Are Cleaning Supplies Hurting Your Health?

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Cleaning your home regularly is a common routine for most people. A clean home helps keep away germs and other gross things brought into the home. However, are cleaning supplies hurting your health? Continue reading to find out how these cleaning products you use in your home are affecting the health of you and your family.

Harmful ingredients

A woman wearing protective gear while cleaning

Ammonia – This is one chemical that can become dangerous when inhaled, ingested, or with skin or eye contact. Ammonia is a corrosive chemical. High concentrations of this chemical can cause a lot of damage. Lower concentrations cannot cause quite as much damage but are still unhealthy. Many all-purpose cleaners contain this harmful chemical and glass cleaners as well. Low levels of ammonia can cause nose and throat irritation. Contact with skin can cause and eyes can cause irritations, while higher concentrations of ammonia can also cause skin burns or permanent eye damage. Be sure to also never mix ammonia with bleach. This can cause a potentially fatal gas called chloramine. If you are using products that contain ammonia, be sure to wear rubber gloves, ventless goggles, and a long sleeve shirt. Having water nearby in case you need to flush it out of eyes or off skin is also important.

Lye – Lye is a very dangerous chemical found in oven cleaner. The corrosive elements in it can burn both your skin and eyes. When swallowed, it can even become fatal. If using oven cleaner with this ingredient, be sure your skin, eyes, and face are protected with gloves, goggles, and a face mask.

Sulfuric acid – This chemical is extremely dangerous. It is highly corrosive and can even become explosive. It is found in drain cleaners and mixed with lye, so when using this product be sure to have plenty of ventilation, gloves, goggles, and a face mask. Contact with skin can leave burns and cause irritation or blindness in the eyes. Like other harmful chemicals, it can cause holes in your stomach and even death if ingested.

Formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, p-dichlorobenzene and aerosol propellants – These chemicals are all found in many air fresheners. They can all irritate the throat, eyes, and skin. This is especially true for people who suffer from allergies. Most air fresheners that contain these chemicals are also flammable. Be sure to keep them away from any open flames.

Chlorine and alkyl ammonium chlorides – These chemicals can cause breathing problems when inhaled. They are usually used in both mold and mildew removers. To avoid this, be sure to use a mask when using these cleaning products.

Healthier alternatives

Baking soda – To create a safe and homemade air freshener, baking soda can help! One way to suck up the odors in a room is to keep a glass jar full of baking soda out. Many people will cover the jars with things like burlap cloth or add essential oils.

Distilled water and vinegar – For an ammonia-free glass cleaner, you can use distilled water and vinegar along with other ingredients. Some people will add rubbing alcohol to the mix and others add dish soap. For a better smell, some people will even add a few drops of their favorite essential oil.

So, are cleaning supplies hurting your health? They certainly can be. If you can replace your dangerous cleaning supplies with safer alternatives, it is smart to do so. However, many cleaners are difficult to replace with safer alternatives. It is most important that you use caution when using any cleaning products. When storing cleaning products, keep them away from food and out of reach from young children and pets.

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3018511/

https://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/indoor/indoor-air-pollutants/cleaning-supplies-household-chem.html

https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/cleaners_and_health

https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/chemical_terrorism/ammonia_tech.htm

Tips for Keeping Your Produce Fresh

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One of the biggest challenges when it comes to eating healthy is keeping your produce fresh until your next shopping trip. A lot of money and good food is wasted when it goes bad before the end of the week. Here are some tips for keeping your produce fresh.

How to store fruits and veggies

Green pears on a pink backdrop

Most refrigerators have a crisper drawer that is designed to help keep fruits and vegetables fresh. These drawers have a higher level of humidity than the rest of the fridge. This is due to the way the drawer is built with vents. Most fridges, depending on when it was made, also have humidity controls for the vents on the drawers. When it comes to fruits like apples, avocados, pears, and other melons, you should keep the humidity low. High humidity can cause them to ripen and go bad too quickly. However, most vegetables and berries should be stored in a crisper drawer at high humidity.

