Fish & Chips | Akis Kitchen

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Fish & Chips | Akis Kitchen Subscribe: https://goo.gl/z44Ems Recipe: http://goo.gl/aEzso4 Chef: Akis Petretzikis Director: Leonidas Pelivanidis Production: Akis …

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How to Know If a Girl Likes You

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How to Know if a Girl Likes You. In case you have crush on a girl, but you aren’t sure if she feels the same and you don’t want to embarrass yourself asking her, …

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Keto Drinks: the Complete Best vs. Worst List

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Most keto diet food lists out there include plenty of information on which healthy fats, low-carb fruits and high-fiber veggies can be enjoyed as part of a nutritious ketogenic diet. However, staying hydrated with plenty of healthy keto drinks throughout the day just as important as filling your plate with the right foods. In fact, sipping on certain beverages can actually crank up your carb consumption, keep you from ketosis and hinder your progress.

So what can I drink on low carb? Can you drink soda on keto? And how much water should I drink on keto diet? Here’s what you need to know about the ketogenic diet and which beverages should be on your next shopping list.

Best Keto Drinks

Figuring out what to eat on the ketogenic diet can be a difficult feat, but deciphering which drinks fit into your daily diet plan can be a challenge all on its own. Here are a few of the best keto drinks that you may want to consider enjoying to help meet your fluid needs:

1. Water: 0 grams carbs/cup

Unsurprisingly, water is the clear-cut winner on the list of keto-friendly drinks. Not only is it calorie-free and carb-free, but it also boasts several impressive health benefits and can help support weight loss. Staying well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water is absolutely essential to overall health and plays a central role in everything from kidney function to metabolism and beyond. Although individual water needs can vary based on a number of factors, a good rule of thumb is to try to drink at least 0.5–1 ounce per ounce of body weight each day.

2. Kombucha: 7 grams carbs/cup

This fizzy, fermented drink is produced from black tea and is loaded with probiotics, which are a form of beneficial bacteria that help support gut health. Upping your intake of probiotics through fermented foods like kombucha has been tied to several health benefits, including improved digestion, enhanced immunity and reduced levels of inflammation.

Be sure to select a brand of kombucha that is low in sugar or, better yet, try brewing your own and flavoring it with your favorite herbs, spices and fruits.

3. Unsweetened Tea: 0 grams carbs/cup

Free of both calories and carbohydrates, unsweetened tea is one of the best drinks for a keto diet. Tea is an excellent source of polyphenols, which are plant compounds that act as antioxidants to fight free radicals and prevent oxidative damage to the cells. Additionally, tea and its components have been shown to ramp up fat-burning, decrease blood sugar levels and preserve cognitive function to help slow the signs of aging.

4. Coconut Water: 9 grams carbs/cup

Although it may be a bit higher in carb count than other keto drinks, coconut water packs in quite a punch when it comes to nutrition. Coconut water is brimming with electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium and calcium, all of which are necessary for maintaining blood volume, promoting heart health and optimizing water balance within the body. It’s also a great alternative to sugary sports drinks and can help replenish your body after an intense workout to prevent an electrolyte imbalance.

5. Lemon Water: 2 grams carbs/cup

If plain water just doesn’t cut it for you, lemon water may be a good alternative. It’s easy to make at home by adding the juice of about half a lemon into your cup of water and enjoying either hot or cold, depending on your personal preference. Plus, lemon water comes with all the benefits of regular water and can help bump up metabolism, support satiety and increase weight loss, all with an added dose of delicious citrusy flavor.

6. Coffee: 0 grams carbs/cup

Good news, coffee lovers: more and more emerging research has continued to confirm the health benefits of coffee, securing it a slot as one of the best keto drinks besides water. (Check out our recipe for keto coffee.) In fact, coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer, stroke, depression and diabetes.

Be sure to steer clear of non-keto Starbucks drinks, go easy on the cream and sugar and opt for black coffee whenever possible, all of which can help maximize the health benefits and keep carb count low.

Worst Keto Drinks

Although there are plenty of keto diet drinks available that are low in carbs yet high in health benefits, there are also many that should be avoided altogether. Typically, sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, sports drinks and fruit juice are loaded with extra calories and carbs, contributing little to the diet in terms of nutrition. Additionally, heavily-processed beverages like diet soda are often laden with artificial sweeteners and added ingredients that can have detrimental effects on overall health.

Here are a few of the most notorious high-carb keto offenders that you should try to limit or avoid whenever possible:

1. Fruit Juice: 15-30 grams carbs/cup

2. Soft Drinks: 22-26 grams carbs/cup

3. Chai Latte: 19-24 grams/cup

4. Frappuccino: 17-46 grams/cup

5. Energy Drinks: 25-30 grams/cup

6. Sports Drinks: 15-20 grams/cup

7. Milkshakes: 30-50 grams/cup

8. Sweetened Tea: 10-20 grams/cup

9. Fruit Punch: 15-30 grams/cup

10. Smoothies: 15-30 grams/cup

Keto Alcohol Drinks?

When first starting the keto diet, many people wonder: can I drink alcohol on the keto diet? Believe it or not, there are plenty of keto alcoholic drinks that you can still enjoy in moderation from time to time.

Pure forms of alcohol, such as gin, vodka, rum and whiskey, are completely free of carbohydrates, making them an easy keto-friendly choice for alcohol. However, these beverages are often paired with sugary mixers such as juice, soda or sweeteners, all of which can quickly skyrocket the carb content of your drink.

Instead, go for low-carb mixers whenever possible to keep carb intake to a minimum. A few examples of easy low- and no-carb options include seltzer water or sugar-free tonic made with stevia instead of artificial sweeteners.

Additionally, despite some of the common keto diet myths and misconceptions out there, the occasional beer or wine actually can fit into a healthy keto diet. Light beer, for example, contains just 3 grams per 12-ounce serving. Similarly, a 5-ounce glass of red or white wine provides around 3-4 grams of carbs in total. Regular beer, mixed drinks and cocktails, on the other hand, tend to run relatively high in carbs, and a single serving could easily knock out your entire allotment for the day all at once.

Regardless of which type you select, however, keep in mind that moderation is key. Even low-carb or carb-free alcoholic beverages are high in empty calories yet low in the essential nutrients that your body needs, which could potentially increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies. Furthermore, frequent alcohol consumption has been linked to increased weight gain as well as other serious health issues such as liver damage, cancer and diabetes.

Final Tips for Keto Drinks Besides Water

What you drink is just as important as what you eat on the ketogenic diet, and selecting low-carb beverages is key to staying hydrated and reaching ketosis.
Water, kombucha, unsweetened tea, coconut water, lemon water and coffee are a few of the top keto drinks that are all low in carbs but contain an added dose of health benefits.
Meanwhile, fruit juice, soft drinks, sugary coffee beverages, energy drinks and sports drinks are all loaded with sugar, carbs and added ingredients that you’re better off without.
For alcoholic beverages, be sure to select wine, light beer or pure forms of liquor with low-carb mixers and enjoy in moderation as part of a healthy keto diet.

Read Next: Best Keto Diet Fats vs. the Ones to Avoid

The post Keto Drinks: the Complete Best vs. Worst List appeared first on Dr. Axe.

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Plant-Based Diet: Disease-Protective + Promotes Major Weight Loss

Sourced From: https://draxe.com/plant-based-diet/

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Harvard Medical School — which considers their own Harvard Healthy Eating Plan to be one example of a balanced, plant-based diet — reports that “The latest and best scientific evidence shows that a plant-based diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and healthy proteins lowers the risk of weight gain and chronic disease.” (1)

Many other health authorities also now promote different variations of mostly plant-based diets, including the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association. Experts believe these diets can beneficial for helping both children and adults to increase their nutrient intake, while lowering excess or “empty calorie” intake. It’s been shown that plant-based diets (similar to vegetarian diets in many ways) offer protection against coronary heart diseases, metabolic syndrome risk factors, some cancers, obesity, hypertension, type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular mortality. (2)

Eating more plants, especially veggies and fresh fruit, in place of things like processed meats and packaged products is said to be one of the most valuable things we can do to treat obesity and help reverse the growing obesity epidemic.

