There are four ways that air fresheners work in one of or a combination of the following:
1. They destroy your natural ability to smell as they contain nerve - deadening chemicals.
2. They coat the inside of your nasal passages with an undetectable oily film of chemicals.
3. They cover up one smell with another
4. By breaking down the offensive odour which rarely happens
It may come to you as a surprise that air fresheners have little or nothing to do with freshening the air. A study conducted in 2002 by EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) researches testing air freshening units that plug into electrical sockets determined that when the fragrance chemicals in these products react with common indoor air pollutants they produce serious health hazards.
These chemicals include toxic substances such as benzene derivatives, pinene and limonene, aldehydes, phenol, and cresol.
Pinene and limonene react with ozone a common outdoor and indoor air pollutant,creating formaldehyde and a variety of related chemicals which have been implicated in multiple chemical sensitivity and respiratory distress.
Air freshener chemicals have been implicated in cancer, neurological damage, reproductive and developmental disorders, and other conditions. The synthetic chemicals in air fresheners also can aggravate asthma and/or trigger attacks. Researching air freshener/plug-in ingredients from their Material Safety Data Sheets we find that these ingredients are toxic.
Here are some of the toxic chemicals found in air fresheners and plug-ins:
Benzyl Alcohol: causes upper respiratory tract irritation, headaches, nausea and vomiting, a depressed central nervous system and a drop in blood pressure.
Camphor: is on the EPA hazardous waste list. This is readily absorbed through the body tissues, causing irritation of eyes, skin, nose, and throat, dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles and convulsions. Avoid inhalation of vapors.
Dichlorobenzene: is extremely toxic , a central nervous system depressant, kidney and liver poison. It is one of the chlorinated hydrocarbons that is long-lasting in the environment and it is stored in body fat. Vapor irritating to skin, eyes and throat. Banned in California.
Is derived from petroleum and is carcinogenic toxic to the skin, respiratory, cardiovascular, developmental, endocrine, neurological, and gastrointestinal systems.
Formaldehyde: is toxic if inhaled poisonous if swallowed, skin and eye irritant and a carcinogenic.
Limonene: is a carcinogenic, prevent contact with skin or eyes because it is an irritant and sensitizer. Always wash thoroughly after using this material and before eating or drinking. Do not inhale limonene vapor.
Naphthalene: a carcinogen that accumulates in our waters and marine life. It can be irritating to the skin, alter kidney function, cause cataracts, and is toxic (cardiovascular and developmental), especially to children. It can be poisonous if inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin.
Phenol: can cause skin to swell, burn, peel, and break out in hives, cold sweats, convulsions, circulatory collapse, coma and even death.
Pinene: is flammable and incompatible with strong oxidizing agents. Eye, skin, & respiratory irritant. May be absorbed through skin very destructive of mucous membranes.
Some of the harmful effects from exposure to the chemicals in air fresheners are:
Natural Healthy Tips:
Your metabolism involves a complex network of hormones and enzymes that not only convert food into fuel but also affect how efficiently you burn that fuel. Basically the process of metabolism establishes the rate at which we burn our calories and, ultimately, how quickly we gain weight or how easily we lose it.
What you eat, how you eat it, the type of exercise you do and even how you sleep can all impact your metabolism. So if you feel like your metabolism is running at a super slow speed, here are 5 tricks that’ll rev up your body’s motor and reverse the numbers on the scale.
1. Get Enough Sleep! Researchers have found that not getting enough sleep seriously slows down your metabolism.
2. Green Tea: has become a popular beverage known for its high antioxidant content. New evidence shows the active ingredient, catechin may speed up metabolism. Those who drunk at least a litre of green tea, burnt 90 calories a day. It is naturally calorie-free so make sure you enjoy a couple of mugs a day !
3. High Intensity Interval Training: such as interval runs or sprint swimming laps are quick intense exercises that can jumpstart metabolism and keep us burning calories long after the workout is over.
4. Don’t Skip Breakfast. It has been shown, over and over again how important it is to start the day with a healthy meal. Having breakfast quick-starts the metabolism. If you are not hungry, snack on some fruit, and then have a bowl of muesli or some eggs later on in the morning when you start feeling hungry.
5. Weight Lifting: Lifting weights can also help speed your resting metabolic rate, making those dumbbells our new best friends.
6. Drink Plenty of Water: Drinking enough water is a simple way to speed up digestion and burn calories.
7. Spice Things Up: Adding ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper to your meals will give them a fiery kick but also help boost your metabolism.
8. Bicycle Workout: 45 minutes worth of cycling was found to speed up metabolic rate for over 12 hours. So hop on that bike, it’s worth it !
9. Add in Fat Burning Foods: Certain foods like tuna, eggs, grapefruit, celery, lean chicken, oats, brown rice and chili peppers spike the metabolism, trigger hormones that release fat, and eliminate toxins that make it hard for your body to shed unwanted pounds.
10. Coffee: All you coffee drinkers will be thrilled reading this part. A cup of coffee or more so the caffeine in it, speeds up the heart rate and provides a metabolic boost that peaks three hours after drinking it. Just make sure to have organic coffee as this plant is one of the most herbicide and pesticide sprayed plants on the market.
11. Laugh, Laugh and Laugh ! Just 10 minutes of laughter a day can burn energy. So keep smiling and laughing !
March is the National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics highlights the important role of healthful eating and physical activity to control weight and prevent chronic disease.
Change is not easy. People become rooted in their eating habits, and cannot believe that what is being suggested can really improve their health and general well-being.
However, if you approach change gradually, the transition to good health can be relatively painless ! It will also give you time to change to a new shopping and cooking routine.
1. Plan Ahead
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” - Benjamin Franklin
Create a weekly menu on Sunday and make a note of what’s in and out of stock and then shop.
This habit helps you eat healthier, waste less food and time, and there’s less stress at dinner time, especially when you have hungry little mouths to feed.
2. Keep Healthy Foods in the Kitchen
A common message among nutritionists is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Here’s how:
Mix a variety of colourful vegetables such as onions, carrots, potatoes, peppers, hearty root vegetables in olive oil, herbs and spices. Roast and refrigerate. They come in handy as a side dish, snack or veggie appetizer.
Making salads can also become quite a time consuming, fidgety task. One way to help reduce this is by keeping various, washed vegetables in containers. Then you just chop up the amount that you need for your salad or munch on them as a snack.
3. Adding in the Fruit and Vegetables
4. Load Up Early, Go Light Later
Most people tend to skip breakfast altogether or eat a light one, grab lunch on the run and eat the bulk of the calories from dinner on through the evening.
Eating large amounts of food in the beginning of the day helps to stabilize hunger hormones and avoid night time cravings.
Try having a large breakfast, followed by a mid-morning snack and a big healthy lunch. This way you are fueled up while you work and you don’t end up sleeping on lots of calories at night.
If your mornings are too rushed, try to fuel up at lunch.
Consuming most of your calories during the first half of the day helps to shrink dinner portions and limit evening snacking.
5. De-Stress the 6 O'clock Dinner Rush
That more than familiar question "what's for dinner?" requires a quick and easy answer. The key is advance thinking and planning.
Keep a go-to-list of family favourite healthy dinners next to the fridge. As you see new recipes, add them. When you hit a dinner-menu rut, glance at the list for inspiration.
It’s also best to know what dinner ingredients are required to prepare your meal before leaving for work. It lets you know what you might need to buy on the way home.
Freezing single or family portions of meals such as soups, pasta sauces, bean stews, chicken or veggie patties and curries are just to mention a few dishes that freeze well. Take out to defrost in the morning and then dinner can be as simple as heating servings of sauce and boiling whole wheat pasta or brown rice to go with your dish.
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, eating a diet rich in tomatoes could protect postmenopausal women against breast cancer.
The risk of breast cancer rises as women age and is especially high after menopause due to the increase in body weight , sugar and fat content in the bodies of postmenopausal women.
The research found a link between eating large amounts of tomatoes and tomato products and an increase in the production of Adiponectin which is a hormone known to regulate glucose levels and has been shown to influence the risk of breast cancer.
According to Llanos, fruits and vegetables are packed with essential nutrients, vitamins and lycopene the phytochemical found in tomatoes, all of which contribute towards lowering the risk of breast cancer.
Soy based diet versus a tomato based diet
The study examined both the effects of a tomato-rich and soy-rich diet. In total seventy postmenopausal participated in the study. For a period of ten weeks, the women were given daily servings of tomato-based products that contained 25mg of lycopene. In another ten week period, 40gm of soy protein were served daily. The women did not eat any soy or tomato products two weeks prior to each 10 week period.
A diet rich in tomato resulted in a 9 per cent rise of the hormone Adiponectin which is involved in the regulation of fat and blood sugar levels on the body. It was also interesting to see that a healthy weight, showed a higher increase in Adiponectin. This finding confirmed the importance of healthy weight maintenance in the prevention of breast cancer.
The other interesting fact which was discovered in this study, was that the soy-rich diet resulted in a lowering of Adiponectin in the body. Researchers in earlier studies theorized that Asian women had lower breast cancer rates partly due to eating a lot of soy products. This however may not be true.
Based on the findings from this study, it is believed that regular consumption of the recommended 5 a day fruit and vegetable servings would encourage breast cancer prevention in postmenopausal women.
It’s a harsh reality to face that since the 2011 Fukushima earthquake, tsunami and meltdown, 20 trillion to 40 trillion Becquerel’s of radioactive tritium has leaked into the Pacific Ocean, in addition to large amounts of cesium, and strontium which replace calcium in the bones and remain in human bodies and sea life.
More than 300 tons of radioactive water is still being released into the sea each day.
People living on the west coast of North America may have a significant reason to be aware and take precautions.
It has also been reported in the Vancouver Sun, that the seaweed in British Columbia has radiation levels four times the amount considered safe. Cow’s milk samples taken from across the US after the Fukushima incident have three times higher the radiation levels than the EPA maximums.
There is hope though. Avoiding certain foods and including others may help to protect you and your family from the possible harmful effects of radiation.
Foods to Avoid:
1. Avoid eating fish, seafood and seaweed that comes from the Pacific Ocean and especially from Japan. According to Ken Buesseler a Marine chemist, the cesium levels in the Pacific are 50 million times higher than pre disaster levels. (The levels then decreased and have remained at 10,000 times higher than normal). The algae becomes contaminated and then moves up the food chain to the smaller fish, then to the larger fish and finally to humans.
2. Avoid dairy and meat: When the food is higher on the food chain, the higher the concentration of radioactive materials. Dairy products may especially be one of the most contaminated foods, because the animal has eaten the contaminated grass, other foods and water. This contamination occurs by rain that forms from the Pacific and atmospheric particles. Radiation is then stored in the animal’s body and passed on to anyone who eats it in the form of dairy or meat. After the Chernobyl disaster there were numerous cases of children becoming severely ill from drinking cow’s milk.
Foods to Include:
1. Apple or citrus pectin: In supplement form, these have been shown to bind to and remove radioactive materials such as Cesium-137 from the body.
2. Spirulina and chlorella have both been shown to significantly reduce or remove radioactive materials in people who were contaminated by the Chernobyl fallout. However, these blue - green algae superfoods should not be sourced from Japan or nearby waters.
3. Seaweeds have been shown to neutralize radioactive isotopes in the body, and contain a high amount of natural iodine that would protect the thyroid. Dulse from Ireland maybe your safest bet! Avoid seaweeds from Japan and North America.
4. Foods rich in carotenes (vitamin C and E), are natural protectors against radiation induced carcinogenesis. This includes carrots, sweet potatoes, beetroots, Swiss chard, spinach, melons, and yellow peppers.
5. The cruciferous family: These foods are cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels’ sprouts, bok choy, radishes, and mustard greens. They are high in caffeic acid which protect peripheral blood lymphocytes against gamma radiation induced cellular damage.
6. Herbs high in selenium are nettles, burdock root, catnip, ginseng and Moringa. Selenium may protect against DNA damage.
7. Lentils, astragalus, and red clover may help with DNA repair.
8. Miso soup has been found to be extremely protective as it contains dipicolinic acid and removes radiation from the body.
9. Rosemary is a powerful herb which helps to detox the liver and rid the brain of free radicals.
10. Reishi mushrooms, are known to increase the white blood cells and increase overall immune protection of the body even in combating cancer.
11. Coriander and chlorella are both very efficient at removing heavy metals from the body.
Here are some ways to make use of the healing properties of honey:
BURNS - Apply liberally over burns. It cools, removes pain and helps the wound heal quickly without scarring. In addition to honey being a salve, it is also an antibiotic. Bacteria simply cannot live in honey.
BED WETTING - A teaspoon of honey before going to bed is calming and also promotes water retention.
INSOMNIA - A dessertspoon of honey in chamomile tea is great way to overcome insomnia. Honey contains the sleep inducing amino acid tryptophan and chamomile also has calming properties.
HYPERACTIVITY - Get rid of white sugar and replace it with organic, unprocessed honey. White sugar is void of any nutrients while honey provides energy without spiking blood sugar levels.
STUFFY NOSE - Simply add one tablespoon each of apple cider vinegar and honey to a tall glass of warm water and sip. This mixture can quickly break up congestion and improve your other cold and flu symptoms as well. This same mixture of honey with apple cider vinegar is also good for poor digestion, promotes weight loss and is good for the joints.
FATIGUE - Honey is mainly made up of fructose and glucose, so it's quickly absorbed by the digestive system. Ancient Greek athletes ate honey for stamina before competing and to assist with recovery after competition.
FACE MASK: Mix honey with an equal amount of oatmeal and apply as a face mask. Leave on for half an hour and wash off. Great as a deep cleanser for acne and other unwanted blemishes.
HAIR MASK: Mix honey with an equal quantity of olive oil and massage into scalp and hair. Cover your head in a warm towel, leave for half an hour and then shampoo.
SORE THROATS - Eat a teaspoon of honey and let it melt in the back of the mouth and allow it to trickle down your throat. Honey has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which will help soothe a sore throat.
ANEMIA - Fortified Moringa Honey is very high in iron which will help combat anemia. The darker the honey, the more minerals it contains.
HEMORRHOIDS: A mixture of honey, olive oil and beeswax is an effective treatment for hemorrhoids and anal fistulas.
FOOD PRESERVATIVE – If you replace the sugar in cake and cookie recipes with honey, they'll stay fresher longer due to honey's natural antibacterial properties. Reduce liquids in the mixture by about one-fifth to allow for the moisture present in the in honey.
OSTEOPOROSIS – Studies have shown that a teaspoon of honey a day aids calcium utilization and prevents osteoporosis. Recommended for the over 50’s.
LONGEVITY - The most long-lived people in the world use honey regularly. Interestingly, beekeepers suffer less from cancer and arthritis than any other occupational group worldwide.
COUGH MIXTURE – Honey, onion and garlic syrup: Combine a half-cup of honey and a half-cup of water. Add in one whole chopped onion and one chopped clove of garlic. Add a dash of sage, thyme or oregano and allow to steep overnight at room temperature. Strain and use the liquid as a cough syrup. Store in your refrigerator. Honey, onion, garlic and herbs all have antimicrobial properties.
INFECTED GUMS: Rub a small amount of honey on infected gums. REDUCE DRY SKIN WRINKLES: Slather some raw, unprocessed honey on your face. It is a natural humectant which means it moisturizes your skin. Leave on for as much as 20 minutes, then rinse off to reveal soft, hydrated and glowing skin !
To gain maximum healing qualities from the honey, make sure you use, raw, unprocessed honey or even better fortified Moringa Honey !
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !