Health and Wellness

Benefits of Juicing

Juicing Benefits…

Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of a wide range of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other nutrients, including, phytochemicals – compounds that have been shown to combat cancer.

Since more of the healthful substances found in fruits and vegetables are being discovered all the time, no supplement pill can contain all of theses compounds. Also, because each plant appears to produce particular phytochemicals that work against cancer in particular ways, it is suggested that a rich assortment of fruits and vegetables be included in your diet.

It is also recommended that you consume two glasses of live juices a day for health maintenance. Four glasses a day is recommended if you want to speed healing and recovery from illness.

Juicing is an excellent means of adding fruits and vegetables to your diet. Since juice contains the whole fruit or vegetable, except for the fiber, which is the indigestible part of the plant – it contains virtually all of the plants’ health-promoting components.

Because fresh juices are made from raw fruits and vegetables, all of the components remain intact. Vitamin C and other water-soluble vitamins can be damaged by overprocessing or overcooking.

Enzymes, which are proteins needed for digestion and other important functions, can also be damaged by cooking.

Fresh juice, however, provides all of the plants’ healthful ingredients in a form that is easy to digest and absorb. In fact, it has been estimated that fruit and vegetable juices can be assimilated in twenty to thirty minutes.

Ideally, juicing should be made fresh in your kitchen and consumed immediately. Many commercial juices are heat-treated to lengthen shelf life. As previously discussed, this process can destroy important nutrients. In addition, preservatives may have been added. Even pure, freshly made juices can lose some of their nutrients by being allowed to sit for long periods of time. By buying the best products available, properly preparing it for juicing, and processing it in your own juicer, you will produce the most healthful, nutrients-rich drinks possible.

Green Juices or “Green Drinks”

Benefits of Juicing

Green juices cleanse the body of pollutants and have a rejuvenating effect. Made from a variety of green vegetables, green juices are rich in chlorophyll, which helps to purify the blood, build red blood cells, detoxify and heal the body, and provide the body with fast energy.

Green juices can be made with alfalfa sprouts, barley grass, cabbage, kale, dandelion greens, spinach, and other green vegetables, including wheatgrass. Wheatgrass juice is particularly important in any cancer treatment, especially when radiation therapy is involved. To sweeten and dilute your green juices, try adding fresh carrot and apple juice. (No other fruit juice should be added.) Steam distilled water is another good addition.

Although green juices have great health benefits, they should be consumed in moderation. Try drinking about 8 to 10 ounces a day.

You owe yourself a healthier life

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - February 18, 2015 at 9:52 am

Categories: Detoxify, Green Education, Green Life, Green Solutions, Health and Wellness, Living Green   Tags:

Toxic Free Living

Toxins are poisonous substances harmful to the body

Home toxins can be divided into three categories:

  • Airborne
  • Biological
  • Chemical

Airborne – Consist of small air borne particles such as lint, dust mites, human skin, and pet dander.

These toxins are more dangerous than they sound because their small size enables them to travel deep into the lungs.

Biological – Such as bacteria and viruses, attach themselves to airborne particles, increasing the likelihood of lung infections. Mold is also part of this category.

Chemicals – Come into our home in the products that we buy to improve the look, smell, and cleanliness of both ourselves and our home.  There are over 80,000 Chemicals out there used to make cleaning and personal products.  Many have never been tested for toxicity by themselves let alone in combination.  Every year 1,800 are introduced in North America, with little to no toxicity test.

 

 

 

GermGuardian AC4825, 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System with True HEPA, UV-C and Odor Reduction, 22-Inch

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - February 11, 2015 at 11:50 am

Categories: Chemicals, Detoxify, Green Solutions, Health and Wellness, Living Green   Tags:

Safe and Effective Sunscreens

What are some safe and effective sunscreens?

It’s time to replenish sunscreen supplies for those upcoming beach junkets, mountain hikes, and lazy days by the pool. Each summer, doctors and public service announcements remind us about the importance of slathering on the sunscreen before heading outdoors. The biggest benefits of course are that sunscreen helps absorb and/or reflect harmful UVA and UVB rays, which can cause premature aging and skin cancer.

This year I’m greening up my medicine cabinet, which means my beach bag will be including healthier sun products. The chemicals used to make sunscreen may not always be great for our bodies or for delicate marine ecosystems. While sunscreen is an absolute must, there are things you can do to choose one that is better for you and the environment.

Go Mineral

Sunscreens containing zinc dioxide or titanium dioxide are great alternatives to those with chemicals such as oxybenzone. Zinc and titanium are minerals that provide broad-spectrum coverage, reflecting both UVA and UVB rays. An added benefit is that many zinc and titanium sunscreens these days are micronized to avoid the white, painted-on look. Carefully read the list of active ingredients before purchasing as some sunscreens contain zinc and titanium in combination with other chemicals.

Pick Healthier Ingredients

Not all sunscreens claiming to be natural are equal. Many cosmetics and sunscreens, even those with natural and organic labels, contain preservatives to insure products remain as fresh as possible. When shopping for a sunscreen, consider avoiding ones with harsher chemical preservatives such as parabens (including butylparaben and methylparaben), which have had mixed health reviews. Instead, look for sun products without preservatives or those with milder preservatives such as potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate. Also, steer clear of sunscreens with petroleum-based ingredients such as mineral oil.

Look for natural emollients such as olive, sunflower and jojoba oils, and shea and cocoa butter, to name a few.

Think prevention!

While you are greening up your sun products, don’t forget about all of the other advice you have heard over the years. With more than 1 million cases of skin cancer being diagnosed in the U.S. each year, it is important to wear sunscreen even on cloudy days and while indoors since UVA rays can penetrate glass. Look for a sunscreen that is waterproof and has at least an SPF of 15. Additionally, consider avoiding direct sunlight between 10 am and 4 pm.

For yourself, and especially for your kids, buy sun protective clothing you can wear in the water and on the beach. One of my sun-averse friends has never let her fair-haired, 4-year-old daughter onto the beach or in a pool without a full-body swimsuit that completely covers her arms and legs. And ya know what? She hasn’t burned yet! For adults, you might want to check out fun “surfer-wear” board shorts and rashguard shirts for more coverage in the water. Look for fabrics with a 50 UPF (ultraviolet protection factor). Like most things, think moderation! A little bit of sun can be a good thing – just don’t overdo it!

The Environmental Working Group’s Top 5 choices for safe effective sunscreens are these:

1. Keys Soap Solar Rx Therapeutic Sunblock
2. Rukid Sunny Days Facestick Mineral Sunscreen UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum
3. California Baby Sunblock Stick No Fragrance
4. Badger Sunscreen
5. Marie Veronique Skin Therapy Sun Serum

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - February 10, 2015 at 10:31 am

Categories: Chemicals, Ecology, Health and Wellness   Tags:

Acrylamide in Food

Acrylamide Toxicity

  • Acrylamide has been found in certain foods, with especially high levels in potato chips, French fries, and other food products produced by high-temperature cooking
  • Food and cigarette smoke are the major sources of exposure to acrylamide
  • Acrylamide is considered to be a mutagen and a probable human carcinogen, based mainly on studies in laboratory animals

Scientists do not yet know with any certainty whether the levels of acrylamide typically found in some foods pose a health risk for humans.

  • What is acrylamide? Acrylamide is a chemical used primarily as a building block in making polyacrylamide and acrylamide copolymers. Polyacrylamide and acrylamide copolymers are used in many industrial processes, such as the production of paper, dyes, and plastics, and in the treatment of drinking water and wastewater, including sewage. They are also found in consumer products, such as caulking, food packaging, and some adhesives. Trace amounts of acrylamide generally remain in these products.

  • Is there acrylamide in food? Researchers in Europe and the United States have found acrylamide in certain foods that were heated to a temperature above 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit), but not in foods prepared below this temperature. Potato chips and French fries were found to contain higher levels of acrylamide compared with other foods. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated that the levels of acrylamide in foods pose a “major concern” and that more research is needed to determine the risk of dietary acrylamide exposure.
  • How does cooking produce acrylamide? Asparagine is an amino acid (a building block of proteins) that is found in many vegetables, with higher concentrations in some varieties of potatoes. When heated to high temperatures in the presence of certain sugars, asparagine can form acrylamide. High-temperature cooking methods, such as frying, baking, or broiling, have been found to produce acrylamide, while boiling and microwaving appear less likely to do so. Longer cooking times can also increase acrylamide production when the cooking temperature is above 120 degrees Celsius.
  • Is there anything in the cooking process that can be changed to lower dietary acrylamide exposure? Decreasing cooking time, blanching potatoes before frying, and postdrying (drying in a hot air oven after frying) have been shown to decrease the acrylamide content of some foods.
  • Should I change my dietAcrylamide levels in food vary widely depending on the manufacturer, the cooking time, and the method and temperature of the cooking process. The best advice at this time is to follow established dietary guidelines and eat a healthy, balanced diet that is low in fat and rich in high-fiber grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Are there other ways humans are exposed to acrylamide? Food and cigarette smoke are the major sources of acrylamide exposure. Exposure to acrylamide from other sources is likely to be significantly less than that from food or smoking, but scientists do not yet have a complete understanding of all sources of exposure. Acrylamide and polyacrylamide are used in some industrial and agricultural procedures, and regulations are in place to limit exposure in those settings.

