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Blog posts of '2014' 'April'

Managing Allergies While Enjoying the Outdoors

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Managing Allergies While Enjoying the OutdoorsEnjoying warmer weather outdoors can have many benefits to your health and well-being. With spring upon us it's a time when plant life begins to flourish. That means the air will be adorned with pollen and other particulates from trees, grass, mold, spores, and flowers that can trigger pesky signs of seasonal allergies, disrupting your outdoor enjoyment. With the right knowhow, you can be prepared to avoid all the sneezing, running noses, itching eyes, and other symptoms that are associated with seasonal allergies.

Facts About Allergies

Allergies occur when the immune system misidentifies a normally harmless substance as a threat to the body and it goes into defense mode trying to discharge that substance from your body. If either of your parents has allergies, you have a 1 in 3 chance of developing them, too. However, if both your parents have allergies the chances go up to 70%.

Controlling Your Environment

While it's virtually impossible to rid the world of allergens completely, there are many steps you can take to protect yourself and give your sinuses some relief. First, remember that even when you're not outside pollen and dander can still find you. Controlling your home environment is a key step to reducing your exposure. Allergens and pollen can stick to clothes, furniture, bedding, and carpets. Pollen activity in the air is usually at its strongest from 10 am to 4 pm, so keep the main windows and doors to your home closed during these hours. It's also important to know that you may be covered in pollen if you've been outdoors for any period of time. Showering as soon as you get home, washing your clothes on a regular basis, and vacuuming your bedroom and living areas will help keep pollen and particulates in your home to a minimum. The main theme here is maintaining cleanliness in high-traffic areas to reduce your exposure to allergens. You can also plan your outdoor excursions around the weather. The best time to venture outdoors is after a rainstorm or rainy day; rain can wash allergens away and significantly reduce the outdoor pollen count to help reduce allergy sensitivity.

The Many Choices in Remedies

Some people are capable of outgrowing their allergies over time; others will need to constantly be aware of them. Check with your doctor to ensure you are taking the right remedy for you. Some over-the-counter medications may raise blood pressure, while experts have also found that you can build up a tolerance to allergy medicines. Herbal supplements can provide a more natural means to managing your allergies than over-the-counter medications. Red magnolia, for example, has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) since 100 AD as a natural nasal decongestant. Often paired with red magnolia, xanthium, is another name for the cocklebur plant native to Europe. It has been used in TCM to help open up nasal passages to ease breathing. Another common home remedy is creating a saline solution spray to help clear the sinuses.

You Can Never Be Over-Prepared for Allergies

Millions of people are affected each spring by seasonal allergies. But by knowing your personal allergic triggers, checking with your doctor to see what preventative remedy is best for you, and keeping a clean and tidy home, you can be well prepared to deal with the pollen, dander, and other particulates that invade the air during spring. Don't let the fear of allergies hold you back from enjoying the outdoors!


Sinetic
 

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Debunking 5 Daily Nutritional Misconceptions

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Debunking 5 Daily Nutritional MisconceptionsFocusing on your health can sometimes lead you to find contradictory statements. There are many misconceptions out there when it comes to food and daily nutrition and understanding what's good and what's bad when it comes to your daily diet isn't always black and white. Separating nutrition facts from myths can allow you to know what you need to cut back on and what is okay to include in your daily efforts to eat more healthily.

Myth #1 – Microwaving Food Depletes Nutrient Content

This urban legend often gets passed down within families. The fact is many minerals and vitamins such as vitamin C are heat sensitive. This means the longer you cook foods that are rich in these nutrients, the less nutrition they have. Using the microwave to cook vegetables can be a good way to quickly steam them while retaining their nutritional value compared to boiling them in water for a longer period of time.

Myth #2 – Multigrain and Whole Grain Mean the Same Thing

One would think that the more types of grains a food has, the better. However, just because something has multiple types of grains, it doesn't mean it contains the whole part of the it. Whole grain means using every part of the grain—including the kernel, the bran, the germ, and the endosperm—which provides more nutrition than refined grains. According to the Journal of Nutrition there is consistent evidence that whole grains can play an important role in heart health, balancing blood sugar, weight management, and digestive health.

Myth #3 – Eating Eggs Raises Your Cholesterol

This misconception is common and can be boiled down to understanding that there are different types of cholesterol. The cholesterol which is found in eggs and other foods you ingest is called dietary cholesterol. This type does not greatly influence the amount of cholesterol in your bloodstream compared to the cholesterol your body makes on its own. It's the saturated and trans-fats in foods that increase your body's cholesterol production. Eggs, while containing some trans-fats, are not nearly as unhealthy as many commonly think. They contain several vitamins and minerals that your body needs each day such as vitamin D, vitamin A, and vitamin B12; plus the trace minerals selenium and iodine. So before you dismiss eggs from your diet, make sure you know the good things you're missing out as well. In fact, researchers from the University of Missouri recently presented research stating that eating a high-protein diet consisting of eggs early in the day can help reduce total calorie intake throughout the rest of that day, which can promote better overall weight management.

Myth #4 – White Vegetables Contain No Nutritional Value

Because of all the positives associated with brightly-colored vegetables, you can see how white-colored vegetables would be thought of being less nutritious. However, this is simply just not true. Foods such as cauliflower, turnips, potatoes, parsnips, corn, and onions all contain essential nutrients like fiber, potassium, and magnesium that are important for everyday health. Just this past year, researchers and experts at the University of Purdue formed a roundtable discussion called White Vegetables: A forgotten Source of Nutrients. The discussion helped assuage the claims that white vegetables lack the same healthy punch as multicolored varieties. In particular, many experts showed that these vegetables can be important in filling in daily nutritional gaps.

Myth #5 – Using the Salt Shaker Is a Big Factor in Raising Sodium Levels

With 9 out of 10 Americans consuming more than the recommended value of 2,300 mg of sodium daily, it's easy to blame the salt shaker for high sodium levels. However, 90% of sodium intake comes from eating processed and prepared foods. Manufacturers often use it as a preservative, so it can be found in abundance in foods that might not even taste salty. Your best bet in cutting back is to read the nutrition labels for sodium amounts. As a general guide, look for entrees with no more than 800 mg sodium and no more than 200 mg for snacks. The right knowledge is key to making healthy, informed decisions when supporting your daily nutrition needs. Before deciding to cut something from your diet for good, take the time to do some research—the truth may surprise you.

Daily MultiChew


 

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