However, not all produce belongs in the refrigerator. Different types of root vegetables and squash should be kept outside the fridge. This includes things like potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, yams, garlic, etc. Instead, these need to be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place outside the fridge. This can include a cupboard, a pantry, or even a root cellar.

Related: Healthy Alternatives for Your Meals

How to store leafy greens

A person holding a bowl of fresh spinach

Leafy greens include things like lettuce, spinach, and cabbage. With proper care and storage, these leafy greens should last a week or longer. Unlike fruit, leafy greens need to be sealed in a cool, dark place like the refrigerator. Many people seal them in plastic bags, but they also can be stored in glass containers and cloth bags. Before placing them in a sealed bag or container, rinse them thoroughly and wrap them in a paper towel or cloth. Rinsing them will also help to remove bacteria like E. coli that lives in the soil stuck to the surface of the greens. Even if they are prewashed, rinsing them again in cold water can help clean and make them crisp before storage.

When storing leafy greens in a crisper drawer, they should be kept in a high humidity setting. When filling these drawers, it is important to make sure that they are also not too full or too empty. The ideal crisper drawer will be about 2/3rds full. When too much is packed into one drawer, the produce becomes squished. This is especially harmful to leafy greens that can become wilted when squished.

Following these tips for keeping your produce fresh will help extend their lives for healthier eating. To help supplement your daily vitamins and minerals, a liquid multivitamin can be taken daily as well. Getting the proper amount of nutrients each day will help you to live a happy and healthy life.

Sources

https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Cooking-Food-Preparation/How-to-store-vegetables-to-keep-them-fresh.aspx

Guide to Breaking Bad Habits

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Everyone has habits, whether good or bad. Many people focus on forming new habits like exercising and reading. However, to form new habits, old habits may need to be broken. Here is your guide to breaking bad habits. With hard work and determination, you can break your bad habits and focus on ways to live healthier and happier.

How bad habits are formed

Many bad habits are formed by chemicals in the brain. Things like smoking, drinking, texting, or scrolling through social media all trigger endorphins that make us feel happy for the moment. Even eating processed foods like fast food, soda, and pastries have this same effect. The problem, however, is that the feelings are temporary. You may feel happy at the moment because it feels or tastes good. However, once you have finished eating, drinking, smoking, etc. the negative effects can be felt as well. Almost every bad habit also has a trigger. Whether it is money, stress, and emotions, being around certain people, etc., you need to discover what these triggers are.

Don’t set yourself up for failure

A list of goals to check off

If you have a bad habit that you want to break, you need to start small. Trying to tackle too much at once can leave you feeling overwhelmed. This can quickly lead to you losing the motivation you once had to break your bad habit. One way to avoid this is to break your goal up into smaller goals. These goals should be ones that you know you cannot fail. It can even be as simple as just getting a small soda instead of a large with each lunch. Your goals can even be smaller or larger than this goal. The key is to know yourself and know what you are capable of. These goals may seem small compared to your long-term goal. However, each small goal accomplished leads you closer to your big goal.

To some, these little daily goals may seem pointless, but doing them will still leave you closer to breaking your bad habit than you would have been otherwise. Another way to help break your bad habits is to get things ready beforehand. Set a timer for yourself before logging into social media. Lay exercise clothes out or something for another activity to remind you to stay off the T.V. Another helpful tactic is to get clothes and lunches ready the night before to prevent you from running late to work once again. These are great ways to help yourself do what you need to do to break these habits and split up the work.

