How air pollution affects your health – infographic

Featured Image Caption: Air pollution is causing long-term impairment to children’s lungs, according to studies in the US and UK. Photograph: Guardian

Headline: Exposure to air pollutants has been linked to suppressed lung growth, asthma, heart disease, foetal brain growth damage and the onset of diabetes

Air pollution from traffic and industry is leading to the premature death of more than three million people a year. Globally, that’s more than malaria and HIV/Aids combined.

Tom Levitt – Published on Tuesday 6, July 2016

The Guardian


The Ultimate Guide To Superfoods (Infographic)

By now it’s almost universally accepted that a well-maintained and balanced diet is one of the most important things a person can do for their own health. Unfortunately, when it comes time to translate words into action, sticking to a diet seems to fall apart just as often as it succeeds.

A lot of the time, this can be due to either a lack of direction or a lack of enjoyment–or even a combination of the two. Without direction, a prospective dieter can be left with just a vague notion of “eating healthier,” which can be easy to disregard without concrete steps to follow. Likewise, a purposeful diet that consists only of bland or uninteresting foods may be healthy, but can oftentimes be far from motivating.


Food Matters


Coffee Vs Coffee By PolicyExpter

The Coffee Vs. Tea Infographic Lays Out Each Drink’s Benefits Side-By-Side

Caffeine has some interesting effects on your brain, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some health benefits, too. Here’s how our two favorite caffeinated beverages affect your health.

If you’ve ever wondered what the benefits (and risks) are with coffee and tea, this infographic lays it out in an easily consumable format. They list off health studies about each, fun health facts, and even the caffeine levels in different types of each beverage. If you’re a big fan of warm beverages, it’s definitely worth checking out. (Click the image for a larger view.)



Infographic for message benefits

Infographic: Benefits of Massage Therapy

Studies of the massage therapy benefits reveal that massage can be a helpful therapy in decreasing the levels of stress, muscle tension and pain. While several studies are still needed to verify the numerous advantages of therapeutic massage, some researches have discovered massage can be beneficial in reducing symptoms of many certain health conditions. The results showed physical and mental advantages even after a single therapeutic massage therapy session. Through different massage techniques, massage can stimulate the different systems and organs of the body, helping boost their functioning to assist in overall health and well-being.

Visualized below are some of the known massage therapy benefits:



massage therapy benefits


Article Source: 

Mitch Gatdula writes on February 26, 2016

What Is Pluot Good For?

Botanical name: Prunus domestica x prunus armeniaca

The pluot (Prunus domestica x prunus armeniaca) is essentially a newcomer in the world of fruits, only having been introduced in the 1980s. This fruit was initially discovered and produced by Floyd Zaiger, who cross-pollinated the plum and the apricot plant. This led to the invention of the pluot, which should not be interchanged with other plum-apricot hybrids.

There are numerous varieties of plum-apricot varieties, but pluots should not be mistaken for plumcots and apriums. These hybrids differ through their varying plum-apricot ratios. Some hybrids have a 50:50 ratio of plum and apricot genes, while some have higher percentages of either of the two fruits.

While it is easy for people to assume that pluots are a product of genetic manipulation and gene modification, pluots were actually produced quite organically. Zaiger used hand-pollination, and no chemical or genetic intervention.1

What Is a Pluot?

Pluots are hybrids of the plum and the apricots, summer fruits that have been part of the human diet since the early times. While there are numerous hybrids of both of these fruits, pluots are more plum than apricot. There have been different accounts of varying percentages, with some saying that pluots contain up to 75 percent of plum genes.2 The varieties of the pluot fruit depend on this percentage, but pluots will always have a higher percentage of plum genes than apricot genes.

Pluot trees normally look more like plum trees than apricot trees. Because of this, the growing environment of these trees generally leans towards the same growing conditions as plum trees, growing best in climates where frost is rare in spring and winters are cold enough for dormancy.

Pluot trees usually start producing white flowers in the spring and fruits appear in the summer.3 Pluot season usually starts around Memorial Day (May) and lasts until mid-September.4

There are various pluot varieties due to the differing percentages of plum and apricot genes. There are about 20 new varieties of pluot fruits, but the list is still growing. Most of the varieties of the pluot fruit are owned by Zaiger’s company, Zaiger Genetics.5 These varieties can be differentiated based on their skin and flesh color, varying from golden yellow to blood red.

