Foods

What is Really in Your Chicken Nugget

chickennuggets

What’s in Your Chicken Nuggets?

 

Do you ever think about what’s really inside your favorite chicken nugget?

Experts suggest that most of the ingredients that these tiny chicken bites

contain are used by industries and not in foods for human consumption. They

contain other ingredients that are distinctly unhealthy, reading about them

might make you reconsider your decision to eat chicken nuggets. Let’s have a

more detailed look into such ingredients:

According to the official McDonald’s website their chicken nuggets contain

hydrogenated

soybean oil with TBHQ, citric acid for preservation, and dimethylpolysiloxane

as an anti-foaming agent. These ingredients are all chemicals that are

artificially synthesized for industrial use.

Dimethylpolysiloxane is a commonly used industrial agent in

preparation of sealants. It’s made of silicone and used as an anti-foaming

agent in caulking. It has various safety concerns associated with it. It is

also used in breast implants as a filler and an important component in Silly

Putty.

TBHQ is a petroleum derivative which is added to perfumes

and oil field chemicals as a stabilizer. It can create tumors in the stomach.

In experiments conducted on lab animals it was found that these ingredients,

especially TBHQ, when given in high dosages cause severe damage to DNA. TBHQ is

also linked with carcinogenic effects in various studies. Other problems that

can be caused by TBHQ include nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, collapse,

delirium, and feelings of suffocation. It may also lead to liver damage and

hormonal imbalance.

McNuggets also contain sodium aluminum phosphate and baking powder. Research

has associated these ingredients with Alzheimer’s disease because of the

presence of aluminum. The soybean oil used to prepare chicken nuggets is

altered chemically to make it more stable and has been associated with numerous

heart diseases.

Canola oil and corn oil are also some of the more harmful ingredients in

nuggets. These oils are extracted from some of the most widely genetically

modified crops. The oils are heated at very high temperatures during manufacturing

therefore cause inflammation and harm to the body.

Nuggets also contain ingredients like calcium sulphate which is used in plaster

of Paris, it’s certainly not something that should be used in food items.

Chicken nuggets do not decompose even after several days which makes it clear

these are not real food but processed chemicals. Decomposition of wholesome

real foods that promote health is inevitable. Studies find that only 50% of

McNuggets is actual chicken, the other half is made of sugars, corn derivatives,

synthetic ingredients, and leavening agents.

In an article by Dr. DeShazo and Dr. Bigler’s published in the American

Journal of Medicine, the authors looked into Chicken McNuggets under the

microscope and their findings were shocking. The majority of the nuggets are

FAT rather than lean muscles and this product contains substantial amount of

bone, intestine, skin, and nerve tissues.

The way of obtaining chicken by fast food giants has been highly debatable

and various concerns have been raised regarding their production of chicken and

ways of processing it. There are bitter truths associated with other fast foods

such as French fries and hamburgers.

It is quite disturbing to know that toxic oils, harmful chemicals and

genetically modified ingredients are part of chicken nuggets. All the

information mentioned above is only about nuggets. It doesn’t say a word about

the sauce that comes with it and its simple to make out how unhealthy they are.

No matter how much you like them you need to say goodbye to them if you want to

stay healthy and keep your children healthy.

Source: American Journal of Medicine

Source: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/10/look-inside-a-chicken-nugget/280720/

Source-

http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/whats-really-in-chicken-mcnuggets-scary

Source-

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/25-ingredients-in-mcdonalds-chicken-mcnuggets.html?page=2

Source- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/whats-infast-food_b_805190.html

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL

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Foods, Lifestyle

Health Benefits of Tea and Coffee

teaandcoffee

For the first time, a government advisory committee included a mention of caffeine in its recommendations for the 2015 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Rather than suggesting it be eliminated, however, the report said Americans could safely consume up to five cups of coffee a day, or approximately 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, with no detrimental effects.1

It’s a definite sign of the times. Coffee shop chains have been growing more than 10 percent annually, compared to 2 percent a year for fast food chains. There are about 20,000 coffee shops in the US, although 75 percent of the coffee brewed daily is actually consumed at home.2

Overall, more than 75 percent of US adults drink coffee, and 58 percent do so daily.3 Most coffee drinkers, however, did not start drinking coffee because they believed it was good for their health. In fact, many probably drink it assuming it is not.

If you’re a coffee drinker, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. There is one less dietary habit you have to worry about, as it turns out coffee may be good for you after all.

