; 300% increase in asthma; 400% increase in ADHD.  Is it possible that certain toxins are contributing to these statistics?
  • We eat and drink chemicals every day: Artificial sweeteners, preservatives, nitrates, artificial colors, MSG- as a rule of thumb, if it’s processed, chances are it contains one or more of these ingredients.  Sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate are preservatives that are sometimes added to sodas to prevent mold growth, but benzene is a known carcinogen. Butylated Hydroxynaisole (BHA) is another preservative that’s potentially cancer-causing. We recommend reading ingredients lists and if you don’t recognize a product, don’t consume it.
  • Organic food is an affordable option. If we factor in the potential health costs of processed and conventionally grown (read: pesticide rich) foods and organic food doesn’t break the bank. Also, organic food is the fastest growing sector in agriculture. Would we spray a piece of fruit with Raid, then rinse it off and eat it?
  • Your body is the biggest investment that you will ever have in your life. We all know people who spend more time and more money on their cars than they do their own bodies. The fuel we put into our bodies will determine how well it performs and fights against the burden of chemicals.

 

20 Healthy Facts about Garlic

Garlic is one of our personal favorite addition to dishes because it brings flavors out naturally- but Health Fitness Revolution also found 20 Healthy Facts about Garlic that you might not have known:

  •  Garlic is has both antibacterial and antiviral properties. It helps control bacterial, viral, fungal, yeast and worm infections.
  • Fresh garlic is thought to play a role in preventing food poisoning by killing bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella enteritidis, etc.

  • The chemical ajoene found in garlic may help treat fungal skin infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot.

  • It can help with toothaches! Simply putting some crushed garlic clove directly on the affected tooth can help relieve toothaches due to its antibacterial and analgesic properties. But be aware that it can be irritating to the gum.

  • Daily intake of garlic has been found to lower risk of most types of cancer. This anti-cancer property is due to allyl sulphides found in garlic. PhIP, a type of heterocyclic amine (HCA), has been associated with increased incidence of breast cancer among women. According to studies, diallyl sulphide found in garlic inhibits the transformation of PhIP into carcinogens.

  • Ferroportin is a protein which helps in iron absorption and release. Diallyl sulphides in garlic increase production of ferroportin and help improve iron metabolism.

  • Garlic regulates blood sugar as it enhances the level of insulin in the blood. This may assist in the control of diabetes. Seek medical advice if you believe the use of garlic could help your condition.

  • Garlic is a great source of vitamin B6 which is needed for a healthy immune system and the efficient growth of new cells. Vitamin B6 can also assist with mood swings and improve your cheery disposition

  • Garlic contains high levels of iodine which makes it a very effective treatment for hyperthyroid conditions. Treatment with garlic has been shown to greatly improve this condition.

  • Garlic strengthens the immune system as well as helps to fight chest infections, coughs and congestion. An old folk remedy is to eat a clove of garlic that has been dipped in honey at the first sign of a cold. Why not try it?

  • Garlic triggers the liver to release toxins from the body, while at the same time protecting the liver from harm. Garlic is great for clearing out and maintaining healthy lungs and stomach.

  • Garlic improves heart health in many ways. It thins the blood to diminish and protect against clots, allows iron to flow better through the body and opens up vessels. It protects the vessel walls as well. Studies have shown that it may help lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

  • Garlic helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.

  • Garlic’s Allicin is also responsible for destroying fungi. Many use garlic as a means of eliminating fungal infections.

  • A study found that those who eat high amounts of garlic were less likely to have osteoarthritis.

  • Garlic regulates the cardiac rhythm of the heart, helping to avoid Arrhythmia. This is beneficial for people who have accelerated heart rate and Cardiac Arrhythmia.

  • Garlic is a great muscle relaxant.

  • Garlic works as a great lung decongestant helping to loosen the harmful, infectious secretion of bronchial tubes. Garlic plus some Chilli pepper work as good expectorants.

  • Garlic is highly diuretic due to its essential oils and its low molecular weight sugars.  This means that it reduces water retention in the body.

  • Cloves of garlic have been used to get rid of Oxyuriasis (intestinal worm) in children, working quite well to completely eliminate amoebas.

The Fast Facts of Hand Sanitizer

It clings to walls like upright snails, hangs on the zipper loops of our purses and winds through our key rings. Variations range from brand name to generic and vary in scent and color, depending on how sweet or professional you want to appear to your colleagues. The latest trend: hand sanitizer.
We all know washing your hands with soap and water is your best bet of getting rid of all the germs, but may not always be possible when you’re in a rush, so out comes the marvel of hand sanitizer. Here are a couple of facts you need to know about our favorite “kills 99.9% of germs” product.

  • Read the List – Many popular disinfectants sold in the United States are effective on only a small number of pathogens that they actually disinfect. If you were to read the fine print on the bottles, you would be sure to see a full list of germs that it actually kills – and oftentimes, this list can be pretty short.
  • ThinkstockPhotos-462050675Check Your Usage – Antibiotics like hand sanitizer are effective against bacteria, but consider – bacteria are live organisms and adaptability is one of their strongest qualities. Given time and overuse, bacteria can easily adjust to their surroundings, making it possible for them to develop an immunity to hand sanitizer. Lesson: don’t overuse the hand sanitizer!
  • Childproof Your Alcohol– In March 2012, six California teens were hospitalized with alcohol poisoning as a result of ingesting hand sanitizer. There have even been cases of younger children fatally ill due to the consumption of alcohol/hand sanitizer. A couple squirts of hand sanitizer can easily equal a couple of shots of hard liquor. Lesson: if there are little ones in the house, make sure to childproof any bottles of hand sanitizer you may have. If there are teenagers in the house, be sure to educate them on alcohol poisoning (which can easily be a discussion that begins with alcoholic beverages and briefly mentions hand sanitizer as a “dare”)
  • Watch Your Actions – Triclosan, present in all sanitizers, is known to affect hormone function. Animals study show how the compound could change the way hormones work in the body and it raises concerns as to what it could do to the human body.
  • Watch Your Immune System– Studies have shown triclosan can also harm the immune system, making your body more vulnerable to toxic chemicals and harmful bacteria.
  • ThinkstockPhotos-453853363Toxicity – Sweet and fruity smelling hand sanitizer? Odds are if your sanitizer is scented then it’s likely loaded with toxic chemicals. Many companies aren’t required to disclose the ingredients that are used to make the scents but they are generally made from dozens of chemicals. Synthetic fragrances contain phthalates which are endocrine disrupters that mimic hormones and could alter genital development.
  • Wash Your Hands! – Remember, your best bet of staying clean is by washing your hands! Take the opportunity whenever you can as hand sanitizer is no substitute compared to soap and warm water!

In short, we’re not saying hand sanitizer is a conspiracy pocket gel of death, but that we all ought to be wary of what hand sanitizer can and can’t do. Definitely always have some on hand, but don’t abuse it!

 

 

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Top 10 Health Facts About New Hampshire Before The Caucus

Over the next few months HFR will follow the US presidential candidates as they tour across the country. The candidates are competing for delegates  in each state, but we will be assessing the top 10 health facts for each state they visit.

This week we are profiling New Hampshire, a small state nestled in the mountains of New England. One of the original 13 colonies, the residents of New Hampshire are devoted advocates of liberty. They also enjoy beautiful and rugged scenery, an Atlantic port, and many lakes. Here are the top 10 health facts about New Hampshire:

  • New Hampshire is ranked the “Fifth Healthiest State in the Nation.”
  • New Hampshire residents enjoy outdoor activities in the state’s beautiful scenery. Some activities include: hunting, fishing, skiing, snowboarding and hiking.
  • The state has over 92 state-parks where citizens of New Hampshire congregate to enjoy fresh mountain air.
  • Seafood, which is a low-fat high-protein food, is a staple of the New Hampshire diet.
  • The state ranks 8th lowest in “Adult Physical Inactivity.”
  • Only 16% of the adult population are tobacco users, the 6th lowest in the nation.
  • New Hampshire has a Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which delivers fresh produce and nutritious food to senior citizens for an affordable price.
  • Skiing, the official state sport, prevents aging, promotes social health, and is a great cardiovascular activity.
  • Mega-gym chain Planet Fitness is headquartered in rural New Hampshire and there are many gyms throughout the state.
  • Town Hall meetings are popular activities in New Hampshire. They promote social connection and political awareness.

To read more Health Fitness Revolution posts relating to politics, click here.

Top 10 Facts About The Zika Virus

You may have heard recently in the news about the mosquito-borne virus that is rapidly spreading around the world. At this time, the Center For Disease Control is working on tests in the laboratory to collect more research on transmission, prevention, and recognizing the link between Zika and other associated disabilities. Keep reading below to find out how to prevent infection, what areas to avoid while traveling this summer, and what the symptoms are if you are already infected!

  • Which Areas Are Being Affected? Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Colombia have many confirmed cases of this vector-borne virus and it is continuing to spread rapidly in similar climates. The most recent exposed areas in the United States that have been affected are California, Florida, New York, and Texas. The two species of mosquitos that carry the Zika virus, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, are both known to breed within tropical, subtropical, temperate climates, and some can even survive in cooler temperaturesBut most of these cases are from those who have recently traveled to areas that are affected with this mosquito-born virus.
  • How To Prevent Bites: We recommend wearing long sleeves and pants as much as you can when you are spending time outside. Another great tip to stay far away from these noxious mosquitos is to remain in air-conditioned buildings with screened doors and windows to keep them out! Also, be sure to reapply your insect repellent throughout the day as per the instructions (preferably one containing DEET), empty containers that hold water to kill mosquito larvae, use condoms when having sex, and also make sure to sleep under a mosquito net.
  • Advisory For Pregnant Women: If women contract the virus while pregnant they may also pass the virus along to their unborn baby. This vector-born virus was initially discovered in 1947 in the Zika Forest of Uganda. However, the first human to be infected by this virus was not until 1952. Since this time there was been a widespread infection of this virus all over the world. Notably within tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Brazil.
  • How Is It Transmitted? The Zika virus can be contracted by being bitten by the mosquito species names Aedes, blood transfusions, laboratory exposures, as well as having sexual intercourse with someone who is infected. It is a flavivirus very similar in onset to West Nile, yellow fever, the dengue virus, and other viruses of this genus (Zika Virus).
  • What Are The Symptoms? Once infected by this virus, it may take several days to a week to notice changes in your health. You may experience symptoms such as rash, painful joints, fever, red eyes, and some may even suffer headaches and muscle aches. Symptoms differ from patient to patient, and some people may not even show symptoms at all. The virus can remain in your blood for a week and in some cases; symptoms have lasted longer, but with such mild indications it may be difficult to tell if you have even been infected.Though there have been very few cases resulting in death after contracting this virus, you should still err on the side of caution when exploring the beautiful outdoors this summer.
  • Can You Be Infected More Than Once? There is some good news for those who are already infected: if you have already contracted the virus and have been treated properly you will be shielded from any potential Zika virus infections thereafter.
  • So How Else Can You Get It? If an infected male has had sexual intercourse with a woman, it is possible for him to not only transmit this virus to the woman, but also to her unborn baby. The result of an infant being born with this virus is threatening, since along with the virus, the newborn baby is also at risk for being born with an extremely debilitating brain deficiency called microcephaly. According to the CDC, “Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age. Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly”.
  • What Happens If You Are Pregnant And Infected? The CDC is not sure quite of the exact likelihood that pregnant women will birth a child with microcephaly at this point in time. However, the link between infected pregnant women and their babies that are born with the Zika virus present within brain tissue and microcephaly is definitive. There is now much more research solidifying this connection, as well as other birth defects that are associated with this microcephaly such as eye impairments, loss of hearing, and issues with growth and development.
  • What About If You’re Infected & Want To Have A Baby? If you are not already pregnant, being infected with this virus will not affect future pregnancies as long as the infection is treated and removed from the blood properly. And if you are wondering if there has been a vaccination developed yet, it is still in the works, but the hopes of a vaccine shouldn’t stop you from protecting yourself in the meantime!
  • What To Do If You Think You May Be Infected: The protocol if you are infected with this virus is to visit to a general practitioner as soon as possible to rule out any other vector-born viruses such as dengue, make sure you get ample amount of rest, take a fever-reducer such as acetaminophen, stay hydrated, and practice safe sex to prevent further spreading. It is probably best not to take any anti-inflammatories, as you could react negatively and induce internal bleeding if you have contracted a virus other than Zika. The physician will do a series of blood and urine tests to determine whether or not you have the virus, and check to make sure you do not have any others. Safe travels, and take care of yourself out there!