While this is a good reason to go plant-based — considering two out of every three American adults, and one out every three children is now overweight or obese — there are many other reasons to eat more plants, too. These include lowering your carbon footprint, spending less on groceries overall, supporting organic agriculture, reducing your risk for most chronic diseases, and much more.

What Is a Plant-Based Diet?

Plant-based diets are modern takes on many types of healthy traditional diets that relied on widely-available plant foods — including vegetables, fruits, starches like potatoes or corn, beans/legumes, nuts, seeds and healthy fats like whole coconuts or olives.

There isn’t necessarily one “plant-based diet” in existence today, but rather dozens of different variations that stem from cultures found all around the world. Examples of popular plant-based diets include: The Mediterranean Diet, Macrobiotic Diet, Vegan Diet, Raw Diet and various types of vegetarian diets.

Research done at the University of Oxford Cancer Research Center showed that in general, plant-based/vegetarian diets provide relatively high amounts of complex carbohydrates, omega-6 fatty acids, dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium and antioxidants such as carotenoids or folic acid. While a plant-based diet can be very healthy, it sometime takes some planning to make sure you’re getting enough long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, retinol, vitamin B12 and minerals like zinc. (3)

Not ready to give up animal foods? That’s actually not a problem. Not every plant-based diet is vegan or even vegetarian. Many include quality animal foods, but aim to do so “in moderation” — it’s something taken in consideration when comparing Paleo vs. vegan diets. In other words, foods like meat, fish, eggs or dairy aren’t necessarily off-limits when you’re eating plant-based, they just usually take a back seat to eating lots of unprocessed plant foods. Aim to limit to less than 10 percent of your plate if selected.

How many plants can you expect to eat as part of a plant-based diet?

It all depends, since every plan and person is different. Some plant-based diets such as the Ornish Diet, The “80-10-10 Diet” and vegan diet are very high in carbohydrates (like veggies, fruit, beans and grains) but very low in fat and protein. Following these diets might mean you’re getting up to 60–80 percent of your daily calories from the carbohydrate macronutrient and as little as 10 percent from fats or proteins.

“When analyzed, some of the longest lived civilizations in the world like Okinawa, Japan eat a diet comprised of foods that are over 80 percent carbohydrate macronutrients,” says Joel Kahn, MD, a clinical professor of medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine and author of The Whole Heart Solution. “As long as calories from carbohydrates are whole and unprocessed, such as oats, whole wheat, spelt, quinoa and rye, high amounts are favorable and associated with health.”

Other varieties, such as the DASH Diet or Mediterranean Diet, might be around 40–60 percent carbohydrates, but include more healthy fats and proteins.

5 Plant-Based Diet Benefits
1. High In Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Inflammation is now being tied to nearly every chronic disease there is, from leaky gut syndrome and arthritis, to cancer and heart disease. Anti-inflammatory foods help stop the progression of disease by supplying nutrients that fight oxidative stress (also called free radical damage) including:

Antioxidants and phytonutrients (such as flavanoids, resveratrol, quercetin, beta carotene, and more)
Essential vitamins such as vitamin C, E and A
Trace minerals
Electrolytes
Essential fatty acids

Studies show that diets high in anti-inflammatory foods promote longevity, regulate the immune system, and impact the way inflammation affects our bodies and our lives. Plant foods can help foster better gut health, boost immune functioning and reduce autoimmune reactions that can cause a cascade of age-related diseases. (4)

2. High in Fiber

Plants such as vegetables, seeds, ancient grains and legumes are high-fiber foods that are capable of lowering your risk for constipation, digestive problems, high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes.

A high fiber diet helps to prevent cravings and overeating, keeps your arteries clear from plaque, and allows healthy probiotic bacteria to thrive in your GI tract. Soluble fiber slows down digestion and makes you full by attracting water and forming a gel-like substance, while insoluble fiber tends to speed up digestion by adding bulk to stool.

Some of the top high fiber plant foods to include in your diet? These include avocado, flax or chia seeds, berries, gluten-free oats, coconut, apples, cabbage, artichokes, figs or dates.

3. Can Help You Reach or Maintain a Healthy Weight

Research shows that plant-based diets are cost-effective, low-risk interventions that can help reverse adult and childhood obesity. Plant-based (or “mostly plant-based”) diets are tied to a lowered risk for obesity, lower BMI status and reduced complications related to obesity including heart problems or metabolic syndrome.

A 2013 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that an 18-week dietary intervention using a low-fat plant-based diet helped improve body weight, plasma lipids and glycemic control. (5)

4. Lowers Your Risk for Chronic Diseases

Many populations living around the world that still eat “traditional diets” high in plant foods tend to suffer from far less chronic diseases overall than those eating modern Western diets do. In the world’s “Blue Zones” — where the highest percentage of people living over the age of 100 can be found — plant-based diets help to reduce the rates of heart disease, cancer, dementia, diabetes, osteoporosis and more.

The famous Lyon Diet Heart Study found that a Mediterranean-style, mostly plant-based diet could cut heart attacks and death rates due to heart disease by 70 percent compared with a traditional American Heart Association diet. (6) Other research has shown that plant-based diets can significantly help lower body mass index and high obesity rates, high blood pressure, high triglyceride and cholesterol levels, diabetes risk and more. (7, 8)

Plant foods that are commonly eaten in the healthiest parts of the world? These include: leafy green veggies, fresh herbs and spices, tropical fruits like mangoes and pineapple, nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts and cashews, for example), corn and ancient grains, olive oil, beans and sweet potatoes.

5. Good for the Environment

Not only does a plant-based diet have benefits for your waistline and health, it’s also good for the planet. Eating foods that are “lower on the food chain” takes less natural resources to produce, has a lower carbon footprint, spares the lives of livestock, and reduces food scarcity globally.

According to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, manufacturing animal foods requires a higher proportion of water, land, fossil fuels and energy than most plant foods do. (9) So if everyone were to even cut back their intake of animal foods in favor of eating more plants, it could have far-reaching positive effects.

Plant-Based Diet Benefits vs. Vegan Diet

Vegan diets are 100 percent plant-based, meaning they include no animal products at all and strictly exclude all meat, fish, dairy and eggs. Plant-based diets, on the other hand, are usually more varied and tend to include at least some animal foods, such as dairy, eggs or fish.
Vegan diets are gaining more and more popularity, especially among younger people and those looking to lose weight.
However, there are some concerns regarding nutrient deficiencies associated with vegan diets, including deficiencies in protein, calcium, iron, essential fatty acids such as omega-3s, and vitamin B-12 (which is only found in animal foods) and plant foods supplemented with B12.
Vegan diets have been linked to lower risk for obesity and prevention against certain diseases like diabetes. That being said, you don’t need to go 100 percent plant-based to see positive health effects.
A 2014 study that appeared in the journal Nutrients compared the nutritional quality of vegan, vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian and omnivorous diets and found that vegan diets (100 percent plant based) were actually too low in certain nutrients such as calcium, while vegetarians, semi-vegetarians and pesco-vegetarians has “better nutrient quality” overall. (010)
So should you consider being a vegan or vegetarian? Vegan diets can have benefits according to some people including being low in calories, total fat (saturated and mono-unsaturated fat), dietary cholesterol, dietary proteins, alcohol and sodium. (011)
However, studies consistently show that vegans are more likely to be low in certain nutrients, too, and might not easily consume enough calories overall. People react differently to various diets, so it’s ultimately up to you decide what type of plant-based diet might be most appropriate.

The Best Plant-Based Foods

The healthiest healing foods to include in a plant-based diet include:

Vegetables: Vegetables (and usually fruit too) are the cornerstone of most plant-based diets, so it’s always recommended that you aim to eat an abundant variety. Usually “the more the better” when it comes to fresh veggies, especially if you incorporate raw veggies into your meals. Vegetables are nutrient-dense, low in calories, full of antioxidants, and tied to protection from weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic disorders.
Fresh Fruit: Aim for eat 1-3 pieces of whole fruit (not juice) every day. Fruit is low in calories but full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and water. Some of the best choices include berries, kiwi, melon and tropical fruits.
Healthy Fats: Healthy oils include virgin olive or coconut oil (except for those with heart disease where it is recommended to avoid coconut oil), palm oil, hemp, sesame, flax and avocado oil. Nuts, seeds, coconut milk and avocado are also good sources of plant-based healthy fats which help control your appetite and have many other benefits for reducing inflammation.
Whole Grains: Unprocessed grains are a good source of fiber and some minerals, but are best in moderation. Whole grains include 100 percent whole/unprocessed quinoa, oatmeal, brown or wild rice, millet, barley, amaranth, buckwheat, farro and so on. Most packaged wheat products and processed grains used to make things like bread, cakes, cookies, etc. should be avoided since these are pro-inflammatory, low in nutrients, and can contribute to problems like weight gain or type 2 diabetes.
Healthy Proteins: Although plants might take center stage, high-protein plant foods are also important for giving you energy, retaining muscle mass, and much more. Many people may eat only peas, beans and lentils as their primary protein source and demonstrate superior health. Meanwhile, some may choose to consume proteins such as wild-caught fish, pasture-raised poultry, grass-fed beef and cage-free eggs as less than 10 percent of their calories. Nuts and seeds are also recommended for protein.
Water & Unsweetened Drinks: To consume enough fluids and stay hydrated, drink plain water, tea, or coffee in moderation. Avoid sweetened drinks, most juices, most conventional milks, sweetened teas, and too much alcohol or caffeine.

How to Eat a Plant-Based Diet

Plant-based diets are usually lower in calories than diets that are high in processed animal products and packaged goods (especially ultra-processed foods) are. However, you don’t need to count calories to eat a healthy diet — instead, think in terms of portions and approximate servings.

Calorie needs vary from person to person, so it’s important to pay attention to your hunger/fullness cues — something called mindful eating. In addition to eating more plants, keep an eye on portion sizes and aim for balance and variety overall. Try visualizing your plate and filling about one-third to one-half of your plate with fresh veggies and/or fruit at every meal. The remainder should be split between healthy fats and healthy proteins, with moderate amounts of whole/unprocessed grains.

One helpful way to begin eating a plant-based diet is to follow an example of the “Healthy Eating Plate” illustration created by Harvard Medical School.

Graphic courtesy of http://www.health.harvard.edu/plate/healthy-eating-plate/

Their plate visual can help you learn how to put together a healthy meal that fits within the guidelines below, but still offers room for interpretation and individual preference.

Here are more tips for following a healthy plant-based diet:

Just because something is supposedly mostly made of plants, doesn’t mean it’s actually healthy! As much as possible avoid foods that might be vegetarian or vegan but are still unhealthy. These include packaged meat-alternative products, sweetened drinks, refined grains/flour products, synthetic ingredients, processed soy, refined vegetable oils and sweetened dairy products.
Not all plant based diets are equal in terms of their health benefits. The key to eating a plant-based diet is to reduce processed/packaged foods. Studies have found that eating a healthy version of a plant-based diet is linked with a 34 percent lower diabetes risk, but a less healthy version (one high in things like refined grains, potatoes, and sugar-sweetened beverages) actually increases diabetes risk by around 16 percent. (12)
Try to include vegetables, either cooked or raw with most meals. Aim to have 4–6 different kinds every day if you can, and “eat the rainbow” so you’re varying your nutrient intake.
Some experts recommend that you consider potatoes more of a starch rather than a vegetable. So while a baked potatoes (not french fries or packaged potato products!) can be a healthy choice, it’s a good idea to limit your consumption of them if you’re trying to lose weight or have problems managing your blood sugar.
Choose 100 percent whole grains, also sometimes called “ancient grains,” whenever possible over processed grains or flour products. Eating grains in moderation and in whole form is superior to eating things like bread, cereals or pasta because whole grains are digested more slowly and don’t have the same roller-coaster effect on blood sugar levels as refined grains do. Try to keep your portion of grain products to no more than 1/4 of your plate, and ideally limit your consumption overall to 1–2 servings per day.
Drink enough water throughout the day to prevent dehydration and hunger pangs. Keep in mind that too many caffeinated drinks might make you feel jittery and hungry, and that alcohol can also increase your appetite and cravings.

Precautions Regarding Plant-Based Diets

In addition to eating more plants for your health, it also makes sense to do things like exercise, sleep well, and reduce stress through activities like yoga, meditation, prayer, etc.

Most plant-based diets have roots in cultures that also emphasize the importance of mind-body practices and stress-relieving techniques. For example, traditional diets stemming from places like China and Japan are one part of a larger picture of “holistic health.”
In other words, eating more plants is important for reducing inflammation and boosting your odds of living a long, healthy life. But plant-based diets are most effective when they are viewed as one piece of the larger puzzle.

In addition, remember that healthy fats and proteins are also important parts of a balanced diet, too.

If you notice that you’re tired, frequently hungry and craving things like sweets, it ‘s probably a good idea to include more protein and healthy fats in your meals since this can be a sign of blood sugar fluctuations or protein/fat deficiency.
Surges in blood sugar and insulin usually lead to hunger and overeating in the long-term, sometimes causing weight gain and hormonal imbalances, too, so keep an eye out for these symptoms.

Final Thoughts on Plant-Based Diets

There are many different types of plant-based diets eaten around the world today, however most have in common limiting animal foods in favor of eating  more fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, legumes and healthy fats.
Benefits of eating more plants, along with eating less meat, dairy products, packaged foods and sugary snacks, include protection against obesity, weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and metabolic syndrome.
Plant-based diets are different from vegan diets, and even vegetarian diets, because they often include some high-quality animal products eaten in moderate amounts.
Some tips for eating  a balanced plant-based diet include upping your veggie intake, reducing your intake of meat alternative products, lowering your sugar intake, and skipping refined grain products.

Read Next: Should You Try a Pescatarian Diet?

The post Plant-Based Diet: Disease-Protective + Promotes Major Weight Loss appeared first on Dr. Axe.

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Rambutan: Gut & Bone Supporter or Narcotic-Like Toxin?

Sourced From: https://draxe.com/rambutan/

Another great article

Much like other tropical fruits, such as the jackfruit, lychee and mangosteen, rambutan is a serious showstopper on the grocery store shelf. Striking the perfect balance between sweet and sour, it is a one-of-a-kind ingredient thanks to both its unique appearance and impressive nutrient profile. And not only is it a great source of several important vitamins and minerals, but each serving packs in a powerful punch of disease-fighting antioxidants as well.

Unfortunately, most people have never tried rambutan, let alone even heard of it and the incredible health benefits it can provide. Here are some of the top benefits of this flavorful fruit, plus some simple ways to start adding it to your diet.

What Is Rambutan?

Rambutan, also known as mamon chino,  chôm chôm or its scientific name, Nephelium lappaceum, is a tropical fruit that belongs to the soapberry family of plants. It is closely related to other fruits, such as the lychee, mamoncillo and longan fruit. Native to Indonesia, the rambutan fruit has pale flesh, a light brown seed inside and reddish, spiny skin covering its exterior. In fact, the name “rambutan” is derived from the Malay word “rambut,” meaning “hair,” due to the hair-like protrusions that cover the fruit.

The rambutan is a good source of fiber, plus important micronutrients like manganese and vitamin C. It’s also been associated with a number of health benefits and used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat an array of different ailments.

Potential rambutan benefits include improved digestive health, stronger bones and better blood sugar control. It’s also been studied extensively for its antioxidant content and antimicrobial properties, which could help fight off bacterial infections to protect overall health.

Rambutan Nutrition Facts

Rambutan is a good source of manganese and vitamin C. It also provides other micronutrients, such as niacin and copper.

One cup (about 150 grams) of canned rambutan fruit in syrup contains approximately:

123 calories
31.3 grams carbohydrates
1 gram protein
0.3 gram fat
1.3 grams dietary fiber
0.5 milligram manganese (26 percent DV)
7.4 milligrams vitamin C (12 percent DV)
2 milligrams niacin (10 percent DV)
0.1 milligram copper (5 percent DV)

In addition to the nutrients listed above, this fruit also contains a small amount of calcium, iron, magnesium and folate.

Top 5 Rambutan Health Benefits

High in Antioxidants
Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Promotes Digestive Health
Supports Strong Bones
Contains Antimicrobial Properties

1. High in Antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that have a powerful impact on health. They help fight the formation of free radicals in the body, prevent oxidative stress and protect the cells against damage. Not only that, but some research also shows that antioxidants could play a role in disease prevention and may reduce the risk of chronic conditions like cancer, coronary heart disease and diabetes.

Rambutan is a great source of several disease-fighting antioxidants that can help support better health. In particular, this fruit contains a good mix of compounds with antioxidant properties, including vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenes, xanthophylls, tannins and phenols.

2. Stabilizes Blood Sugar

High blood sugar can cause a range of adverse side effects. These include increased urination, unintentional weight loss, nerve damage and vision loss. Including a good variety of high-fiber fruits and veggies in your diet, such as rambutans, is a great way to slow the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream and stabilize blood sugar levels.

Some research also shows that rambutans may contain several key compounds that can help you maintain normal blood sugar levels as well. In fact, one animal model published in the journal Nutrients found that rambutan peel extract was effective at decreasing blood sugar levels in mice. They also supplied antioxidants to help protect the tissues against damage.

 

 

3. Promotes Digestive Health

Each serving of rambutan contains a good amount of fiber, with 1.3 grams in a one-cup serving. That’s up to 5 percent of the daily recommended value for most women. Fiber moves through the gastrointestinal tract undigested. It helps add bulk to the stool to prevent constipation and improve digestive health along the way.

According to a review published by the Department of Internal Medicine and Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Kentucky, upping your intake of fiber from foods could aid in the treatment of many digestive conditions, including hemorrhoids, gastroesophageal reflux disease, intestinal ulcers and diverticulitis.

4. Supports Strong Bones

Rambutan is a great source of manganese, an important mineral that’s involved in many aspects of health. This includes bone formation. In fact, it’s estimated that about 43 percent of the body’s manganese is actually found in the bone.

Adding manganese-rich foods to your diet can help support healthy bone formation to reduce the risk of serious conditions, such as osteoporosis. Case in point: One animal model out of Sookmyung Women’s University’s Department of Food and Nutrition in Seoul, South Korea actually found that supplementing with manganese for 12 weeks led to significant increases in bone mineral density in rats.

5. Contains Antimicrobial Properties

In addition to its antioxidant content and rich nutrient profile, some studies also suggest that rambutan may possess powerful antimicrobial properties as well. These properties help fight off infections and optimize health.

A 2014 in vitro study evaluating the antimicrobial effects of rambutan peel extracts found that the fruit was effective at blocking the growth of several strains of bacteria, including Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus. Similarly, another in vitro study published in the journal Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine demonstrated that the seeds of rambutan also possess potent antibacterial properties that can help ward off infection and disease.

Rambutan Uses in Traditional Medicine

Virtually every part of the rambutan fruit has been used in traditional medicine, thanks to its incredible medicinal properties. The fruit is often used to treat diarrhea and thought to act as an astringent. That means it helps shrink and constrict the tissues of the body to protect organs like the skin. Meanwhile, the leaves of the rambutan plant are thought to decrease headaches, while the bark of the rambutan tree is used as a natural remedy for oral thrush.

Rambutan vs. Lychee vs. Dragon Fruit

Rambutan, lychee and dragon fruit are three of the most popular varieties of tropical fruit around the globe. Each is favored for its vibrant color, unique appearance and delicious flavor. However, there are several key differences that set these three exotic fruits apart.

Lychee is a type of fruit that, like rambutan, belongs to the soapberry family of plants. It has a rough pink exterior that covers the sweet flesh inside. Lychee also contains a single black seed in the middle. Much like rambutan, lychee is a great source of antioxidants and fiber. However, it’s significantly higher in several important micronutrients, including vitamin C, copper, potassium and vitamin B12.

Meanwhile, dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is actually a species of cactus native to Central and South America. It stands out for its distinct appearance. Dragon fruit has bright pink skin, white flesh and and black, crunchy seeds. Like the other two fruits, it’s also known for its nutritional value. It is a good source of fiber and vitamin C, as well as micronutrients like iron and B vitamins.

Where to Find and How to Use Rambutan

Wondering how to eat rambutan and where to find it without jetting off to Southeast Asia? While it is totally possible to find rambutan in the United States, it may require you to look beyond your local grocery store. This exotic ingredient can often be found in Asian markets and specialty stores. It is widely available in either fresh or canned form.

The rambutan taste is typically described as both sweet and sour, much like a grape, although it can vary based on a number of different factors. It can be easily peeled by poking a slit in the skin, removing the oval-like fruit and carefully extracting the seed.

The fruit itself can be eaten raw or cooked. It also makes a great addition to smoothies, desserts, salads and even main courses for a punch of extra flavor. Keep in mind, however, that while the fruit can be enjoyed as is, it’s not recommended to eat rambutan seeds raw or boiled. They may have narcotic effects and contain saponins, compounds that can have toxic effects in humans.

Rambutan Recipes

There are plenty of different ways to start using rambutan in your kitchen, from main dishes to drinks and desserts. Need some inspiration? Here are a few simple and delicious recipes to get you started:

Tropical Rambutan Smoothie
Rambutan Rose Lassi
Summer Rambutan Curry
Rambutan Sorbet
Tropical Fruit Salad

History/Facts

Although it’s believed that the rambutan fruit is native to the Malay archipelago, the exact origins are unknown. What is known is that the fruit has been cultivated for thousands of years. Around the 13th century, it was brought to Zanzibar and Mozambique by Arab traders. Years later in the 19th century, rambutan was introduced to Suriname in South America by the Dutch.

Today, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia are considered the largest producers of rambutan. However, it’s also widely cultivated in other tropical regions, such as Africa, the Caribbean, Mexico, India, Costa Rica Panama, Ecuador and the Philippines.

Precautions

When consumed in moderation, rambutan can be enjoyed as a nutritious part of a healthy, well-rounded diet. However, there are several things to consider before making it a regular part of your routine.

First of all, some people may be allergic to rambutan. This can cause food allergy symptoms like hives, itching, rashes or swelling. If you notice these or any other adverse side effects after eating rambutan, discontinue consumption immediately and talk to your doctor.

The fruit is also relatively high in calories, and canned varieties can be especially high in sugar. Keep intake in moderation, and pair with a good variety of other healthy fruits and veggies to prevent unintentional weight gain.

Additionally, keep in mind that it’s typically not recommended to consume the seeds raw or boiled. They have been shown to act as narcotics and may also contain saponins, which can be toxic to humans. Be sure to remove the seed by slicing along the flesh of the fruit and sliding it out before consuming.

Final Thoughts

Rambutan, also sometimes called mamon chino, is a tropical fruit that belongs to the soapberry family of plants. It is native to Indonesia.
In addition to its distinct taste, it also stands out for its unique appearance, including its spiny pink exterior that surrounds the pale white flesh inside.
It’s a great source of several nutrients, including manganese, vitamin C and fiber. It’s also high in antioxidants, including carotenes, xanthophylls, tannins and phenols.
Potential rambutan health benefits include improved blood sugar control, enhanced digestive health and stronger bones. It also contains antimicrobial properties that could help defend against several different strains of bacteria.
For best results, enjoy this tasty Asian fruit as is, or try it in smoothies, desserts, salads or main courses to help round out a healthy and balanced diet.

Read Next: Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng) Benefits to Boost Body & Brain Health

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Wildfire Smoke Travels Thousands of Miles (Here’s How to Protect Yourself)

Sourced From: https://draxe.com/wildfire-smoke-inhalation/

Another great article

After the last deadly wildfire in California, many parts of the state experienced poor air quality advisories. Residents of these areas no doubt face a number of health ailments as a result of wildfire smoke inhalation, including asthma, headaches and burning eyes. Long-term impacts of wildfires are also a concern. And, on top of that, scientists are warning U.S. residents that the consequences of wildfire smoke inhalation can spread across the country, far from the actual site of the fire.

Did you know that wildfire smoke can travel thousands of miles? Reports indicate that smoke from the most recent wildfire in California traveled 3,000 miles to the east coast of the United States. The smoke is composed of thousands of individual chemical compounds and creates a haze that, when caught up in the atmosphere, can travel across the country. But eventually, it settles, and that’s when it poses a health threat to residents, despite living so far away from the initial flames.

The recent wildfires in California, and the consequences of smoke inhalation across the country are just another example of the health effects of climate change. Hot and dry conditions are vulnerable to severe wildfires, and the wildfire season continues to lengthen. (1)

Until the country makes bigger moves on addressing climate change, we need to help ourselves by preventing wildfire smoke inhalation and exposure to dangerous particles that loom large when the destruction is seemingly over.

What’s Causing All of These Wildfires?

According to the National Park Service, humans cause 90 percent of wildland fires in the Unites States. The major human causes of wildfires include: (2)

Leaving campfires unattended
Burning debris
Negligently discarding cigarettes
Intentionally starting a fire (acts of arson)

There are also two natural causes of wildfires — lava and lightening. Usually, when lightening causes a fire, it’s from an unusually long-lasting, hot lightning bolt. These are factors that start a fire, but what role does the environment and the changing climate play in the intensity and frequency of deadly wildfires?

The spread of wildfires is also influenced by many environmental factors, such as high temperatures, drought and temporary dry spells. Data shows that wildfires have become more problematic for public health and our ecosystems in the past decades because of climate change.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), higher spring and summer temperatures cause drier soils for a longer period of time, thereby increasing the likelihood of droughts and extending the wildfire season. This is particularly true in the western United States, where hot and dry conditions increase the intensity of wildfires once they are started.

The UCS reports that between 1986 and 2003, “wildfires occurred nearly four times as often, burned more than six times the land area, and lasted almost five times as long when compared to the period between 1970 and 1986.” (3)

On top of that, the U.S. wildfire season is projected to lengthen, especially in the Southwest where the season is expected to go from seven months to all year long. The severity of wildfires is also expected to increase, as moist, forested areas become dried and hotter due to climate change. On top of that, as the climate continues to warm, lightning strikes will continue to cause an uptick in wildfires.

Not only is the increased threat of wildfires scary for people living on the west coast of the United States, it should also be concerning for people across the country and beyond. Research shows that air pollution travels and disburses around the world, even across entire oceans.

Air pollution is distributed by air patterns, wind cycles, precipitation and the transportation of food. And when it comes to particulate matter from wildfire smoke, it’s the wind that’s doing the work. Winds lift the smoke up, bringing the extremely tiny particles with it, and carrying it across the United States. Then, the natural jet stream pulls smoke and particles down.

What Wildfire Smoke Does to Your Body

To understand what wildfire smoke inhalation does to your body, it’s helpful to know what’s exactly is inside the smoke. Wildfire smoke is a combination of water vapor, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, trace minerals, particles and several thousand other compounds, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. (4)

Several factors influence the composition of wildfire smoke, including the fuel type, wind conditions and temperature of the fire. When wood and vegetation serve as the fuel, the wildfire produces a slew of compounds, including cellulose, oils, waxes and starches. Depending on the type of wood or plants that burning, the specific composition of wildfire smoke will vary.

Scientists call the wildfire pollution “particulate matter.” This is what poses the biggest public health threat.

Particulate matter is a generic term for particles suspended in air as a mixture of liquid droplets and microscopic solid particles. The danger of particulate matter is that it can be inhaled into the deepest recesses of the lungs because the particles are so small.

Wildfire smoke also spreads other dangerous pollutants, including carbon monoxide, and lower levels of formaldehyde, benzene and acrolein.

According to the EPA, the effects of smoke inhalation range from eye and respiratory tract irritation, to more serious disorders affecting the lungs and heart. The more common (and somewhat milder) symptoms of wildfire smoke inhalation and exposure to particulate matter post-fire include:

Trouble breathing
Wheezing
Asthma attacks
Persistent cough
Buildup of phlegm
Bronchitis
Chest pain
Rapid heartbeat
Headaches
Runny nose
Sore throat
Skin and eye irritation
Fatigue

More serious health effects of smoke and particle exposure include:

Reduced lung function and lung disease
Pulmonary inflammation
Reduced immune function
Aggravation of pre-existing respiratory and cardiovascular disease
Premature death

On top of the human health threats caused by exposure to wildfire smoke, flame retardants are also of concern. These flame-taming mixtures are sometimes used as a fire management technique. In an effort to fight wildfires, firefighters apply millions of gallons of flame retardants to U.S. lands annually, especially on the west coast.

Most retardants are a combination of water (about 85 percent), fertilizer and other minor ingredients like colorants, thickeners (like clay), anti-corrosive material, bactericides and stabilizers. Although the EPA labels fire retardants, like the commonly used Phos-Chek, as “practically non-toxic,” there is concern about its impact on aquatic life. These retardants may be lethal to aquatic life in rivers, lakes and creeks.

Scientists are concerned about the lingering effects flame retardants pose to trees and shrubs, especially during droughts when the chemicals remain on the plants for weeks or even months before being washed away. (4b)

To break down the potential health risks of wildfire smoke exposure, even thousands of miles away from the initial flames, here are the major suspected health impacts:

1. Respiratory System Assault

Even after the smoke clears, tiny particles remain suspended in the air. And inhaling this smoke pollution threatens respiratory system health. And instance, inhale particles that linger in the air after a wildfire triggers reductions in lung function and lung inflammation. Exposure to particulate matter can result in persistent coughing, the buildup of phlegm, wheezing, difficulty breathing and asthma symptoms. (5)

Wildfire smoke also contains respiratory irritants, including formaldehyde and acrolein. Research shows that these chemicals possess neurotoxic characteristics and systemic toxic effects. Plus, the negative effects of these irritants are known to increase as temperatures increase. (6)

2. Immune Dysfunction

When particulate matter enters your lungs, it reduces immune function. This makes it harder to remove inhaled foreign substances that make us sick and irritated, including bacteria and pollen.

Researchers at the California National Primate Research Center and the University of California, Davis, found that when infant monkeys living outdoors inhaled wildfire smoke in 2008, they were more susceptible to infectious disease. Compared to infant monkeys born exactly one year after the 2008 wildfires, monkeys exposed to particles after the wildfires experienced reduce immune system function. (7)

3. Cardiovascular System Damage

When it comes to wildfire smoke inhalation affecting the cardiovascular system, the major culprit is carbon monoxide. When we carbon monoxide makes it way through the lungs, it enters the bloodstream and reduces oxygen to our organs and tissues.

Carbon monoxide poisoning, even at lower levels, can cause headaches, visual impairment, dizziness and reduced motor skills. Exposure to carbon monoxide can also increase the risk of heart issues, including cardiac arrhythmias, chest pain and other forms of cardiac dysfunction, especially among people with pre-existing health problems. (8)

4. Increased Cancer Risk

According to the EPA, “people exposed to toxic air pollutants at sufficient concentrations and durations may have slightly increased risks of cancer or of experiencing other chronic health problems.” (9)

More research is needed on the link between wildfire smoke inhalation and cancer, but scientists indicate that certain chemicals and compounds found in wildfire smoke, including benzene, formaldehyde and acrolein may possess carcinogenic effects. (10)

Some sensitive populations may experience more serious adverse reactions to wildfire smoke inhalation. These groups include those with respiratory conditions, including asthma and COPD symptoms, people with cardiovascular disease, children, the elderly, women who are pregnant and people who smoke.

How to Protect Yourself from Wildfire Smoke Near & Afar

1. Limit Your Time Outdoors

We know that wildfire smoke can affect people living close to the wildfire location and even those living hundreds or thousands of miles away. If the air quality in your area is compromised because of smoke or particle exposure, it’s important to limit your time outdoors. Stay inside and shut all windows and doors in order to reduce your exposure to air pollution. If your home is in a very smoky area, find a designated clean air shelter. Public buildings with good HVAC systems, like libraries, malls and hospitals, are good options. You especially want to avoid exercising outdoors until the air quality improves. When we exercise, our air intake increases as much as 10 to 20 times over our normal resting level, so you’ll inhale more pollution when the air quality is low.(11)

2. Recirculate Clean Indoor Air

When you’re staying inside to protect yourself from smoke and air pollution, be sure to set your air conditioner to re-circulate air. You’ll also want to make sure that your filter is clean and functioning properly. And avoid creating air pollution while indoors, which means refraining from smoking, using gas, using propane or wood-burning stoves, vacuuming, burning candles and spraying cleaning products. (12)

3. Use An Air Filter

To clean indoor air, you can use a portable air cleaner that contains a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. A two-year study conducted by the Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City suggests that using HEPA filters in your home can significantly reduce fine-particulate matter in the air compared to non-HEPA air filters. In the study, the HEPA filters reduced particulate matter in the home by 55 percent. (13)

4. Pay Attention to Public Advisories

One of the best ways to protect yourself from wildfire smoke and exposure to particles from smoke is to be aware of the Air Quality index in your area. You can check your local air quality report at AirNow.gov. (14)

5. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Scientists agree that greenhouse-gas emissions from human activity are causing global temperatures to raise and changing the climate. This continues to impact the severity and frequency of wildfires. The fossil fuels that we burn for energy, including coal, natural gas and oil, cause an overload of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. What are some ways that we can reduce emissions? For starters, you can eat more local and organic foods, walk or take public transportation when possible, reduce your meat consumption, reuse and recycle items and plant your own garden. On top of that, we need to elect leaders that support and implement climate solutions. (15)

Final Thoughts on Wildfire Smoke

The recent wildfires in California posed a health threat to thousands of residents. But the consequences of wildfire smoke inhalation stretch way beyond the west-coast state. People across the country, even as far as New York City, are at risk of smoke exposure.
Particulate matter pollution travels through the atmosphere for days and weeks after a wildfire.
 Climate change fueled by burning fossil fuels continues  to be a proven leading cause of more intense and frequent wildfires.
U.S. wildfire season is projected to lengthen and the severity of wildfires will increase.
To protect yourself from wildfire pollution, find a safe place to go inside and opt for HEPA air filters.
Avoid exercising outdoors if air quality advisories are in place for your location.
It’s necessary for U.S. residents to not only focus on carbon footprint reduction, but elect officials who will meaningfully take on climate change and transition to renewable energy and regenerative farming to stabilize the climate.

Read Next: The Best Houseplants that Remove Pollution (They’re Pretty, Too!)

The post Wildfire Smoke Travels Thousands of Miles (Here’s How to Protect Yourself) appeared first on Dr. Axe.

If you liked this article I have great articles, fantastic recipes, and a growing supportive community of Mediterranean Diet fans in this Facebook Group. It’s free, join us now! https://www.facebook.com/groups/424937321285541/

Wildfire Smoke Travels Thousands of Miles (Here’s How to Protect Yourself)

Sourced From: https://draxe.com/wildfire-smoke/

Another great article

After the last deadly wildfire in California, many parts of the state experienced poor air quality advisories. Residents of these areas no doubt face a number of health ailments as a result of wildfire smoke inhalation, including asthma, headaches and burning eyes, but long-term impacts of wildfires are also a concern. And, on top of that, scientists are warning U.S. residents that these consequences can spread across the country.

Did you know that wildfire smoke can travel thousands of miles? Reports indicate that smoke from the most recent wildfire in California traveled 3,000 miles to the east coast of the United States. The smoke is composed of thousands of individual chemical compounds and creates a haze that, when caught up in the atmosphere, can travel across the country. But eventually, it settles, and that’s when it poses a health threat to residents, despite living so far away from the initial flames.

The recent wildfires in California, and the consequences of smoke inhalation across the country are just another example of the health effects of climate change. Hot and dry conditions are vulnerable to severe wildfires, and the wildfire season continues to lengthen. (1)

Until the country makes bigger moves on addressing climate change, we need to help ourselves by preventing wildfire smoke inhalation and exposure to dangerous particles that loom large when the destruction is seemingly over.

What’s Causing All of These Wildfires?

According to the National Park Service, humans cause 90 percent of wildland fires in the Unites States. The major human causes of wildfires include: (2)

Leaving campfires unattended
Burning debris
Negligently discarding cigarettes
Intentionally starting a fire (acts of arson)

There are also two natural causes of wildfires — lava and lightening. Usually, when lightening causes a fire, it’s from an unusually long-lasting, hot lightning bolt. These are factors that start a fire, but what role does the environment and the changing climate play in the intensity and frequency of deadly wildfires?

The spread of wildfires is also influenced by many environmental factors, such as high temperatures, drought and temporary dry spells. Data shows that wildfires have become more problematic for public health and our ecosystems in the past decades because of climate change.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), higher spring and summer temperatures cause drier soils for a longer period of time, thereby increasing the likelihood of droughts and extending the wildfire season. This is particularly true in the western United States, where hot and dry conditions increase the intensity of wildfires once they are started.

The UCS reports that between 1986 and 2003, “wildfires occurred nearly four times as often, burned more than six times the land area, and lasted almost five times as long when compared to the period between 1970 and 1986.” (3)

On top of that, the U.S. wildfire season is projected to lengthen, especially in the Southwest where the season is expected to go from seven months to all year long. The severity of wildfires is also expected to increase, as moist, forested areas become dried and hotter due to climate change. On top of that, as the climate continues to warm, lightning strikes will continue to cause an uptick in wildfires.

Not only is the increased threat of wildfires scary for people living on the west coast of the United States, it should also be concerning for people across the country and beyond. Research shows that air pollution travels and disburses around the world, even across entire oceans.

Air pollution is distributed by air patterns, wind cycles, precipitation and the transportation of food. And when it comes to particulate matter from wildfire smoke, it’s the wind that’s doing the work. Winds lift the smoke up, bringing the extremely tiny particles with it, and carrying it across the United States. Then, the natural jet stream pulls smoke and particles down.

What Wildfire Smoke Does to Your Body

To understand what wildfire smoke inhalation does to your body, it’s helpful to know what exactly is inside the smoke. Wildfire smoke is a combination of water vapor, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, trace minerals, particles and several thousand other compounds, according to the EPA. (4)

There are many factors that change the composition of wildfire smoke, including the fuel type, wind conditions and temperature of the fire. When the fire is using wood and vegetation for fuel, it burns a slew of compounds, including cellulose, oils, waxes and starches. Depending on the type of wood or plants that are being burned, the specific composition of wildfire smoke will vary.

When it comes to pollution caused by wildfire smoke, it is what’s called “particulate matter” that has the biggest negative impact. It’s believed that the principal public health threat from wildfire smoke inhalation is the exposure to particulate matter.