Some of the most common varieties of pluots include the Flavor King, Dinosaur Egg, Mango Tango and the Flavor Heart varieties.6 Flavor King pluots can be set apart from other fruit varieties through their lustrous and blood red skin. The Dinosaur Egg pluots are named as such because of their golden and red speckles, the same way that dinosaur eggs are usually depicted.

The Mango Tango variety, on the other hand, is not related to mangoes, but rather has a similar appearance, with its reddish yellow skin. Some people also note that they can taste mango undertones in this variety because of its sweet tropical taste.

Lastly, the Flavor Heart variety is named as such because of its distinct heart shape. It also has the darkest skin out of all the varieties of pluots, which is a dark purple-red, plus a yellow flesh.7

Get These Health Benefits When You Eat Pluots

Aside from its enticing color, there are other important reasons as to why you should add pluot to your diet. Because of the merging of the plum and the apricot, pluots are a manifestation of the health benefits of both fruits.8

Pluots contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that could provide your body with a boost in immunity and other factors. Here are some of the health benefits you can get from eating pluots:

  • Helps prevent constipation. Pluots can help prevent constipation because of their high amounts of dietary fiber, which promotes metabolism and smooth digestion. By preventing constipation and other digestive problems, you can also help minimize your risk for  colon cancer and other severe GI tract diseases.9
  • Boosts the immune system. Pluots help the immune system function more efficiently through their vitamin C content.10 Vitamin C is one of the micronutrients that help in protecting the body against free radicals that can lead to the development of cancer  and other diseases.11
  • Helps in maintaining eye health. The high amount of vitamin A in pluots positively affect eye health because of this vitamin’s ability to be converted to beta carotene. Consuming foods rich in vitamin A can prevent macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness in later years.12
  • Improves heart health. Pluots contain potassium, a mineral that is responsible for controlling the electrical balance of your heart. It is also responsible for muscle building. Just make sure that your potassium intake does not exceed the recommended levels, because it’s just as harmful as low levels of potassium in the blood.13

Culinary Uses of Pluots

While pluots are usually eaten fresh and raw, people have found ways to incorporate this fruit into their culinary masterpieces. For example, because of the short shelf life of organic pluots, people have started to make pluot preserve or jam. These fruits can also be grilled with salt and pepper, and usually served as a side dish for fish or other meats.14 It can also be added to salads and salsa.

It’s also used in pies as an alternative to other fruits or berries. When apricots aren’t on hand, pluots are a good alternative when making apricot or plum pie. The sweet and soft consistency of pluots is a good match for its crumbly crust.15

How Do You Cook Pluots?

If pluots are abundant in your community and you’re starting to get tired of eating them in the same manner, there are a variety of ways you can enjoy pluots. Here are a few suggestions:16

  • Grilled. Cut pluots in half and brush with raw honey and Dijon mustard. Grill both sides until brown. You can also grill them with salt and cayenne pepper if you’re planning on serving as a side dish.
  • Glazed. Slice pluots in half and place them in a pie pan. Spoon apricot jam or marmalade on top of the pluots. Broil until bubbly and browned, and eat with plain yogurt.
  • In salads. Dice pluots and add to your usual salad to add flavor. Use balsamic vinaigrette.
  • In salsa. Substitute tomatoes with chopped up pluots. Mix with lime juice, chilies, onion and cilantro.

Try This Pluot Recipe for the Summer

One of the most common ways that the shelf life of pluots can be prolonged is to make it into a jam. Here are healthy recipes that you can follow when pluots are on hand: 1718

Pluot Healthy Recipes:
Pluot Jam

Pluot Jam
3/4 pound ripe pluots (about 3 large or 5 small), halved, pitted, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)3 tablespoons raw honey4 teaspoons (or more) balsamic vinegar1 tablespoon (or more) lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary1/8 teaspoon coarse kosher salt or Himalayan saltPinch of black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


  1. Place pluots, honey, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon peel, rosemary, salt and pinch of pepper in small saucepan.
  2. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until fruit has broken down and mixture is thick, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
  4. Cool. Adjust seasonings. Add chives.

(Recipe adapted from Epicurious)

Apricot, Cucumber, Pluot and Lime Basil Salad

3 tablespoons fresh lime basil, thinly sliced1 teaspoon vinegarDash of kosher salt or Himalayan saltDash of freshly ground black pepper
2 apricots, pitted and cut into thin wedges2 pluots, pitted and cut into thin wedges1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Toss to coat well.