Related: Tips for Staying Motivated to Exercise

Reward yourself

The last tip in our guide to breaking bad habits is to reward yourself. Like mentioned earlier, a lot of bad habits like fast food and smoking, have their way of rewarding the mind. This can make it difficult to stay away from these things when it does not feel quite so rewarding. One way to help is to find other ways to reward yourself when you have accomplished your goals. Take a fun cooking class once you have cut out processed food or go see a movie with friends after limiting your T.V. time for a month. Whatever your goals, take the time to create a plan and dedicate yourself to executing it. The rewards are endless and far outweigh the effects of bad habits.

Sources

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-wise/201904/the-science-habits

Tips for Staying Motivated to Exercise

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February is the month that many people begin to start slacking off on their New Year’s resolutions. Life gets busy and people lose motivation. Almost every year the most common thing many people want to improve is fitness. Many people might wonder, how do I stay motivated? Here are some tips for staying motivated to exercise. Maybe you will beat the odds and continue striving towards your fitness goals past February.

Why it is important

quote on a wall for motivation

First off, let’s talk about why exercise is important. As time has gone on, exercise and physical activity have become less common in the world. This is mostly due to the increase in technology. Nowadays, most people spend their time sitting in chairs at desks or on a couch. While technology is incredible and has made some great things possible, it also has its disadvantages. Elevators have replaced stairs, among other things. While there have been many medical advancements, exercise has been deemed one of the best preventative measures we can take for our health.

Related: How to stay in Shape When You Work a Desk Job

Start with small goals

One of the best tips for staying motivated to exercise is to start small. People are easily overwhelmed when they have a huge goal in front of them that they are so far from accomplishing. Instead, break your goal up into smaller goals. Don’t focus so much on the 40 pounds you are trying to lose or the six-pack. Focus on getting in a 15-minute walk every day for a week or a month. Once you start checking these little goals off your list, you will eventually end up with this big goal you have accomplished.

Make it a competition

One thing that motivates people is competition. People are usually willing to work harder when they know they are competing against others. You can even include prizes! This can either be bragging rights or a fun prize everyone pitched in for. Just remember to keep it friendly.

Exercise with friends

Exercising with friends is another great way to stay motivated to exercise. It is harder to slack off when you have someone else holding you accountable. Sometimes exercise can get boring after a while. However, having a friend to exercise with can also make it more fun and exciting.

Reward yourself

If you do not have a group to exercise or compete with, you can compete with yourself. Is there something you have been wanting like a new pair of shoes or a fun trip? Work for it! Write down your goals and the rewards you are working towards and give yourself a time frame. If you can accomplish your goals, then reward yourself with the prize you recorded. If you do not, re-evaluate, set new goals, and work towards that reward.

In the end, it really all depends on what works for you and motivates you to keep exercising. While some people may thrive off competition or working-out with friends, others may feel discouraged. Especially if they are not seeing the same results. Exercise at your own pace, but be sure to stick to it and don’t give up. You’ve got this!

Sources

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/how-much-exercise-do-you-need

Healthy Habits for Your Hair

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Healthy hair is something almost everyone strives for. While genetics do play a large role in the way our hair looks and feels, there are other things you can do as well. Here are some healthy habits for your hair to make part of your daily routine.

Wear hats in the sunlight

While sunlight is good for your body, too much can cause damage to your skin. The same is true for your hair. When planning to be out in the sun for prolonged periods, it is best to wear a hat to protect your hair. Signs your hair has been damaged by the sun include dryness, brittle strands, and even hair that has changed in color.

Brush your hair before you shower

After showering, wet hair can become more brittle. That is why it is important to be careful with it before it dries. Brushing out knots before showering or waiting until it dries can help. When you do brush your hair out, be sure to start brushing it from the bottom while holding it at the top. Once knots at the bottom are out, slowly work your way up to the top of your head with the brush.

Trim dead ends

Over time, the ends of the hair can become damaged. This is especially true if you dye it often, put heat on it, swim in chlorine, or even wash it too often. If hair becomes damaged at the ends, it may be time for a trim. If you are trying to grow your hair out, then try to avoid things that will cause this damage. Let your hair air dry after showering, wear a cap when swimming, and have your hair dyed using professional dye rather than box dye. One thing many people may not realize is that you also should not wash your hair every day. Only wash it every other day at most.

Get enough biotin

long healthy hair

Biotin is a B vitamin and is known to be one of the best vitamins for healthy hair. Some foods that contain biotin are eggs, spinach, plain yogurt, almonds, sweet potatoes, salmon, and pork chops. For hair growth, many people also take biotin supplements. Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, so once your body gets all it needs, it flushes out any excess. This makes it easier to take without worrying too much about a vitamin overdose. Liquid Health’s Skin Rescue + Renew is a great option for a biotin supplement. Not only is it great for your hair, but for your skin as well.

Eat a well-balanced diet

Most importantly, you should make eating a well-balanced diet one of the most important healthy habits for your hair. Your hair needs other vitamins like vitamin A for hair growth, vitamin D, and vitamin E. Many people may struggle to get these vital nutrients every day, so supplementing them is an option many people choose. Multivitamins are great for helping make up for whatever your prepared meals are lacking.

Sources

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-HealthProfessional/

Worst Habits for Your Mind

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In recent years, more time and research has been spent on learning how to take care of our minds and mental health. Different studies have discovered the effects that certain activities or the lack of certain nutrients can have on our minds. Here are some of the worst habits for your mind.

Spending too much time alone

A man sitting alone

One of the worst habits for your mind is too much time alone. Humans are designed to spend time with others. It is built into our DNA. Without enough social interaction, the mind can suffer. This is not to say that alone time is not good for you. There are plenty of benefits to spending some time alone. Alone time can be beneficial when we are trying to focus on a project, think creatively, or even when we just need to recharge. However, too much time alone is damaging. Our minds begin to become self-critical and we can begin to feel extreme loneliness and even sadness. Finding the right balance can help keep our minds be healthy and happy.

Multitasking

Recent studies discovered that multitasking does more harm than good. One study even found a 15-point decrease in IQ in people who spent time multitasking. They put adults through a series of tasks to test memory and their ability to focus. The results were not great for those who were multitaskers. Now we know that your mind should focus on one task at a time. If you are working on a presentation or an English paper, keep away other distractions. This includes watching T.V., listening to music, or even switching from one task to the next.

Not enough sunlight

Sunlight is needed for vitamin D, which in turn can affect our minds and how we feel. Not only that, but research has discovered that vitamin D can even help protect adults from a decline in cognitive function. Spending 10-15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen each day can help your body get the vitamin D it needs. Taking vitamin D supplements is also a great option for those who work indoors all day.

Watching certain T.V. shows

While the research on this topic is limited, scientists do know that sitting on the couch watching TV is not good for you. A lot of it depends on what you watch, how you watch it, and how often. Watching a documentary while you work out for an hour will most likely be very beneficial. However, binge-watching a reality show by yourself for four hours on your couch will not be. While research has shown that people who watch more T.V. have less healthy brains, it is hard to know if it is directly linked to the T.V., the lack of social interaction, or the lack of physical activity.

Not enough sleep

Another bad habit for your mind is not getting enough sleep. When we do not get enough sleep, our minds suffer. It suddenly becomes more difficult to stay alert and focus on work and other day-to-day tasks. Not only that, but not getting enough sleep can also affect your short-term memory. For some tips to help you sleep, read the article, “Bedtime Routines for a Better Night’s Sleep“.

Sources

https://www.wonderopolis.org/wonder/does-watching-television-affect-your-brain

https://www.caltech.edu/about/news/how-social-isolation-transforms-brain-82290

Ways to Care for Your Feet

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Your feet are the foundation of your body. They help you get around from place to place and keep you balanced. However, many people do not take proper care of their feet. They tend to go unnoticed and are only taken care of when they are in pain. We should not wait until there is a problem, to take care of our feet. Make the health of your feet important. Here are just a few ways to care for your feet.

