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Does ginger ale actually help an upset stomach?

Think back to when you were feeling a little under the weather as a kid. If an upset stomach was your complaint, Mom’s go-to remedy might have been a carbonated can of ginger ale. While you may have fond memories of swigging the spice-flavored soda for the good of your gut, Mom’s old school method might not actually have been as helpful as you think. Ginger ale has long been used as a treatment for soothing minor stomach-related issues. But research has shown that it isn’t the queasy cure-all we once thought. While it does make for a delicious drink, Canada Dry and many other name brand ginger beverages are made purely of sugar and water—there’s very little, if any, actual ginger. (Ginger beer though actually has quite a bit! Permission to drink?) Try this anti-inflammatory celery, apple, kale, ginger juice. The problem with that is that sugar can actually…

Natural sunlight helps kill germs in your house, study shows

If you’re looking for easy, natural ways to combat cold and flu season, listen up. A study published in the journal Microbiome says that letting natural light pour into your home helps kill germs. You may remember Grandma claiming something of this nature. You may even have had an intuition. But there had not been much research to explain how or why this is the case inside, until now. Researchers at the University of Oregon set up a study of 11 dust-ridden, doll-sized rooms and observed what happened when indoor rooms were exposed to daylight through regular glass, UV light, or when the rooms were kept dark, NPR reports. Dust was collected from actual homes in Portland then the miniature room were let to collect dust from outside, all while researchers kept them at a normal room temperature. Dust can sit around your house for 90 days (even if you…

A poor diet is worse than smoking or high blood pressure, study shows

You don’t smoke, your blood pressure is in-check, and you’re not obese. So what if you don’t carefully watch your diet, right? Wrong! According to a recent study published in the Lancet, poor diet is the leading cause of death worldwide—contributing to more deaths than well-know risk factors like tobacco use and high blood pressure. Researchers analyzed dietary habits of adults aged 25 and older between 1990 and 2017 across 195 countries. They compared those findings with how it affected their chances of an early death. In 2017, they found that 11 million deaths (that’s 22 percent) of the deaths over that time frame were caused by poor diet. The breakdown? About 9.5 million deaths were due to cardiovascular disease. Another 900,000 were due to diet-related cancers. More than 330,000 deaths were from diabetes, and more than 136,000 deaths were caused by kidney diseases. Not only were there more dietary-related…

How to avoid getting the flu beyond just washing your hands

Last flu season nearly 38 million people came down with the illness. Of those, 531,000 were hospitalized, and between 36,400 and 61,200 people died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of course the usual advice is great: Get the vaccine, wash your hands often, and avoid contact with anyone who has been sick. But beyond that, is there anything else we can do? Most illness are spread by your hands, so using sanitizer and washing them regularly is extremely important, especially after coming home from a day in our germ-ridden world. So that really is the number one thing you can do. But what’s some other advice for avoiding the flu this season all together? Disinfect items you touch often. Your cell phone, tablet, and desk phone are all prime hiding spots for germs. You touch the outside world, then touch your cell, then put it to your…

Survey finds 4 in 5 Americans take vitamins, but it could be causing them more harm than good

More than 86 percent of Americans take some form of over-the-counter vitamin or supplement in attempt to improve their health. After all, it can’t hurt — right? Unfortunately, no. Taking vitamins does come at a cost. According to a recent survey on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association, only about a quarter of people (24 percent) actually received test results indicating a nutritional deficiency. “Numerous investigations show the alleged benefits are unproven and in the worst cases, vitamins and supplements can be harmful,” said Mike Varshavski, DO, an osteopathic family physician. People with documented nutritional deficiencies can most often and most effectively correct the problem with a change in diet. Since supplements don’t work as well as most people assume, taking vitamins can distract or deter people from taking other steps to treat their ailments, like improving nutrition or moderate exercise. As the multibillion dollar vitamin industry grows, Dr. Varshavski says…

7 reasons you should eat more cherries

When you eat cherries, you can enjoy so much more than just their delicious sweet taste. Yes, they’re the perfect quick snack — just rinse and go — but those tiny cherries are loaded with big health benefits too. Here are 7 good reasons to start snacking on this superfood today: 1. They’re a low-sugar sweet tooth fix Sweet cherries are delicious and sweet, but unlike that double scoop ice cream cone, they have zero added sugar. What’s more, they’re low on the glycemic index (22) compared to other fruits [grapes (46), peaches (42), plums (39)], which means their natural sugars will be released into your bloodstream more slowly, and you won’t feel that spike and crash of high-sugar snacks. All this makes them a go-to for folks with diabetes. 2. They’ll bring you better sleep If you’re tossing and turning all night long, try drinking cherry juice — or…

Here’s how to keep food safe when it’s extra hot outside

Picture this: Relaxed al fresco lunches, backyard barbecues with friends, and simple snacks with the family car camping. What you see as summer fun,  bacteria and viruses also see as a raging good time. Around 48 million people will get sick from a foodborne illness this year, according to the CDC. Hot weather is the perfect environment for bacteria to flourish, so it’s especially important during the summer months to make sure you’re keeping your food safe. So what can you do to prevent those gnarly nights camped out in the bathroom? Here are 7 ways to make sure your food stays safe when it’s hot out: 1. Keep things cool on the road If you’re headed on our a car adventure, keep your cooler near the air-conditioning, rather in the trunk or in the direct path on sunlight. 2. Keep hands clean Always wash your hands before and after…

Eating for smoother, healthier summer skin

Long summer days are made for backyard barbecues, poolside picnics, and rosé all day. But all of that sunshine can have real consequences for your skin. The good news is that there are tons of delicious foods you can eat to help your skin recover from all of the summer excess — and also keep your complexion glowing long after the warm-weather has faded.  “There’s a big impact on how much your diet can effect the health of your skin,” said Dr. Ivy Lee, M.D., a dermatologist in private practice in Pasadena, California and clinical assistant professor at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. “What we’ve learned is that whatever is good for your heart health is good for your skin as well.”  That means farm-fresh fruits and veggies, healthy fats and plenty of water. But it’s just as much of what you don’t eat as what you do.…

Your kitchen towel could be loaded with bacteria, study shows

We were already weary of kitchen sponges, but now we know to look out for kitchen towels, too. Kitchen towels do many duties from wiping to drying, holding hot things and cleaning surfaces. They’re ubiquitous in households around the world, but now we know, those pretty patterns might be hiding some dangerous secrets. A new study from the University of Mauritius reported by the American Society for Microbiology found that family size and type of diet factor into the growth rate of the bacteria on kitchen towels that can lead to food poisoning and other serious infections. Researchers took an up close look at 100 kitchen towels after one month of use and found that 49 percent of the towels contained high levels of bacterial growth. The bacteria count increased with the size of the family and also when children or extended families were present. In households where towels  had more than…

Why you should always toss your expired pancake mix

Let’s be honest. When you come across an expired food item in your pantry, unless it’s from prehistoric times, you probably continue on and eat that item anyway. After all, those dates are just put there as a guideline, right? For most food items the actual risk is pretty low, but when it comes to pancake mix, you might want to think twice. So why not pancake mix? Well… it could kill you. That’s the official report following several case studies examining a number of freaky stories about people who claim they experienced life-threatening symptoms after eating expired pancake mix. One study published in the American Journal of Forensic Medical Pathology covered the story of a 19-year-old man who ate pancakes made from an opened mix that was two years old. After eating the pancakes, the man went into anaphylaxis — a life-threatening allergic reaction, often caused by food, that makes…