(Recipe adapted from My Recipes)

Nutritional Facts of Pluot

The pluot fruit is a good example of a fruit that offers you high levels of vitamins and minerals without compromising its taste. With its sweet and aromatic characteristics, it’s a good choice for kids and adults alike. Here is a breakdown of the pluot fruit’s nutritional facts to help you keep track of the nutrients you’re getting from this fruit:

Pluot Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 100 grams

Amt. Per
% Daily
Calories from Fat0
Total Fat00%
Saturated Fat0 g0%
Trans Fat
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Sodium0 mg0%
Total Carbohydrates12 g
Dietary Fiber1.2 g5%
Sugar7.2 g
Protein1.2 g
Vitamin A13%Vitamin C28%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

While pluots may offer a wide variety of health benefits, it’s not a good idea to binge on these. Pluots contain high amounts of fructose and may lead to a spike in blood sugar, which may then lead to numerous health repercussions. This means that instead of improving your health, you’re actually making it worse. Monitor your intake of this fruit to ensure it does not exceed a moderate level, and you will maximize the benefits it has to offer.


Article Source: 

Food Facts (m.d)

Fitness Matters

Health Benefits Of Walking: Regular Walks Are Good For The Body And Mind

Most people walk at some point every day, but many underestimate just how healthy this simple exercise can be. Research has shown that walking everyday has a number of health benefits for both the body and mind, from weight loss to controlling stress.

It’s the way most of us get around, and it’s also a great form of exercise. According to Prevention, in addition to burning calories through extra movement, walking also helps to increase the metabolism and prevent muscle loss. Regular walking can also aid in reducing stubborn stomach fat in particular by improving the body’s response to insulin, Prevention reported. In addition, according to the Mayo Clinic, regular brisk walking can also prevent or manage heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

Read: 3 Ways To Walk More At Work And Reduce Heart Disease Risk

Walking is also great for the mind and can improve mood, Prevention reported. The physical part of walking releases endorphins, a type of hormone that boosts mood, and reduces stress and anxiety. Walking outside may also expose you to extra sunlight, which in turn can help to reduce the effects of seasonal depression. What’s more, research suggests that walking can increase brain power, which not only boosts creativity in the moment, but could help prevent age-related dementia down the road.

Walking after a meal is particularly useful, as it helps to speed up digestion. However, if you opt to walk first thing in the morning, this could help you become more “regular” with digestion, as it may improve gastric motility, Prevention reported.


Article From: 

Medical Daily (m.d.)

Have YOU heard of kiwano, cherimoya or oca? The obscure superfoods you never knew existed (and why you NEED to add them to your diet right now)


  • Obscure new superfoods include camu camu berries and the kiwano melon
  • All of them are packed full of antioxidants and other health benefits
  • Cherimoya fruit are otherwise known as custard apples as they’re so sweet

As soon as a fruit or vegetable is given the label ‘superfood,’ it quickly flies off the shelves.

But though you will heard of trendy quinoa and goji berries, there are some new superfoods which are much more obscure.

FEMAIL has rounded up the 12 foods – all packed full of antioxidants and nutrients – that are tipped to become the newest global health food trends.

Six of the latest foods to be given the superfood label, including, from left to right: oca, Buddha's hand, camu camu, kiwano, cherimoya and arame

Six of the latest foods to be given the superfood label, including, from left to right: oca, Buddha’s hand, camu camu, kiwano, cherimoya and arame

Many of the tropical and exotic foods on this list, compiled by Sous Vide Tools, you will never have heard of.

They include spiky kiwano, super sweet cherimoya, the creepy Buddha’s hand and quinoa’s cousin, aramanth.

But all of them are packed full of health benefits – and most can be picked up for just a few pounds from specialist health retailers.

The superfoods you need to add to your diet

  • Arame
  • Cherimoya
  • Mangosteen
  • Aramanth
  • Kohlrabi
  • Moringa
  • Buddha’s hand
  • Kiwano
  • Natto
  • Camu camu
  • Lucuma
  • Oca



Arame is used in traditional Asian cookingAramanth is gluten-free like quinoa so perfect for coeliacs

Arame (left) is used in traditional Asian cooking, while aramanth (right) is gluten-free like quinoa, so perfect for coeliacs

This seaweed must be soaked before it can be added to food.

Seaweed has long been lauded as a superfood as it contains chlorophyll, which has been reported to help flush toxins from the body. It also contains plenty of nutrients, including calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamins A and K and iodine.

It’s available to buy from health food websites for less than £3.


This seed looks a lot like quinoa, and there’s a reason why: it’s closely related to the superfood grain.

Like it’s better-known cousin, it can be prepared in much the same way. It’s also full of omega-3 fatty acids, and is reported to have anti-inflammatory properties.

It’s available at high street health retailer Holland and Barrett for £2.99 or from health food websites.


The Buddha's hand citron is used in Asian medicineCamu camu berries contain essential amino acids
 The Buddha’s hand citron (left) is used in Asian medicine, while camu camu berries (right) contain essential amino acids

It may look like something from a horror film, but this fruit is in fact a large citron, known for its finger-like parts.

The rind is said to help with pain relief as it’s thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.It’s also thought to help lower blood pressure, boost immune systems and help with stomach problems.

It’s still not widely available in the UK, but you can buy your own Buddha’s hand tree if you like.


Grown in rainforests, this apple-like fruit contains 60 times more vitamin C per serving than oranges, it’s said.

It also contains potassium and antioxidants.

It’s pricey to buy in the UK, but you can buy it from health food websites for about £10.


Cherimoya are fondly known as 'custard apples' because of their sweet tasteKohlrabi is a member of the cabbage family
 Cherimoya (left) are fondly known as ‘custard apples’ because of their sweet taste. Kohlrabi (right) is a member of the cabbage family

This very sweet tropical fruit is full of vitamins C, B as well as plenty of fibre.

It’s also rich in magnesium, manganese and iron, and is packed full of antioxidants. Check your nearest Whole Foods for availability.


This vegetable is full of cancer-fighting chemicals and vitamin C, it’s said.

It has a crisp texture, and tastes a little like a radish, though much sweeter. It’s often added to stir fries.

You can pick one up at Waitrose for £1.99.


3E554C9600000578-4320366-image-a-72_1489682995698.jpgKiwano tastes like  a cross between a kiwi, banana and cucumber

 Kiwano (left) tastes like  a cross between a kiwi, banana and cucumber. Lucuma (right) is one of the most popular ice-cream flavours in Peru, reportedly

Its outside may be spiky, but the green flesh inside tastes sweet and refreshing.

It’s packed with potassium, as well as vitamins A and C. Unfortunately it’s hard to find in the UK but check Asian supermarkets for availability.


It’s most commonly added to foods in powder form.

The orange fruit itself contains plenty of antioxidants, and fibre, and is said to help stabilise blood sugar levels. It’s also reported to have anti-inflammatory properties.

It’s available in powder form from most health food shops for about £5 a packet.


Mangosteen tastes sweet and mildly tangy, reportedlyMoringa is most commonly sold in powder form

Mangosteen (left) tastes sweet and mildly tangy, reportedly, while moringa (right is most commonly sold in powder form

These tropical fruits have white segments of fruit inside their pink skin.

They’re rich in fibre, and are packed full of vitamins, as well as minerals including copper, magnesium, and potassium. Try your local Thai supermarket for availability.


The leaves from the moringa, or drumstick, tree contains powerful antioxidants.

It’s used in Africa and India to fight malnutrition because it is cheap to produce and keeps its health benefits when dried. It’s used to help a whole range of medical problems, from stomach issues to heart problems and diabetes.

You can buy it in powder form from health food websites, and from Holland and Barrett.


Natto is a Japanese specialityThe oca is otherwise known as the New Zealand yam

Natto (left) is a Japanese speciality, while the oca (right) is otherwise known as the New Zealand yam

These are fermented soy beans which is said to be good for the heart and for circulation.

It’s said to contain pyrazine and nattokinase, which thins the blood. It’s most commonly eaten with rice, soy sauce and onions.

You can pick it up from Japanese supermarkets at a low price.


This is a tuber commonly grown in Peru and Bolivia, and is packed full of vitamin C. in fact, 100g of these vegetables contains more than 60 per cent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

It’s also rich in vitamin B2 and zinc. You can buy £5 for £4.50 from Thompson and Morgan.

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8 Reasons Why You Should Only Drink Water

To some people, an ice cold glass of water is delicious, refreshing and revitalizing. To others, it’s bland, tasteless and far from appetizing. Wherever you stand on water, you probably know how important it is that you drink it! Up to 60% of the human adult body is made of water. In order for your body to work properly, you have to make sure you’re staying hydrated. Water is a vital to the health of your cells, it regulates your internal body temperature, and it acts a a shock absorber for your brain and spinal cord.

Your body needs water to survive, no if’s and’s or but’s about it. You might drink a few glasses in the morning, but think about what you drink the rest of the day. Coffee, soda, energy drinks… have you ever wondered what would happen if you replace all of that with water?