Even the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans may soon reflect this, a recommendation that was based on an evaluation of multiple meta-analyses and other studies evaluating the link between coffee and chronic diseases, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.

The more research that comes out, the more it seems clear that coffee – in its organic, black, and unadulterated form – is a beverage you can enjoy while benefitting your health.

Coffee May Be Good for Your Heart

The coffee plant and its seeds (coffee beans) contain a natural blend of polyphenol antioxidants (including chlorogenic acids), bioflavonoids, vitamins, and minerals that all work together to offer some impressive health-promoting benefits, and even help neutralize the harsher effects of the caffeine that coffee naturally contains.4

The first slew of studies has to do with coffee and heart health. One meta-analysis that included data from 11 studies and nearly 480,000 people found drinking two to six cups of coffee a day was associated with a lower risk of stroke.5 That study noted:

“The phenolic compounds in coffee possess antioxidant capacity and can inhibit the oxidative modification of low density lipoprotein cholesterol, thereby reducing the atherosclerotic process.

…moderate coffee consumption (1–3 cups/day in the United States or 3–4 cups/day in Europe) was associated with a significantly lower risk of coronary heart disease in women… Ample evidence also indicates that coffee consumption is inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”

Further, in a study of more than 25,000 people, those who drank a moderate amount of coffee – defined as three to five cups daily – were less likely to have calcium deposits in their coronary arteries than those who drank no coffee or more coffee daily.6

A large part of arterial plaque consists of calcium deposits (atherosclerosis), hence the term “hardening of the arteries.” Coronary artery calcium can be a significant predictor of future heart disease risk.

In addition, one study showed moderate coffee drinking reduces your chances of being hospitalized for heart rhythm problems.7 Another study found it may trigger a 30 percent increase in blood flow in your small blood vessels, which might take some strain off your heart.8

Could Coffee Lower Your Risk of Cancer?

While a number of individual studies have suggested coffee consumption might increase your cancer risk, when multiple studies are analyzed, such as is the case with meta-analyses, the association disappears, and, in fact, becomes protective.

For instance, one 2007 meta-analysis found an increase in consumption of two cups of coffee per day was associated with a 43 percent reduced risk of liver cancer9 — a finding that has been confirmed by more recent research.

Not to mention, coffee appears to have additional benefits for liver health, slowing down the progression of liver disease to cirrhosis, improving responses in people with hepatitis C, and lowering the risk of death in people with cirrhosis.10

The potential benefit of coffee for liver health appears so strong that researchers have stated daily coffee consumption should be encouraged in people with chronic liver disease.11

Another meta-analysis involving 59 studies revealed an increase in consumption of one cup of coffee per day was associated with a 3 percent reduced risk of cancers.12 According to the researchers, “coffee drinking was associated with a reduced risk of bladder, breast, buccal and pharyngeal, colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, hepatocellular, leukemic, pancreatic, and prostate cancers.”13

There’s even research showing coffee consumption could lower your risk of skin cancer. Drinking four cups of caffeinated coffee daily might reduce your risk of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.14

According to researchers, “coffee constituents suppress UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis, induce cell apoptosis, protect against oxidative stress and DNA damage, reduce inflammation in epidermal cells, and inhibit changes in DNA methylation.”15

Women who consumed more than three cups of coffee a day had a significantly lower risk of basal cell carcinoma (non-melanoma skin cancer) than those who consumed less than one cup per month.16

Coffee Has Multiple Potential Anti-Cancer Pathways

How might coffee lower cancer risk? Researchers noted in the journal BMC Cancer:17

“Roasted coffee is a complex mixture of more than a thousand chemicals. Many constituents in it could potentially alter cancer risk through several biological mechanisms. Coffee is the major source of caffeine which has been reported to both stimulate and suppress tumors, depending upon the species and the phase of administration.

There are two specific diterpenes in coffee, cafestol and kahweal, which produce biological effects compatible with anticarcinogenic properties, including the induction of phase II enzymes involved in carcinogen detoxification, specific inhibition of the activity of phase I enzyme responsible for carcinogen activation, and stimulation of intracellular antioxidant defense mechanisms.

Polyphenols are an important ingredient in coffee, such as lignan phytoestrogens and flavonoids and polyphenols are found to exhibit anticarcinogenic properties in several studies.

Caffeic acid has the ability to inhibit DNA methylation in cultured human cancer cells and is associated with inactivation of various pathways involved in the tumorigenic process, including cell cycle regulation, inflammatory and stress response and apoptosis.