  • Does acrylamide increase the risk of cancerStudies in rodent models have found that acrylamide exposure poses a risk for several types of cancer. However, the evidence from human studies is still incomplete. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer consider acrylamide to be a “probable human carcinogen,” based on studies in laboratory animals given acrylamide in drinking water. However, toxicology studies have shown differences in acrylamide absorption rates between humans and rodents.

A series of case-control studies have investigated the relationship between dietary intake of acrylamide and the risk of developing cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, larynx, large bowel, kidney, breast, and ovary. These studies generally found no excess of tumors associated with acrylamide intake. In the studies, however, not all acrylamide-containing foods were included in estimating exposures. In addition, information in case-control studies about exposures is often based on interviews (personal or through questionnaires) with the case and control subjects, and these groups may differ in the accuracy of their recall about exposures. One factor that might influence recall accuracy in cancer-related dietary studies is that diets are often altered after receiving a diagnosis of cancer.

To avoid such limitations in accurately determining acrylamide exposure, biomarkers of exposure were recently used in a Danish cohort study designed to evaluate the subsequent risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Among women with higher levels of acrylamide bound to the hemoglobin in their blood, there was a statistically significant increase in risk of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. This finding suggests an endocrine hormone-related effect, which would be consistent with the results of a questionnaire-based cohort study in the Netherlands that found an excess of endometrial and ovarian cancer—but not of postmenopausal breast cancer—associated with higher levels of acrylamide exposure. Another cohort study from the Netherlands suggested a positive association between dietary acrylamide and the risk of renal cell cancer, but not of prostate or bladder cancer.

What are other health effects of acrylamide? High levels of acrylamide in the workplace have been shown to cause neurological damage, e.g., among workers using acrylamide polymers to clarify water in coal preparation plants.

Are acrylamide levels regulated? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates acrylamide in drinking water. The EPA established an acceptable level of acrylamide exposure, set low enough to account for any uncertainty in the data relating acrylamide to cancer and neurotoxic effects. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the amount of residual acrylamide in a variety of materials that come in contact with food, but there are currently no guidelines governing the presence of acrylamide in food itself.

What research is needed? Although studies in rodent models suggest that acrylamide is a potential carcinogen, additional epidemiological cohort studies are needed to help determine any effects of dietary acrylamide intake on human cancer risk. It is also important to determine how acrylamide is formed during the cooking process and whether acrylamide is present in foods other than those already tested. This information will enable more accurate and comprehensive estimates of dietary exposure. Biospecimencollections in cohort studies will provide an opportunity to avoid the limitations of interview-based dietary assessments by examining biomarkers of exposure to acrylamide and its metabolites in relation to the subsequent risk of cancer.

For information about acrylamide in food from the WHO and FAO, please visit the WHO Web site at http://www.who.int/search/semantic/en/#search=acrylamide%20in%20food&sort=score%20desc&fq=%7B!noshow%3Dtrue%7Dlanguages%3Aenon the Internet.

 

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - January 23, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Categories: Chemicals, Detoxify, Health and Wellness   Tags:

Health Benefits of Flaxseed

What are the Health Benefits of Flaxseed?

Why flax? Flax is a powerhouse of disease-fighting compounds that researchers have found to prevent heart disease, protect against inflammatory disorders and certain cancers, and lower your cholesterol.

Research shows that alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the omega-3 in flax, can help to prevent heart disease and inflammatory disorders. When consumed, ALA in flax allows nutrients to enter the body’s cells and aid in the removal of toxins which makes this fatty acid “essential to life.” But the body can’t produce ALA on its own, and it must be obtained from sources like flax.
Flax’s high content of lignans may help prevent certain cancers and its high fiber content can reduce blood cholesterol and the risk of type-2 diabetes. Flax is the best plant source of lignans which are natural antioxidants that may reduce the activity of cell-damaging free radicals, slow the aging process, and increase overall wellness. These tiny seeds provide up to 700 times more lignans than legumes or whole grains. Also, flax is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which ease the effects of type-2 diabetes as well as promote heart, colon, and digestive health.
An easy addition to a healthy diet Flax is an ideal ingredient added to many products on today’s grocery shelves such as breads, energy bars, cookies, crackers, and pastas. Whether it’s whole seed or milled, adding flax’s mild, nutty flavor to favorite foods makes every dish a nutritious treat.

 

Research

As the threat of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes continues to grow, we seek information about how to cure or prevent these diseases. In the following research, discover how this incredible seed could benefit the lives of you, your friends, and family.


Flax is a healthy little seed that can easily be incorporated into your busy lives. One to two tablespoons (16g) daily can be added to diets in a variety of ways. Keep reading for some helpful hints to get your daily dose.
Replace fat: Keep good fats in your recipes by substituting 3 Tbsp. of ground flaxseed for 1 Tbsp. of margarine, butter, or cooking oil.
Keep it handy: In your refrigerator, keep a handy stash of ground flax accessible in an opaque, airtight container for up to 45 days. Whole flaxseeds can be stored for up to a year! Just use a coffee or spice grinder when you need it in its milled form, which is when it offers its biggest health boost.
Simple on cereal: Sprinkle 1 to 2 Tbsp. of milled or whole flaxseed onto your morning cereal or over salads for a nutty taste.
Dress-up: Shake or stir your daily dose of flax into your salad dressing.
Shake things up: Mix milled flax into yogurt or smoothie shakes for an extra
energy boost.
Top that: Top your fruit and cottage cheese with flax for a crunchy flax punch.
A final touch: Stir it into thicker soups such as lentil or bean varieties or into pasta sauces just before serving.
In the mix: You can always mix whole or milled seeds into your favorite bread dough. Also think about mixing it into burgers, meatloaf, and fish or vegetable patties as a tasty change.
Flaximum benefits: Add whole flaxseeds to cookie dough and muffin mix or sprinkle some on your favorite bread for artisan appeal.
Getting started: When using ground flax, because of its high fiber content, add it slowly starting with about a tablespoon a day and work up to two or more per day.

Flax and Your Health

Q: What are the health benefits of flax?
A: Flax contains several disease-fighting compounds, primarily the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), fiber, and lignans. Flaxseed is one of the richest sources of ALA, a polyunsaturated fat that offers unique heart health benefits. Flax is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, providing three grams of fiber per tablespoon. Flax also is packed full of lignans, natural cancer-preventative phytonutrients. Flax also is full of vital vitamins and minerals such as folate, vitamin E, vitamin B-6, copper, zinc, magnesium, and (dry ounce for ounce) more potassium than seven bananas. Flax has been shown to help prevent heart disease and lower its risk factors, reduce symptoms of inflammatory disorders, protect against cancer, reduce cholesterol, and even ease the effects of Type 2 diabetes. Learn more about the health benefits of flax and make it an important part of your daily diet.

Q. What is so beneficial about omega-3 fatty acids?
A. The majority of U.S. diets no longer contain the amount of omega-3 fatty acids needed for overall health and wellness. Omega-3 fatty acids correct imbalances in modern diets that lead to health problems. Today, Americans are consuming more than 10 times as many omega-6 fatty acids (another essential fatty acid family which is required by the body in moderate, not excessive, amounts) as they are omega-3 fatty acids thanks to the increase of fatty, highly processed foods in today’s diet. Eating less omega-6 and more omega-3 fats from foods like ALA-rich flax can help lower the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and cancer, as well as lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol. In fact, large scale studies confirm that plant-derived omega-3’s offer unique heart-healthy benefits and may be even more effective than fatty fish and fish oils in lowering the risk of some coronary diseases. Recently, scientists have discovered that flax may play an important anti-inflammatory role in reducing immune system diseases. Flax ALA has been shown to lower blood levels of a compound called C-reactive protein or CRP. Reducing this inflammatory compound appears to be as important as lowering LDL cholesterol in preventing heart attacks and strokes.

Q. What are lignans?
A. Lignans are natural antioxidants that reduce the activity of cell-damaging free radicals, slow the aging process, and increase overall wellness. Flax contains up to 800 times more lignans than other plant sources, such as whole grains and legumes. Besides acting as antioxidants, lignans are phytoestrogrens — active substances derived from plants that mimic the action of estrogen hormones in the body. Research continues to show their potential for treating menopausal symptoms without traditional drugs and reducing the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers of the breast, prostrate, and endometrium. Lignans are especially important for women as studies have shown them to decrease the risk of breast cancer, as well as minimize cancer symptoms and reduce the spread and growth of breast cancer after diagnosis. Lignans also possess powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties associated with a lower risk of artery-clogging plaques and diabetes. Lignans have also been found effective in lowering the risk of type 1 and 2 diabetes.

Q. What’s the difference between omega-3 fatty acids from flax and those found in fish oil?
A. Flax is very high in the omega-3 fat ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). This is the “essential” omega-3 fat because our bodies need it to be healthy. However, because our bodies don’t produce it, we must consume it from other sources, like flax. Other omega-3 fats, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), found in fatty fish, are vital for health, but not “essential,” because our bodies can make them from ALA. All of these omega-3 fatty acids help decrease inflammation, which is a trigger for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis. Flax is unique in that it also is a rich source of lignans, phytoestrogens that may reduce risk of cancer, as well as a rich source of fiber, which lowers cholesterol and maintains digestive health. Although fish doesn’t have these benefits, it is a good source of protein. Fish can contain traces of mercury, and the FDA advises women who are pregnant, nursing, or may become pregnant, as well as young children, to avoid eating certain fish.

Q: How does flax benefit athletes and sports training? 

A: Omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic, ALA, an essential fatty acid found in flax, improves the metabolism of fats which is especially helpful with endurance sports, such as marathons. When a runner “hits the wall” and their glycogen stores are used up, the body begins burning fats. In this case, efficient burning of fats makes a difference in performance. ALA improves response time. Electrical impulses move from the brain to muscles across cell membranes which, as indicated earlier, are rich in ALA when consumed in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as ALA, are the most efficient fatty acids in allowing these electrical impulses to move from cell to cell. Thus, response time is improved. ALA aids in muscle repair at the cellular level. Omega-3 fatty acids present on the cell membrane significantly affect the speed and quality of tissue repair.

Q: Why is flax important to skin health?

A: Flax has a unique and healthy fatty-acid profile in the oil with 57 percent being represented by ALA, giving the seed a very favorable omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 0.3:1. Flax therefore provides a very important source of omega-3 for skin health. Flaxseed naturally contains a very active and stable antioxidant system1 that protects its oil content of ALA. The antioxidant system in flax represents the interaction of a group of compounds working synergistically. Flaxseed contains several bioactive compounds such as lignans, phenolic acids, anthocyanin pigments, several flavonols and flavones, and phytic acid – all known to have antioxidant activity.2 These powerful antioxidants can reduce the activity of cell-damaging free radicals that are generated through oxidation in the body and thus, can help protect the skin from damage.

Flax and Food

Q: How can I add flax into my diet?
A: Flax is added to many products on today’s grocery shelves because of the omega-3 fats, lignans, and fiber found in the seed, all of which help deliver a unique and nutritious health boost that aids in overall wellness. You can find flax in a variety of foods, including snack bars, pancakes, cereals, muffins, and trail mixes. In addition, flax is often the ingredient used in omega-3 enriched products such as pastas, breads, and other dairy products. Animals are fed flax to produce omega-3 enriched eggs, poultry, and pork products. To add flax directly to your diet, sprinkle some into your morning cereal or over salads for a nutty taste. Mix some into your salad dressing or in your fruit and cottage cheese for a crunchy flax punch. Stir it into thicker soups such as lentil or bean varieties or into pasta sauces just before serving. Another option is to use it in burgers, meatloaf and fish or vegetable patties as a tasty filler. Check out our healthy recipes for more ideas!

Q: Where can I find flax?

A: Flax can be found in whole, milled, or oil forms at your local grocery store or health food store. Whole and milled flax is usually found with the packaged grains, while oil is in the refrigerated section. It is found in numerous products including snack bars, trail mixes, muffins, pancakes, cereals, waffles, breads, and pastas. Flax also is often in omega-3 enriched products, such as pastas, breads, eggs, and dairy products.

Q. Is flax organic?
A. There are a few companies that offer organically grown flax, labeling the seeds and oils with an “organic” symbol. The “organic” symbol is a mark which is earned when companies have kept chemicals away from the crop at all times. You can expect to pay a premium for organic flax. Any flax that you buy from a reputable retailer is perfectly safe to eat, organic or not.

Q. How can flax substitute for oils and eggs in cooking?
A: Flaxseed can easily replace oil or shortening in a recipe because of it’s high oil content. Just replace 1/3 c. of oil with 1 c. of milled flaxseed for a 3:1 substitution ratio. Similarly, a flaxseed mixture can be used as an egg substitute in selected recipes like pancakes, muffins and cookies. For every egg, replace with 1 tsp. of milled flax amd 3 tbsp. of water. Mix milled flaxseed and water in a small bowl and let sit for 1 to 2 minutes. The result will be a slightly gummier and chewier baked good, with a slight decrease in volume.