Wear shoes that fit properly

One of the worst things you can do for your health is to wear shoes that do not fit you properly. It can be tempting to wear poorly fitted shoes because of styles and trends. Pumps and other heels that are too high can damage your feet and cause bunions. Even flip flops, as comfortable as they are, can form bunions as well. Look for shoes that fit the arches of your feet, have enough room for your toes to stretch out, and are comfortable.

Wash your feet daily

Feet that are not clean can grow infections. To avoid this, make sure to wash your feet every day. When in the shower, scrub them with soap, making sure to get in between the toes. Do not forget to also dry them thoroughly after to avoid trapping any moisture between toes. Be sure to also change socks once or more each day.

Moisturize and massage your feet daily

After cleaning your feet, moisturizing them with cream can help prevent dryness. Not only that but massaging the cream into them can also help get the blood flowing in your legs and feet. This may help with a lot of different conditions.

Try Compression Socks

Many people with circulation problems wear compression socks. If your doctor prescribes it, give them a try. Compression socks are easy to come by and can be found at many stores in their clothing sections. They work by squeezing the legs, forcing blood to flow through tighter vessels.

Elevate your feet

Elevating your feet every so often is also a great way to help with blood flow. Not only that, but sometimes your feet just need to get off the ground and take a break.

Exercise regularly and eat healthily

feet sitting on a rock

Exercise is so vital for your health for so many reasons. It is even vital for the health of your feet. Getting 30 minutes of daily exercise can help with getting circulation to your feet. For people who spend most of their day sitting, getting up for a few minutes every hour can also help. On top of daily exercise, you should also eat healthily. Eating a well-balanced diet and getting the nutrients your body needs with a multivitamin are some of the best preventative measures you can take.

Sources

https://www.ipfh.org/foot-care-essentials/why-preventive-foot-health-is-important

https://www.kuakini.org/wps/portal/public/Health-Wellness/Health-Info-Tips/Out-and-About/How-to-Care-for-Your-Feet

Tips for Fighting the Winter Blues

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Many people have heard about the winter blues. However, did you know that there is a scientifically proved condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder? This condition affects many people each year, usually in the winter. Luckily, this condition typically does not last all year. There are also ways to help prevent it as well. Here are some tips for fighting the winter blues.

Exercise

One of the best things for mood and mental health is exercise. Daily exercise helps reduce stress and can help improve sleep. As a result, people are more alert throughout the day and have reduced feelings of tiredness. Fatigue and feeling tired all the time can lead to feelings of hopelessness and low self-esteem.

Vitamin D Supplements

One of the vitamins many people lack in the winter is vitamin D. We get this vitamin from exposure to the sun. Vitamin D is needed for a lot of things like healthy bones and teeth, a healthy brain, nervous, and immune system, and more. A vitamin D deficiency can cause autoimmune problems, cardiovascular problems, neurological problems, infections, issues with pregnancy, or worse. However, a vitamin D supplement is an easy way to make sure your body gets the proper amount of vitamin D that it needs.

Eat Healthily

Eating healthy is another great way to take care of our bodies and fight the winter blues. Everyone should try to eat a well-balanced diet. A healthy diet can help our bodies get proper amounts of vitamin D as well. We can get vitamin D from food sources like fish, eggs, beef, cheese, milk, etc.

Visit with a Therapist

Many people also benefit from meeting with a therapist when they are dealing with seasonal affective disorder. It may be helpful to know that what you are going through affects a lot of people every winter and that you do not need to deal with it alone.

Take a Trip Someplace Warm

Not everyone may be able to afford a trip every winter. However, it can be very beneficial if you can. Take a trip and spend time in the sunlight to let your body soak up the vitamin D. A hiking trip or something that involves a lot of moving around is a great way to get more exercise and more sunlight. Your body and mind will be thankful for the nice break.