Here are eight things that would happen if you only drank water:

1. You’ll Lower Your Risk Of Many Health Issues

If your body isn’t getting enough water, it can’t function properly. Being dehydrated for a long period of time can lead to many health issues. Getting your water fix each day can help lower your risk of health issues such as hypertension, bladder issues and bowel cancer.

2. You’ll Lose Weight Faster

Cutting out all of the extra sugar and calories from pop, energy drinks and flavored coffees can help you shed weight fast! If you drink only water for nine days, you’ll cut out the same amount of calories you would from jogging about 5 miles day!

3. Your Body Will Get Rid Of Toxins

We need water to help our body flush out harmful substances. If you only drink water, you’ll put your body on the fast track to excreting toxins, which can help you stay healthy, give you clearer skin and prevent premature aging!

4. You’ll Speed Up Your Metabolism

Drinking water is a great natural way to get your metabolism moving. Consuming 17 fluid ounces of water in the morning will increase your metabolism by about 24%! A faster metabolism will also help give you more energy throughout the day.

5. Your Brain Will Work Better!

Drinking plenty of water will help ensure you don’t fall into that afternoon brain fog at work. Your brain is made up of 75-85% water. When you drink water, you’re fueling your brain, which will increase your focus and concentration!

6. Your Skin Will Glow

Your skin contains 64% water. If you replace all of your other drinks with water, you’ll noticeseveral positive changes in your skin. Keeping it hydrated will allow it to become softer and clearer.

7. Your Heart Will Work Better!

You heart needs water, just like the rest of your body. Drinking five glasses of water each day can help lower your risk of a heart attack by 41%! So drink up!

8. You’ll Save Money!

In case you aren’t on board yet, this reason might just do the trick. Think about all the money you’ll save if you stop buying pop, coffee and energy drinks! You might just save enough to buy that awesome pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on.

Bright Side – USGS – Livestrong – Daily Mail – The Hearty Soul – Mercola David wolfe

The Health Benefits of Water

Water Protects Your Tissues, Spinal Cord, and Joints

Water does more than just quench your thirst and regulate your body’s temperature; it also keeps the tissues in your body moist. You know how it feels when your eyes, nose, or mouth gets dry? Keeping your body hydrated helps it retain optimum levels of moisture in these sensitive areas, as well as in the blood, bones, and the brain. In addition, water helps protect the spinal cord, and it acts as a lubricant and cushion for your joints.

Water Helps Your Body Remove Waste

Adequate water intake enables your body to excrete waste through perspiration, urination, and defecation. The kidneys and liver use it to help flush out waste, as do your intestines. Water can also keep you from getting constipated by softening your stools and helping move the food you’ve eaten through your intestinal tract. However, it should be noted that there is no evidence to prove that increasing your fluid intake will cure constipation.

Water Aids in Digestion

Digestion starts with saliva, the basis of which is water. Digestion relies on enzymes that are found in saliva to help break down food and liquid and to dissolve minerals and other nutrients. Proper digestion makes minerals and nutrients more accessible to the body. Water is also necessary to help you digest soluble fiber. With the help of water, this fiber dissolves easily and benefits your bowel health by making well-formed, soft stools that are easy to pass.

Water Prevents You From Becoming Dehydrated

Your body loses fluids when you engage in vigorous exercise, sweat in high heat, or come down with a fever or contract an illness that causes vomiting or diarrhea. If you’re losing fluids for any of these reasons, it’s important to increase your fluid intake so that you can restore your body’s natural hydration levels. Your doctor may also recommend that you drink more fluids to help treat other health conditions, like bladder infections and urinary tract stones. If you’re pregnant or nursing, you may want to consult with your physician about your fluid intake because your body will be using more fluids than usual, especially if you’re breastfeeding.

How Much Water Do You Need?

There’s no hard and fast rule, and many individuals meet their daily hydration needs by simply drinking water when they’re thirsty, according to a report on nutrient recommendations from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. In fact, most people who are in good physical health get enough fluids by drinking water and other beverages when they’re thirsty, and also by drinking a beverage with each of their meals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you’re not sure about your hydration level, look at your urine. If it’s clear, you’re in good shape. If it’s dark, you’re probably dehydrated.

Did you know that your body weight is approximately 60 percent water? Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it’s important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water. The amount of water you need depends on a variety of factors, including the climate you live in, how physically active you are, and whether you’re experiencing an illness or have any other health problems.

Source of Article:

EverydayHEALTH (2017). By Jen Laskey. Medicaly Reviewed by Sanjay, MD