Learn More about Flaxseed.

         

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - January 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Categories: Health and Wellness   Tags:

How to Clean Vegetables

How To Make An Organic Fruit And Vegetable Wash

It’s always a good idea to thoroughly wash all your fruits and vegetables before consuming them. You never know what kinds of pesticides or dirt may still be attached to the skin.

Although washing with plain water can accomplish quite a lot, adding a natural sources of acid (namely lemon and vinegar) to the wash can provide a much better natural disinfectant.

 

Things You’ll Need:

  • 1 organic lemon (Recommended)
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar (Purchased at any Supermarket.)
  • 1 spray bottle
  • 1 cup tap water
  • Kitchen knife & chopping board

Prepare the organic lemon. You can use a normal lemon, which would be slightly cheaper, but the wash couldn’t be called “organic”, just “natural”. Regardless, both kinds of lemons will be fine for this task.

Follow these few simple steps to make your own organic and inexpensive lemon and vinegar cleaning recipe.

Step 1: Squeeze Your Lemon
Slice your lemon in half and squeeze out one tablespoon of lemon juice and pour it into your spray bottle. The lemon juice is a natural disinfectant and will leave your fruits and vegetables smelling fresh.

Step 2: Vim And Vinegar
Pour the vinegar into your spray bottle along with one cup of water. The acid in the vinegar will neutralize most pesticides. Screw on the top and shake the mixture vigorously. Spray your wash on all your fruits and vegetables then rinse with filtered water if possible.

Recommendation: You might still want to choose a spray bottle that does not contain phthalates or bisphenol: Plastics with recycling numbers 1 and 2 are acceptable choices, and number 4 or 5 should also be alright.

Below is a video on “How To Make An Organic Fruit And Vegetable Wash.”

You never know what kinds of pesticides or other toxic chemicals may still be attached to your produce. Protect your health by following some of the steps provided in Wikihow videos and throughout this website. To better health!

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - January 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Categories: Chemicals, Green Life, Green Solutions, Health and Wellness, Living Green, Non Toxic Products   Tags:

Detoxify your Body

Why are we so unhealthy?

Detoxify Your Body

When people talk about detoxification and cleansing the body of harmful toxins, it’s often seen as a fringe element of vegetarians. People really don’t like to think about harmful toxins building up in their colons or in their arteries, but it’s often a by-product of a carnivorous diet. A diet that’s high in fat and processed foods tends to slow down our digestive systems, and our elimination processes are also interrupted.

This can allow harmful bacteria and toxins to accumulate and can create a general feeling of sluggishness, as well as a host of digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome or colitis. When we begin eating a more healthy vegetarian diet, we start to get more dietary fiber into our systems, and all of a sudden, our digestive systems start to work better,

When you eliminate high-fat meat and processed foods from your diet, then much of your body’s energy is freed from the intense work of digesting these foods. Everything becomes clearer – your blood, your organs, your mind. You start to become more aware of the toxic nature of the food you’d been eating before.

Toxicity is of much greater concern in the twentieth century than ever before. There are many new and stronger chemicals, air and water pollution, radiation and nuclear power. We ingest new chemicals, use more drugs of all kinds, eat more sugar and refined foods, and daily abuse ourselves with various stimulants and sedatives. The incidence of many toxicity diseases has increased as well. Cancer and cardiovascular disease are two of the main ones. Arthritis, allergies, obesity, and many skin problems are others. In addition, a wide range of symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, pains, coughs, gastrointestinal problems, and problems from immune weakness, can all be related to toxicity. When you start a vegetarian eating plan, your body eventually cleanses itself of the harmful effects of these toxic foods.

The best way to avoid Acrylamide found in certain foods is to boil or steam your food or eat your vegetables raw.

Even if you work out and eat healthy you can still become polluted. The air that you breathe, the food that you eat, perfumes, deodorants and lotions. The list goes on and on. All of these things introduce chemicals into your body and over time these chemicals build up and cause you to be overweight and unhealthy.

As time goes on toxic build up thickens and becomes increasingly difficult for your body to absorb the nutrients it needs due to the thick layer of fecal matter separating it from nutrients. Toxins are also absorbed into the skin, our organs, our brain and even our cells. These toxins are normally moved by the body through proper nutrition and healthy exercise, not so anymore.

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - December 28, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Categories: Chemicals, Detoxify, Green Life, Health and Wellness, Non Toxic Products   Tags:

Chemicals in Cosmetics

What should I avoid when I am buying makeup or other personal care items?