Light Therapy

Man looking out the window with seasonal affective disorder

One of the tips for fighting the winter blues that many don’t consider is also light therapy. While it is important to be careful with this treatment, it can be helpful. Talk to your doctor about this form of treatment if you suffer from the seasonal affective disorder. Light therapy consists of sitting near a box of light that mimics outdoor light. It helps adjust your circadian rhythm, making it easier to sleep at night. Tackling your physical and mental health is the way to a healthy mind. Find what works for you and don’t allow the winter blues to control your life every year.

Sources

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/seasonal-affective-disorder-bring-on-the-light-201212215663

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/treatment/light-therapy-insomnia-sufferers

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/

Pros and Cons of Running

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Running has been a common form of exercise for years. It was one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to help your body get a good sweat. However, many people are concerned about whether running is the safest and most beneficial form of exercise. Here are the pros and cons of running. Is this form of exercise for you?

Cons

Injury – While running can certainly improve our health, there is also a risk of injury. One of the most common injuries from running is called runner’s knee. This injury occurs when the kneecap is not properly aligned. This misalignment causes pain for people who run often. Some ways to help prevent runner’s knee are to stretch, wear proper fitting shoes, and strengthen the muscles that affect it. Most injuries come from pushing your body too hard. Be sure to give your body breaks. Take a few minutes during a long run or even take a day off after running for a few days. Some other potential injuries include iliotibial band syndrome, sprained ankles, shin splints, etc. Wearing appropriate shoes and learning proper form for running can also help prevent injuries. Keep your head forward, your shoulders back, and your feet aligned with your knees.

Too Much Sun Exposure – When running outdoors, too much sun exposure is a risk people take. To avoid this, people running outdoors should wear a 30 SPF sunscreen or wear protective clothing. You can also stick to running during times when the sun is low, like in the early morning or evening.

Pros

man and woman running along a sidewalk

Likely to live longerOne study concluded that people who run, even just a little bit, have a lower risk of death and even cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is a heart disease that makes it hard for blood to flow to the body. Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death among men and women. That is why exercise and taking care of our bodies is so vital.

Improves joint health – One of the common misconceptions is that running damages joints. This is not true. Studies have shown that running can improve the health of our joints. Supplements can also help improve joint pain. Liquid Health’s Optimum Joint provides high-quality natural ingredients to keep your joints healthy.

Lower blood pressure – Running, along with other forms of exercise, are great for reducing high blood pressure. It does this by helping the heart push more blood out efficiently. People who have high blood pressure are at a higher risk of blood clots, strokes, and other heart conditions. Maintaining healthy blood pressure is so vital for our overall health. Even if you do not have high blood pressure, it is a great way to prevent it in the future.

Improve circulation – Proper blood flow is vital for many bodily functions. When your circulation is not flowing properly, it can cause health problems like blood clots, Raynaud’s Disease, heart disease, and deep vein thrombosis. People with diabetes should be especially careful. Running is one of the best ways to get the body moving and the blood flowing throughout the body.

There are many pros and cons of running. It all really depends on what health conditions you already have and how careful you are. While there are many risks, running is a great way to improve circulation and cardiovascular health, some of the most common health concerns.

Sources

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326912.php#5

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/8765-preventing-running-injuries

Tips for Healthy Aging

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Not everyone ages the same. While genetics may play a large role in how we age, our lifestyles do as well. There are things we can do to live happy and healthy lives. When we take care of our bodies, they tend to take care of us back. Here are some tips for healthy aging. Start today to get on the path to a healthy lifestyle and live your life to its fullest potential.

Stay Active

It’s no secret that exercise benefits our bodies. There is not just one way to stay active either. People who live an active lifestyle take their dogs on walks every day, go for a run, take a hike, do yoga, play a sport, or work out in a gym. The options are endless, and your body and mind will thank you for getting off the couch.

Eat a Well-balanced Diet

A healthy mind and body usually start on the inside. Eating a well-balanced diet is how your body gets most of the vitamins and minerals it needs. A vitamin deficiency can even lead to a decline in health. If you are unable to get the proper amounts of nutrients in your meals each day, a dietary supplement can help. Liquid Health’s Complete Multiple is a natural liquid daily vitamin supplement that provides better absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Be Social

What many people do not realize is that our social lives affect our health. Being in the company of people we enjoy is so beneficial. While alone time to yourself is a great way to recharge, too much can be unhealthy. Make time for social gatherings with friends or family you have fun with. Not only that but put yourself out there to meet new people. Involve yourself in community events, volunteer, or take a class. These are all ways to stay social and find people you enjoy being around.

Find Ways to Reduce Stress

Stress can put a huge damper on your health. Learning how to cope with stress will be a great benefit to your health. Read our article, “Effects of Stress on Your Health”, to learn more. There are many ways to cope with stress. Exercise and meditation are some of the best short-term ways to cope with stress. To help prevent stress, it is important to organize your life. Keep your home clean, keep a calendar, and write down everything. While doing this may not solve every problem, keeping your life organized can be very beneficial.

Keep Learning

For a healthy mind and body, we must continue to educate ourselves. Keeping your brain active helps form new connections between brain cells. Reading and taking classes can help us learn new skills and even help us learn better ways to care for our bodies.

Get Your Beauty Sleep

Many people spend too many nights staying up late and waking up early the next morning. This is so damaging to your health. It can interfere with proper brain function along with many other parts of your body. One of the best tips for healthy aging is to get proper amounts of sleep. Adults need anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Planning your day to make sure you can get to bed on time will be a great benefit in the long run. If staying asleep at night is an issue, there are natural supplements to help you stay asleep. A full night of sleep can help you feel energized and ready to take on the next day.

Sources

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/good-nights-sleep

Healthy Alternatives for Your Meals

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Planning meals can be tough, especially when you are trying to stay healthy and in shape. Luckily, there is more to eating healthy than salads and protein shakes. Here are some healthy alternatives for your meals to replace your unhealthy ingredients with healthy ones.

Main Dishes

Toast with hummus and avocado on a plate

Avocado for Mayonnaise – When it comes to calories, mayonnaise has about six times the amount that avocados do. Mayonnaise is made using oil, egg yolk, and usually vinegar. While these ingredients aren’t necessarily unhealthy, they are high in fat. Substituting mayonnaise with avocado will provide more health benefits. To learn more, read our article, “Surprising Health Benefits of Avocados”.

Cauliflower for rice – Cauliflower has been a popular vegetable lately. One of the most common dishes it substitutes is rice. You can either buy the cauliflower minced and ready to cook or you can make it yourself with a food processor. Fresh cauliflower will be the most cost-effective.

Hummus for mayonnaise – Like avocado, hummus can also be used to substitute mayonnaise. Hummus is made from pureed chickpeas. These are a legume full of protein and fiber. Hummus has also been linked to healthy weight loss.

Corn tortilla for flour tortilla – Both are popular and tasty options for tacos and other meals. However, corn tortillas are a healthier option.

Pasta for spaghetti squash – Pasta is a favorite among many around the world. It is used for so many dishes. Some include spaghetti, alfredo, mac n’ cheese, pasta salad, and more. One of the main reasons to substitute pasta with spaghetti squash is for fewer calories. Pasta has about five times the number of calories that spaghetti squash has.

Baking

a woman holding a head of cauliflower in her hand

Coconut Oil for butter – One of the best healthy alternatives for your meals is oil instead of butter. Butter is very tasty, but also unhealthy. It is high in fat and should only be eaten in moderation. When it comes to cooking, a healthy alternative is an oil. Coconut oil, specifically, has a sweeter taste like butter.

Almond flour for wheat flour – With the number of gluten intolerances rising, almond flour has become a popular substitute.

