Detox cleanses sometimes hurt more than help: what you need to know

Detox cleanses sometimes hurt more than help: what you need to know

Detoxing: an old remedy for good health?

The idea of detoxing - purging the body of poisons and other harmful substances, to bolster the immune system, eliminate fat and increase energy levels – has been around since at least the early 1900s. These days, it is more popular than ever, thanks to a gaggle of celebrity endorsements of popular diets. A quick search on Amazon.com turns up hundreds of books, cleansing products, herbs and nutritional supplements to help you cleanse your way to good health.

Before having kids, I used to detox at least a couple of times a year. I’d usually fast using water, broths, and freshly-juiced fruits, alongside detoxing powders or tablets containing ingredients like psyllium husks, which stimulate the body’s elimination system. Like others, I felt better and more energized immediately afterwards. Years later, I wonder if all that detoxing might have done more harm than good. For years I suffered off and on from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and still occasionally have episodes if I don’t watch my diet carefully.

Doctors and many nutritionists have amply warned that long-term or frequent detoxing diets can harm the body and cause sustained health problems. People with certain health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and blood sugar disorders, or who are pregnant or nursing should not detox at all. (Most detoxes involve severely restricting the diet to liquids or purees for days or weeks at a time). However, a vocal minority of medical professionals claim that detoxing, done sensibly and in moderation, can enhance the body’s natural abilities to rid itself of harmful substances.

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How Does Thrift Shopping Help You Save the Environment?

How Does Thrift Shopping Help You Save the Environment?

Thrift shopping at second-hand stores, consignment shops, rummage sales and online used-good directories is not just for environmentalists and hipsters, but a viable solution for anyone looking to go eco-friendly in small ways.

Before going into the green benefits, here’s how thrifting helps you:

  • Saving Money – Thrifted clothing is far more affordable than new clothes of comparable quality.
  • Smarter Buys – You tend to spend more time looking over each item instead of buying it outright.
  • Unique Finds – It’s highly unlikely that anyone else is walking around in the same clothes as you.
  • Creative Potential – You might be inspired to try new combinations, or even some DIY reconstruction!

If that wasn’t enough, here are 7 ways in which thrifting helps the environment:

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Checklist: Buying and Selling Property With an Oil Tank

Checklist: Buying and Selling Property With an Oil Tank

Buying or selling a home can be difficult enough on its own, but factoring in the presence of a heating oil tank on the property can make this process even more challenging. For example, although many homes in the Northeast rely on heating oil tanks to keep them warm in the winter, they can represent a significant obstacle to anyone buying or selling a home. That’s because the complications oil tanks bring to a property can be enough to give a buyer reason to reconsider; in turn, that can make it much more difficult for a property owner to sell. Cleaning up after a leaky oil tank is a major burden for a property owner, given how harmful leaking oil can be to the surrounding environment. Anyone who is buying or selling a home should be aware of how an oil tank can affect their decision-making process and understand what his or her responsibilities are to avoid being caught by surprise after the sale has been completed.

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What You Should Know about Radon Poisoning

What You Should Know about Radon Poisoning

A killer might be lurking in your house: no, it is not a person, but an invisible odorless and colorless gas known as radon. Radon gas is formed when the uranium that is naturally present in the ground decays. The gas that travels to the surface of the earth is called Radon. The gas that migrates to the ground outdoors may not cause as much harm as the ones that accumulate inside buildings or houses. Radon itself is not harmful, but when the radon in air decays it forms radon progeny, which easily attaches itself to dust particles inside the house. When a person inhales this gas for a long time, it can lead to several lung conditions like a cough, cancer, emphysema, and other ailments.

Although radon is considered the second leading cause of lung cancer, don’t be alarmed — there are many ways you can prevent the ill effects of radon. There are several tests that can be done to check the concentration of radon. Sealing any cracks in floors, walls, roofs, and foundation is a must to protect yourself. 

Having proper ventilation to the house, including the basement, is absolutely necessary. In fact, the basement is the first place radon accumulates in a building. Learn more about radon, its ill effects, and how to prevent radon poisoning this infographic from PropertEco. Testing kits are available in the market for purchase to test radon concentration inside a building, and you can also hire professionals to help you prevent radon poisoning.

Click below for an infographic that can tell you more about radon poisoning, including how it happens, and how it affects your health.

