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Different health tips for the green-minded.
Curated by Bert Guevara
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How does social media affect your brain ("simple LIKEs affirm the person on the other side of screen")

How does social media affect your brain ("simple LIKEs affirm the person on the other side of screen") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

A recent study found that, when using social media, a teens' brain responds to 'likes' in a similar way to when they see loved ones, or win money.

Whether you're on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, What's App or Twitter, the way you communicate with friends today is changing. 

Keeping in touch is no longer about face to face, but instead screen to screen, highlighted by the fact that more than 1 billion people are using Facebook every day. 

Social media has become second nature -- but what impact is this having on our brain?

In a recent study, researchers at the UCLA brain mapping center used an fMRI scanner to image the brains of 32 teenagers as they used a bespoke social media app resembling Instagram. By watching the activity inside different regions of the brain as the teens used the app, the team found certain regions became activated by "likes", with the brain's reward center becoming especially active.

"When teens learn that their own pictures have supposedly received a lot of likes, they show significantly greater activation in parts of the brain's reward circuitry," says lead author Lauren Sherman. "This is the same group of regions responding when we see pictures of a person we love or when we win money." 

The teenagers were shown more than 140 images where 'likes' were believed to from their peers, but were in fact assigned by the research team. 

Scans revealed that the nucleus accumbens, a part of the brain's reward circuitry, was especially active when teens saw a large number of likes on their own photos, which could inspire them to use social media more often.

Bert Guevara's insight:
A simple click to LIKE a picture, a tweet or a posting, comes a long way in affirming the person on the other side of the screen. Social media is not a waste of time, if you measure the emotional value it gives, especially in a culture that is too busy to personally say hello.

"Reward circuitry is thought to be particularly sensitive in adolescence," says Sherman, "It could be explaining, at least in part, why teens are such avid social media users."
"Adolescence is a period that is very important for social learning, which could explain why teens are often more tuned in to what's going on in their respective cultures. With the rise of social media, Sherman thinks we may even be learning to read likes and shares instead of facial expressions."
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Running makes you smarter - here's how ("putting stem cells to good use; prepares you for learning")

Running makes you smarter - here's how ("putting stem cells to good use; prepares you for learning") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

The link between exercise and your brain.

As far back as the Greeks and Romans, humans have documented the belief that there is a strong link between exercise and intelligence. But in the last two decades, neuroscience has begun to catch up with Thales and Juvenal’s idea that a sound mind flourishes in a healthy body. While the studies unite in telling us that running will makes us smarter, it is only partly true. The process is more complicated and reveals more about the wonderful complexities of both the human body and its evolution. Although the science might be helping us to understand how the mechanisms work, an important question remains: why does running make us smarter? 

Two studies, one published by Finnish researchers in February and the other in Cell Metabolism in June, have expanded our understanding of the mechanisms involved in running and the ways that it enhances memory and cognition. Before these, it was understood that exercise induced a process called neurogenesis (where new brain cells are created) in a part of the brain involved in memory formation and spatial navigation, known as the hippocampus. 

While intense exercise will create brain cells, they are basically stem cells waiting to be put to use. Exercise doesn’t create new knowledge; rather, it gives you the mental equivalent of a sharpened pencil and clean sheet of paper. It prepares you for learning, but you have to actively do some learning yourself, too. Integrating exercise into your working or studying day would seem like a sensible option, if this particular benefit is of interest to you. 

What the new research tells us is that it is not just any exercise that will create new brain cells for you. In the study by Finnish researchers, they discovered that only certain kinds of exercise are likely to result in the growth of new brain cells in adults.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Simple running exercises can stimulate the brain to work better. Not all exercises contribute to brain stimulation. Read the article and find out which exercises will make you smarter.

"While intense exercise will create brain cells, they are basically stem cells waiting to be put to use. Exercise doesn’t create new knowledge; rather, it gives you the mental equivalent of a sharpened pencil and clean sheet of paper. It prepares you for learning, but you have to actively do some learning yourself, too. Integrating exercise into your working or studying day would seem like a sensible option, if this particular benefit is of interest to you."
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What is the Proper Way to Poop? - Complete Health and Happiness ("wrong toilet seats don't help")

What is the Proper Way to Poop? - Complete Health and Happiness ("wrong toilet seats don't help") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

You might be pooping wrong! Moreover, Western civilization has been pooping wrong for generations.  According to scientists at the Stanford University Pelvic Floor Clinic,  our bodies are designed for  squatting and not sitting. If you look at the history of bathroom habits, it all makes sense. Did you know that appendicitis, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel …

You might be pooping wrong! Moreover, Western civilization has been pooping wrong for generations. According to scientists at the Stanford University Pelvic Floor Clinic, our bodies are designed for squatting and not sitting. If you look at the history of bathroom habits, it all makes sense.

Did you know that appendicitis, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, hernias, diverticulosis, and hemorrhoids all may be caused by improper fecal elimination. 

All may be caused by improper fecal elimination!

... Sitting down only partially relaxes that muscle. Squatting fully relaxes it, essentially straightening out the colon. That, in turn, eases the elimination pooping process.” According to Bockus’s Gastroenterology, a standard medical textfrom 1964, “the ideal posture for defecation is the squatting position, with the thighs fixed upon the abdomen.” And this is the way our ancestors eliminated daily until the middle of the 19th century.


Bert Guevara's insight:
Our ancestors knew better. This is why some people complain of not getting it right most of the time. Why not do it the old fashioned way?

