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Fun Fact Friday

  • Broccoli, cabbage, and brussel sprouts all contain a little bit of cyanide. Eating them primes your liver to deal better with other poisons.

  • Only 6 percent of doctors today are happy with their jobs.

  • If everyone in the world washed their hands properly, we could save 1 million lives a year.

 

  • Smelling green apples and bananas can help you lose weight.

  • Sleep makes you more creative and makes your memories stronger.

  • Coffee can lower your risk of tooth decay.

Happy Friday!

 source:   factualfacts.com   https://twitter.com/Fact   @Fact


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5 Ways to Combat Flu in Your Home

By Ted Myatt, Special to CNN      Fri November 15, 2013

Editor’s note: Ted Myatt is a senior scientist at the leading consulting firm Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc. and Director of Research Compliance at University of Rhode Island. He is also a lecturer in Environmental Sciences at Brandeis University.

(CNN) – Now that we are in the height of cold and flu season, it’s time to defend yourself against the flu virus, starting with your home.

Your home may feel tidy once the carpets and floors are vacuumed and counters dusted, but millions of flu particles can linger in the air and on the surfaces we touch each day.

We have all heard time and time again to wash our hands and cover our mouths when we sneeze – and that the flu vaccine should always be our first line of defense – but below are five ways to decrease flu survival on surfaces and in the air that you may not have considered at the home or office

1. Control humidity

In the winter months, temperatures and humidity levels plummet to as low as 10%, which is as dry as the Sahara Desert. People also spend significantly more time indoors, which contributes to the spread of the flu, but recent scientific literature suggests that the low humidity levels may be contributing to the virus’ survival

A review of nearly 40 peer-reviewed studies conducted over the last decades shows that homes kept at 40-60% relative humidity are likely to have fewer flu viruses lingering in the air and on surfaces like sink faucets, door handles, and countertops.

Available at most hardware stores and online retailers, hygrometers provide a digital readout of the relative humidity in your home and are compact and low-cost. Homes can be kept at the optimal 40-60% relative humidity level through the use of a portable humidifier. In this humidity range, the flu virus survival in the air can be decreased by up to 30%.

There’s an added benefit too – the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a cool mist humidifier throughout the winter months to help relieve congestion and coughs.

2. Use UV lights

Many people may ask “how can light kill bacteria?” But if you purchase the germicidal type of UV lights, they are capable of inactivating microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses.

There’s a variety of lightweight disinfection devices that use ultra-violet light on the market. You simply spread the light over the surface you wish to clean for the directed amount of time and the virus and bacteria will decrease substantially.

This type of tool may be handy for keyboards, a computer mouse, and other hand-held devices, but keep in mind the flu virus also lives in the air, so disinfecting large areas is not as feasible.

You can also look for gadgets like humidifiers with a UV light chamber that will kill the flu virus, mold, and other bacteria potentially living in the water. This germ-free technology is an added safeguard for homeowners that may not always remember to change their water or filters.


3. Purchase an air purifier

Regular surface cleaning with a disinfectant labeled as “kills bacteria and viruses” will help remove particles that have landed on your floors, faucets, and countertops, but it is important to consider the air you breathe in your home.

During the winter months, most people keep windows sealed and the heat on full blast, causing stagnant, recycled air that can harbor airborne allergens and bacteria.

Consider using a portable air purifier in the rooms you spend most of your time. Most air purifiers circulate air several times per hour, cleaning the air. Look for a model with a HEPA filter, which is what most allergists and doctors recommend.

Air purifiers can remove the smallest microbes in the air, reducing harmful airborne germs that not only include cold and flu viruses but also dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander and smoke particles. Those can aggravate allergies as well.

4. Disinfect surfaces

This idea is likely one you’ve heard before, but it is still one of the most effective and easy flu prevention methods. When disinfecting, think beyond the countertop and focus on the objects used most throughout the home, such as the family tablet, TV remote, or doorknobs.

Cleaning works by using soap and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. It’s important to note that you’re not killing germs with this process though — you’re mainly removing them and lowering their numbers.

Use a registered disinfectant that states the EPA has approved the product for effectiveness against influenza A virus. And, finally, always follow label directions on cleaning products and disinfectants.

5. Wash linens

The flu virus can live on surfaces for several hours — and even longer on more porous surfaces like towels, washcloths, blankets and linens. While linens don’t need to be washed separately, it’s important that they’re not shared without being cleaned thoroughly.

Wash bedding, towels and clothes with household detergent in hot water and tumble dry on a hot setting. Don’t forget to wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling them.

source: CNN


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Why you shouldn’t go to work sick

By Dr. Jennifer Shu, Special to CNN     Tue September 24, 2013

The average adult gets a cold about two or three times a year, with each one lasting up to a week, or sometimes longer.

Editor’s note: Dr. Jennifer Shu, CNNHealth’s Living Well expert doctor, is a practicing pediatrician and mother of two.

(CNN) – The average adult gets a cold about two or three times a year, with each one lasting up to a week, or sometimes longer.

Staying home from work every time you are sick could add up to a lot of missed days. In fact, it has been reported that up to 40% of lost time from work is due to the common cold, totaling about 23 million missed days per year.

Even though it can be tempting to go to work while you’re sick, here are some reasons why you are better off staying home:

You’ll get other people sick

Germs can spread from direct contact with a sick person or his or her secretions (such as from handshakes or touching shared objects like doorknobs). Some viruses can live on the skin or other surfaces for at least a few hours and continue to infect others.

In addition, viruses can spray a few feet following a cough or sneeze. Especially in the earliest part of illness, when you are most contagious, stay home if you work in close quarters with other people or if you handle food.

It’s also important not to go to work if you work with young children, the elderly or people with weak immune systems. The relatively minor illness you experience may cause more severe symptoms in these groups of people.


You’ll be less productive

It is hard to know the exact financial and physical toll that an illness takes on an individual or employer. Sure, you’ll be more productive than if you stayed home and didn’t do any work at all, but you may not be as sharp or efficient when suffering from a cold.

It may take longer to recover

Pushing yourself and working too much in the early stages of illness may actually prolong your recovery time. Studies have shown that lack of sleep can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to colds.

Conversely, getting enough sleep can boost infection-fighting cells and antibodies so you can get well faster. Do yourself a favor and stay home and rest.

Ideally, we would all be able to rest and recuperate during a cold. If that’s not possible, see if you can work from home so at least you won’t spread your germs.

If you must go to work, try to keep your distance from others, wash or sanitize your hands often, and cover coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or elbow. You can also cover with a tissue but be sure to throw it away immediately and then wash your hands.

Disinfect touched objects such as phones, doorknobs, and computer keyboards, and consider avoiding sharing items such as pens.

source: cnn


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Health Benefits of Cardamom

Cardamom combines health benefits and spicy flavors to Indian dishes.