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5 Herbs and Natural Supplements for Depression

5 Herbs and Natural Supplements for Depression

Guest post by Marcus Clarke

According to Mental Health America, clinical depression has turned into one of America's most costly illnesses, which is why anti-depressant medicines have become the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States of America. The use of herbs as treatments for various illnesses dates back to at least 3000 B.C. Today this practice is part of a broader movement recognized as complementary and alternative medicine.

Natural remedies are not a substitute for medical diagnosis and treatment for individuals suffering from depression. However, in some cases certain herbal and natural supplements have revealed promising results, but further studies are required to establish which herbs are most likely to assist & what side effects they might carry. Here are some herbs and natural supplements that show promise in alleviating clinical depression.

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Obesity is on the rise: what you need to know

Obesity is on the rise: what you need to know

Guest post by Renew  Bariatrics

Obesity in the United Kingdom has been growing at an increasing rate in the past 30 years. Since 1990, obesity has tripled to all-time highs, and if the rates continue at this rate, obesity will affect 11 million adults by 2030. Obesity has serious health consequences including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, sleep apnea, hypertension, and much more.  

In 2017 nearly 1/4 of adults are obese. In total, 62% of adults are classified as overweight. With 26% of British women classified as obese. Learn more by viewing this infographic provided by Renew Bariatrics on United Kingdom obesity. 

(Much of this information also applies to the US, where obesity rates are at an all-time high, despite some leveling off in a few states. After you view the infographic, take a look at these statistics for more information about obesity in the US).

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How to Recycle Your Old Smartphone into a Bike Camera

How to Recycle Your Old Smartphone into a Bike Camera

Guest post by Bryan Mac Murray

Most of us try to keep up with the latest technological advances, so we have an old smartphone laying around that we aren't using anymore. You might not be surprised to learn that smartphones have become one of the largest sources of technological waste. There are millions of usable smartphones either thrown out or just left lying around every year. You can recycle your old smartphone and put it to good use by using it is a dash cam when you head out on the roads.

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Paper Is One of The Most Recycled Products in The World

Paper Is One of The Most Recycled Products in The World

guest post by Chris Landry

The amount of paper we use has somewhat forced our hand in terms of recycling. This infographic from Colourfast takes you through the progress we are making and offers insight into how we can progress even further.

There is still some confusion over what we can and can’t recycle, so it’s important that we have clarity in this area. For example, all paper envelopes can be recycled, even the ones with windows – and there is no need to remove staples, paper clips etc. from paper, since modern recycling techniques are designed to do this for us. This is an important point, as people might be turned off from recycling if they think they need to remove all the associated paraphernalia.

While the amount of paper we recycle is encouraging, it’s disappointing to see the lack of progress we are making in other areas like glass, metal, and plastic. Hopefully we can start looking at these areas more closely while continuing to increase the amount of paper that we recycle. Find out more in the infographic.

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Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: How to Reduce their Impact on Your Family’s Health

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals: How to Reduce their Impact on Your Family’s Health

What are endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs)?

Many of the chemicals that are included in the personal care products we use every day are endocrine disruptors (EDCs). EDCs are a class of synthetic chemicals that have been clinically proven to interfere with the normal functioning of the endocrine system in the bodies of humans and some animals. The endocrine system regulates the metabolism and function of the body. Endocrine glands secrete hormones that act on our organs through cognate receptors. Some of these hormones regulate brain and reproductive functions, including reproduction.

Common ECDs that you may have heard about include BPA, phthalates, dioxins, and organochlorine pesticides like DDT and DDE. Altogether, over 800 chemicals are known to be endocrine disrupting, although only a small number of these have been tested to determine their overall effects on human and environmental health. However, what is clear is that levels of exposure to EDCs have been steadily increasing over the years, as has the incidence of disorders and diseases known to be caused by EDCs. While everyone has been exposed to ECDs, children are particularly vulnerable to their health effects.

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Solar Panels: The Positive and Negative Impacts on the Environment

Solar Panels: The Positive and Negative Impacts on the Environment

guest post by Derek Lotts

Environmentalism is a hot topic in the modern world, and rightfully so. With the rise of industrialization over the past two centuries, the burning of fossil fuels and the overuse of limited natural resources for energy generation as well as the decrease in clean water supply, the Earth is quickly moving towards a perilous future.

Humanity is in need of a radical change in the way energy is harvested, stored and utilized. Although fossil fuel companies want you to believe otherwise, solar energy is the only sustainable, eco-friendly and inexhaustible source of clean energy.

Solar power is the way of the future, as it will allow the Earth’s population to thrive under an unlimited supply of energy, decrease energy expenses, and preserve the environment. Here’s how solar panels can benefit the ecosystem, promote long-term health, and allow for financial independence.