"Health Benefits of Squatting: 
- Makes elimination faster and easier. 
- Prevents stagnation of waste which can lead to colon cancer. 
- Prevents waste from entering into and contaminating the small intestine. 
- Protects the pelvic floor and also pelvic nerves responsible for prostate health, bladder control and sexuality. 
- Protects the nerves that control the prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming stretched and damaged."
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5 Things Wrong With Your Deodorant ("harmful to hormone receptors in your underarm; may cause cancer")

5 Things Wrong With Your Deodorant ("harmful to hormone receptors in your underarm; may cause cancer") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

Some deodorants and antiperspirants contain toxic ingredients, according to some experts. They caution that natural deodorant or no deodorant is the safer way to avoid toxins.

Research also shows that some compounds used in deodorant are absorbed and stored in fat cells, which are prevalent in the underarm area, says Philip Harvey, Ph.D., editor in chief of the Journal of Applied Toxicology. Your underarm tissue also contains hormone receptors, which could react to some of those same deodorant ingredients, Harvey says. 

For all these reasons, experts like Harvey and Patisaul are worried certain compounds in antiperspirant and deodorant could cause or contribute to developmental or reproductive issues, as well as cancer. (Other research shows some of these substances can mess with the microorganisms—many of them beneficial—that live on and in your body.) 

Here are 5 deodorant ingredients of concern.

Parabens

Research suggests some parabens may interfere with the way your body produces and regulates estrogen and other hormones, ...

Aluminum 

Typically found only in antiperspirants, this metal can cause “gene instability” in breast tissue ...

Triclosan

She says blood tests show triclosan is “at the high end” when it comes to chemicals that swish around in our bodies.

Phthalates

They also appear to disrupt “androgen function,” or the way your body produces and uses the hormone testosterone, ...

Fragrance

Even smelling scented products on other people can cause an allergic reaction.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Smelling good can have its drawbacks. Check your deodorant.

"If these compounds are of concern to you, Darbre says ditching all underarm deodorant products is the only way to ensure you’re not exposing yourself to potentially toxic chemicals. Short of that, Patisaul recommends shopping for fragrance-free natural deodorant. Finally, shop for products labeled paraben-, fragrance- andfree, and check the ingredients list to make sure triclosan isn’t included."
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This huge, ugly fruit is a surprisingly good meat substitute ("it's more than just a dessert")

This huge, ugly fruit is a surprisingly good meat substitute ("it's more than just a dessert") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

Don't know jack about replacing meat with fruit? Here's a helpful guide.

But there’s another option, one that happily satisfies both those who enjoy meat substitutes in any form and those who would rather not eat a highly processed meat imitation. That option is jackfruit: a large — enormous really — fruit found in tropical regions around the world that’s eaten both ripe and unripe. 

When it’s young and green, jackfruit works remarkably well as a natural stand-in for pork or chicken due to its meaty, shreddable texture after cooking. Ripe jackfruit is sweeter, and doesn’t work as a meat substitute, but can be eaten raw.

If you’re ready to try it yourself, you have options: fresh, canned, or packaged.

Look for fresh jackfruit in well-stocked grocery stores or international markets. If you find it sold in smaller chunks, you won’t have to try and wrestle with an entire child-sized fruit — at least this time anyway.

If you can’t find fresh jackfruit near you (or would just prefer not to go through the hassle of prepping it), you can find canned young jackfruit in Asian markets or online. Make sure to get the jackfruit packed in brine or water — not syrup! 

If you’re starting with fresh, green jackfruit or canned jackfruit, you’ll want to season it (it doesn’t have a strong flavor when unripe, which makes it a versatile ingredient) and cook it until the arils start to break down into shreds (often done by sautéing, stir-frying, or simmering in a sauce).

Bert Guevara's insight:
This is an interesting discovery for those who want to look for a meat stand-in. I never expected the jackfruit to be more than just dessert. 

"But there’s another option, one that happily satisfies both those who enjoy meat substitutes in any form and those who would rather not eat a highly processed meat imitation. That option is jackfruit: a large — enormous really — fruit found in tropical regions around the world that’s eaten both ripe and unripe. 
"When it’s young and green, jackfruit works remarkably well as a natural stand-in for pork or chicken due to its meaty, shreddable texture after cooking. Ripe jackfruit is sweeter, and doesn’t work as a meat substitute, but can be eaten raw."
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Marty Roddy's curator insight, June 30, 2016 8:27 AM
This is cool #vegan fun, Does it ship well , for northern #vegetarian
Eric Larson's curator insight, July 1, 2016 9:57 AM
Jack fruit for dessert?
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Docs Diagnose Smartphone 'Blindness' in 2 Women ("staring on a bright screen in the dark is bad")

Docs Diagnose Smartphone 'Blindness' in 2 Women ("staring on a bright screen in the dark is bad") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

For two women in the United Kingdom, mysterious vision problems that happened only at night or early in the morning turned out to have a rather innocuous cause.

The cases, which are detailed in a new report, show the short-term vision problems that can occur when people look at a bright smartphone screen in a dark room.  

In the first case, a 22-year-old woman told her eye doctor that she had trouble seeing out of her right eye at night while she was in bed. These episodes happened multiple times a week for a year. Each time, she said she could only see the outlines of objects with her right eye, although her vision was fine in her left eye, and in both eyes the following day. An eye exam showed her vision was normal, and she had no signs of a blood clot or other conditions that could cause short-term vision loss, the doctors said.

In the second case, a 40-year-old woman told doctors that she couldn't see out of one eye when she woke up in the early morning, before sunrise. This vision problem lasted about 15 minutes, and happened on and off for six months, the report said. 

In both cases, doctors later discovered that these vision problems happened only after the women had viewed their smartphone for several minutes, while lying on their side in bed.

The doctors hypothesized that these problems happened because the patients, without realizing it, were looking at their phone with just one eye, with the other eye blocked by a pillow when they were lying down. In this situation, one eye (blocked by the pillow) becomes adapted to the dark, while the other eye (looking at the smartphone) is adapted to the light, the doctors said. When the smartphone is turned off, the light-adapted eye is perceived to be "blind," until it also adjusts to the dark, the doctors said.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Bad habit of using your smartphone in the dark, while in bed, can cause eye problems.

"The cases, which are detailed in a new report, show the short-term vision problems that can occur when people look at a bright smartphone screen in a dark room."
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Holy Guacamole! People In New Zealand Are Stealing Avocados ("low supply makes it very in-demand")

Holy Guacamole! People In New Zealand Are Stealing Avocados ("low supply makes it very in-demand") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

As Sid Vicious once said, "You can't arrest me, I'm a guac-star." Or something like that.

In the interview, which can be heard below, Scoular elaborated on the cause of the problem: “In New Zealand, we don’t import avocados, and we’ve had a moderate supply of avocados in the last season and a big increase in demand.”

The going rate for the guacamole eggs is currently $4 to $6 New Zealand dollars ($2.80 to $4.20) each. That’s a pretty high price to pay for something you smush on toast, which explains the appeal of stealing them and selling them on the black market. 

New Zealand police are thinking the criminal — or criminals — are using the cloak of darkness to pluck avocados from trees. 

“They must have spent a few hours there taking fruit off the trees, loading them into his own car. We are not sure if he parked the car down the driveway or kept it on the side of the orchard,” Sergeant Aaron Fraser told Stuff.co.nz.

Despite all this madness, there is one thing thieves should know: The avocados they’re plucking aren’t ripe yet! 

The crops are immature this time of year, Fraser has said, and they aren’t expected to be ripe and ready until around September or October. Black market buyers: Beware of shoddy avocados! 

Our resident Kiwi in the office, who asked to remain anonymous, had this to say about avocados: “I enjoy them sometimes.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
Have you discovered the nutritional benefits of this super-fruit yet? Don't be left behind because of the myths that its oil is bad for your health.
It is selling at $2.80 to $4.20 per piece (not per kilo) in New Zealand. In the Philippines, I just bought them for P60/kg in Silang (Cavite) and P120/kg from the supermarket. Some supermarkets are selling them at P199/kg.
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How Fast Food Messes With Your Hormones ("prefer home-cooked meals vs home delivered fast food")

How Fast Food Messes With Your Hormones ("prefer home-cooked meals vs home delivered fast food") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

A new study shows people who eat fast food have higher levels of plastics chemicals, called phthalates, in their system

If you want to eat healthy, you’ll need to forgo fast food, which is high in sodium, sugar and grease. A new study supplies even more incentive to do so by finding that fast food is a source of chemicals called phthalates, which have been linked to a list of possible health burdens like hormone disruption and lower sperm count. 

The new report, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that people who ate more fast food also had higher levels of two substances that occur when phthalates—which make plastic more flexible—break down in the body. “The same range of concentrations measured in this [group] overlaps with the range of concentrations that have been measured in some of epidemiological studies that find adverse health effects,” says study author Ami Zota, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Prior studies have shown that diet is a source of exposure for plastics chemicals like phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA), and that processed food may be of particular concern. The new study is the largest to look at exposure from fast food fare specifically.

Bert Guevara's insight:
It is always healthier to eat home-cooked meals. Do away with frequent "home deliveries" from fast-food chains; prepare your meals.

"If you want to eat healthy, you’ll need to forgo fast food, which is high in sodium, sugar and grease. A new study supplies even more incentive to do so by finding that fast food is a source of chemicals called phthalates, which have been linked to a list of possible health burdens like hormone disruption and lower sperm count."
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Eric Larson's curator insight, June 24, 2016 8:41 AM
Fast food vs hormones?
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Fat is back! Shoppers opt for whole milk, Greek yogurt ("decrease diabetes, cardio disease, some cancers, etc.")

Fat is back! Shoppers opt for whole milk, Greek yogurt ("decrease diabetes, cardio disease, some cancers, etc.") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

Once taboo, full-fat milk can help consumers decrease risk of diabetes, heart disease, new studies find.

Once snubbed, whole-fat milk, yogurt and other dairy products are finding their way back into our refrigerators, thanks to a growing interest in "whole foods" diets and new evidence that full-fat dairy products can be good for us, experts say. 

The trend is showing up in milk sales, both nationally and in Des Moines, industry data show. Whole milk sales in Des Moines climbed 9.6 percent last year over 2014; nationally, they climbed 4.5 percent. 

At the same time, fat-free milk sales in Des Moines dropped 9.5 percent, and nationally, they shrank 12.3 percent, according to data provided by Dairy Management, a marketing group for the industry's 45,000 U.S. dairy farmers. 

Chicago analytics company IRI collects the data. Statewide sales information wasn't available.

"There is some research that's coming out that shows consumption of whole-fat dairy is decreasing risk of Type 2 diabetes, decreasing risk of cardiovascular disease, decreasing risk of certain kinds of cancer, and people who consume whole-fat dairy products are less obese,"

Researchers are exploring whether it's the "dairy itself or their eating pattern as a whole," Litchfield said. 

"People who consume dairy products also tend to have other healthy behaviors," she said. "They're less likely to be smokers, they're more likely to be active, and they're more likely to consume whole grains."

Bert Guevara's insight:
I stopped buying low-fat dairy products after I realized this and my health has improved.