This is a generic term for particles that are suspended in air as a mixture of liquid droplets and microscopic solid particles. The danger of particulate matter is that it can be inhaled into the deepest recesses of our lungs because the particles are so small.

And wildfire smoke spreads other dangerous pollutants, including carbon monoxide, and lower levels of formaldehyde, benzene and acrolein.

According to the EPA, the effects of smoke inhalation range from eye and respiratory tract irritation, to more serious disorders affecting the lungs and heart. The most common, and somewhat mild symptoms of wildfire smoke inhalation and exposure to particulate matter after the smoke has cleared include:

trouble breathing
wheezing
asthma attacks
persistent cough
buildup of phlegm
bronchitis
chest pain
rapid heartbeat
headaches
runny nose
sore throat
skin and eye irritation
fatigue

More serious health effects of smoke and particle exposure include:

reduced lung function and lung disease
pulmonary inflammation
reduced immune function
aggravation of pre-existing respiratory and cardiovascular disease
premature death

On top of the human health threats that are caused by exposure to wildfire smoke, there’s also concern about the fire retardants that are sometimes used as a fire management technique. Millions of gallons of retardant are applied to U.S. lands every year in an effort to fight wildfires, especially on the west coast.

Most retardants are a combination of water (about 85 percent), fertilizer and other minor ingredients like colorants, thickeners (like clay), anti-corrosive material, bactericides and stabilizers. Although the EPA labels fire retardants, like commonly used retardant Phos-Chek, as “practically non-toxic,” there is concern about it’s impact on aquatic life. These retardants may be lethal to aquatic life in rivers, lakes and creeks.

Plus, scientists are concerned about the lingering effects of chemicals found in fire retardants on trees and shrubs, especially during droughts when the chemicals aren’t being washed away by rain for weeks or even months. (4b)

To break down the potential health risks of wildfire smoke exposure, even thousands of miles away from the initial flames, here are the major suspected health impacts:

1. Respiratory System

Inhaling smoke or particles that have been suspended in the air even after the smoke has cleared, can have a detrimental impact on your respiratory system. When particles that remain in the air after a wildfire are inhaled, they cause reductions in lung function and inflammation of the lungs. Exposure to particulate matter can result in persistent coughing, the buildup of phlegm, wheezing, difficulty breathing and asthma symptoms. (5)

Wildfire smoke also contains respiratory irritants, including formaldehyde and acrolein. Research shows that these chemicals have neurotoxic characteristics and systemic toxic effects. Plus, the negative effects of these irritants are known to increase as temperatures increase. (6)

2. Immune Function

When particulate matter enters your lungs, it reduces immune function and becomes more difficult to remove inhaled foreign substances that make up sick, including bacteria and pollen.

Researchers at the California National Primate Research Center and the University of California, Davis, found that when infant monkeys living outdoors were exposed to particles from wildfire smoke inhalation in 2008, they were more susceptible to infectious disease. Compared to infant monkeys born exactly one year after the 2008 wildfires, monkeys exposed to particles after the wildfires had reduce immune system function. (7)

3. Cardiovascular System

When it comes to wildfire smoke inhalation affecting the cardiovascular system, the major culprit is carbon monoxide. When we are exposed to carbon monoxide through the lungs, it enters the bloodstream and reduces oxygen to our organs and tissues.

Carbon monoxide poisoning, even at lower levels, can cause headaches, visual impairment, dizziness and reduced motor skills. Exposure to carbon monoxide can also increase the risk of heart issues, including cardiac arrhythmias, chest pain and other forms of cardiac dysfunction, especially among people with pre-existing health problems. (8)

4. Cancer Risk

According to the EPA, “people exposed to toxic air pollutants at sufficient concentrations and durations may have slightly increased risks of cancer or of experiencing other chronic health problems.” (9)

More research is needed on the link between wildfire smoke inhalation and cancer, but scientists indicate that certain chemicals and compounds found in wildfire smoke, including benzene, formaldehyde and acrolein may have carcinogenic effects. (10)

There are some sensitive populations who may experience more serious adverse reactions to wildfire smoke inhalation. These groups include those with respiratory conditions, including asthma and COPD symptoms, people with cardiovascular disease, children, the elderly, women who are pregnant and people who smoke.

How to Protect Yourself from Wildfire Smoke Near & Afar

1. Limit Your Time Outdoors: We know that wildfire smoke can affect people living close to the wildfire location and even those living hundreds or thousands of miles away. If the air quality in your area has been compromised because of potential smoke or particle exposure, it’s important to limit your time outdoors. Stay inside and shut all windows and doors in order to reduce your exposure to air pollution. If your home is in a very smoky area, find a designated clean air shelter. Public buildings with good HVAC systems, like libraries, malls and hospitals, are good options. You especially want to avoid exercising outdoors until the air quality improves. When we exercise, our air intake increases as much as 10 to 20 times over our normal resting level, so you will be inhaling more pollution into your lungs when the air quality is low.(11)

2. Recirculate Clean Indoor Air: When you’re staying inside to protect yourself from smoke and air pollution, be sure to set your air conditioner to re-circulate air. You’ll also want to make sure that your filter is clean and functioning properly. And avoid creating air pollution while indoors, which means refraining from smoking, using gas, using propane or wood-burning stoves, vacuuming, burning candles and spraying cleaning products. (12)

3. Use An Air Filter: To clean indoor air, you can use a portable air cleaner that has a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. A two-year study conducted by the Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City suggests that using HEPA filters in your home can significantly reduce fine-particulate matter in the air, compared to non-HEPA air filters. The HEPA filters reduced particulate matter in the home by 55 percent and particulate pollution outside coming inside the home was reduced by 23 percent. (13)

4. Pay Attention to Public Advisories: One of the best ways to protect yourself from wildfire smoke and exposure to particles from smoke is to be aware of the Air Quality index in your area. Public service announcements are made when urban air pollution levels become high and we need to change out behavior based on those warnings. You can check your local air quality report at AirNow.gov. (14)

5. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: Scientists agree that greenhouse-gas emissions from human activity are causing global temperatures to raise and changing the climate. This continues to impact the severity and frequency of wildfires. The fossil fuels that we burn for energy, including coal, natural gas and oil, cause an overload of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. This traps heat and steadily drives up the Earth’s temperature, leading to climate change and dire consequences. What are some ways that we can reduce emissions? For starters, you can eat more local and organic foods, walk or take public transportation when possible, reduce your meat consumption, reuse and recycle items and plant your own garden. On top of that, we need to elect leaders that support and implement climate solutions. (15)

Final Thoughts 

The recent wildfires in California posed a health threat to thousands of residents. But the consequences of wildfire smoke inhalation stretch way beyond the west-coast state. People across the country, even as far as New York City, are at risk of smoke exposure.
As we learn more about the potential health concerns associated with exposure to wildfire smoke and particulate matter that travels through the atmosphere after days and weeks after the fire, we need to do what we can to prevent more wildfires from occurring.
As climate change continues to threaten our health and livelihood, it has also proven to be a leading cause of more intense and frequent wildfires. It’s projected that the U.S. wildfire season will lengthen and the severity of wildfires will increase.
What can be done to protect yourself from wildfire smoke inhalation and pollution? Surrounding yourself by indoor, clean and filtered air is your first line of defense. In the long term, it will be necessary for U.S. residents to increase their efforts to reduce their carbon footprints and hopefully reduce the number of wildfires that occur every year.

The post Wildfire Smoke Travels Thousands of Miles (Here’s How to Protect Yourself) appeared first on Dr. Axe.

If you liked this article I have great articles, fantastic recipes, and a growing supportive community of Mediterranean Diet fans in this Facebook Group. It’s free, join us now! https://www.facebook.com/groups/424937321285541/

Greek Chicken Pie | Akis Kitchen

Sourced From: http://youtu.be/ex6TZrNIUYU

Another great article

Greek Chicken Pie | Akis Kitchen Subscribe: https://goo.gl/z44Ems Recipe: https://akispetretzikis.com/en/categories/almyres-pites-tartes/kotopita Chef: Akis …

If you liked this article I have great articles, fantastic recipes, and a growing supportive community of Mediterranean Diet fans in this Facebook Group. It’s free, join us now! https://www.facebook.com/groups/424937321285541/

Hazelnut Chocolate Spread | Akis Kitchen

Sourced From: http://youtu.be/LUfkbJNhk2g

Another great article

Hazelnut Chocolate Spread | Akis Kitchen Subscribe: https://goo.gl/z44Ems Recipe: http://goo.gl/7OqN9y Chef: Akis Petretzikis Director: Leonidas Pelivanidis …

If you liked this article I have great articles, fantastic recipes, and a growing supportive community of Mediterranean Diet fans in this Facebook Group. It’s free, join us now! https://www.facebook.com/groups/424937321285541/

Top 12 Keto Fast Food Options + What to Order at Each

Sourced From: https://draxe.com/keto-fast-food/

Another great article

We’ve all been there. You are on a road trip, at the airport, shopping at the mall or in between meetings, and it hits you. You’re hungry, but have limited options. Thankfully, you can still stay in ketosis even though you’re in a pinch and need to settle on something quick and not-so-healthy. Believe it or not, there are plenty of keto fast food restaurants offering menu items that are on the keto diet food list and won’t derail your efforts.

The best places to order keto fast food are:

Panera Bread
Chipotle
Chopt
Elevation Burger
Wendy’s
Subway
McDonald’s
Carl’s Jr.
Chick-fil-A
Starbucks
Jersey Mikes
Taco Bell
Five Guys Burgers
Burger King
Smashburger

We all know that eating fast foods comes with some serious side effects, but it’s comforting to know that when there are no other options, we can make it work at these spots.

12 Best Places to Order Keto Fast Food (& How!)
1. Panera Bread

Panera bread scored a grade “A” in a recent report that focused on antibiotic use in fast food restaurant meats. Over 90 percent of all the meat and poultry sold at Panera are raised without antibiotics. That means that you can order animal proteins without the fear of adverse side effects from antibiotics and other additives.

So if you’re in a pinch and can get to a Panera Bread for a quick keto-friendly meal, go for a salad with non-starchy veggies and protein — like the Seasonal Greens salad with added grilled chicken and avocado. Skip the standard salad dressing and request plain olive oil or avocado oil instead.

2. Chipotle

Chipotle is one of the best casual restaurants because it’s one of only two national chains (Panera is the other one) that publicly declared they would serve only non-GMO foods. The food you get at chipotle is sourced from farms and not factories, and the meats are raised sustainably and humanely.

If you’re looking to stay in ketosis and need to find something quick and easy to eat, find a chipotle and order a salad with grass-fed beef and fajita veggies. You can also add a small amount of black or lima beans, which contain about 12–13 net carb grams per half-cup.

3. Chopt

This fast food joint is based around made-to-order salads, so it’s definitely considered keto-friendly fast food. It’s considered one of the best fast casual restaurants for this reason. There are a ton of options that fall within the keto diet guidelines, including their Palm Beach Salad, which is served with avocado, cucumbers, hearts of palm and tomato.

But one of the best things about Chopt is that you can customize your own salad, so opt for those to-go keto foods, like leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, celery, cucumber, fresh herbs, avocado, egg and animal protein. For dressing, choose olive oil, olive oil with lemon juice or fresh squeezed lime.

4. Elevation Burger

When you are looking for keto fast food, elevation burger is a great option. Their burgers are made with 100 percent organic grass-fed, free-range beef. They have organic chicken burgers available too.

To stay in ketosis, skip the bun and get the burger wrapped in lettuce instead. You can even add guacamole, tomato and a little bit of cheese.

5. Wendy’s

Need a fast food keto lunch? If your only option is a place like Wendy’s, you can make-do by ordering one of their low-carb salads, like the Southwest Avocado Chicken Salad (skipping the unhealthy bacon).

You can also choose the grilled chicken sandwich or single hamburger, but nix the bun. Adding extra greens, tomato and pickles can help to make this more fulfilling.

6. Subway

At Subway, there’s a lengthy selection of chopped salads that are keto friendly. Go for the oven roasted chicken, steak and cheese, roast beef or turkey breast salads. To make the salad for filling, load up on non-starchy veggies, like peppers, tomatoes, radishes and cucumber.

7. McDonald’s

While we don’t recommend eating McDonald’s whenever you have other options, it is possible to eat a keto fast food breakfast when you are in a bind. Go for the steak, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich, but skip the biscuit.

If you’re looking for lunch or dinner, opt for the Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad that’s made with a blend of greens and veggies. And use lime juice for your dressing.

8. Carl’s Jr.

Another keto fast food option that can work when you’re in a bind is Carl’s Jr. They’ve got a Charbroiled Chicken Salad that’s made with chicken, tomato, red onion, iceberg lettuce and cheese. Go light on the cheese and skip the croutons to make this keto-friendly. And if plain olive oil isn’t available, go very light on the available salad dressing.

You also have the option of ordering a charbroiled burger or chicken sandwich and skipping the bun. To make these dishes more satiating, add hot sauce or pico de gallo for more flavor.

9. Chick-fil-A

You’re stuck at a chick-fil-A and don’t want to throw off your keto diet? Guess what — this fast food spot also has a pretty good looking salad menu. Go for the Spicy Southwest Salad with grilled chicken on and top. Or the Market Salad is another good option. It comes with berries, which you can eat in smaller amounts occasionally and still stay in ketosis.

10. Starbucks

Are you hungry and the only place that’s around is a Starbucks? No problem. Make your own keto coffee. Go for a “tall” black coffee and add a tablespoon of coconut oil, grass-fed butter or even collagen powder. If you don’t have these extra healthy-fats on hand, then enjoy the coffee as is.

When it comes to food, go for the egg and cheese Protein Box. It comes with two cage-free hard boiled eggs that should fill you up a bit. Then eat just a bit of what’s left until you feel satisfied. There’s also cheese, grapes, apple and peanut butter. Skip the bread.

11. Taco Bell

They have a “Power Menu” at Taco Bell, which has a few choices of burrito bowls and burritos with veggies. When you’re forced to go keto fast food style, your best bet is to customize your own bowl — loading up on lettuce, grilled chicken and guacamole. Then ask for a smaller portion of black beans and cheese. And to top it off, go for the pico de gallo and fresh lime if it’s available.

12. Burger King

If you need to find a keto lunch at Burger King, go for the Garden Side Salad and a whopper or chicken sandwich. Skip the bun and add the protein to your salad to make it more filling. And watch out for the dressing — just use what you need if plain olive oil or lemon juice isn’t available.

Final Keto Diet Ordering Tips

You’d hate to come out of ketosis because you’re in a bind and only have fast food options. It’s going to be okay — you’ve plenty of choices to choose from, believe it or not. Just remember the following keto diet ordering tips:

Check out the salad menu, but go simple. Skip the options with all the high-carb extras. You can always get a plain garden salad and add a burger right on top to make it more satisfying.
Skip the bun. And if they’ll accommodate, ask for extra lettuce, tomato and pickles instead. You can make your own lettuce wrap with the protein.
Avoid anything fried or breaded. Go for the grilled proteins and skip the fries.
Always get the dressing on the side and use just a small amount. If the place has olive oil, lemon juice or lime juice, get that instead.
Ask to customize. Extra grilled chicken on your salad will make it more filling. Extra veggies instead of beans or cheese will work too. It doesn’t hurt to ask for what you want.

Read Next: Best Keto Diet Fats vs. the Ones to Avoid

The post Top 12 Keto Fast Food Options + What to Order at Each appeared first on Dr. Axe.

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