These are the top 12 ingredients to avoid in your cosmetics. There is a link at the bottom to companies who pledge to avoid these chemicals.

1. Antibacterials
Overuse of antibacterials can prevent them from effectively fighting disease-causing germs like E. coli and Salmonella enterica. Triclosan, widely used in soaps, toothpastes and deodorants, has been detected in breast milk, and one recent study found that it interferes with testosterone activity in cells. Numerous studies have found that washing with regular soap and warm water is just as effective at killing germs.

2. Coal Tar
Coal tar is a known human carcinogen used as an active ingredient in dandruff shampoos and anti-itch creams. Coal-tar-based dyes such as FD&C Blue 1, used in toothpastes, and FD&C Green 3, used in mouthwash, have been found to be carcinogenic in animal studies when injected under skin.

3. Diethanolamine (DEA)
DEA is a possible hormone disruptor, has shown limited evidence of carcinogenicity and depletes the body of chlorine needed for fetal brain development. DEA can also show up as a contaminant in products containing related chemicals, such as cocamide DEA.

4. 1,4-Dioxane
1,4-Dioxane is a known animal carcinogen and a possible human carcinogen that can appear as a contaminant in products containing sodium laureth sulfate and ingredients that include the terms “PEG,” “-xynol,” “ceteareth,” “oleth” and most other ethoxylated “eth” ingredients. The FDA monitors products for the contaminant but has not yet recommended an exposure limit. Manufacturers can remove dioxane through a process called vacuum stripping, but a small amount usually remains. A 2007 survey by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that most children’s bath products contain 10 parts per million or less, but an earlier 2001 survey by the FDA found levels in excess of 85 parts per million.

5. Formaldehyde
Formaldehyde has a long list of adverse health effects, including immune-system toxicity, respiratory irritation and cancer in humans. Yet it still turns up in baby bath soap, nail polish, eyelash adhesive and hair dyes as a contaminant or break-down product of diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea and quaternium compounds.

6. Fragrance
The catchall term “fragrance” may mask phthalates, which act as endocrine disruptors and may cause obesity and reproductive and developmental harm. Avoid phthalates by selecting essential-oil fragrances instead.

7. Lead and Mercury
Neurotoxic lead may appear in products as a naturally occurring contaminant of hydrated silica, one of the ingredients in toothpaste, and lead acetate is found in some brands of men’s hair dye. Brain-damaging mercury, found in the preservative thimerosol, is used in some mascaras. Despite the fact that some cosmetic industry people say lipstick can’t be made without lead, lead-free lipsticks are already on the market

8. Nanoparticles
Tiny nanoparticles, which may penetrate the skin and damage brain cells, are appearing in an increasing number of cosmetics and sunscreens. Most problematic are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide nanoparticles, used in sunscreens to make them transparent. When possible, look for sunscreens containing particles of these ingredients larger than 100 nanometers. You’ll most likely need to call companies to confirm sizes, but a few manufacturers have started advertising their lack of nanoparticle-sized ingredients on labels.

9. Parabens
(methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, butyl-, isobutyl-) Parabens, which have weak estrogenic effects, are common preservatives that appear in a wide array of toiletries. A study found that butyl paraben damaged sperm formation in the testes of mice, and a relative, sodium methylparaben, is banned in cosmetics by the E.U. Parabens break down in the body into phydroxybenzoic acid, which has estrogenic activity in human breast-cancer cell cultures.

10. Petroleum Distillates
Possible human carcinogens, petroleum distillates are prohibited or restricted for use in cosmetics in the E.U. but are found in several U.S. brands of mascara, foot-odor powder and other products. Look out for the terms “petroleum” or “liquid paraffin.”

11. P-Phenylenediamine
Commonly found in hair dyes, this chemical can damage the nervous system, cause lung irritation and cause severe allergic reactions. It’s also listed as 1,4-Benzenediamine; p-Phenyldiamine and 4-Phenylenediamine.

12. Hydroquinone
Found in skin lighteners and facial moisturizers, hydroquinone is neurotoxic and allergenic, and there’s limited evidence that it may cause cancer in lab animals. It may also appear as an impurity not listed on ingredients labels.

A few more chemicals to avoid

Moderate Hazard

UREA Imidazolldinyl, Diazolidinyl Urea: A preservative that often releases formaldehyde. Formaldehyde has a long list of adverse health effects, including immune-system toxicity, respiratory irritation and cancer in humans.