"There is some research that's coming out that shows consumption of whole-fat dairy is decreasing risk of Type 2 diabetes, decreasing risk of cardiovascular disease, decreasing risk of certain kinds of cancer, and people who consume whole-fat dairy products are less obese,"
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BACON AND PROCESSED MEAT DEEMED JUST AS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH AS CIGARETTES! ("oh cruel world!")

BACON AND PROCESSED MEAT DEEMED JUST AS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH AS CIGARETTES! ("oh cruel world!") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it
In breaking news, the World Health Organisation is about to announce that processed meats, including bacon, sausages and even high amounts of red meat, are just as bad for us as asbestos and cigarettes! 
It comes on the heels of a meeting of scientists from ten different countries that reviewed a broad array of data. A representative for the organization declined to comment, saying the WHO's full report would be available today, but we are still awaiting the news. 
The announcement is expected to list the fry-up favourites in the same category as arsenic, asbestos and cigarettes. Red meat will also be declared “probably carcinogenic to humans”, and will be ranked as only slightly less dangerous than preserved products, according to a Daily Mail source. 
Processed meat, which include pastrami, salami, hot dogs and some types of sausages is made by smoking, curing, salting or adding preservatives. 
For decades, doctors have said red meat has carcinogenic effects. One recent study suggested that a sugar molecule found in beef, lamb and pork could be a trigger behind inflammation, and causes cancer tumors to grow. The World Cancer Research Fund said: “There is strong evidence that eating a lot of these foods [red and processed meat] increases your risk of bowel cancer.” 
According to the World Cancer Research Fund, there is strong evidence that eating red and processed meat increases risk of bowel cancer. Of cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and the third most common cancer in men and in women. 
The NHS website says that evidence shows there is “probably a link between eating red and processed meat and the risk of bowel cancer”. “People who eat a lot of these meats are at higher risk of bowel cancer than those who eat small amounts,” it adds. However, the site also acknowledged the benefits of meats like beef, lamb and pork which it says “can form part of a healthy diet”.
Bert Guevara's insight:
We can still enjoy life without bacon, processed meat and cigarettes.

"In breaking news, the World Health Organisation is about to announce that processed meats, including bacon, sausages and even high amounts of red meat, are just as bad for us as asbestos and cigarettes!"
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6 Tips to Build a Better Bedtime Routine ("if you still can't sleep & don't like the pill, try these")

6 Tips to Build a Better Bedtime Routine ("if you still can't sleep & don't like the pill, try these") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

Here are six tips to creating a bedtime routine that will have you waking up feeling better.

Here are six tips to creating a bedtime routine that will have you waking up feeling better. Remember, the key to these tips is making them part of your routine—so no giving up after two nights! Pelayo notes that some people need a few weeks or even a couple of months for their bodies to really cement a routine. 

1. Give yourself time to decompress from your day “One of the top mistakes that women make is that they fail to take time to themselves that they need to wind down and decompress from their day,”

2. But don’t wind down with your gadgets If you do decide to catch up on your favorite show, don’t do it on your computer or tablet.

3. Eat a light, pre-bedtime snack (if you’re hungry) While heavy foods and big meals or snacks consumed right before bed can disrupt sleep, the greater nighttime food issue facing many women is hunger, Fotinakes says.

4. Take a warm bath two to three hours before bed According to research from Cornell University Medical College, a nighttime drop in core body temperature increases one’s chances of both falling asleep and enjoying the coveted deep layers of sleep.

5. Don’t get into bed until right before it’s time to sleep You’ve probably heard the saying that your bed is for sleep and sex—and that’s it. But even those extra hours spent reading or watching TV before sleep can add up. “The more time you spend in the bed before you sleep, the more your body gets used to being awake in bed,” says Pelayo.

6. Go to bed at the same time every night “We have an internal sleep-wake cycle that revolves around the 24-hour day,” Fotinakes says. “I tell patient that I don’t care so much about when they sleep, but that they get enough sleep and keep their sleep cycle regular.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
For insomniacs ....

"Sure, without a bedtime routine, you will eventually fall asleep. But who knows how long that will take—or how well you will actually sleep when the lights go out. 
“Most of us cannot sleep on command, but routine helps the brain know that it’s preparing for sleep,” says Rebecca Scott, research assistant professor of neurology at the NYU Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center—Sleep Center. “Our sleep system, along with most other neurophysiological systems, likes predictability and consistency.”
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Foods Endorsed by Celebrities Are Almost All Terrible for U ("soda, sugary drinks, fast food, sweets")

Foods Endorsed by Celebrities Are Almost All Terrible for U ("soda, sugary drinks, fast food, sweets") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

Music celebrities from One Direction to Beyoncé promote really unhealthy food ...

Almost every food or drink a music celebrity endorses and promotes through commercials and advertisements is unhealthy, according to a new study from NYU researchers. That’s a shame, the study authors argue, since most of the stars promoting these products—from One Direction to Beyoncé—are popular among kids and teens. 

In the report, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, NYU Langone Medical Center researchers combed through Billboard Magazine’s “Hot 100” song charts from 2013 and 2014. They confirmed celebrities’ popularity by looking at who won at the Teen Choice Awards as well as the number of views of celebrity endorsements they had on YouTube. The study authors also looked at all food and drink endorsements between 2000 and 2014 recorded in the advertisement database AdScope. Overall, there were around 313 million views of YouTube videos of celebrity food and beverage endorsements. 

The most common foods and drinks endorsed by the musicians were soda, sugary drinks, fast food and sweets. The researchers assessed the nutritional makeup of the products and of the 26 food products in the ads, 81% were “nutrient poor.” Only one of the food products—Wonderful Pistachio—had a healthy nutrition score, and was endorsed by Psy. Taylor Swift has promoted Diet Coke, which is not high in nutrients and there’s some evidence to suggest that artificial sweeteners are not as healthy as they’ve been advertised.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Maybe we should just stop watching TV commercials and believing in ads that promote food and drinks. Reading the right food articles are better.

"The most common foods and drinks endorsed by the musicians were soda, sugary drinks, fast food and sweets. The researchers assessed the nutritional makeup of the products and of the 26 food products in the ads, 81% were “nutrient poor.”
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What You Need to Know About the Cellphone and Cancer Study ("if you are a heavy user, then read this")

What You Need to Know About the Cellphone and Cancer Study ("if you are a heavy user, then read this") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

Federal researchers have rushed out results from a study that shows cellphone radiation might cause brain and heart tumors in rats. Should you worry?

The rats in the study got high levels of cellphone signal, mostly above the legal limits set by the Federal Communications Commission for mobile phones, and were exposed for nine hours a day, every day, from the time they were in their mothers' wombs until they died about two years later. 

"All these animals were exposed at levels that were heavy," Bucher said. That's standard in rat trials, so that researchers can have a better chance of getting an effect. So there is no telling whether that translates to people. 

Another hint: Brain cancer rates have not shot up. "We are aware of the fact that there certainly has not been an increase in brain cancer rates in the United States," Bucher said. But people live much, much longer than rats do and cancer can take decades to develop. 

Most studies have shown no evidence cellphone signals can cause cancer. This one made news because it did, but scientists know that no single study tells the whole story. It's the body of evidence collected over years by different groups taking different approaches that yields a good answer.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Most studies have shown no evidence cellphone signals can cause cancer. This one made news because it did, but scientists know that no single study tells the whole story.

"Federal researchers have rushed out results from a study that shows cellphone radiation might cause brain and heart tumors in rats. It's a worrisome finding that seems to validate suspicions that have been brushed off by many mainstream scientists for years."
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How Artificial Sweeteners May Cause Us to Eat More ("you can't fool your brain always; balance is needed")

How Artificial Sweeteners May Cause Us to Eat More ("you can't fool your brain always; balance is needed") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

Like a freshly cracked diet soda, suspicions have been fizzing away for years that artificial sweeteners may not be the best way to slim down

A vast body of research suggests that sugar substitutes, despite having far fewer calories than sugar itself, can wreak various forms of metabolic havoc such as upping diabetes risk and—perhaps paradoxically—causing weight gain in the long term. A new study published Tuesday in Cell Metabolism suggests that artificial sweeteners mimic a starvation state in the brain, causing some organisms to seek energy by eating more food. 

In the study—a collaboration between researchers from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Center and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research—fruit flies were fed either a diet of yeast and sucrose or one with the synthetic sweetener sucralose, used in a variety of low-calorie foods. Flies fed the sugar-free diet for five or more days consumed 30 percent more calories than those on sugar. When sucralose was removed from their diet, calorie consumption in the formerly sugar-free group fell back to normal.

... “We found that inside the brain's reward centers sweet sensation is integrated with energy content,” Neely was quoted as saying separately in a press release. “When sweetness versus energy is out of balance for a period of time, the brain recalibrates and increases total calories consumed.” In other words, when the brain detects sweetness in the absence of actual caloric energy, it compensates by increasing the palatability of sugar, driving increased food consumption. “The pathway we discovered is part of a starvation response that actually makes nutritious food taste better when you are starving,” Neely said in the press release.

Bert Guevara's insight:
There are better ways of getting a "sweet fix" other than substitutes. The natural way is better, but you have to adopt a lifestyle change and a balanced diet routine.

“We found that inside the brain's reward centers sweet sensation is integrated with energy content,” Neely was quoted as saying separately in a press release. “When sweetness versus energy is out of balance for a period of time, the brain recalibrates and increases total calories consumed.” In other words, when the brain detects sweetness in the absence of actual caloric energy, it compensates by increasing the palatability of sugar, driving increased food consumption. “The pathway we discovered is part of a starvation response that actually makes nutritious food taste better when you are starving,” Neely said in the press release.
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This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Drink Coconut Water ("so many benefits from a few glasses")

This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Drink Coconut Water ("so many benefits from a few glasses") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it
Coconut water helps you strengthen your immune system. It kills the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, gum disease and the viruses that cause influenza, infectious diseases and typhoid. Drinking coconut water can offer a great boost of energy for those who suffer from chronic fatigue. The recommended dose is 40 to 50 ml taken daily. 
While the coconut water undeniably increases energy levels, there is another very important benefit: it stimulates the production of thyroid hormones. Acting as a natural diuretic, this water is also beneficial to anyone who suffers from kidney disorders. Likewise, it benefits the urinary tract and bladder channels leaving them clean and infection-free; it eliminates toxins from the body and reduces problems caused by kidney stones.
Coconut water improves digestion too because it contains high levels of fiber. If consumed regularly, it alleviates problems caused by stomach acid. This water contains very little fat, so it can be consumed in large quantities. It gives you the feeling of satiety and reduces appetite, thus helping you to slim down and maintain an attractive silhouette!
If you suffer from acne or have a combined dry-oily skin, you can soak a cotton ball in coconut water, and apply it to the skin. It cleanses and invigorates the skin, and, unlike numerous creams and lotions, it does not close the pores. This water also finds use as a natural body purifier: when mixed with olive oil the coconut water removes intestinal parasites. Experts say that coconut water can be a valuable help to naturally solve some health problems during pregnancy as well!
Bert Guevara's insight:
Definitely better than soft drinks and other thirst quenchers that claim to be energy drinks. Make coconut water a habit for longer life. Read the whole article and find out why.

