The Possibility of Improving Cellular Fitness Through Exercise and Cellular Stress Tests

Who doesn’t want to get healthier, slow the aging process, and possibly live longer? Life is such a beautiful experience with so many possibilities. Still, to take advantage of the most it has to offer, it is crucial to look after individual health and wellness.

Recently, researchers have recognized the growing need for mental health, allowing for a shift in stigmas surrounding counseling and therapy. While the focus on mindfulness and mental health is encouraging, the primary goal is to reduce stress to limit its overreaching and adverse effects on health and wellness overall.

There is a growing trend linked to cellular fitness, specifically how cellular stress can result in rapid aging and declining muscle function. The idea is based on customizing exercises and nutritional practices based on individual physiology rather than generalizations.

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How Does Cellular Fitness Work?

According to practitioners, cellular fitness is a new way of looking at physical activity. For years, the focus of physical fitness has revolved around the ideas of high-intensity workouts or interval training. While each program has its advantages and works for most people, there are limitations and the potential for burnout and injury.

Researchers are beginning to understand how too much exercise or intensity during a workout can result in lasting damage. When your cells are placed under significant stress, they cannot perform optimally, meaning your body experiences greater wear and tear, weakened defenses, inflammation, possible health problems, and potential weight gain.

Cellular fitness programs use “cellular stress tests” to determine how your system reacts to the stress of specific workouts or routines. These tests measure the damaging by-products in your body to determine the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of a workout on any given day. With accurate measurements, there is hope that an individual could tell which days are best for pushing themselves to get the extra rep and which are better for taking it easy.

While the process seems out there, several organizations are taking the open-mind approach. In fact, the NBA has been using similar technology and physiological insights for years, providing individualized goals and routines to suit each player by analyzing information from a wearable device.

Is There Any Truth To the Claims?

According to recent research published in the journal Nature Communications, the idea that exercise can improve cellular health is possible. During the study, scientists notice a direct link between exercise and the production or renewal of mitochondria, the cellular powerhouse. 

In essence, when workouts are effective, the body produces new and healthy mitochondria, replacing and forcing the old out of the muscles and bones. Ultimately, exercise contributes to better health and longevity, which people have known for a long time, but now researchers see the improvement on a cellular level.

Unfortunately, most research into cellular fitness is still fairly new, with limited studies expressing its true and proven advantages. However, there is a decent amount of circumstantial evidence to suggests a possible correlation between individualized exercise regimens and cellular health. What do you think of the ballooning trend and its potential for the fitness community? Leave a comment below.

Sugar-Free Gum: Good for Your Child’s Teeth or Not?

As a parent, you want to take good care of your child’s teeth. At the same time, getting them to brush after every meal probably isn’t realistic. Can sugar-free gum help prevent cavities?

Is Chewing Gum Good for Your Kids’ Teeth?

Chewing is a great way to reduce cavities for kids and adults alike. When kids chew, their mouths produce more saliva. This helps prevent tooth decay by neutralizing the acid that causes cavities. Saliva also washes away leftover food particles. Sugar-free gum isn’t a replacement for some good old-fashioned brushing, but it’s a nice way provide dental hygiene after lunch or dinner.

That said, the type of gum you choose is very important. The kind of gum your kids want you to buy — bubble gum with fruit fillings — is definitely NOT good for teeth. Instead of preventing tooth decay, bubble gum encourages bacteria to grow. It also pushes the sugar right up against your child’s teeth, easily causing a bunch of cavities.

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Is Sugar-Free Gum Safe for Kids?

This is a tricky question because it actually involves two things: if artificial sweeteners are safe for kids and if gum is dangerous as far as choking is concerned. The answers can vary depending on your child and your family.

The Oral Health Foundation recommends not giving gum to kids under the age of seven. At the same time, it acknowledges that parents are the best judges of when children are ready.

As far as the safety of artificial sweeteners goes, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that there’s no evidence these ingredients can hurt children at all (unless you have a rare condition called phenylketonuria). Also, sugar-free gum has relatively tiny levels of artificial sweeteners compared to other products.

To give you an idea of the amount, a stick of chewing gum has around 6–8 milligrams while a can of diet soda has 180 milligrams. Your kids would need to eat the equivalent of 24 sweetener packets to meet the FDA’s max limit. If you’re still concerned, choose gum made with xylitol, erythritol or other natural sugar alcohols.

Is It Bad for Kids To Swallow Gum?

This is part myth and part rare-but-weird concern. First, nothing usually happens if school-age kids swallow gum. It will literally be out of their systems in a day or two. The only exception to this is if children are constipated and swallow a LOT of gum. So, take this urban legend with a grain of salt.

Are There Any Alternatives to Sugar-Free Gum That Kids Like?

Remember, it’s the act of chewing, not sugar-free gum itself, that helps prevent cavities. Depending on the age of your kids, you can offer them naturally crispy or chewy foods instead. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Carrot sticks
  • Apple slices
  • Celery sticks
  • Snap peas
  • Jicama
  • Cucumber sticks
  • Rice cakes
  • Whole grain bagels

My kids love foods with a crunchy texture, so these veggies are a big hit. I also keep a few packs of sugar-free gum around for when we need something quick to chew. I’ve noticed that as long as I have everything already cut in the fridge, they actually go for the fresh fruit and veggies more often than gum.

Is This Fish Oil Really Helping My Joints?

I never used to have problems with my joints, but that’s changed in a big way as I’ve grown older. In an effort to help my joints feel better, I’ve been taking fish oil supplements every day. It seems like I’ve always known that fish oil was good for joints in some way, but the other day I caught myself thinking, “Is this stuff really helping?”

I realized that I didn’t know much about fish oil at all, and my lack of knowledge started to make my confidence in the product wane. So I decided to do some research and find out exactly what it is about fish oil that can supposedly make my joints feel better. Here’s what I found out.

There’s Nothing “Fishy” About Fish Oil

Despite my worries that fish oil is just a great big fish tale, I discovered some impressive things about it during my research. I found out that the secret to fish oil’s ability to help aching joints lies within its content of omega-3 fatty acids. Though the name isn’t super appealing, omega-3 fatty acids are pretty powerful for joint health. Here’s how they work.

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil contain high levels of these two fatty acids in particular:

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

According to research, both of these fatty acids are effective at lowering inflammation. It’s their inflammation-curbing properties that make these fatty acids so valuable for people with joint conditions. Many conditions that cause joint pain are due to excess inflammation within the joints.

According to one study (published in the British Journal of Nutrition), DHA and EPA from marine sources (such as fish oil) provide help with the following:

  • Joint pain and swelling
  • The use of joint-related pain medication
  • Morning joint stiffness

These are all benefits I can stand behind! So I’ll continue my daily habit of taking fish oil pills so they can go to work reducing inflammation in my joints.

How Fish Oil Reduces Inflammation

I’m a naturally curious soul, so it wasn’t enough for me to learn that DHA and EPA can reduce inflammation. I wanted to know how they do it. So I decided to dive into the topic a lot more. Here’s what I discovered.

EPA and DHA work in tandem to lower inflammatory molecules in the body (such as C-reactive protein and tumour necrosis factor alpha). They’re a little bit like The Wonder Twins when it comes to protecting our bodies from the negative effects of systemic inflammation.

DHA seems to be more effective at reducing multiple pro-inflammatory proteins, while EPA seems to target primarily one type. But EPA does have the added benefit of boosting immune function regulation. So when you’re looking for a fish oil supplement, look for one that contains both of these important components. Like the old song goes, “some things just go better together and probably always will.”

Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

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What To Look for in a Fish Oil Supplement

As with any nutritional or dietary supplement, fish oil supplements are not all created equal. Here are a few things to look for in a quality supplement:

  • Make sure the supplement you choose contains both EPA and DHA.
  • Look for good purity and authenticity standards.
  • Always check the date on the bottle and don’t use it after the printed date (fish oil goes rancid over time).
  • Look for free fatty acids (FFA), phospholipids (PLs) and triglycerides, and reformed triglycerides (TG and rTG) instead of ethyl esters (EE).

Keeping these things in mind when shopping will help you select a quality fish oil supplement that will give your joints (and your body in general) maximum anti-inflammatory benefits.

5 Reasons Why Fiber Is So Important

I like to think I know the basics of good health. But periodically, I learn some new health fact that catches me by surprise. The importance of fiber is one of those health facts I didn’t really grasp until recently. Sure, I’ve always known fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, but I didn’t realize just how necessary it is for optimal health and digestive function. Here are five reasons why fiber is so important for all of us to consume regularly.

1. Helps Control Blood Sugar

If you struggle to keep your blood sugar under control, eating fiber may help. It’s especially helpful for people with diabetes to consume sufficient soluble fiber to slow down their body’s absorption of sugar. For those of us who don’t have diabetes, eating insoluble fiber may help us avoid developing it.

2. Promotes Normal Bowel Movements

Nobody likes to talk about their bowel movements (unless you’re my over-sharing Aunt Kathy), but how often you go is really important. The consistency of your poop is also really important. If it’s consistently runny, adding some fiber to your diet can give it a little bulk so you’re more regular and can pass your stools more easily.

Whew. Now that we got that topic over with, let’s move on to the next reason why fiber’s so important!

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There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

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3. May Decrease the Likelihood of Hemorrhoids

OK, so going from bowel movements to hemorrhoids isn’t exactly a step up. But it’s important to talk about how fiber can potentially help us avoid developing hemorrhoids. That reason alone is good enough for me to increase my daily intake of fiber!

In addition to decreasing your likelihood of getting hemorrhoids, studies show that a high-fiber diet may also lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer. Research is still being done to understand exactly how fiber helps prevent colorectal cancer, but it’s thought that it has something to do with how fiber ferments in the colon.

4. Assists With Healthy Weight Maintenance

It’s generally easy to put weight on, but difficult to take it off (unless you’re someone who can’t seem to gain weight no matter how hard you try). When you’re trying to let go of a few extra pounds, you probably think about exercising, cutting out sugary foods and drinks, and eating healthier. But if you’re neglecting to eat sufficient fiber, you could be making your weight-loss journey more difficult than it needs to be.

High-fiber foods are typically more filling than foods with little to no fiber. That means the more high-fiber foods you eat, the easier it will be for you to manage your appetite and keep your weight in check. Additionally, foods high in fiber typically require more chewing, which means you’re expending more calories to eat them.

5. Reduces the Risk of Some Diseases

One of the most surprising things I have learned about fiber is that it may reduce your risk of developing some diseases. According to studies, there is a link between increased dietary fiber intake and reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. So if you have a family history of cancer, make sure you add fiber to your daily healthy eating plan!

Though fiber has a lot of great benefits, it’s possible to eat too much of it. If you feel like your fiber intake is clogging you up and messing with your regularity, it may be time to cut back a little bit. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men aged 50 or younger consume 38 grams of fiber daily. Women aged 50 0r younger should aim to consume 25 grams of fiber per day.

Some good sources of fiber include vegetables, seeds, nuts, fruits, whole-grain products and legumes. Figure out how to incorporate these foods into your daily meals and you’ll start reaping the benefits of a high-fiber diet.

Can Positive Stress Really Be Good for Your Body?

The idea of stress that is good for you seems weird. You’re probably thinking that the words “positive” and “stress” don’t even belong in the same sentence. But it’s true: certain types of stress produce beneficial effects instead of negative ones.

What Is Positive Stress?

We’re not talking about situations that make you feel terrified or anxious. Instead, healthy stress is associated more with activities that are challenging but also produce excitement, fun and happiness.

Positive stress makes life worth living. It’s about overcoming obstacles. It’s about celebrating accomplishments. It’s about trying new experiences. Positive stress gives every day more zing.

What Are Your Healthy Stress Sources?

Everyone views stress in a different way. Some writers love deadlines and get more done with them (I’m not one.) Do any of these situations get your blood flowing in a good way?

  • Work assignments
  • Fixing your car
  • Flying
  • Having a baby
  • Preparing for vacation
  • Working out
  • Taking care of DIY projects
  • Throwing a party

Someone who loves working on automobiles will probably see taking care of minor repairs as something enjoyable. That’s positive stress.

The same thing goes for dating. Falling in love makes your heart beat in a good way. You stay awake at night, maybe a little anxious, but mostly because you’re excited and can’t wait to see the person again.

Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

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What Are the Benefits of Positive Stress?

Unlike chronic stress, which weakens your immune system, gives you headaches and triggers inflammation, positive stress has great effects on your mind and body:

  • It motivates you: Reaching your goals can give you a sensation that’s even better than chocolate. It can give your life meaning. It also improves your self-esteem. Running a business can be stressful, but for entrepreneurs, it’s really rewarding to see their company flourish.
  • It improves your creativity: Feeling excited about a project helps you produce better results. My best work is always with topics that I feel passionate about. A little positive stress can help you come up with incredible ideas and solutions, too.
  • It feels amazing: If you’ve ever heard about sports enthusiasts talking about the “adrenaline rush,” that’s what positive stress is. Whether you’re into skydiving, rock climbing, skiing or snowmobiling, adrenaline makes your brain happy.
  • It helps your immune system: Excitement is good for your body’s defenses. Science has shown that good stress activates your immune cells and even helps your body heal faster after injuries. That’s one reason why doctors often recommend that people who are depressed take the time to exercise regularly.
  • It gives you energy: When you have a goal you’re trying to reach, your body literally feels more energized. Imagining yourself fitting into that tight red dress can give you the energy you need to swim, bike, hike or Zumba like never before.

How Can You Boost Positive Stress Levels?

Personally, I find that being a mom is my source of positive stress. I’m nervous sometimes, but also excited and happy. Hearing that “I love you Mommy” is irresistible, and according to science, it’s good for my health, too!

Get more positive stress in your life by doing things that are worth it to you, things that are exciting. Set aside more time for family adventures.

Go on a road trip. Ride a roller coaster with your eyes closed. Try new recipes. Make new friends. Visit new places. Zumba. Find something to be excited about every day!

Do Most Coffee Creamers Have Dangerous Chemicals?

I’m a “no sugar, two creams, please” type of girl. So you can imagine my surprise when a friend of mine sent me an article saying that coffee creamers aren’t good for you — more than that, they’re downright dangerous! Every fiber of my being wanted to shout “that’s blasphemy!” Are coffee creamers really bad for you?

What’s In Your Favorite Coffee Creamer?

The first shocker for me is that most coffee creamers are loaded with sugar — more than a teaspoon per serving! But that’s not the worst part by a long shot:

Hydrogenated Oil

This is just another name for trans fats. To make this artificial fat, manufacturers add powdered nickel or other metals to vegetable oil. Hydrogenated oil adds a "creamier" texture. According to the FDA, partially hydrogenated oils are not Generally Recognized as Safe in food. They raise bad cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Cellulose Gel

I’ll give you a hint: cellulose is another name for “wood.” That’s right, some popular coffee creamers add small amounts of wood pulp to help thicken the consistency of cheaper ingredients. Don’t want wood particles in your coffee? Yeah, me either.


This additive and preservative is technically “natural” because it comes from a type of moss (mmm!). But carrageenan has been linked to a bunch of health problems, from IBS and bloating to colon cancer and arthritis.

Why do companies use these weird ingredients if they’re so bad for you? Because they’re cheap. Some corporations are happy to make a profit whether it hurts you or not.

Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever

What Are the Best Alternatives to Coffee Creamer?

Now for the good news. There are a lot of tasty, natural and healthy alternatives you can add to your joe. And the flavor is WAY better:

  • Milk: Simple, heathy and easy. Depending on whether you choose whole or 2%, milk isn’t as thick as other options, but it has less total fat and gives you calcium, vitamin D… the whole shebang.
  • Heavy cream: This has more fat than milk (1 tsp has 50 calories), but you also don’t need to use much. This is my favorite option for “treating myself” for the first cup of coffee in the day, but I don’t use it for other cups.
  • Almond milk: Tons of vitamin B12, a creamy texture and a nutty flavor make almond milk amazing for coffee.
  • Coconut oil: If you’re on a keto diet, coconut oil in your coffee is a must. It gives you a rush of energy, boosts your metabolism and provides healthy MCT oil for burning fat. This is how you make Bulletproof coffee at home.
  • Coconut milk: Some brands add a lot of sugar, but you can find coconut milk that is just pureed coconut and water. Trust me, this option is really creamy and it adds an irresistible aroma to your coffee.
  • Unsweetened nut milk: You don’t need to buy an artificial creamer to enjoy hazelnut, vanilla or macadamia nut in your coffee. Just go straight to the source. Macadamia nut milk has all that delicious flavor you want, and zero weird ingredients.

Some cheapskate companies still try to sneak in carrageenan into these natural alternatives, so look at the label before you buy. It’s perfectly possible to enjoy creamy coffee and stay healthy at the same time. Now I’m going to celebrate with … you know what!

My Go-To Natural Sugar Substitutes

I may not have the body of a goddess, but I do like showing off some pleasant curves at the beach (just a little). One of the biggest things that has helped me burn way more calories, and that I know can help you, too, is avoiding refined sugar. Of course, ditching table sugar doesn’t mean giving up everything sweet. Try these natural sugar substitutes instead.

1. Fruit

My absolute favorite substitute for sugar is real fruit. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, apples, oranges, peaches and pineapples all have a great blend of tart and sweet that makes me smile.

Do you like smoothies for breakfast? You don’t need sugar. Just add a banana, some date paste or applesauce to the blender with the rest of your ingredients. You won’t notice the difference.

Eating fruit gives your body tons of antioxidants and enzymes. They protect your heart, balance blood sugar levels, give you more energy, fight inflammation, improve digestion and strengthen your immune system.

Why Not Try This?

Take a handful of raspberries, chop half a banana, and mix it with a serving of Greek yogurt when you're feeling hungry. The burst of protein and nutrients will energize you and tide you over until later. Real fruit, both fresh and frozen, has a lot of dietary fiber, so it calms the munchies like junk food never can.

2. Stevia

This natural sweetener comes from South America. Stevia is herbal, not artificial, so you don’t have to worry about any weird side effects (those terrible headaches) like with aspartame and saccharin.

The leaves of the stevia plant have been used as sweeteners for at least 500 years. Pressing the leaves provides an extract that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. But it has ZERO calories!

For tea or coffee, stevia is my go-to sweetener. You only need a few drops. For baking, go with stevia powder. Just remember to use less than half the amount you would with refined sugar because it’s so potent.

Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever

3. Honey, Pure Maple Syrup and Organic Molasses

Honey is a true superfood. It has special prebiotics that benefit your gut flora, plus lots of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins for your heart and eye health. Honey has been famous for its healing powers since the times of ancient Egypt!

Personally, I adore the taste of honey, which is why I usually prefer it over maple syrup or molasses. But all three of these thick liquids are good sugar substitutes with important nutrients. Of course, they’re also high in calories, so you have to be careful with how much you use if you want to lose weight.

I love to make oatmeal with rolled oats and drizzle a tablespoon of honey on top with a dash of milk. Instead of marinades with brown sugar, use organic molasses.

What About Monk Fruit Extract?

This exotic sweetener is natural, tasty and filled with nutrients. Monk fruit extract doesn’t have any calories, so it’s good for weight loss programs. Unfortunately, where I live, it’s also really expensive. If you can afford it, definitely try it!

Sugar Free Living Isn’t That Complicated

It’s OK to enjoy honey, stevia and fruit whenever you want during the week. To be honest, I find making sweet things for breakfast, like homemade muffins, granola or pancakes, is easier for me as a mom. For supper time, chicken (honey-lemon chicken anyone?) and pork recipes work great with honey instead of sugar. You don't need refined sugar.

A New Approach To Healthcare: Lifestyle Medicine

Typically, when people go to the doctor, it is to assess a variety of ailments. Lifestyle medicine goes beyond the ailment detection of medical practices and focuses on sustaining and perpetuating continued health and wellbeing through a more holistic approach.

The 7 Pillars of Lifestyle Medicine

While classified as a holistic approach, the theory of lifestyle medicine is a practice most medical professionals can get behind; the concept of balance in seven core areas of life. Lifestyle medicine focuses on the seven habits for a healthy life, and those habits contribute to reduced risks of chronic conditions.

1. Exercise

Movement or physical activity is vital to lifestyle medicine. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to many complications, including cardiovascular. By practicing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, you can find it easier to maintain or control your weight, strengthen muscles and bones, and promote mental wellbeing.

2. Nutrition

The dreaded nutrition pillar can seem problematic. Many people look at nutrition like rocket science, something complex and hard to grasp, but it is not as challenging as it looks. On a fundamental level, making a few minor adjustments to your diet can drastically improve your health. For example, eat out less than twice per week and swap a can of soda for water. Additionally, add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.

Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever

3. Outdoor Activity

The outdoors is nature’s gift to humanity. Spending even 30 minutes outside can increase your well-being. According to lifestyle medicine experts, you should spend a minimum of 120 minutes outside every week. Exposure to the outdoors is proven to reduce stress, limit inflammation, and improve sleep.

4. Sleep

Most adults know they need between seven and eight hours of sleep per night, but few get it. Many things affect your sleep, from noise to stress and diet. Lifestyle medicine highlights sleep as critical to overall health. To get a better night’s rest, consider sleeping in a quiet environment without tech or television. Additionally, avoid eating too late and do not consume caffeine after midday.

5. Emotional Wellbeing

Stress relief is vital to mental and physical health. Anxiety, worry, and fear all lead to problems with sleep, diet, and relationships. Finding a way to deal with stress is necessary and pivotal to lifestyle medicine. Practicing mindfulness is one way to combat the effects of stress.

6. Hydration

Dehydration leads to a variety of health issues: headaches, fatigue, dizziness, etc. While the rule is often stated as eight glasses of water per day, the Mayo Clinic would disagree. According to the clinic, men need a minimum of 15 cups of water per day and women need at least 11.

7. Substance Avoidance

Lifestyle medicine also encourages a substance-free life, meaning no smoking or drugs. Cigarettes, alcohol, and other substances can lead to significant consequences and impaired thinking. Lifestyle medicine is all about clarity and purity.

New Focus Equals New Hope

While people understand the benefits of adopting healthy habits, they often overcomplicate the process, getting bogged down in the details. By restricting your attention to the above seven areas, you can increase your health and mental wellbeing in stages. There is no need to embrace all the habits at once; instead, take on one practice at a time and master it. By working methodically, you limit the potential of becoming overwhelmed, allowing you to embrace the changes.

Do you have any experience with the practice? leave a comment below and keep the conversation going.

Understanding How Air Quality Can Affect Your Health and Wellbeing

In the fight to remain healthy, people focus primarily on nutrition and exercise — both critical aspects of a healthy lifestyle — but what often flies under the radar of the health-conscious is air quality. Air pollution can lead to many problems, not only environmental, especially among people who are particularly vulnerable, like those with asthma or COPD. Pollutants from vehicle exhaust, industrial emissions, smoke, road dust, and even pollen can make it more challenging for these individuals to breathe, leading to wheezing, coughing, or worse. 

Pollutants can also make their way into the food supply. With a rise in pollution, comes an increased risk of respiratory infections, lung cancer, and heart disease. It is crucial to understand the potential pollution and air quality risks in your environment, so you know best how to protect yourself.

Air Pollution and Outdoor Exposure

The effects of air pollution vary based on location because exposure and air quality vary from place to place, often disproportionately. Minorities and people living in low-income areas are more likely to suffer the consequences of air pollution because housing is often within more industrialized districts, meaning plant and vehicular emissions are in abundance. Proximity is the main contributor to negative health effects. 

Beyond proximity, the time and season, temperature, and weather play a role in pollution and air quality. While fine particles are typically most present in the mornings, high levels of ozone typically occur in the summertime, late afternoon. Unseasonably warm days or when temperatures reach levels above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, unhealthy levels of ozone can accumulate in the air. Finally, weather conditions, like fog, can often trap unhealthy levels of pollution in an area, especially when combined with little to no wind.

Air Pollution and Indoor Exposure

Did you know the air quality inside your home can be two to five times more polluted than the outdoors, sometimes even more? While people tend to discuss pollution as an outdoor issue, most Americans spend more than 90% of their time indoors, meaning the priority should be indoor air quality. Some of the most common indoor pollutants include:

  • Smoke
  • Radon
  • Lead dust
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Mold
  • VOCs
  • Animal dander
  • Pollen
  • Dust mites

Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever

Protecting Your Health

While it can be challenging to avoid air pollutants, especially in an industrialized society, it is not impossible to improve the air quality you breathe. The key is to avoid as much pollution as possible; for example, when stuck in traffic, keep your windows closed and set the ventilation system to recirculate the air in the cabin. You can also avoid vehicle exhaust by choosing a less-traveled route. You should also avoid being around smoke and other sources of airborne pollutants.

If you are concerned about the air quality in your area, you can sign up for alerts. Many states provide air quality updates and warnings, and in most cases, you can find an app or email signup that will tell you when you should avoid outdoor activities and when the city or state is under an ozone advisory.

Air quality plays a vital role in overall health. When the air is heavily polluted, it can lead to increased risks of disease and infection. Do you know of any other tips or techniques to reduce your exposure level, or do you have any other interesting facts you would like to share? Leave a comment below and keep the conversation going.

Examining the Truth About Wine and Health

Who doesn’t love to sit down after a long day’s work and relax with a good glass of red? It seems like every day there is a new study or article praising wine as the miracle elixir of health. However, for every piece of research praising the sultry libation, there is another discounting the claims. The constant back and forth, like most findings in health, is confusing to the average consumer looking for applicable solutions. Therefore, to ease the burden, this article aims to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding wine and health.

Wine and Burning Fat

Many wine enthusiasts praise and permit their habit as a way to combat weight gain. The argument is often based on the findings of a 2015 Oregon State University study that linked a specific wine acid to weight loss. The wine in question was a rare red wine, and the acid is only produced by the Red Muscadine grape, grown in the southeastern US state of Georgia, mostly. However, while the particular acid from that single grape species can possibly promote weight loss, it is typically only used in sweet wine, negating most weight loss benefits. The research is promising, and with further study might will out broader benefits, but don’t base your entire weight loss journey on a daily glass of wine.

Wine and Heart Health

Another study shows potential promise for heart health. While the European Society of Cardiology conducted a study in 2014 to find a link between wine consumption and the production of good cholesterol, the findings initially seemed discouraging. The study proved no direct correlation between wine consumption and the production of HDL. However, within the study and upon closer inspection of the results, researchers noted that individuals who drank wine and worked out at least twice weekly showed signs of increased HDL and decreased LDL or bad cholesterol. Unfortunately, as testing the correlation of exercise with wine consumption was not the intent of the initial study, more research is needed.

Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever

Wine and Cancer

Like weight loss, more research is needed to determine the cancer-fighting properties of wine. While most wines contain several antioxidants, the primary compound known for its anti-carcinogenic properties is ellagic acid. Unfortunately, EA is not found in most wines because it is only found in red muscadine grapes. A study conducted in the Journal of Cancer Biology and Medicine did discuss EA as a preventative and therapeutic tool against specific forms of cancer. However, because of the limited supply of wines and grapes with EA, it is unclear the overall advantages of wine consumption in the fight against cancer.

Wine and Blood Pressure

If you want a solution to your blood pressure or hypertension woes, do not drink a glass of red wine. While touted as a tool to lower blood pressure for nearly three decades, it is a myth that wine can correct blood pressure problems, at least when containing alcohol. A recent study of the effects of red wine on blood pressure found that non-alcoholic red didi significantly reduce blood pressure levels in men.

The bottom line is that wine can provide some health benefits in moderation, but most of the drink's so-called miracle benefits are myth or without significant merit. If you like wine, drink it in moderation, but if you don't, leave it. Wine is not a miracle cure for weight loss or disease, but it is delicious, at least to this writer.

What are your thoughts on the great wine debate? Leave a comment and keep this conversation going.