Coffee is also a major source of the chlorogenic acid that contributes to its antioxidant effect. Intake of chlorogenic acid has been shown to reduce glucose concentrations in rats and intake of quinides, degradation products of chlorogenic acid, increases insulin sensitivity.

Chronic hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance are confirmed markers of high risk for some cancer sites.”

Coffee Might Benefit Your Brain Health and Lower Your Risk of Premature Death

In addition to the news that coffee might be good for your arteries, your liver, and your risk of cancer, several other studies have also yielded promising results regarding coffee and chronic disease. For instance:18

  • Multiple Sclerosis: Drinking four to six cups of coffee a day is associated with a lower risk of multiple sclerosis, as is drinking a high amount of coffee over five to 10 years. According to researchers, “Caffeine has neuroprotective properties and seems to suppress the production of proinflammatory cytokines.”19
  • Dementia: Caffeine also promotes production of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, and triggers the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, thereby improving your brain health.

Among people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), those with higher blood levels of caffeine (due to coffee consumption) were less likely to progress to full-blown dementia.20 “Caffeine/coffee intake is associated with a reduced risk of dementia or delayed onset, particularly for those who already have MCI,” the researchers said.

  • Parkinson’s Disease: Higher coffee and caffeine intake are associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.21

Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has even shown that coffee consumption is inversely associated with premature death. In other words, the more coffee drank, the lower the risk of death became, including deaths from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections.22

Tea Consumption Might Lengthen Your Life, Too

While there are more coffee drinkers than tea drinkers in the US (about 183 million compared to 173.5 million, respectively),23 many still enjoy sipping on tea …and this is another healthy habit. In fact, many centenarians around the world drink tea frequently, according to the Blue Zones project, which is documenting lifestyle habits of communities with high numbers of centenarians.24 As described in Dan Buettner’s book, The Blue Zones Solution, in Okinawa, Japan, jasmine tea and green tea are popular.

On the island of Ikaria, another concentrated area for centenarians, tea is brewed daily using fresh-picked herbs, such as rosemary, wild sage, oregano, marjoram, mint or dandelion. When Buettner had the tea analyzed, he found anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.25 Tea has been enjoyed for close to 5,000 years.

It was reportedly discovered in 2737 BC when tea leaves accidentally blew into Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung’s pot of boiling water.26 Tea has been used traditionally as a beverage and healing tonic ever since. Like coffee, modern-day research has also confirmed tea’s myriad of health benefits:

Reduced Mortality and Chronic Inflammation

Drinking green tea is associated with reduced mortality due to all causes, as well as mortality due to heart disease. Research also shows holistic benefits to green tea consumption, including lower blood pressure, oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation.27

Heart Health

Green tea improves both blood flow and the ability of arteries to relax, with research suggesting a few cups of green tea each day may help prevent heart disease.28 Study results also show EGCG can be helpful for the prevention of arterio­sclerosis, cerebral thrombus, heart attack, and stroke—in part due to its ability to relax your arteries and improve blood flow.29

Type 2 Diabetes

One study found people who consume six or more cups of green tea daily had a 33 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who consumed less than one cup per week.30

Weight Loss

There is some evidence that long-term consumption of green tea catechins is beneficial for burning fat and may work with other chemicals to increase levels of fat oxidation and thermogenesis.

Bone Health

Green tea polyphenols combined with a form of vitamin D called alfacalcidol could boost bone structure and strength, according to a new study in mice. The mixture may reverse damage to bones caused by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced chronic inflammation, which could in turn reduce the risk of osteoporosis.31

Vision Health

Catechins in green tea could help protect you against glaucoma and other eye diseases, as research found that the compounds travel from your digestive system into the tissues of your eyes. During the study, the catechins found in green tea were absorbed into various parts of the eyes anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours after rats were given tea.32

Cancer

Green tea components have been shown to downregulate the expression of proteins involved in inflammation, cell signalization, cell motility and angiogenesis, while an association between green tea intake and decreased risk of cancers (including ovarian and breast33) have been reported.34

Previous research has shown that green tea polyphenols act on molecular pathways to shut down the production and spread of tumor cells.35 They also discourage the growth of the blood vessels that feed the tumors. EGCG even acts as an antiangiogenic and antitumor agent, and helps modulate tumor cell response to chemotherapy.36

If You Drink Tea, Be Careful of Contaminants

Green tea plants are known to be especially effective at absorbing lead from the soil, which is then taken up into the plants’ leaves. Areas with excessive industrial pollution, such as China (where nearly 90% of the world’s green tea is produced),37 may therefore contain substantial amounts of lead.38

While the lead in the tea leaves is not thought to leach very effectively into the tea you end up drinking, if you’re consuming Matcha green tea (which contains the entire ground tealeaf), one of my favorites, it’s especially important that it comes from Japan instead of China.