"Coconut water helps you strengthen your immune system. It kills the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, gum disease and the viruses that cause influenza, infectious diseases and typhoid. Drinking coconut water can offer a great boost of energy for those who suffer from chronic fatigue. The recommended dose is 40 to 50 ml taken daily."
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19 Things You Should Throw Away for Better Health ("new findings that may improve your health")

19 Things You Should Throw Away for Better Health ("new findings that may improve your health") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

Antibacterial soap is no more effective at killing bacteria than the regular stuff, and they may not be safe

1. Old plastic containers 

Go through your collection of food-storage containers and toss anything made of clear, rigid plastic, and stamped with a 7 or “pc” (stands for polycarbonate). “These are the types of containers that maycontain BPA,”

2. Air fresheners 

Though some companies have recently announced they’re phasing out phthalates, which are used to help fragrance linger longer, many air fresheners (solids, sprays, and plug-ins) still contain this type of chemical, which in large doses may have harmful effects on reproduction or development.

3. Antibacterial soap 

Antibacterial soap is no more effective at killing bacteria than the regular stuff—and they may not be safe, according to a 2014 FDA report. 

4. Your stash of diet soda

Researchers found a link between these sweeteners, altered gut microbes, glucose intolerance and metabolic syndrome (both precursors to Type 2 diabetes) in mice and humans.

5. Worn-out running shoes

When shoes wear down, they lose their cushioning and are less capable of absorbing the impact of your foot landing with each step, so more force is transmitted to muscles, bones, and tendons, putting you at risk for injuries, he explains.

6. Frayed toothbrush

Worn-out brushes are less effective at cleaning teeth and fighting off decay.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Out with the unhealthy stuff; in with the new....

"When we talk about the steps you need to take to get healthier, they often involve buying new things: workout clothes, fitness equipment, ingredients for healthy recipes, and the list goes on. But becoming the healthiest version of yourself also means throwing away the stuff that’s holding you back—and we don’t only mean junk food. Get your recycling or garbage can ready!"
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The Case for Eating Butter Just Got Stronger ("better than processed carbohydrates like sugar & white bread")

The Case for Eating Butter Just Got Stronger ("better than processed carbohydrates like sugar & white bread") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

It looks like butter may, in fact, be back. The creamy condiment is a “middle-of-the-road” food, nutritionally speaking—better than sugar, worse than olive oil—according to a new report, which adds to a growing body of research showing that the low-fat-diet trend was misguided. The new study analyzed nine papers that included more than 600,000 people and concluded that consuming butter is not linked to a higher risk for heart disease and might be slightly protective against type 2 diabetes. This goes against the longstanding advice to avoid butter because it contains saturated fat.

To be clear, the new study doesn’t say butter is a health food, rather that “it doesn’t seem to be hugely harmful or beneficial,” says study author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts in Boston. This is in line with the new thinking from a growing number of nutrition scientists who say that cutting back on fat, even the saturated kind, is doing more harm than good. 

“In my mind, saturated fat is kind of neutral overall,” Mozaffarian says. “Vegetable oils and fruits and nuts are healthier than butter, but on the other hand, low-fat turkey meat or a bagel or cornflakes or soda is worse for you than butter.”

Indeed, research is mounting that saturated fat is better for you than processed carbohydrates like sugar and white bread, which have been linked to diabetes, obesity and heart disease many times over. In April, Mozaffarian published a separate study in the journal Circulation that analyzed the blood of 3,333 adults and found that people who had higher levels of three byproducts from full-fat dairy had a 46% lower risk of getting diabetes than people with lower levels. Other studies have also shown that full-fat products like dairy can be useful in weight maintenance and other health factors.

Bert Guevara's insight:
It looks like butter may, in fact, be back. The creamy condiment is a “middle-of-the-road” food, nutritionally speaking—better than sugar, worse than olive oil—according to a new report, which adds to a growing body of research showing that the low-fat-diet trend was misguided.

"The new study analyzed nine papers that included more than 600,000 people and concluded that consuming butter is not linked to a higher risk for heart disease and might be slightly protective against type 2 diabetes. This goes against the longstanding advice to avoid butter because it contains saturated fat."
“In my mind, saturated fat is kind of neutral overall,” Mozaffarian says. “Vegetable oils and fruits and nuts are healthier than butter, but on the other hand, low-fat turkey meat or a bagel or cornflakes or soda is worse for you than butter.”
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5 Surprising Things You Don’t Have to Buy Organic

5 Surprising Things You Don’t Have to Buy Organic | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

You don't have to buy everything organic just because it's an option. You can rest assured when it comes to these five.

Avocados 

You’re pretty safe with fruits and vegetables like avocados, which have a thick skin that you don’t eat. Just remember to wash the peel before cutting into them to get rid of any residue.


Eggs 

Chickens as a rule are not given growth hormones. And research has shown that factory eggs don’t have higher quantities of contaminants than organic eggs.


Frozen food in plastic bags 

The risk of leached chemicals is heightened by heat, and frozen produce is, well, as cold as ice. As long as you’re not boiling in the bag, the chance of ingesting harmful chemicals from these is low.


Spices 

"Even when you’re using spices liberally, you’re consuming such small amounts of each that the risk is minimal," says Sonya Lunder, senior analyst at the EWG.


Clothing 

While there’s no question that organic cotton is excellent for the environment, the benefits it has on your personal health are unclear—it’s unlikely that pesticides remain in clothing in quantities large enough to seep into our bodies.