Alchohol Isopropyl (SD-40)
Drying, irritating solvent that strips skin’s moisture and immune barrier, making you vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. Made from a petroleum derivative found in shellac and antifreeze as well as personal care products. Promotes brown spots and premature aging. A Consumers Dictionary of Cosmetics Ingredients says it may cause headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting and coma. Fatal ingested dose is one ounce or less.

Sodium hydroxide
Found in drain, metal and oven cleaners, is extremely irritating to eyes, nose and throat and can burn those tissues on contact. The cosmetic industry is now putting it in skin care products and oral care products. The warning label on sodium hydroxide products reads “POISON. May be fatal or cause permanent damage if swallowed. May cause blindness. Avoid contact with skin, eyes, mouth and clothing.”

Skin Irritants

Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol
Petroleum by-products that act as surfactants (wetting agents and solvents), they easily penetrate skin and weaken protein and cellular structure. Commonly used to make extracts from herbs. The EPA requires workers to wear protective clothing and to dispose of any PG solutions in toxic waste dumps. Because PG penetrates the skin so quickly, the EPA warns against skin contact to prevent brain, liver and kidney abnormalities.

Sodium lauryl sulfate, used in about 90% of personal care products that foam, a common skin irritant. When rinsed off, the product will have cleaned the area but will have taken moisture from the top layers of skin. In people with sensitive skin the drying property of these type of detergents can cause flare-ups of skin conditions or may worsen existing conditions. Personal care product manufacturers often add back chemically derived oils such as mineral oil to coat the skin leaving the illusion of the skin being moisturized when in fact these products only interfere with the skin’s natural moisturizing abilities.

Mineral Oil
Petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic wrap, clogging the pores. Interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging.

What can you do?

Look for body care products from one of the 600 retailers that have signed the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ Compact. These companies have pledged to phase out the 450 chemicals banned by the European Union in 2005 because they’re strongly suspected of being mutagens, carcinogens, or endocrine disrupters.

See the attached list of good ingredients for moisturizers.

The Cosmetics Database is a great resource for finding information on all your beauty products.

http://safecosmetics.org/search.php

http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - December 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Categories: Chemicals, Health and Wellness, Living Green, Non Toxic Products   Tags:

Eco-Parenting

8 Steps to Eco-Parenting:

How do I eco-parent?

Eco Parenting

Raising children is hard enough without worrying about the environmental consequences of your parenting choices. Don’t sweat it. You already care about your child’s well-being and green choices make it easier. When it comes to eco-parenting, here are eight fundamentals:

1. Lead by example. You are the greatest role model your child will have. She will look up to you, learn from you, and embrace your habits. If you teach when you talk, you avoid many of the “why” questions that inevitably come when she sees you separating food scraps from glass from cardboard or turning the lights off when you leave a room.

2. Instill fundamental human needs. In addition to love, he or she needs to know that clean air, clean water, and clean soil are essential to human life. He can live without video games, but he cannot live without these precious commodities.

3. Share “green” experiences. Start a composting project or visit the aquarium to learn about the importance of the marine world to our lives. What happens when we take too many fish out of the sea or dump too much garbage into it? How does it affect the family? Come up with other “green” experiences.

4. Seriously consider breastfeeding. In a perfect world, no food is better (or greener) for an infant than mother’s milk. It is the ultimate in nutritious, local food production. Don’t take my word for it – check out the American Medical Association position on breastfeeding at www.ama-assn.org.

Healthy Food

5. Healthy food is usually green food. Your child will benefit from local fruits and vegetables at home. Take him to the local market or, if possible, a farm to learn about fresh food. Encourage him to start a garden in the backyard or grow some herbs in a pot at home. He is less likely to develop food allergies or sensitivities if he is not eating processed, packaged, or fast foods.

6. Green food makes you smarter. Diet is critical for learning. Parents can pitch a green school lunch partnership plan that is both healthy and financially responsible. If schools and school boards know that healthy cafeteria options don’t inflate the budget, it is hard to argue against them. For example, a school garden is a great education tool and a source of nutritious food for students.

7. Travel green.Don’t let your child develop an automobile addiction. Seek out destinations that you can reach together safely on foot or by bicycle. It is a great way to share time together and get fit. When the car cannot be avoided, try to combine errands or carpool with other families. Carpooling is a great, green way for parents to share the travel load.

8. Seek out green products for your kids. When you buy her toys, clothes and bath products, take some time to find eco-friendly, safe options. Green products for babies and children are growing in popularity.

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - December 16, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Categories: Ecology, Green Education, Green Life, Health and Wellness, Living Green   Tags: