Friday, 30 December 2016

How Long Should I keep my Food?

Although most people employ the "sniff test" to determine if their food is still good, this method can be misleading and dangerous. Many organisms that cause food borne illnesses do not create any odor or visual evidence of their presence. Use these brief guidelines to help determine how long food should be stored for maximum freshness and safety.


Leftovers may be the most susceptible to pathogens

because they often spend an elongated amount of time in the temperature danger zone (between 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit) as they cool. Although bacteria is usually killed during the cooking process, it is quickly reintroduced from the environment after cooking. Leftovers should be placed in the refrigerator (below 40 degrees Fahrenheit) as soon as possible after cooking. Once refrigerated, leftovers should be kept for only 3 to 4 days. If promptly frozen, leftovers can be stored for 3 to 4 months.

Fresh, Uncooked Meats

Fresh, uncooked meat usually contains a fair amount of bacteria and should only be stored for a short time in the refrigerator before cooking. Fresh poultry and ground meats (hamburger or fresh sausages) should only be kept in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. Solid cuts of beef, pork, or lamb can be kept refrigerated for 3 to 5 days prior to cooking. Cured meats, such as ham, can be kept a little longer or for 5 to 7 days.


Eggs should always be stored refrigerated below

40 degrees Fahrenheit. Storing eggs in the main compartment of the refrigerator, rather than storage compartments on the inside of the door, will help ensure that they stay at the proper temperature. When stored properly, eggs can be kept for 3 to 5 weeks past the "sell by" date. If your eggs take on an undesirable or sulfur like smell, discard them.

Canned Goods

Canned goods can be divided into two categories as far as storage times: high acid and low acid. High acid canned foods, such as tomato products and pineapple, have a shorter shelf life of about one and a half years. Low acid canned foods, like most vegetables and meats, have a longer shelf life of about 5 years. If you cannot remember when the product was purchased, most cans are labeled with a "Best if Used By" date that can be used as a guide. If at any time you find a can that is dented, damaged, or bulging, discard it immediately. Damaged cans can have microscopic cracks which can allow bacteria entry.

Frozen Foods

Packaged frozen foods that have remained unopened should stay palatable for up to 3 months. Although freezing does not kill bacteria, it slows its growth significantly. Expiration dates on frozen foods are usually a guide to best quality rather than spoilage. Prolonged freezing can dry foods, cause ice crystals, and other common characteristics of "freezer burn." Opened packages can expose food to bacteria, air, and rogue smells. Once opened, frozen foods should only be kept 1 to 2 months in the freezer.

The 10 Weight-Loss Foods Hiding in Your Pantry

When it comes to weight-loss foods, it can be difficult to tell which ones actually work and are worth buying. Not to mention, which foods contain just the right amount of fiber, carbohydrates, and antioxidants to keep you from feeling hungry. Instead of spending your money on the latest ingredients that promise instant weight-loss benefits, we found 10 readily available foods in your kitchen to help you shed those unwanted pounds. From grapefruit to almonds, these foods will change how you diet.

1 Oatmeal

If you're looking to lose weight but still want to indulge in carbohydrates, oatmeal is the way to go. Science has proven that this breakfast staple lowers cholesterol levels and trims waist size. And the best part is the endless possible oatmeal combinations like fresh blueberries and cashews.

2 Apple Cider Vinegar

When you think of weight-loss foods, apple cider vinegar may not be at the top of your list. But it's actually rich in vitamins E and A and contains plenty of magnesium and calcium. Studies have also shown that vinegar keeps you from feeling hungry by slowing stomach emptying. Can't think of ways to use this ingredient? Try this delicious mustard apple cider vinaigrette.

3 Almonds

Almonds are one of those versatile nuts you can put in to anything or eat alone. They are the best workout snack since they're high in protein and carbs but are also lightweight and nonperishable. For weight loss, almonds will reduce your desire to overeat but still keep your energy levels high.

4 Grapefruit

Grapefruit has all the main components of a weight-loss food. It'll kick start your metabolism but still keep you feeling full. The fruit is also loaded with fiber. Whether you choose to eat one for breakfast or serve it on the side with grilled chicken, this fruit will nix any unhealthy cravings.

5 Sweet Potatoes

A great substitute for refined sugars in weight loss are sweet potatoes. These healthy tubers are naturally sweet and also help to regulate blood sugar levels. To keep their low-glycemic properties, boil or steam them for breakfast or dinner and then watch those extra pounds melt away.

6 Beans

Beans get a bad rap for making people feel bloated, but these nutritious little gems actually contain many weight-loss benefits. They are high in fiber, pack a protein punch, and, best of all, they are low in calories (for those worried about calorie counts). Follow these steps to avoid feeling bloated after eating beans, and see why this food will help you shed pounds.

7 Cottage Cheese

If you're wondering how cottage cheese will help you lose weight, we have three reasons why this food beats Greek yogurt. Cottage cheese is surprinsingly low in calories and won't leave you feeling sluggish after consumption. As a sweet treat, whip up a creamy fruit popsicle using the ingredient.

8 Mint

Besides its fragrant scent, peppermint also has many health benefits that will help you lose those unwanted pounds. Mint can control your appetite by suppressing cravings in addition to calming down your gastrointestinal tract. Next time you feel stressed either about work or needing to get fit, just sip a cup of peppermint tea.

9 Spices

Certain spices like ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, and turmeric will help you burn more fat than you realize. If you're wary about the taste, we rounded up two delicious recipes for each spice that won't disappoint.

10 Matcha

Matcha is being hailed as the new super weight-loss food, and we can see why. This powdered form of steam and dried green tea leaves boosts metabolism and stops the growth of new fat cells. Matcha is also high in antioxidants and energy. It may be time to change your espresso habits to a cup of matcha.

7 Common Drugs That Are Toxic for Your Brain

Want to keep your brain — or the brain of someone you love — as healthy as possible?

Of course you do. So you’ve been learning about what to do: what kind of physical exercise to try, what kind of brain games to play, what kinds of foods to eat, what kinds of supplements to take, what kind of sleep to get.

But you should also be learning what not to do.

Specifically, you should learn what kinds of toxins to avoid to protect your brain’s health. And even if you are super-fit and never take any medications, it’s good to know what to help your friends and family avoid.

Warning Label Needed?

These drugs are in everything from allergy medicines to muscle relaxants to painkillers. They are in many over-the-counter (OTC) medications, and they are often prescribed for a variety of common health complaints.

Sometimes, that drowsiness is why people take the drugs, and a little sedation might sound benign. But if your brain is older, or otherwise vulnerable, don’t underestimate these drugs. Research has linked them to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and also to hospitalizations in older adults. And the American Geriatrics Society has cautioned older adults about them for years.

The drugs literally have the opposite effect of medications often used to treat Alzheimer’s. Donepezil (brand name Aricept), for example, increases the neurotransmitter acetylcholine by blocking the brain enzyme that breaks it down.

So for better brain health, it’s definitely worth learning to spot these drugs and avoid them. Here are seven common types of anticholinergic drugs:

1. Sedating antihistamines. The prime example is diphenhydramine (brand name Benadryl), which is available over-the-counter and has strong anticholinergic activity. Non-sedating antihistamines, such as loratadine (brand name Claritin) are less anticholinergic and are safer for the brain.

2. PM versions of over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers. Most OTC painkillers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen (brand names Tylenol and Motrin, respectively) come in a “PM” or night-time formulation, which means a mild sedative — usually an antihistamine — has been mixed in. Ditto for night-time cold and cough medications such as Nyquil.

3. Medications for over-active bladder. These include bladder relaxants such as oxybutynin and tolterodine (brand names Ditropan and Detrol, respectively).

4. Medications for vertigo or motion sickness. Meclizine (brand name Antivert) is often prescribed to treat benign positional vertigo. It’s also used to treat motion sickness.

5. Medications for itching. These include the strong antihistamines hydroxyzine (brand name Vistaril) and diphendyramine (brand name Benadryl), which are often prescribed for itching or hives.

6. Medications for nerve pain. An older class of antidepressant known as “tricyclics” isn't used for depression that much any longer, but it's still used to treat pain from neuropathy. (These are also prescribed to reduce the chance of chronic nerve pain after shingles.) Commonly-used tricyclics include amitriptyline and nortriptyline.

7. Muscle relaxants. These include drugs such as cyclobenzaprine (brand name Flexeril) and they are often prescribed for back or neck pain.

Many more medications have strong anticholinergic effects, but they tend to be prescribed less often. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you want help spotting all anticholinergics you might be taking.

Who Should Avoid Anticholinergics

You should especially avoid or minimize anticholinergics if you:
Are worried about your memory
Have been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease
Want to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

If you’re younger and have a healthier brain, in the short-term, anticholinergics might just make you drowsy and maybe a little unsteady on your feet.

But research suggests that anticholinergics are basically a low-level toxin for the brain and cumulative exposure can add up to definite harm. So avoiding them — and other brain-toxic drugs — is a sensible part of promoting brain health.

Remember, when it comes to brain health, it’s not just what you do; it’s also what you don’t do. So after eating your brain-healthy breakfast, take a good look in your medicine cabinet — or your parents’ cabinet. Spot those brain toxins. Your brain health is worth it.

The iodized salt scam. And why You SHOULD NOT Buy this Type of Salt

Years ago, picking salt at the grocery store was easy, name brand or generic?  Today, salt practically has a aisle to itself.  In the end you can basically lump all these salt choices into one of two categories, natural or processed.  There is however one big difference you will notice right off the bat, processed is much cheaper!  With such a premium price for natural salt products, is it really worth it?
The history of salt is as old as history itself.  Herodotus wrote about salt trading routes across Libya in the 5th century B.C. and early Roman roads, such as the Via Salaria, were designed to move mass quantities of the mineral to the center of the Empire from the salt mines in Ostia.  Salt, equal in value by weight to gold (Moorish merchants in the 6th century would trade salt for gold pound for pound) would often be used to pay Roman soldiers salaries (which is where we get the word “salary”…from the Latin word “salarium”, which describes the Roman practice of using salt as payment).  Such heavy esteem for this mineral leads one to wonder, why?  Why would so many cultures (past and present) value salt so much? 

The Importance of Salt

As it turns out, we need it!  Early Nomads who ate animal products did not need to add salt to their diet as the meat they ate contained plenty.  However, early agricultural cultures, who ate mostly cereals and grains, needed to add salt to their diet.  We actually get the word “salad” from the Roman practice of adding salt to leafed vegetables.  So why is salt essential?  Basically, it regulates the fluid levels (blood included) in our body.  Though we need some salt to maintain healthy levels of fluid retention, too much salt can lead to too much retention leading to increased levels of blood within our veins and arteries.  Like a garden hose, pump lots water through it and it gets hard and the pressure increases.  This is hypertension.  The hardening of arteries and increased blood pressure that is a hallmark of the disease.  In addition to regulating fluid levels, salt also provides the body with a essential mineral called Iodine.  Deficiency of Iodine has been associated with disorders such as thyroid goiters (tissue masses in the neck) and mental retardation in infants if the mother is affected during pregnancy. 

The Dangers of Table Salt

Table salt is unhealthy, and it can be downright toxic to your body! Iodized salt is noted for increasing blood pressure and causing bloating most notably. 
Obviously, with salt being so important to humans all over the world, the salt industry is old and huge.  Some salt mines have been in continuous operation for over a thousand years.  During the past hundred years the industry has made the unfortunate move towards increased processing and fortification (albeit often with good intentions such as decreasing Iodine deficiencies).  However, heavy processing during the production of conventional table salt, strips out the other minerals aside from Sodium Chloride.  Natural salt contains 85.62% Sodium Chloride and 14.38% other minerals (often; sulphate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate, bromide, borate, strontium and fluoride).  So, by heavily processing the salt (in an effort to produce it in mass quantities at low cost) 15% of the nutritional value from salt is eliminated, some of these minerals are hard to replace in a conventional diet.
In addition to removing valuable minerals from salt, the processing used to produce conventional table salt includes introducing man made additives (US law allows for 2% additives in table salt).  These are usually bleaching, drying and anti-clumping agents.  Also added is Iodine.  However, the levels of Iodine needed to overcome the Iodine deficiencies mentioned above would require a unhealthy level of salt intake.  In addition, Iodine is present in sufficient quantities and form in sea food, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale and other fruits and vegetables.
A few additional problematic symptoms particular to processed salts are:
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Heart Disease
  • Circulatory System Strain
  • Stroke
  • Arthritis
  • Gallbladder/ Kidney Stones
  • Cellulite
  • Rheumatism
  • PMS
  • Digestion Problems
So,remember the next time you consider which salt to season your family with, choose the one sourced naturally from the sea or still in rock form.  Himalayan Rock salt has been proven to be one of the most beneficial kinds of salt available for several reasons.

You Won’t Believe Polar Explorers Could Get That Close To Polar Bears! (4 pics)

USSR, Extreme North, 80s. A polar explorer is feeding a hungry polar bear female with condensed milk. She squeezed the milk out, ate it and then fed the cubs. Could you even believe these photos are real? Only the mutual trust between the human and the nature could make these photos come true.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Photographer Catches A Few Shots Of An Amazonian Tribe Which Has Never Contacted With Our Civilization Before (11 pics)

Brazilian photographer Ricardo Stuckert had his helicopter flight diverted because of a storm…
…but this detour led to a remarkable discovery of a remote rain forest tribe

“To think that in the 21st century, there are still people who have no contact with civilization, living like their ancestors did 20,000 years ago—it’s a powerful emotion”

“These groups change locations every four years or so”

Some tribe members threw spears and fired arrows at the uninvited guests

“They’re messages. Those arrows mean ‘Leave us in peace. Do not disturb’”

“Once their territory is encroached by loggers or prospectors, the isolated groups are finished”

“They could disappear from the face of the Earth, and we wouldn’t even know it”

Because they have not yet made peaceful contact with the outside world, the tribe’s name is still unknown

Brazil’s officials call them simply “isolated Indians of the upper Humait√°”

The encounter took place in the state of Acre, near Brazil’s border with Peru

Sunday, 25 December 2016

What Effect Does Caffeine Have on Depression?

Who doesn’t love a freshly-brewed cup of coffee or tea? Most people would argue that they can’t live without their daily brew. While coffee and tea have many beneficial health properties for those suffering from a mental disorder, the effects of caffeine are less clear.
Even the medical community is torn about the effects of caffeine on depression, but most research shows, in small to moderate amounts it is beneficial and that the antioxidants found in coffee, tea and green tea are also beneficial for those suffering from mental disorders like depression.
In one assessment of 12 studies comprising 346,913 people, including 8,146 people suffering from depression, researchers found that coffee had a largely protective effect in preventing depression. In this meta analysis researchers concluded that caffeine, particularly from coffee, helped to prevent depression. 
But, even these study results are surprising. Researchers found that among those suffering from caffeine-related depression, the risk of depression dropped with the addition of more caffeine. I know: it’s a strange finding. Normally when something causes a negative side effect eating less—not more—of the culprit will achieve the best results in reducing the side effect. But, apparently that is not the case with caffeine.
It is not clear why the increase of caffeine produces a reduction in caffeine-related depression, but it is possible that it may not be linked to the caffeine itself. That’s because the additional cups of coffee or tea (our usual way of obtaining caffeine) also come with additional antioxidants and other valuable nutrients like chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and ferulic acid that reduces the inflammation of brain and nerve cells linked with depression. Of course, it is also possible that there is some magic, yet still undetermined dose, of caffeine that actually reverses caffeine-induced depression. The jury is still out and more research on caffeine’s effects on mental disorders is necessary.
In the meantime, if you find that caffeine makes your depression worse, you may want to reduce your caffeine intake until we have a better understanding as to why some caffeine aggravates depression and a higher amount may improve it. For those who suffer from anxiety or heart palpitations, caffeine may aggravate symptoms, particularly in larger doses, so it is best to cut back on caffeine or swap out your caffeinated coffee with a decaf variety, or drink herbal tea instead of caffeinated varieties like black, white and green teas.
Overall, it’s good news for coffee and tea drinkers, even those suffering from depression. As long as your daily brew doesn’t aggravate anxiety or cause heart palpitations, you can drink up.

10 home remedies that really work

DIY health and beauty

Feeling tired? A stick of peppermint of cinnamon gum might perk you right up. A Wheeling Jesuit University study found that chewing one of the flavored gums increased alertness in participants by 30 percent. This is just one example of an easy, natural health solution that doesn't require a prescription or much money. Check out our full list of 10 simple remedies that might surprise you — and naturally we included duct tape and Listerine. Find out why.

Duct tape to remove warts

Duct tape eliminates warts better than liquid nitrogen, according to a study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. If you have a wart, cut a piece of duct tape slightly larger than the wart and apply it to the cleaned area. Every few days, remove the tape and exfoliate the wart with a pumice stone or nail file. Repeat until the wart is gone.
Scientists aren't sure why duct tape is so effective, but they reason that a chemical in the tape could be the cause. It could also be that duct tape irritates the area and stimulates the body's immune system to attack the wart.

Bite a pencil to relieve a headache

When you're stressed, you often clench your teeth, which strains the muscle that connects the jaw to the temples and can trigger a tension headache. By placing a pencil between your teeth — but not biting down hard — you relax your muscles, which reduces pain. However, this remedy applies only to tension headaches and won't relieve pain caused by other types of headaches.

Listerine to dry out blisters

Mouthwash like Listerine is a powerful antiseptic, which can dry out blisters. Use cotton balls to dab Listerine onto blisters three times a day until they heal.

Oatmeal to soothe eczema

If you have eczema or simply have dry, irritated skin, try soaking in an oatmeal bath. Add two to three cups of colloidal, or finely ground, oatmeal to warm water and soak in it for 15 minutes. The oatmeal reduces inflammation and is through to have an antihistamine effect.

Olives for motion sickness

Motion sickness is accompanied by increased salivation, which is the body's way of protecting teeth from stomach acid in the event of vomiting. Olives contain tannins, which dry the mouth out, so eating a few can eliminate the excess saliva. Treating that symptom can reduce nausea and keep the body from vomiting.

Sugar to cure hiccups

It seems a spoonful of sugar does more than just help the medicine go down. Taking a teaspoon gets rid of hiccups by stimulating the vagus nerve, which makes the body forget to hiccup. The vagus nerve is a cranial nerve that conveys sensory information about the organs to the brain. When it's distracted by something else — like swallowing sugar — it tells the brain that something more important than hiccuping has come up so the diaphragm spasms stop.

VapoRub for nail fungus

Although there's no scientific proof that Vick's VapoRub kills nails fungus, there's a wealth of anecdotal evidence that the treatment is effective. Some people believe it's the menthol that kills fungus, while others think it could be the suffocating effect of the balm. To treat nail fungus, simply smear VapoRub over the affected area twice a day until it's gone.

Vegetable oil for dry nails

If you have dry, brittle nails, apply vegetable oil to your hands and cover them with plastic gloves overnight for a deep-moisturizing treatment.

Vodka for foot odor
Alcohol is an antiseptic that can destroy odor-causing bacteria and dry out the moisture that allows these organisms to thrive. Simply soak a washcloth in the liquid and wipe your feet down at the end of the day. Of course, rubbing alcohol works just as well, if you'd rather save that vodka for a martini.

Yogurt to cure bad breath

Bad breath at can originate in several places, but one of the most common sources is the stomach. Eating yogurt and other foods that contain probiotics can neutralize acid and help the odor. 


A few fun FACTS about egg shells:

  • An egg shell is made of calcium carbonate, which is also the main ingredient in some antacids. Each medium sized egg shell has about 750-800 mgs of calcium.
  • The shell makes up 9-12 percent of an egg’s total weight, and contains pores that allow oxygen in and carbon dioxide and moisture out.
  • The shell color of an egg is representative of the breed of hen that produces the egg. White hens produce white eggs and brown hens produce brown eggs.
 A few SURPRISING uses of egg shells:

Nourishing Face Mask

Pulverize dried egg shells with a mortar and pestle, then whisk the powder in with an egg white and use for a healthful, skin-tightening facial. Allow the face mask to dry before rinsing it off.

 Treat Skin Irritations
Drop an eggshell into a small container of apple cider vinegar and let it soak for a couple of days. Dab the mixture on minor skin irritations or on itchy skin.

 Powerful Cleaner
Ground eggshells make a wonderful (and nontoxic!) abrasive for those tough-to-clean pots and pans. Mix them with a little soapy water for a powerful clean.
Hummingbird feeders tend to grow all sorts of nasty stuff. Clean it by first by rinsing with hot water. Then add some crushed egg shells, fill 1/2 way with water, and shake. The shells act as an abrasive, removing mold or other built-up gunk. Rinse well before re-filling with hummingbird food.
It’s almost impossible to get a scrub brush down the narrow neck of a thermos. Clean your thermos using the instructions above for hummingbird feeders.
 Garden Fertilizer
Eggshells are rich in calcium and other minerals that help your garden thrive. Crush eggshells into tiny pieces and sprinkle into each hole before planting. Then, sprinkle additional shells around the base of your plants every two weeks.
Start Some Seedlings
Fill an egg carton with empty, rinsed eggshell halves and poke a hole in each one for drainage. Then add potting soil and one or two seeds to each shell. When the seedlings are big enough for transplanting outside, just crack the shell at the bottom and plant them, shell and all.
Pest Control
Crush eggshells and scatter them around your vegetables and flowers to fend off slugs, snails, and cutworms. These soft-bodied critters don’t like crawling over sharp pieces of shell. The smell of eggs will also deter deer.
House Plant Booster
Keep a mason jar of eggshells covered with water for watering indoor plants.
Cat Deterrent
Have a problem with cats using your garden as a litter box? Crushed up egg shells will keep them away, too. Just scatter shells in the areas that they frequent, and after stepping on those shells a few times, they’ll move on.
Better Tasting Coffee
Add some crushed eggshells to ground coffee before brewing it to make it taste less bitter. When you’re done, toss the grounds and shells on your compost heap!
 Make Your Own Powdered Calcium Supplement
Skip the pills and simply bake your shells at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Let them cool and grind them to a fine powder. Add your supplement (a teaspoon or less) to your favorite smoothie or juice once a day.
Make Your Own Sidewalk Chalk
What you need:
  • Approximately five empty egg shells
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon very hot water
  • food coloring (for colored chalk)
Wash and dry the egg shells.
Crush the egg shell into a bowl and grind it until it is a powder. Make sure all the pieces are ground. Take out any big pieces before going on to the next step.
Mix the flour and hot water in another bowl. Then add 1 tablespoon egg shell powder and mix into a thick paste.
Add your favorite color food coloring. Just add a drop or two for colored chalk. If you want white chalk do not add anything.
Shape the paste into chalk sticks or press into soap molds for fun shapes. If making chalk sticks roll the sticks up tightly in a paper towel.
Let your chalk dry for 3 days.
 Laundry Whitener
Some say that if you toss some shells in a mesh bag in your laundry, the gray tint to your whites will disappear.
 Eggshell Candles
The next time you have eggs for breakfast, carefully crack the shells in half and save them as a base to fill with beeswax for candles. Just insert a wick, let the wax set and remove the peel.
 For most eggshell uses, it is better to make sure they are clean and free from bacteria. If you don’t wash the eggs thoroughly before using, bake the shells at 150 degrees Fahrenheit on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.

Top six alkaline foods to eat every day for vibrant health

The typical American diet is a deadly one, consisting primarily of toxic and acid-forming foods like processed sugars, artificial sweeteners, refined grains, conventionally produced meats and dairy, and hidden genetically modified organisms. All this, combined with a plethora of other challenging environmental factors (such as lack of rest, psychological stress, and pharmaceutical drugs), mean it's no wonder that more and more people are being diagnosed with chronic, degenerative illnesses or otherwise deadly conditions for which modern conventional medicine claims to have no known cure.

One of the basic underlying problems with this unsustainable lifestyle - and there are many - is the average consumer's lack of understanding that the body must balance the blood's pH levels at a slightly alkaline level of 7.365 in order to survive. When a person ingests food to "burn" for fuel, the digestive and metabolic process transforms it into a kind of ash which is either acidic or alkaline. The laws of modern biochemistry further explain that it is not the organic matter of foods (whether the food itself is acidic or alkaline), but their inorganic matter (such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfur, phosphorous; that is, how they break down in our bodies), that determines either the acidity or alkalinity of this ashy residue.

For this reason, and because all foods in nature contain both acid and alkaline-forming elements according to the Conscious Living Center, balance is either achieved or thwarted as a direct result of the foods we choose to eat. Too many acid-forming foods can have dire consequences for our health, with "acidosis" being a common diagnosis in diabetics, for example. This is because when the nutrients required to maintain this slightly alkaline state cannot be obtained from food, the body will instead draw from its own stores, like the bones or other vital tissues - damaging its ability to repair itself and detoxify heavy metals, thereby making a person more vulnerable to fatigue and illness. And the margin for error is small. Even an only slightly acidic pH of 6.9 can actually lead to coma and death.

Of course, the ultimate goal is balance. Eating too many alkalizing foods can lead to its own fair share of complications over time, but the risk of this is seemingly less likely, given the current sorry state of today's highly addictive consumerist diet. To combat the effects of such a diet, here are six of the most alkaline-forming foods to work into your everyday meals:

1. Root vegetables

Due to the healing "yang" nature of these foods in traditional Chinese medicine, and their tendency to be more rich in minerals than many other vegetables, it may be safe to say that you can't get enough of them. Look for radishes especially (black, red or white), as well as beets, carrots, turnips, horseradish and rutabaga. Ready to eat after steaming for just 15-20 minutes, root vegetables will help you feel both satiated and better grounded.

2. Cruciferous vegetables

These are the veggies we all know and love, made even more delicious with just a small amount of healthy, homemade sauce like pesto. Choose from broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and the like.

3. Leafy greens

These include kale, Swiss chard, turnip greens and spinach - of which spinach may in fact be the best pick. Known especially for its rich vitamin K and folate content, spinach is also packed with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and fiber, helping to improve digestion and even vision.

4. Garlic

A true miracle food, garlic appears at the top of innumerable lists of foods that encourage overall health, and alkaline-forming food is no exception. Among its other benefits are its ability to promote cardiovascular and immune health by lowering blood pressure, cleansing the liver and fighting off disease.

5. Cayenne peppers (capsicum)

As part of a family of potent, tropical peppers which contain enzymes essential to endocrine function, cayenne is among the most alkalizing foods. It is known for its antibacterial properties and is a rich supply of vitamin A, making it a helpful agent in fighting off the harmful free radicals that lead to stress and illness.

6. Lemons

Lemons may be the most alkalizing food of all. As a natural disinfectant, it can heal wounds while also providing potent and immediate relief for hyperacidity and virus-related conditions, as well as coughs, colds, flu and heartburn. Lemon also works to energize the liver and promote detoxification.

So it can't hurt to think twice about what's on your plate at your next meal, but not doing so might. Just applying that age-old motherly advice to "eat your vegetables" can be a solid first step in achieving better health. 

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Tom Hanks – If Only Every Celebrity Was Like Him (2 pics)

Actor received a letter from his fan, and was nice enough to find a minute or two of his time to respond, taking a picture of himself and writing this cute letter. The guy really cares about his fans.