Bert Guevara's insight:
Buying organic is good, if it makes a difference. Here are examples of items that do not have to be organic.
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Does Coffee Cause Cancer? New Studies Say It Could Actually Reduce Risk ("no more fears for coffee")

Does Coffee Cause Cancer? New Studies Say It Could Actually Reduce Risk ("no more fears for coffee") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

Good news, coffee drinkers: A new scientific review finds no conclusive evidence that coffee causes cancer. In fact, coffee may even help protect against certain cancers.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, this week revised its 1991 determination that classified coffee as possibly carcinogenic. Since then, there have been a lot of studies on the health effects of coffee, so the agency decided to re-evaluate the evidence. On review, the agency determined that coffee drinkers have no reason to worry. 

Is this flip-flop a reason to dismiss studies linking cancer to eating bacon, using cell phones or other habits, on grounds that science doesn't prove anything? On the contrary. Scientific understanding of an issue conforms to the best available knowledge, which is constantly progressing. As our knowledge grows and changes, so too might our conclusions. 

The 1991 classification was based on a few studies that found associations between drinking coffee and bladder cancer. The World Health Organization noted at the time that the evidence was limited.

More recent studies have far more robust assessments of smoking as well as more complete evaluations of occupational exposures and other risk factors. When these risk factors are more accurately controlled, a link between coffee and bladder cancer is no longer seen. Taking this new information into account is what caused the agency to revise its previous assessment and conclude coffee drinking is “unclassifiable as to its carcinogenicity”––in other words, there's no evidence it causes cancer. 

But the news gets even better for coffee drinkers. 

Recent studies have found some evidence that drinking coffee regularly may reduce the risk of liver cancer and endometrial cancer. Other evidence shows coffee may be beneficial in reducing liver disease and type 2 diabetes.

Bert Guevara's insight:
It's green and go for coffee lovers!

"But the news gets even better for coffee drinkers. 
"Recent studies have found some evidence that drinking coffee regularly may reduce the risk of liver cancer and endometrial cancer. Other evidence shows coffee may be beneficial in reducing liver disease and type 2 diabetes."
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4 Strategies to Help Conquer Procrastination ("we will be better off if urgent things are done early")

4 Strategies to Help Conquer Procrastination ("we will be better off if urgent things are done early") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

Here are my top four techniques for beating procrastination, staying focused, and maximizing your day—no matter what you do.

Here are my top four techniques for beating procrastination, staying focused, and maximizing your day—no matter what you do.

1. Pick a System—and Stick to It When I first started freelancing, I didn’t have a productivity system. I relied on a notepad to keep track of current tasks, and as I worked, I’d simply move down the list and check things off.

2. Figure Out How You Use Your Time Most people consider themselves fairly productive. I sure did—until I started tracking my time. I discovered I was spending hours a day reading blog posts, scrolling through LinkedIn and Twitter, and looking at designs on Behance and Dribble. Since I wasn’t on Facebook or Instagram, I didn’t feel like I was wasting time, but there’s no doubt I could’ve been putting those hours to better use.

3. Stop Going Down Internet Rabbit Holes As time-tracking showed me, and as you probably already know, it’s incredibly easy to get off-track while doing anything online. Whenever I came across something that piques my curiosity—whether it was an interesting article, a cool site, or a piece of breaking news—I felt compelled to pause what I was doing and check it out, just for a minute, or five, or 30.

4. Keep a Running List of Small Tasks For every hour I spend writing, I spend two hours doing small, fairly administrative tasks: sending invoices, answering emails, checking in with clients, and so on.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Time management for a balanced life is the greatest challenge in today's multi-tasking lifestyle. Read these suggestions if you have problems with PROCRASTINATION.
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The Best Way to Quit Smoking, According to Science ("just stop it and you may have better success")

The Best Way to Quit Smoking, According to Science ("just stop it and you may have better success") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

For smoking cessation, quitting cold turkey was 25% more effective than gradually cutting down on cigarettes

Lindson-Hawley and her colleagues looked at almost 700 people in England who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day but who were planning to quit. They all set a quit date for two weeks. Half of them were randomly assigned to smoke normally until their quit date, then to stop abruptly. The other half gradually reduced their smoking over the two weeks leading up to the appointed day. Both groups had behavioral counseling, nicotine patches and nicotine replacement therapy from products like gum, lozenges and mouth spray. 

The way the researchers measured success was by looking at smoking abstinence for four weeks after the quit date, and then six months later. 

Those who quit abruptly stuck to it the best—about 25% better than the gradual-cessation group. And 49% of the abrupt group were successful, while 39% of the gradual group were. 

At the half-year mark, 22% of the cold-turkey group were still smoke-free, while 15% of the gradual group were. 

Interestingly, more people said they preferred to quit gradually rather than abruptly. But a person’s preferences didn’t make much of a difference in their success. “Even if people wanted to quit gradually, they were more likely to quit if they used the abrupt method,” Lindson-Hawley says.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Quoting PRRD, "Stop it!"

"Those who quit abruptly stuck to it the best—about 25% better than the gradual-cessation group. And 49% of the abrupt group were successful, while 39% of the gradual group were.  
"At the half-year mark, 22% of the cold-turkey group were still smoke-free, while 15% of the gradual group were."
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Study: Cholesterol-lowering Statin Drugs More Than Double Breast Cancer Risk ("you die either way")

Study: Cholesterol-lowering Statin Drugs More Than Double Breast Cancer Risk ("you die either way") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

Why do one in seven women have breast cancer? One reason is the use of synthetic hormones in our food and prescribed to women. Another reason is statin

Why do one in seven women have breast cancer? One reason is the use of synthetic hormones fed to animals and other synthetic hormones prescribed to women such as medroxyprogesterone including Provera. Another reason is statin medications. 

A recent study found that current users of statins for ten years or longer had an 83% increased risk of invasive ductal carcinoma and a 97% increased risk of invasive lobular carcinoma, when compared to never-users of statins. Among women diagnosed with hypercholesterolemia, current users of statins for ten years or longer had a 104% increased risk of invasive ductal carcinoma and a 143% increased risk of invasive lobular carcinoma.(1) 

In fact, the increased risk of cancer with statin use has been reported in other studies. All the cholesterol medications, older and newer ones, have been associated with an increased rate of cancer.(2) In rodents, statins have been shown to cause cancer in multiple studies. (2) Multiple studies have shown a link between low cholesterol levels and the development of cancer. (3) 

Some of you may be shocked by the above numbers. I am not. The connection between statins and cancer is hard to pin down since most studies do not last for long periods of time and, to be properly diagnosed, cancer takes a long time to grow. When you look at the mechanism of action of statins, and the resultant depletion of cholesterol and CoQ10, I believe long-term statin use will inevitably lead to increased risk of cancer.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Curing cholesterol problem with pharma drugs can lead to another cancer. Isn't there a safer way? Then start studying how the body works.

"What can you do? Educate yourself about the mechanism of action of a drug. Search for ways to support the body’s biochemistry instead of poisoning enzymes (this is how statins work) and blocking receptors. Most drugs–over 98%– work by poisoning enzymes or blocking receptors. We were not designed to have our enzymes poisoned or our receptors blocked."
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Very hot drinks are 'probably carcinogenic' ("wait to cool before drinking to avoid cancer")

Very hot drinks are 'probably carcinogenic' ("wait to cool before drinking to avoid cancer") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

Anyone who likes to curl up with a steaming hot drink should consider letting some of that warmth subside; drinking it could increase their risk of developing cancer.

In a review published today by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, drinking very hot beverages was classified as "probably carcinogenic to humans." 

More specifically, the review by a panel of global experts stated that drinking beverages at temperatures above 65 degrees Celsius — 149 degrees Fahrenheit — could cause people to develop cancer of their esophagus, the eighth most common form of cancer worldwide. Drinking tea, coffee or other hot beverages at this temperature can cause significant scald burns in the esophagus when they're consumed and has previously been linked to an increased cancer risk in this part of the body. 

Warm beverages are not typically consumed this hot in Europe and North America, but are commonly served at, or above, this temperature in regions such as South America, the Middle East and East Africa — particularly when drinking teas. It's hotter than water coming out of sink faucets, which is typically no higher than 60 degrees Celsius, about 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but not as hot as boiling water. Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius, or 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Wise drinkers read the papers before the first sip. Beware of burning your tongue and throat often with very hot beverages.

"The new classification puts consuming very hot drinks in the same risk group as exposure to substances such as lead, gasoline and exhaust fumes, which are also classified as "possibly carcinogenic" by the agency."
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3 Surprising Benefits Of Walking Just 10 Minutes A Day ("there is still hope for the lazy bugs")

3 Surprising Benefits Of Walking Just 10 Minutes A Day ("there is still hope for the lazy bugs") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

Find out why walking 10-minutes a day can have life changing health benefits.

Going out on a limb here, folks, but we figure you know the benefits of walking. What you might not know? Even micro strolls come with cardio perks. Challenge yourself to one of these goals every day.


Walk 2 minutes per hour and... Live longer! Spending just 120 seconds each hour moving instead of sitting may lower your risk of dying younger by 33%, found a recent study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.


Walk 5 minutes per hour and... Burn up to 1,000 extra cals in a week, according to research from the University of Utah. When you add it up, in a 16-hour day (we're assuming you sleep for 8) you're clocking 80 minutes of light activity.


Walk 10 minutes a day and... Safeguard your arteries. Six hours of sitting restricts blood flow to your legs, which may up your risk for arterial disease, a precursor for heart attack or stroke. Just 10 minutes of walking may protect you, a new study shows.

Bert Guevara's insight:
This is the last hope of the lazy bugs or the computer addicts.
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You Asked: Is a Vegan Diet Better? ("new findings show meat is not the enemy; processed carbs are")

You Asked: Is a Vegan Diet Better? ("new findings show meat is not the enemy; processed carbs are") | Green Consumer Forum | Scoop.it

Most omnivores should eat more plants. But while a vegetarian diet and vegan foods pack perks, they're not necessary for optimal nutrition

But if you’re wondering whether a vegan diet beats all others when it comes to your health, there’s a lot of room for debate. 

On the pro-vegan side of the ledger: A new study from Italy’s University of Florence linked vegetarian and vegan diets to significantly lower rates of ischemic heart disease and cancer. More research has tied vegan diets to healthier guts, gentler menopause symptoms and even lower levels of stress. 

When pitted against other popular diets—classic omnivorism, as well as vegetarianism and a form of it that allows for fish—the vegan plan also came out on top in terms of weight loss, according to a 2015 study from the University of South Carolina. Even when people failed to strictly follow their eating plan, those who attempted veganism tended to lose more weight than those who shot and missed for less-restrictive diets, says Gabrielle Turner-McGrievy, first author of the study.

She says it’s possible people who try vegan diets learn how to swap in healthier plant-based dishes for their old meat-centric foods, which may help them lose weight even if they don’t ultimately stick with it.


Bert Guevara's insight:
I prefer a balanced diet of everything. Read this article to find out the pros and cons of vegan diets versus a healthy mix.

“The vegan diet should be well planned and needs to pay specific attention to B12, which is not the case for the diet containing small amounts of meat, dairy and eggs,” says Peter Clarys, chair of human biology at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium. 
"Clarys’s research ranks vegan diets highly in several areas of health. But he says including small amounts of meat, dairy and eggs in a vegetable-based diet is “not unhealthy.”
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