Both black and green teas are also naturally high in fluoride, even if organically grown without pesticides. This is because the plant readily absorbs fluoride thorough its root system, including naturally occurring fluoride in the soil.

According to fluoride expert Jeff Green, who sadly passed away unexpectedly last year,39 there are reports of people who have developed crippling skeletal fluorosis from drinking high amounts of iced tea alone.40 If you live in an area with fluoridated drinking water, as the majority of Americans do, then you could be getting a double dose of fluoride when you drink tea.

When selecting tea of any kind, it should preferably be organic (to avoid pesticides) and grown in a pristine environment because, as mentioned, tea is known to accumulate fluoride, heavy metals, and other toxins from soil and water. A clean growing environment is essential to producing a pure, high-quality tea. Another quick tip? Add a squirt of lemon juice to your cup. Previous research has demonstrated that vitamin C significantly increases the amount of beneficial catechins available for your body to absorb.

On the other hand, while adding lemon juice is beneficial, adding milk is not. The proteins in milk may bind to and neutralize the antioxidants in tea, such that its health benefits are significantly reduced.41

The Healthiest Coffee Is Black and Organic

For many people today, “coffee” has become synonymous with heavily sweetened, chocolate-, vanilla-, or caramel-flavored beverages. But if you are dousing your cup of Joe in creamer, non-dairy creamer, sugar, and other sweeteners and flavorings, you are missing out on the therapeutic benefits and potentially harming your health. The natural blend of polyphenol antioxidants are part of what makes coffee so healthy.

However, some research suggests that adding dairy to your coffee may interfere with your body’s absorption of beneficial chlorogenic acids.42 Meanwhile, if you add sugar to your coffee you’ll spike your insulin levels, which contributes to insulin resistance.

If you’re interested in the health benefits, drink your coffee black, without sugar, non-dairy creamer or cream, or flavorings. If you really can’t stand your coffee black, you could try adding non-dairy alternatives like coconut milk or a natural sweetener like stevia.

As for buying organic, do so whenever possible. Coffee beans are one of the most heavily pesticides-sprayed crops. So, you should select only coffee beans that are certified organic. Remember, you will obliterate any positive effects if you consume coffee that’s been doused in pesticides or other chemicals.

Whenever possible, purchase sustainable “shade-grown” coffee to help prevent the continued destruction of our tropical rain forests and the birds that inhabit them. There are many who say shade-grown coffee tastes better as well. In addition, you’ll want to purchase whole bean coffee that smells and tastes fresh, not stale; if your coffee does not have a pleasant aroma, it is likely rancid.

Grind it yourself to prevent rancidity, as pre-ground coffee may be rancid by the time you get it home. If you use a “drip” coffee maker, be sure to use non-bleached filters. The bright white ones are chlorine-bleached, and some of this chlorine will leach from the filter during the brewing process.

Bleached filters are also notoriously full of dangerous disinfection byproducts, such as dioxin. Finally, while it appears coffee in moderation is beneficial, be careful not to overdo it, as some studies have found adverse effects when about 10 cups a day or more are consumed. When referring to a “cup” of coffee, most research considers it to be five to eight ounces with about 100 mg of caffeine.

In contrast, a small cup at many coffee houses starts at 12 ounces while a large cup may hold 20-24 ounces. Finally, pregnant women should probably not drink caffeinated coffee. Public health agencies suggest pregnant women limit daily caffeine to 200 mg (or about two cups of coffee a day).

However, caffeine can significantly impact the growing fetus. It is able to freely pass through the placenta, and since caffeine does not provide any benefits to your baby, only potential hazards, I strongly recommend pregnant women avoid ALL forms of caffeine.

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL

Archived Article

Lifestyle

Natural Insect Repellent that works better than DEET

lemoneucalyptus

Natural Insect Repellent that works better than DEET

Biting insects can put a damper on your summer

fun, not to mention potentially transmit diseases like Lyme disease and West

Nile Virus. The majority of US adults (75 percent) said they are actually more concerned about such diseases than

they are about potentially dangerous chemicals in insect repellent.1

Still, most

people also told Consumer

Reports that safety is important when choosing an insect repellent, and only

one-third believe products on the market are safe for adults (and only 23

percent considered them safe for kids).