Growing wild in Sri Lanka and south of India is the cardamom. It is also cultivated in some other tropical areas. Silver Grell, a health author, every cardamom seedpod is usually handpicked. Cardamom belongs to the same family as clove and ginger. Cardamom contains warming properties and it adds spicy warmth to the Indian dishes.
Benefits to digestion
Cardamom is known to stimulate the appetite in the same way in which it spices dishes that are bland. It is known to stimulate the digestive system. It is also able to counteract excessive stomach acid. This is according to the author, Silver Grell. The carminative properties of cardamom help in relieving flatulence and indigestion. Cardamom essential oils studies done on animals have demonstrated the ability of stimulating the production of bile and reduction of gastric juices.
Inhibit Pathogen Growth
Herbal Medicines PDR reports that cardamom is able to inhibit the development and growth of viruses, fungi and bacteria. It may help those individuals who are having little resistance to infections and diseases. Its capacity to fight disease and its stomachic properties help in reducing bad breath.
Benefits in Respiration
Author Silver Grell says that cardamom helps to improve lung circulation. It soothes mucus membranes.
A therapeutic guide to herbal medicine called German Commission E Monographs, verified the safety and efficacy of cardamom for the treatment of colds, bronchitis and coughs. It contains expectorant properties and can lead to a reduction in the production of mucus.
Anti-inflammatory
Tea containing Cardamom may help in reducing sore throats. Herbal Medicines PDR has said that Commission E has approved usage of cardamom for the treatment of pharynx and mouth inflammation. Traditional medicines have been using cardamom oil in the treatment of inflamed nerves, back muscles and joints that are swollen. Cardamom has analgesic properties, as Indian medicine and traditional ayurvedic reports that it eases joint and muscle pain.
Masseuses use cardamom essential oil for massages to relax the muscles and for stimulating the mind.
Antioxidant
The Association of Physician Journal in India published in August 1998 reported a cardamom analysis of flavonoids and phenolics. It rated the antioxidant cardamom properties at 50-100mg medium levels per serving.
Detoxification
Cardamom is used in Indian medicine for treating bladder disorders, urinary tract disorders and the kidney. It also treats other complications such as nephritis and cystitis.
Antispasmodic
A study done on animals which published on the July-August Pharmacological Research edition in 1996 verified the antispasmodic cardamom properties. The properties could validate cardamom use in remedies of folk in stopping convulsions and hiccups, relieving stomach and intestinal cramping, relieving morning sickness and reducing vomiting and nausea.
Anti-depressant
Use of cardamom in the treatment of depression has not been validated. Some herbalists however claim that tea made from cardamom helps in relieving depression.


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Vancouver hospital first in Canada to use bug-killing robot armed with UV light

JAMES KELLER / THE CANADIAN PRESS      FEBRUARY 1, 2013

VANCOUVER – When Trudi the robot is plugged in and armed, it sounds more like a space shuttle launch system than a germ-killing machine.

“Disinfecting will commence in 15 seconds; please leave the room,” Trudi — as staff at Vancouver General Hospital have named it — calls out in a digital monotone from inside a treatment room.

“Disinfecting process started,” it continues, as its thin, vertical bulbs blast out powerful ultraviolet rays, killing germs and viruses that might be lurking nearby.

The hospital is the first facility in Canada to use Trudi — whose formal name is Tru-D SmartUVC — as health officials across the country look for ways to protect vulnerable patients from catching potentially deadly bugs such as norovirus and C. difficile.

Health officials in British Columbia have started a pilot project that will see Tru-D and a similar device each tested for five months to determine whether the technology should be used permanently in health-care facilities in the province.

“We’ve been very impressed with the almost complete eradication of organisms, even when we take it to high concentrations,” Dr. Elizabeth Bryce, the medical director for infection control at Vancouver Coastal Health, said after a demonstration of the device on Friday.

“We hope it will decrease the rates of hospital-acquired organisms like superbugs.”

The Tru-D device is 1.65 metres tall with long bulbs running vertically up a round, clear shaft — think R2-D2 from “Star Wars” instead of Rosie from “The Jetsons.” It can’t move on its own and must be manually wheeled from room to room.

A GERM-KILLING, UV-RAY-BLASTING ROBOT RADIATES LIGHT IN A PHOTO.
THE HOSPITAL HAS BECOME THE FIRST IN CANADA TO TEST THE ROBOT,
 THAT HOSPITAL STAFF HAVE NAMED TRUDI.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/JAMES KELLER

A large sensor on the top of the device measures reflections from the UV light to determine the size of the room and how much exposure will be required to disinfect it. The process can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

It must be used in an empty room that has already been cleaned by hospital staff, said Bryce, providing an extra layer of disinfection rather than replacing existing cleaning.

The five-month pilot project started in January. When that trial is finished, another UV disinfection device, PulseRx, will also be tested.

The results will determine whether the provincial government commits to permanently using either of the devices, which can cost up to $100,000 apiece.

Bryce said the hospital has actually been using Tru-D for the past three months. It asked the company for its test model early as it dealt with the recent norovirus outbreak late last year.

“We did use it in the norovirus season as an add-on to the cleaning, and we’re very pleased with that, as well,” she said.

The Vancouver General Hospital was among many hospitals across Canada to be hit with a norovirus outbreak in recent months, with infection rates several times higher than average in some places.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control announced in early January that a busier-than-normal norovirus season was being complicated by the discovery of a new strain of the illness.

Health officials issued their usual cautions that anyone with norovirus should stay away from hospitals to avoid spreading it to other patients.

Tru-D is already being used in the United States and elsewhere, and Bryce said preliminary results from those jurisdiction is encouraging.

She noted hospitals already use UV light to sterilize medical equipment, so using the technology to disinfect entire rooms isn’t a stretch.

“UV is not new as a disinfection technology, but it’s new in being applied to cleaning patient rooms,” she said.


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Coconut Health Benefits, Life Saving and Antioxidant Properties

Danica Collins

Coconuts are one of the wonder foods on earth that amply provides for all human needs and have multiple health benefits… They can even save your life!
Few people (even fewer doctors) understand how important the coconut is to stabilizing blood sugar; lowering cholesterol; healing; hydration; and even replacing blood plasma in an emergency.
Referred to as kalpa vriksha (Sanskrit for “the tree that supplies all that is needed to live”) in ancient India, the coconut palm has been recognized as a top immune booster, antifungal, antibiotic, antiviral and antibacterial remedy for thousands of years all over the world.
Yet, it has been only recently that modern researchers have begun to fully discover the massive coconut health benefits this amazing fruit seed offers.
To give just one example of coconuts’ life-saving properties, they were used extensively in the Pacific during World War II. Since blood plasma supplies were scarce, it was very common for medics to siphon pure coconut water from young coconuts to be used as emergency plasma transfusions for soldiers who were injured. Since coconut water is nearly identical to human blood, it was suitable for people of all blood types.

Because of its strong antioxidant properties and health benefits, the coconuts can be used to:

    • Lower cholesterol
    • Improve digestion
    • Ward off wrinkles
    • Stabilize glucose levels
    • Fight off viruses
    • Build cells
    • Regulate hormones
    • Increase thyroid production
    • Lose weight
    • Increase metabolism
    • Fight infections
    • Stave off memory loss
    • Kill bacteria
    • And more!
Considered one of the most treasured foods of all time, coconut products — including coconut flesh, coconut water, coconut oil, and coconut cream — each deliver superb health benefits.
Coconut oil, for instance, is considered the best and safest oil to use for cooking — even superior to extra virgin olive oil when it comes to giving the body what it needs for optimum health. Unlike other fats and oils that we typically use for cooking and baking, coconut oil does not form polymerized oils or dangerous trans fatty acids in our bodies, which can raise our cholesterol levels; clog our arteries and even make our skin sag and wrinkle. Plus, this ultra-safe oil can give your body important antioxidants that can help build stronger cells and improve your overall health and well being.

Coconut health benefits found all-in-one

Here are a few ways that you can take advantage of coconut products to stave off disease and to recapture the look and feeling of youth:
Coconut Water – The coconut is a natural water filter. It takes almost 9 months for a coconut to filter every quart of water stored within its shell. This makes the resulting coconut water completely pure and sterile, which is one reason why it can be used for blood transfusions.
Another benefit of coconut water is the fact that it has the highest concentration of electrolytes than anything else found in nature. This makes it an excellent source of hydration.
Coconut Oil – In addition to being superior for cooking and baking, coconut oil also makes a superb topical oil that can help to naturally rid the skin of dangerous toxins. It also gives the skin the perfect mix of hydration and antioxidants that it needs to stay healthy, smooth and younger-looking longer.
Another great benefit of coconut oil is in protecting your teeth from the bacteria that can cause cavities and disease. Simply rubbing a little fresh coconut oil on your gums and teeth can keep them stronger and healthier than virtually any other dental treatment.
Most people don’t realize that coconut oil can actually help you lose weight! Yes, simply changing your cooking oil from the unsaturated fat variety to coconut oil can help you lose those extra pounds.
Here’s why: Unsaturated fats found in canola, corn and other vegetable oils, as well as margarine suppress the metabolism, which makes it harder to lose weight — and easier to gain it. Over time, this metabolism suppression may result in 20-30 pounds of excess weight that your body cannot get rid of. Coconut oil, on the other hand, helps to increase thyroid function and boost your metabolism — 2 important components to shedding unwanted pounds.
Coconut Cream – The best skin treatment product one can use to achieve flawless skin may quite possibly be coconut cream. Unlike traditional skin creams which can actually introduce fats and oils to the skin that will break it down over time, making it look older, creams derived from the coconut can actually replenish the skin, giving it a more youthful and healthy glow than most other skin care products on the market.
When it comes to buying coconut products, coconuts are not all created equal. Wild coconuts are always best, but can be hard to obtain if you don’t live in a tropical country. Whether you are using this wonder food to boost your immune system; increase your metabolism or fight wrinkles, using products from young coconuts will help you reap the most benefit.
Young coconuts contain the purest unsaturated fat, compared to the fat found in the more mature varieties. This is why they offer the most rejuvenation properties for the body’s tissues. But how can you tell how old a coconut is? Young coconuts are usually green in color and oddly shaped. The brown hairy ones are mature coconuts, and while they offer a lot of healthy benefits, they aren’t nearly as good for you as younger varieties.
The best place to find young fresh coconuts is, of course, in the markets of the tropics, so be sure to seek them out if you travel to those areas considering all the health benefits from a coconut. Coconut-producing regions export coconuts all over the world so it’s relatively easy to find coconuts at your local health food store or Asian grocer.

source: undergroundhealthreporter


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Are colds and the flu most contagious before or after you start showing symptoms?

by

Myths about contagion are a regular part of life. Remember when AIDS could be transmitted by a handshake? Most fictions regarding how you can catch diseases aren’t quite that bizarre and off the mark — they usually sound pretty reasonable, which is how a lot of them get passed through generations as unquestioned truths. Many of us understand that when it comes to a cold or the flu, we’re most contagious before we start feeling sick; that by the time we’ve got a runny nose, sore throat and achy muscles, the damage to the people around us has already been done. In fact, many of us are completely wrong.

3d rendering of the influenza virus. ©iStockphoto/EraxionIf you think about how a virus works, it makes sense that we’re most contagious when our symptoms are at their worst. Viruses like influenza and those that cause the common cold (there are a couple of hundred of them) have anincubation period once they get into your body. The virus gets into a group of healthy cells and then goes about requisitioning their survival apparatus from the inside. During this incubation period, while the virus is multiplying inside those infected cells, you have no symptoms — no sore throat, no runny nose, no achy muscles — and no virus spreading like wildfire throughout your body so that every drop of saliva or mucous you produce contains it. And that’s how a virus spreads from one person to another: By a healthy person coming into contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, whether those fluids are airborne (as from a sneeze) or left on a doorknob by a sick person who just wiped his nose. So if you have no symptoms yet, it’s a lot less likely that you’re going to spread the virus to another person.

Once the cells that have been taken over by the virus start to die, that’s when all hell breaks loose. Here’s when you start having symptoms, and you start spreading it to everyone you know if you’re not careful. Some of those symptoms are caused by the virus itself (runny nose and sore throat, for example), and others are caused by your immune system (fever and exhaustion, for instance). When the virus breaks out of those dead cells and starts infecting tons of other cells throughout your body, your immune system recognizes that something is wrong and begins its counterattack. All of this can take days to happen. With the flu in particular, the time between exposure and the onset of symptoms is usually between one and four days.

So, when are you most contagious? Most experts agree that adults with a cold or the flu start being contagious about a day before they start experiencing symptoms. For the flu, the contagious period then lasts five to seven days into the illness. For children, the contagious period for the flu can last up to two weeks after they start feeling sick, even if they start feeling better before that. The contagious period for a cold lasts about three to four days into the illness. As a general rule, people with a cold are most contagious about three days after their initial exposure to the virus.

source: discoveryhealth