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Revisiting our collective past with a stroll through community gardens

Revisiting our collective past with a stroll through community gardens

(part 2 of 2)

Sometimes, community gardens have the power to embody our collective memories of the past. While they can enable us to build new relationships and create opportunities to sustain a more food-secure future, they also tell us something about the struggles, strengths, and legacy of generations ago.

I explored some of these issues in an interview with Pastor Willie Wilson of Anacostia’s Union Temple Baptist Church on June 24th, the occasion of the 2017 opening of the church’s community garden to the public. The community garden at UTBC is a partnership between the University of the District of Columbia and the 11th St Bridge Project. Besides serving as a gathering point for the local community, it also provides a means to promote some of the ethics embodied by the church, most prominently spiritual development, fellowship, communication, and the uplift of marginalized African-American communities in the metro Washington, D.C. area.

Our interview quickly took on the overtones of a series of stories of past injustices, struggles of the present, and an unvarnished, if bleak view of at the future should the status quo remain in place, told through the lens and the experience of a man who has lived, worked, preached, and fought for this community for over 31 years as the lead pastor of UTBC.

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Could Water Pumps “Refreeze” The Arctic?

Could Water Pumps “Refreeze” The Arctic?

guest post by Ian Craft

Whether you keep abreast of global issues or not, chances are you will be aware of global warming and the threat that it poses to our planet.  Polar ice caps are rapidly melting due to steadily increasing global temperatures, and if it doesn’t stop soon then we could be looking at nothing short of a global catastrophe.

So how do we combat this problem before it’s too late? The most effective solution is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, but that of course is easier said than done. So as this is not happening, scientists are working hard thinking of alternative ways to try and reverse the situation.

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How to Reduce your Use of Plastic (infographic)

How to Reduce your Use of Plastic (infographic)

Guest post by Quill.com

Plastic waste has become a global problem that affects the world’s population in an increasing number of ways. More than 5 trillion pieces of plastic pollute the world’s oceans, much of which is consumed by marine animals that we humans subsequently consume. Less than 10% of plastics worldwide are being recycled annually, while 8.3 billion tons of new plastic are produced each year. Plastic does not biodegrade easily – it lasts anywhere from 500 to 100 years -- and the chemicals used to produce it are known to harm the health of humans, animals, and the environment. It’s safe to say we are facing a plastic crisis that will only continue to worsen if we don’t do something to address it.

Fortunately, an increasing number of people are becoming interested in learning how to minimize their use of plastic (and the less demand there is, the less will be produced). This infographic by Quill Corp tells you how you can reduce your use of plastic and be a part of the solution to this growing environmental problem.

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What Gardens Can Teach Us about the Power and Challenge of Community

What Gardens Can Teach Us about the Power and Challenge of Community

(part 1 of 2)

There are many advantages to community gardens, but also a lot of misconceptions about them. Most studies have focused on their health benefits, with some citing reduced risk of obesity, improved mental health, and encouraging diets that are richer in fruits and vegetables. Other studies challenge these views, pointing out that people who engage in community gardening are already likely to maintain fairly healthy lifestyles. Some have also pointed out that community gardeners engage in gardening practices that create a high carbon footprint (using synthetic fertilizers and chemical pesticides and growing things that require large amounts of water are 2 such practices), and that most urban gardeners demonstrate a lack of agricultural experience.

Doubtless, community gardens can have a dark side, but overall, the consensus is that they are a positive development, improving the life and health of local communities and addressing problems like urban blight, food deserts, and stormwater runoff.

The view from history, though, suggests that there is another important aspect of community gardens that is hardly explored. My interviews with Brother Rashad and Pastor Willie Wilson of Union Temple Baptist Church in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, DC suggest that community gardens embody our collective pasts as well as enable us to build new relationships of trust and mutual appreciation. This post is the first of two posts that explore some of these aspects of community gardening in the Washington, DC area.

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How to Choose the Best Solar Panels

How to Choose the Best Solar Panels

Guest post by Reviews.com

Solar panels are the best way to get your power for free. And while they're built to last for 25 years or more, it'll take some time to recoup your investment — and not every manufacturer or installer will be around as long. An engineer and a solar expert confirmed our findings: The best panels have efficiency ratings that pack a powerful punch and come from manufacturers with a proven track record.

Reviews.com, a small group of obsessive consumers, dedicated months to finding which solar panels were worth it, and which ones were a waste of money. They evaluated 188 contenders and found 5 top picks.

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