Cauliflower crust for pizza – Another popular dish to substitute with cauliflower is pizza. Pizza crusts are full of calories. To cut down on those calories, you can make a crust out of cauliflower.

Sides

dark chocolate chopped up in a bowl

Milk chocolate for dark chocolate – Not everyone likes dark chocolate, but it is a lot healthier than milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is rich in nutrients like iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and flavanols. However, dark chocolate is also high in saturated fat, so it is important to only eat 1-2 squares a day. Many places also process it, so stick to dark chocolate found in the baking aisles to avoid chocolate that has lost any nutrients.

Caffeine for vitamin B – About 85 percent of the population in the United States drinks caffeine every day. While it does have health benefits, it should be taken in moderation. Too much caffeine can cause feelings of anxiety, high blood pressure, and even sleeplessness. For a natural boost of energy, try substituting caffeine with a vitamin B supplement.

Sources

https://www.health.com/nutrition/is-hummus-healthy

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/dark-chocolate/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-buzz-about-caffeine-and-health

Ways to Care for Your Eyesight

featured image for caring for your eyesight

Many people struggle with poor eyesight. About 64% of the adult population uses some type of prescription eyewear. That is more than half of the adult population! With such high numbers, you must find ways to care for your eyesight. Eyesight normally gets worse with age, so caring for your eyesight cannot wait.

Healthy Diet

Your diet is the foundation of your health. This is one of the most important ways to care for your eyesight. What you eat determines the vitamins and minerals your body receives. One food that is very beneficial for your eyesight, is fish. Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have even proven that omega-3 can improve dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome causes eyes to be red and irritated from things like weather, allergies, electronic screens, etc. Another food that contains omega-3 is nuts and legumes. Not only that, but they even contain vitamin E, which is known to help protect the eyes. Supplements can also aid your body with proper nutrition. Liquid Health’s Complete Multiple is formulated to provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs. It is even in liquid form for better absorption.

Do not Smoke

There are so many health risks involved when you decide to smoke. Heart disease and lung cancer are some of the most well-known effects of smoking. However, what many people do not always talk about are the effects of smoking on eyesight. A cataract is like a blurry cloud that forms over the eye’s natural lens. People who smoke, double their chances of developing a cataract. The only known way to treat a cataract is by removing it through surgery. Other eye risks from smoking include macular degeneration, uveitis, diabetic retinopathy, and dry eyes from the smoke.

Take breaks from screens

eyeglasses sitting on a desk next to a laptop

Digital screens like computers, iPads, and phones have been known to harm our eyes for years. While the levels of radiation from a screen are not high enough to cause any damage, eye strain has been a problem. Eye strain is caused by staring at a screen for too long, improper lenses, dry eyes, or even sitting too close. That is why it is so important to take breaks from looking at screens. Those who work in front of screens all day for work should look away as often as possible and avoid screens during any breaks. Finding ways to block the glare from screens can also help improve eye strain, although it does not solve the issue altogether. Glasses are available to help block glares and blue light from screens. Viewing a screen with improper prescriptions can also cause eye strain and should be fixed.

Wear eyeglasses

Those who need eyeglasses or contacts should wear them whenever awake. Not wearing a prescription that is needed can only harm your eyesight.

Wear sunglasses

The sun produces ultraviolet rays that can not only harm our skin but also our eyes. That is why sunglasses are so important. They are not just a fashion accessory, but they protect our eyes from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. When choosing sunglasses, it is important to make sure that they will block UV rays. Almost anything beyond that is purely for looks.

There are so many ways to care for your eyesight. The most important thing you can do it start right away. Caring for your eyesight only gets more difficult with age, so starting now can help benefit your eyes in the future.

Sources

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=1&contentid=1874

https://www.allaboutvision.com/smoking/

https://www.mesvision.com/includes/pdf_Broker/MESVision%20Facts%20and%20Statistics.pdf