Concern is well-justified, as DEET

(N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) is used in hundreds of products, in concentrations

of up to an astounding 100 percent. DEET has been shown to harm brain and

nervous system function.

Children are

particularly at risk for subtle neurological changes because their skin more

readily absorbs chemicals in the environment, and chemicals exert more potent

effects on their developing nervous systems.

DEET is not your only option for insect

repellent, fortunately, and Consumer Reports tests have recently revealed

natural alternatives that may be even more effective

without the harsh side effects.

Picaridin and

Lemon Eucalyptus Beat DEET for Repelling Insects

Consumer

Reports recruited volunteers to test out spray-on repellents made of DEET, oil

of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin, a chemical called IR3535, and products made

with natural plant oils. After the repellents were applied and allowed to sit

for 30 minutes, the volunteers reached into a cage containing (disease-free)

mosquitoes or ticks.

Two products

emerged on top and were able to keep mosquitoes and ticks away for at least

seven hours: products that contained 20 percent picaridin or 30 percent oil of

lemon eucalyptus. Picaridin resembles the natural compound piperine, an

essential oil in black pepper.

However, picaridin is not a natural compound;

it’s produced synthetically in the lab. According to the Environmental Working

Group (EWG), picaridin does not carry the same neurotoxicity concerns at DEET,

although it has not been tested much over the long term. They report:2

“Overall, EWG’s

assessment is that Picaridin is a good DEET alternative with many of the same

advantages and without the same disadvantages.”

Lemon

Eucalyptus Is a ‘Biopesticide’ Repellent

Oil

of lemon eucalyptus comes from the gum eucalyptus tree, but it is

p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD), its synthetic version with pesticidal properties,

that is used as an insect repellent. While the term “PMD” is often used

interchangeably with lemon eucalyptus oil, know that it is different from the

“pure” unrefined oil, which is typically used in making fragrances.

The pure oil is

not registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an insect

repellant. PMD or the refined version, on the other hand, has a long history of

use but only recently became important as a commercial repellent.

In 2000, the

EPA registered oil of lemon eucalyptus or PMD as a “biopesticide repellent,”

meaning it is derived from natural materials. Both lemon eucalyptus oil and

picaridin are not actual repellents,

but insteadmost likely work by masking the environmental cues that mosquitoes

use to locate their target.

Side effects of

both picaridin and lemon eucalyptus include potential skin or eye irritation,

and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that picaridin should not

be used on children under age 3. Urvashi Rangan, PhD, executive director of

Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center, said:

“They are not

side-effect-free, but ‘those problems are much less severe than deet…’ Still,

all repellents should be used sparingly and only for the time you need

them—especially on children and older people.”

Why

DEET-Containing Repellents Are Better Off Avoided

About 30

percent of Americans use DEET every year, but you should know that this

chemical – though generally effective in keeping away insects – can have deadly

repercussions. From 1961 to 2002, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease

Registry reports eight deaths related to DEET exposure.

Three of these resulted from deliberate

ingestion, but five of them occurred following DEET exposure to the skin in

adults and children.3 Psychological effects have

also been reported including altered mental state, auditory hallucinations, and

severe agitation.

In children, the most frequently reported

symptoms of DEET toxicity reported to poison control centers were lethargy,

headaches, tremors, involuntary movements, seizures, and convulsions. Further,

in a study of more than 140 National Park Service employees, 25 percent

reported health effects they attributed to DEET, including:4

Rashes

Skin or mucous membrane

irritation

Transient numb or

burning lips

Dizziness

Disorientation

Difficulty

concentrating

Headache

Nausea

In addition, Duke University Medical Center

pharmacologist Mohamed Abou-Donia spent 30 years researching

the effects of pesticides. He discovered that prolonged exposure to DEET can

impair cell function in parts of your brain — demonstrated in the lab by death

and behavioral changes in rats with frequent or prolonged DEET use. Other

potential side effects DEET exposure include:

Memory loss

Headache

Muscle weakness and

fatigue

Shortness of breath

Muscle and joint pain

Tremors

Another

potentially harmful chemical found in many bug sprays is permethrin. This

chemical is a member of the synthetic pyrethroid family, all of which are

neurotoxins.

The EPA has even deemed this chemical

carcinogenic, capable of causing lung tumors, liver tumors, immune system

problems, and chromosomal abnormalities. Permethrin is also damaging to the

environment, and it is particularly toxic to bees and aquatic life. It should

also be noted that permethrin is highly toxic to cats.5

Non-Chemical

Options to Keep Bugs Away from Your Barbecue

Consumer

Reports also tested three non-chemical options for keeping pests away from a

simulated backyard barbecue: a citronella candle, a portable diffuser with

essential oils, or an oscillating pedestal fan set at its highest speed.

While neither the candle nor the diffuser showed much promise, the fan worked

well, cutting mosquito landings by 45 percent to 65 percent among those sitting

near the fan.

Similar results were found from the Consumer

Reports survey, which found 45 percent of people who used fans to keep insects

away reported them as “especially helpful” (compared to 31 percent of those who

used candles).6

Naturally, the

best way to avoid mosquito bites is to prevent coming into contact with them in

the first place. You can avoid insect bites by staying inside between dusk and

dawn, which is when they are most active.

Mosquitoes are also thicker in shrubby areas and

near standing water. The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA)

recommends the “Three Ds” of protection to prevent mosquito breeding on your

property:7

  • Drain – Mosquitoes require water in which to breed, so

    carefully drain any and all sources of standing water around your house and

    yard, including pet bowls, gutters, garbage and recycling bins, spare tires,

    bird baths, etc.

  • Dress – Wear light colored, loose fitting

    clothing—long sleeved shirts and long pants, hats, and socks

  • Defend – While the AMCA recommends

    using commercial repellents, I highly recommend avoiding most chemical

    repellents for the reasons already discussed; try some of the natural

    alternatives instead, when necessary

Bat houses are another option since bats are

voracious consumers of insects, especially mosquitoes. For more on buying a bat

house or constructing one yourself, visit the Organization for Bat

Conservation.8 Planting marigolds around

your yard also works as a bug repellent because the flowers give off a fragrance

that bugs dislike.

Enjoy the

Outdoors with These Additional Natural Repellent Options

Body temperature and skin chemicals like lactic

acid attract mosquitoes, which explains why you’re more likely to be “eaten

alive” when you’re sweaty, such as during or after exercise, so trying to stay

as cool and dry as you can may help to some degree. Some experts also recommend

supplementing

with one vitamin B1 tablet a day from April through October, and

then adding 100 mg of B1 to a B100 Complex daily during the mosquito season to

make

you less attractive to mosquitoes. Regularly

consuming

garlic may also help protect against mosquito bites, as may thefollowing natural insect repellants:

  • Cinnamon leaf oil

    (one study found it was more effective at killing mosquitoes than DEET9)

  • Clear liquid vanilla extract mixed with olive oil
  • Wash with citronella soap, and then put 100% pure

    citronella essential

    oil on your skin. Java Citronella is considered the highest qualitycitronella on the market

  • Catnip oil (according to one study, this oil is

    10 times more effective than DEET10)

Another option is to use the safe solution I have

formulated to repel mosquitoes, fleas, chiggers, ticks, and other biting

insects. It’s a

natural

insect spray with a combination of citronella,

lemongrass

oil,

peppermint

oil, and vanillin, which is a dynamite blend of natural plant

extracts. In fact, an independent study showed my bug spray to be more

effective than a product containing 100 percent DEET. And it’s safe for you,

your children, and your pets.

You can also try using lemon eucalyptus oil to make a homemade insect

repellent. Here is a recipe from Backpacking Spirit to try out:11

“Make your own

mosquito repellent consisted of around 10% lemon eucalyptus oil. If you are

using the essential (‘pure’) oil, note that it does not mix with water and will

therefore require a carrier oil, such as hazel, vodka, or olive oil.

Procedure:

  • Obtain an

    appropriately sized bottle for travel; a 100 to 200 ml bottle will be a good

    choice. You may also go for a bottle that has a spritzer nozzle for easy

    application.

  • Choose your

    carrier oil

  • Use a measuring

    jug for more precise measurements.

  • Think 10%

    essential oil. If you are using a 100 ml bottle, mix 90 ml of your chosen

    liquid and 10 ml of lemon eucalyptus oil. If you are using a 200 ml bottle, mix

    180 ml of liquid and 20 ml of essential oil.

  • Shake the

    bottle thoroughly before use.

  • Spritz onto

    skin and rub in.”

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL

Archived Article

Health and Disease

What Happens to Your Body When You Smoke

cigarettersmoking

What Happens to Your Body When You Smoke

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 18 out of every 100 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older (17.8 percent) smoke cigarettes today. This means an estimated 42.1 million adults in the United States are cigarette smokers. Even more stunning; on average, smoking causes 480,000 deaths per year in the country, which is roughly 1,300 deaths per day.1 It is expected that eight million people will die in 2030 if the current smoking rate continues.

Background of Cigarette Smoking

Smoking is said to stimulate pleasing and enjoyable emotions, and smokers claim that it helps boost their mood, alleviates minor depression and small fits of anger, improves concentration and short-term memory, and can also provide a modest sense of well-being. This is because cigarettes contain the addictive substance nicotine that stimulates dopamine in the brain, which is responsible for the “pleasurable sensations.”

However, the more you smoke, the more your nerve cells become immune to the pleasure brought on by smoking. As a result, smokers tend to increase their intake of nicotine to get that desirable feeling from smoking.2

Despite the “pleasure” that one gets from puffing a cigarette, remember this: smoking comes with devastating health effects.

If you think smoking an e-cig makes a difference, it doesn’t. Researchers actually found that a brand of e-cigarette contains more than 10 times the level of carcinogen contained in a regular cigarette. Formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, both harmful toxins, were also found in the vapor produced by several types of e-cigarettes.

Remember while smoking makes you feel good for a period of time, it slowly kills your body, and is the LEADING preventable cause of death in the US.3

What Are the Side Effects of Smoking Cigarettes?

Smoking harms your body and may cause permanent damage to your health. If you’re still not convinced about its dangers, take a look at some of smoking’s side effects.

Short-Term Effects

Smokers tend to have smelly clothes and hair, bad breath, and yellow or brown teeth stains. Your physical appearance can also suffer as smoking can lead to premature wrinkles, gum and tooth loss, and sudden weight change. Stomach ulcers and weakened immune system are also possible smoking side effects you might experience.4

For young people, there is a high probability that they will continue smoking into adulthood. As a result, it will impair their lung function and growth. Teens who smoke are also 22 times more likely to use cocaine.

According to a new Australian study, female smokers may experience worse menstrual cramps than those who don’t. It is likely to happen as the amount of oxygen that travels to the uterus decreases when you smoke. Researchers say that women who started to smoke at the tender age of 13 have a 59 percent risk of having painful menstruation, while those who started to smoke at age 14 or 15 have 50 percent risk of experiencing it.5

Long-Term Effects

Many people don’t begin to feel the severe side effects of smoking until years later. Once you begin to feel the symptoms, you know damage has already been done. Some damaging side effects of smoking cigarettes include:

  • Cardiovascular health problems. Smoking poses a great danger to your heart and blood vessels. It damages the structure of your heart and the way your blood vessels work.6 Smoking increases your risk of having a heart disease by two to four times, as it causes the blood vessels in your heart to thicken and grow thinner. It makes your heart beat faster, your blood pressure rise, and causes your blood to clot. When a clot blocks the blood flow to your heart, it cannot get enough oxygen, which damages a part of your heart’s muscle or even kills it.

People who smoke have a higher risk of atherosclerosis, a disease where the plaque liquids build in the arteries. As time progresses, it will cause your arteries to harden and narrow, which will limit the flow of the oxygen-filled blood to other parts of your body.

Smoking may also lead to coronary heart disease (CHD) once the plaque liquids build up in the coronary arteries. It can lead to chest pain, heart attack, heart failure, arrhythmias, or death.

Another side effect of smoking cigarettes is Peripheral Arterial Disease (P.A.D.), which happens when plaque liquids build up to the blood vessels that deliver blood to the head, organs, and limbs. Smokers who have diabetes and take birth control pills are at greater risk of having serious ailments to the heart and blood vessels. 7

  • Increased risk of stroke. Smokers have a two to four times increased risk of having a stroke than non-smokers. It happens when a clot blocks the blood from your brain or when an artery around or in your brain explodes.8
  • Respiratory problems. Our lungs are equipped with a layer of internal mucus that serves as a protective shield for foreign materials that we inhale, by wiping off these contaminants with small hairs called cilia. But with smokers, cilia cannot function properly as these tiny hairs work rather slowly. As a result, you cannot cough, sneeze, or swallow to get these toxins out of your body.9

Smoking can trigger or make an asthma attack worse.10 It may also cause Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In emphysema, the air sacs in your lungs eventually lose their elasticity and start to worsen. Chronic bronchitis happens when there is a swelling in the linings of your lungs and it constrains your breathing.11

  • Pregnancy complications. Pregnant women who smoke have a higher risk of preterm (early) delivery, miscarriage, or stillbirth. They may encounter Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), ectopic pregnancy, and orofacial clefts for the newborns. Women also have a great tendency of having weaker bones after menopause.12
  • Reproductive health function. Men who smoke may encounter erectile dysfunction, poor sperm quality, and sperm defects. For women, smoking may cause reduced fertility.13
  • Cigarettes contain over 7,000 chemicals, some of which can cause cancer. These include formaldehyde, benzene, polonium 210, and vinyl chloride.14 Even worse, smoking can cause various kinds of cancers anywhere in your body, not just in your lungs, such as: 15
Bladder Blood (acute myeloid leukemia) Cervix
Colon and rectum (colorectal) Esophagus Kidney and ureter
Larynx Liver Oropharynx
Pancreas Stomach Trachea, bronchus, and lung

Radioactive Chemical Found in Fertilizers Leads to Lung Cancer

Did you know that your body also accumulates harmful radioactive chemicals from cigarettes? These dangerous elements come from the pesticides used on tobacco fields. While it is true that smoking cigarettes can cause cancer, there is a more specific substance that is the root cause of cancer among smokers. Tobacco fields typically use calcium phosphate fertilizers, which contain polonium-210. When polonium-210 decays, it releases alpha particles that can damage human cells they come into contact with.

Research suggests that main lung damage comes from the radiation emitted by these fertilizers.16,17,18 It also showed that polonium, specifically, causes cancer in laboratory animals.19 Moreover, according to a study in 200920 the radiation that you get from smoking 1 ½ cigarette packs is tantamount to 300 chest x-ray films per year.

A 2011 report from Nicotine and Tobacco Research21 also revealed there are internal documents stating that the tobacco industry have recognized the danger brought by these radioactive chemicals. According to these papers, acid wash was found to be an effective solution in removing polonium-210 from the tobacco leaves, but the industry avoided using it as it would lessen the pleasurable effect of nicotine to smokers.

The tobacco industry will certainly not be your number one motivator in stopping you from smoking, even if they know that this may lead to your death. It is now your decision to throw away your smoking habit for good and choose a healthier lifestyle, which can add more years to your life.

What Happens When a Smoker Quits

The process of quitting requires determination and patience as it will affect you both physically and mentally, so be prepared for its withdrawal period. But nonetheless, it will greatly benefit in many ways even just minutes after quitting.

Tips on How to Quit Smoking

People who have been addicted to smoking for a long time still have hope in turning over a new leaf. I suggest that you practice these prevention techniques to help you quit smoking:22

  • Choose a Quit Day. Pick a day that is not stressful for you so that you can prepare yourself. It can be your birthday, your anniversary, or even just the first day of the month.
  • Don’t Quit Alone. Telling someone about your decision to quit can give an enormous support when you feel alone in your battle to quit.
  • Know Your Nicotine Replacement Options. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) can be a great help in quitting smoking as it can help you overcome the withdrawal symptoms. It is considered safe for all smokers except for pregnant women and people with heart disease.23

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved five forms of nicotine replacement therapy (patch, gum, nasal spray, inhalers, and lozenges) for those who are attempting to quit. But it is still best to ask a medical professional about which form of NRT is most suitable for you.24

  • Get Smart About Your Smoking. Keeping a journal can help you track the situations that helped you up or pushed you down in your attempt to quit smoking, so you can determine how you can deal with them without reaching for a cigarette.
  • Identify Your Triggers. Make a list of all the things that you have done in the past that involves smoking. Before your quit day, prepare yourself on how you will deal with these things.
  • Change the What, Where, When and How You Smoke. Altering you habits – the time and places where you used to smoke – can help you during your attempt to quit.
  • Spring Clean. Wash and throw away everything that reminds you of smoking.
  • Get Support. It is great if you can get help from communities of former smokers or a clinic that specializes in helping those who want quit.
  • Quit Day and Beyond. You have to adjust your behavior to identify what triggers you to smoke.
  • If You’re Going to Do It, Do It! Commitment is key to be successful in your attempt to quit. It will certainly be hard but it is worth it.

Quitting smoking may be hard, but I advise you to do it as early as now. I really believe that having a healthy, smoke-free lifestyle will not only benefit you but your family as well.

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL

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