Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2009

H1N1 or influenza A (otherwise known as the swine flu) is a potentially harmful virus that first made its appearance in human in the spring of this year.

The virus came to be known as the swine flu in the media because one of the surface proteins that it is composed of is very similar to a virus that infects pigs. In North America this virus has been spreading throughout the pig population for many years but has also now begun to spread to humans. Why this is the case is not known.

It is important to note that eating pork will not cause you to develop the swine flu. It is essential however that you always wash your hands thoroughly before handling meat of any kind. Even if the virus was transferred through the meat (which it is not), cooking would kill all traces of it.

Let us look at some of the most significant issues surrounding the H1N1 virus …

Many people hear the world pandemic and they panic. The word makes them think that the virus is waiting to infect them as soon as they walk out their door. This is not the case at all. In June of this year the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the swine flu was a Phase 6 pandemic which happens to be the highest level of alert there is. This has nothing to do with how serious or deadly the virus is. What it means is that the virus has spread to a selection of countries NOT that it is worsening in severity.

Despite what the television and newspapers might have you believe, just like the seasonal flu, H1N1 can be treated and in fact causes only minor illness in most people. It is only in the most extreme cases where individuals require hospitalization. Most over-the-counter drugs can help to lessen symptoms such as fever and body aches.

One of the most effective ways to protect yourself is the same for every type of virus – wash your hands frequently, and in particular after coming into contact with contaminated surfaces used by many people such as doorknobs, telephones and computers. Use regular soap and water and carry sanitizing wipes with you. Antibacterial soap will not help because it fights bacteria and H1N1 is a virus. It is also important that you keep your hands away from your face as much as possible.

Contrary to popular belief, those over the age of 65 are not in a high risk group for contracting H1N1. In fact the seasonal winter flu can be more dangerous for elderly individuals than H1N1.The most susceptible groups for contracting H1N1 include pregnant women, children under the age of two, individuals under 65 years of age who have medical problems such as asthma or diabetes that could result in complications developing from the flu, and caregivers and health employees who work with infants.

There was a rush put on production of the H1N1 vaccine however it is both safe and effective. The vaccine is highly recommended for those in high risk categories. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must clear every batch of the H1N1 vaccine before it is released. The H1N1 vaccine is made in the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine. It is given to an estimated 100 million Americans on an annual basis and there are very few side effects ever seen. The ones that are noted are minor. The vaccine has been studied extensively and put through a multitude of clinical trials and does not show a reaction any different than that of the winter flu vaccine.

To learn more about the H1N1 virus visit these websites:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33175413/ns/health-swine_flu/
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17026-swine-flu-what-you-need-to-know.html

Becca

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

No one enjoys being sick with a cold or the flu but for many it is par for the course during the colder months of the year.

The cold and flu season gets its start sometime in mid to late October and ends some time in late March or April. There is no cure for these illnesses but there are ways to safe guard yourself against the viruses. Let’s look at a few of the ways to prevent getting sick.

One of the simplest and most overlooked ways to keep germs at bay is to wash your hands as often as possible. Wash them before meals and wash them after touching contaminated surfaces such as telephones, remote controls, doorknobs, and faucets. Wash your hands with warm water and soap. Spend a few minutes washing and rinsing. Make sure you dry your hands thoroughly afterward. It would be helpful if you kept sanitary wipes in your purse or desk at work. You might also want to use a hand sanitizer when finding your way to a bathroom is impossible.

Rev Up the Immune System

Your immune system could use a boost during the flu season. In order to keep your immune system working at full capacity, make sure you eat a nutritious and well balanced diet every day and exercise on a regular basis. Studies have proven that moderate physical activity has a positive effect on the immune system and over time can help prevent the onset of colds and other respiratory problems. You also need to get as much rest as possible and to keep your stress level to a minimum. If you have an unhealthy habit such as eating too much or smoking or drinking too much alcohol then cutting back on these habits can reduce the workload on your immune system.

Preventing Sickness with Food

Certain foods are instrumental in preventing the development of colds and the flu. If you find yourself or a family member getting sick over and over again then maybe it is time you ate more preventative foods.

Many dairy products including cheese contain a natural substance called conjugated linoleic acid which can improve immune system function. Another dairy product, yogurt contains friendly bacteria called probiotics that can strengthen the immune system.

Garlic is excellent as a food source for preventing sickness during the cold season. Garlic increases a person’s resistance to both stress and infections. The immune fighting power of garlic is most realized when the cloves are crushed before it is added to food. Once crushed, the garlic juice can be released and do its sickness fighting work. Onions have similar immune system properties. If you do not like garlic then consider taking a garlic supplement over the fall and winter months.

The immune system also gets a boost when it gets plenty of vitamin C. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons and limes. You can also find it in fruit juices but to a lesser extent. Look for pure fruit juices that contain very little sugar.

Zinc is an essential mineral that is very beneficial to proper immune system function. Zinc can be found in chicken and meat as well as peanuts and peanut butter. It is also found in plentiful supply in oysters and in some types of seafood such as crab and lobster.

Take care of yourself throughout the cold and flu season and do everything you can to send the message to sickness that you don’t want what it has to offer!

Samantha

Read Full Post »

Living a healthy life and taking steps to remain cancer-free is all about paying attention to how you live your life and being super conscientious.

Approximately one in three North Americans will develop some form of cancer at some point during their lifetime. What many people do not realize is that cancer is not inevitable. In fact it is estimated that up to 75 percent of deaths linked to cancer can be prevented. In order to be one of those people who beats the odds, read on for five ways that you can live a healthy and cancer-free life.

One

If you are a smoker then give it up. If you have not started then don’t even think about starting! Smoking can give rise to many different forms of cancer. Lung cancer and cardiovascular disease are only the beginning. Not to mention the fact that smoking reduces an individual’s lifespan by 10 years or more. You should also try to avoid tobacco in all of its forms. Even if you are not a smoker, beware of second-hand and third-hand smoke.

Two

Eat good foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Eat locally grown organic foods as often as possible. Eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables. In particular eat leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy, spinach and kale as well as berries such as blueberries and strawberries. Eat whole grains and fish two to three times a week. Reduce your intake of sugar, meat, caffeine and alcohol. Steer clear from deep fried foods and saturated fats. It is also important to drink plenty of water to replenish what you lose on a daily basis.

Three

Exercise on a regular basis. Make physical activity an important part of your daily schedule. Do different types of exercises in order to prevent boredom from setting in and to keep yourself motivated. Exercise also helps to keep you lean. Obesity increases your chances of developing many forms of cancer. Aim to take in fewer calories then you burn off in the run of a day.

Four

Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is an important aspect of being healthy and staying healthy. Sleep is the time when the body rests and heals itself. The brain also has the opportunity to dream and get rid of the stress from the day. A well rested person is more ready to cope with life’s challenges and has a greater level of focus and concentration on the job. An occasional sleepless night is one thing but it is important that you do your very best to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night (every night!).

Five

Drink green tea. In fact replace coffee or any other caffeine drink with green tea. Research studies have proven that green tea is full of cancer fighting properties. It has been associated with lowering the incidence of many types of cancers. Green tea also contains anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also beneficial at combating weight gain. Even one or two cups a day can do your body good!

To learn more ways to live a healthy life that is free of cancer visit these websites:

http://www.naturalnews.com/025872.html

http://nutrition.suite101.com/article.cfm/how_to_live_long_and_stay_cancer_free

http://www.naturepurity.com/holistic/cancerfree.html

Becca

Read Full Post »

Living a chemical free life can heighten your senses and it can make the experience of living that much better.

A sound body and a mind that is clear and calm can give rise to the ability to think better, feel more and be more alive in every way. It can also make it possible for the spirit to become more evolved and enriched. No matter how you look at it, chemical free living can improve anyone’s life.

What is Happening in Your Kitchen?

Next time you go into your kitchen to cook a meal take a look at what you are working with. Environmentalists caution that non-stick pans are bad because the chemical used to bond the non-stick coating, known as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), is hazardous to health and has been linked to cancer, high cholesterol and birth defects in infants. Sometimes referred to as C-8, many people who cook with these pans end up eating the coating with their food because it becomes mixed in as the cooking process takes place.

Non-stick cookware may be easier to clean but just think about what it is doing to your insides! The alternative is to buy cast-iron cookware, ceramic or steel. Living a chemical free life involves making changes that can improve your health and well-being in every way possible – this is one of them.

Microwaves are very convenient for today’s busy and on-the-go lifestyles but you have to be very careful what you heat up in them. Never place Styrofoam cups or plates in a microwave because the chemicals they are made up of are then released into the food you are heating up. Styrofoam contains CFC’s and polystyrene which are both chemicals that are dangerous for the body. These chemicals have been shown to cause breast cancer in women and prostrate cancer in men. Better yet give up using Styrofoam all together. It is not good for anyone – whether it is heated or not.

If you use plastic baby bottles then steer clear of the microwave when the milk needs to be warmed up. There is a chemical called polycarbonate in plastic baby bottles that is bad news for your infant and can do him or her harm. Instead heat the milk on the stove in a saucepan or in a glass or ceramic container.

Heating anything plastic in the microwave is not recommended for anyone as chemicals are released that can find their way into the body when the food or beverage is consumed. Look for microwave safe dishes that are made of chemical free materials when it comes to heating up food or making a cup of coffee or tea. Continue to use your microwave if your lifestyle deems it necessary but be smart about it … and always think chemical free.

Suggestions for Living Chemical Free

You do not have to turn your whole world upside down in order to live chemical free. All it involves is some modifications to the way you already live. In fact you are probably already doing some things right such as drinking plenty of purified water and eating whole grain bread instead of white bread.

Here are some other suggestions to get you started down the chemical free path to better health:

•    Keep plants in your home and especially in the room where you work
•    Open windows regularly to let in fresh air
•    Use full spectrum light bulbs or natural sunlight when you are working
•    Drink herb tea throughout the day
•    Eat chemical free and pesticide free organic foods
•    Eat free-range meats and dairy products that contain no hormones
•    Use unheated extra virgin olive oil on foods as opposed to butter or margarine
•    Wear natural fibers such as cotton, wool, linen and silk
•    Take B vitamins when energy is reduced and stress is plentiful
•    Practice yoga and meditation

There are so many things you can do to transform your life and make it better for yourself and your family. Start thinking chemical free and let it reflect in how you live your life!

For more information on chemical free living visit these websites-
http://www.askyogimarlon.com/holisticliving.html
http://www.zerochemicals.com/
http://www.wellbeing.com.au/natural_health_articles?cid=7168&pid=16426

Becca

Read Full Post »

A chemical free life is a life where the potential for your health is almost limitless.

A life without drugs and harmful chemicals in the body is one that can be richly lived. Living chemical free means you will be healthier, you will be well nourished body and soul and you will have lots of energy, vitality and hope for the future.

What Does it Mean to Live Chemical Free?

Living a chemical free life means that you embrace a healthier and more organic approach to life. You look for as many ways as possible to omit chemicals from your life. This can be a challenge to do in the world we live in but with much dedication and effort it can be accomplished a little bit at a time. The important thing is to stick to your guns and do not falter from your mission to live as chemical free as you possibly can!

To start, bid farewell to many of the products you use on a regular basis in your home and at work. For your lawn and garden, say goodbye to pesticides, insecticides and snail pellets and say hello to garlic spray, chili powder and plants that repel bugs and snails as opposed to attracting them.

Buy homegrown, organic fruits and vegetables, preferably from local markets. Organic produce is not sprayed with any type of harmful pesticides or fertilizers which is good news for those who purchase them. They may cost a little more but they are chemical free and in turn, much better for your health!

When you clean your home, toss out all of the hazardous products that are made with harsh ingredients and chemicals. Replace them with milder products that will not hurt you, your family or the environment. Some examples of chemical free cleaning products include plain old fashioned white vinegar, essential oils (that you can buy or make yourself) and bicarbonate of soda (in other words, baking soda).

Check your bathroom, bedroom and even the drawer in your desk at work where you keep personal hygiene and beauty items. You will cringe when you read what ingredients are in these products. Once you start to do your research on the ingredient listed, you will cringe even more! Living a chemical free life is not just about what you put into your body but also about what you do to it in terms of grooming. From now on read all labels carefully and buy only plant-based organic products. While this was once unheard of more and more companies are becoming aware of the importance of producing chemical free products that will not do anyone any harm.

Look for shampoos, conditions, moisturizers, lotions, toners, soaps, deodorants, creams, oils, and cosmetic products that are not tested on animals and come from plants. If you cannot find these products in the regular department stores where you stop then visit a health food store for what you need.

Did you know that an insect will die every bit as quickly if doused with deodorant as if it was sprayed with bug spray? It will. Both are full of chemicals and both kill. You get the point.

Read on for more information about how to live a chemical free life in part two of this special story.

Becca

Read Full Post »