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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 new 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…

How to avoid gaining weight during a cold winter

Winter started early this year, with many areas of the country seeing snowfall even before Thanksgiving. The East Coast was blasted with a freeze that sent frost and snow as far south as the Carolinas. Temperatures across the country dipped into the  low 20s —  And that was just the first few weeks of winter. It’s shaping up to be a particularly long, cold winter. But cold weather is no excuse to binge on booze and fatty comfort foods. It’s easy to reach for that mac and cheese, chili or homemade chocolate chip cookies when the weather stays dreary and cold outside, but you’ll most certainly regret it later. Here are a few tips to help you prevent winter weight gain: Watch your alcohol intake It might be tempting to pour yourself another glass of wine, or spike a little something in your hot chocolate, but on average, an alcoholic drink will add an extra 150…

Easy 20-minute Bone Broth Chicken Noodle Soup

Think back to your childhood. If there was one guarantee when you got sick, it was that Grandma would be making you a big batch of chicken noodle soup. But does chicken noodle soup have any actual impact on impending sniffles? According to UPMC, when you’re sick, your immune system can receive support to help fight infections from standard cold and over-the-counter medicines. However, in some cases, the nutrients you get from a big bowl of chicken noodle soup can give additional aid to that support system. Studies have shows that the anti-inflammatory effects from the ingredients in chicken noodle soup can help ease cold symptoms, while the warm broth can clear nasal congestion. So while it may not be a miracle cure-all, chicken noodle soup makes a great meal when you’re feeling under the weather because it’s packed with nutrients. They are easy to digest, soothing to the throat…

Americans urged to get flu shots after last year’s 80,000 death toll reported

Eighty thousand people died from the flu last year — that’s more than the number of people killed in car accidents, gun violence, or opioid overdoses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people to get flu shots early this year, especially those who are vulnerable or those with weakened immune systems including pregnant women, children, and older adults. The new data comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said last year was the deadliest flu season in more than four decades. Flu experts knew it was going to be a bad season, but the tally was nearly twice the estimate health officials originally projected. The high mortality rate last winter was driven by a type of flu that tends to land more people in the hospital and cause more deaths. Making the situation worse, the flu vaccine didn’t work very well. Despite the limitations of…

Airport security bins are dirtier than toilets, study shows

The dirtiest thing you’ll encounter at the airport isn’t the toilet seat. Nor is the tray tables or even your sniffling seat mate. According to a study from the University of Nottingham and the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, it’s those plastic security trays that are the filled with the most infectious diseases. The research was published in BMC Infectious Diseases, which found 10 respiratory viruses including the flu and common cold lingering on various surfaces through the Helsinki-Vantaa airport in Finland. Scientists visited several times during the 2015-16 flu season and collected germ samples at various times of the day. As it turns out, the bins that hold your cell phone, shoes, purse, coat, and other belongings that need scanned for security, had more germs than any other area tested — including toilet, elevator buttons, and even the flight check-in kiosks. The virus found could easily cause you…

The most likely places you’ll catch a cold this winter

The cold and flu are a harsh reality of winter for many. Between October and March, about 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population comes down with the flu, according to the CDC. Adults average about 2-3 colds per year and children have even more. While we all know to wash our hands frequently and eat a healthy diet, to stay healthy it also helps to know the places where we’re most likely to pick up cold and flu causing bacteria and viruses in the first place. Both cold and flu are contagious infections of the respiratory tract. Coughs and headaches are common to both. Congestion, sore throat and sneezing are associated with colds, while the flu brings tiredness, a high fever and an overall feeling of weakness in the body.  A cold is milder than the flu, and one can’t turn into the other because they are completely different virus. What they…

10 things you should never store in the refrigerator

The fridge is a great place for most fresh ingredients, but there are a few foods that will fare better if left at room temperature on your countertop or in a pantry. The average family of four in America throws out about $1,600 worth of food every year — often because the food wasn’t stored properly for maximum life span. Check out this list to learn how to make the most of some of the most common groceries. 1. Coffee beans If you’re shelling out serious cash on the best coffee beans, you better know how to store them. The National Coffee Association recommends storing beans in an opaque, air-tight container at room temperature. Air, moisture, heat and light are all enemies to your beans, so store in a dark and cool location, but never the fridge. Coffee is soft and porous and likes to absorb other flavors around it — in the…

These two workout classes are dirtier than your toilet

Gym classes are a great way to keep up motivation to workout. However the camaraderie you build when spinning or spotting isn’t the only thing you’re sharing. It seems that certain gym classes leave you more open to swapping bacteria. While all gym equipment — and all public places, for that matter — carry some expectation of germs, a recent study conducted by EllipticalReviews.com found that there are two gym classes in particular that are more unhygienic than a toilet. The researchers took three swab samples from equipment in four different workout classes (spin, hot yoga, barre, and weight-based workouts). The swabs were measured for the volume of microbes found and then the three samples were averaged to determine the level of colony-forming units (CFU). Weight-based workouts were the worst, with an average of 153,410 CFU detected on an average barbell. For comparison, a toilet seat comes in with about 3,200 CFU — that…

Some states are switching to beet juice and beer to ‘salt’ icy roads, sidewalks

Most snowy places around the country throw salt on the roads to eliminate ice and improve road conditions. According to New Herald, experts fear all this road salt tossed onto sidewalks and scattered on highways, is having an alarming impact on the environment. Conscious of this fact, some cities are turning to less conventional materials to get the job done: beet juice, molasses, cheese brine, and beer. Researchers on the subject cite mounting evidence that the 20 million tons of sodium chloride crystals used each year is increasing the salinity of hundreds of lakes — particularly in the Midwest and Northeast. In the past 50 years, chloride concentrates in some of the sampled lakes have quadrupled, and in a few cases, even increased a hundredfold. If the problem is not corrected, they warn, the runoff could threaten freshwater ecosystems and put everything from frogs to microscopic zooplankton at risk. As the negative effects are…

This is why your nose runs when it’s cold outside

Ever notice that your nose gets a bit runny when temperatures drop outside? There’s a reason for that. For many, a runny nose is an unfortunate part of winter. About 50 to 90 percent of people get a runny nose when it’s cold outside. But it’s not a sign that you’re getting sick, it’s just a side effect of your body warming up cold, outside air before passing it on into your lungs. It’s called “cold-induced rhinitis”, or “skier nose”, and it’s a completely healthy — albeit annoying — part of your body’s ability to regulate the humidity of the you breath. It’s the job of your nose to make sure that the air you breath is warm and humid so that it doesn’t irritate your lungs. When breathing in freezing temperatures, the air in the back of the nose always hovers around 79ºF (and as high as 86ºF), while the humidity is usually 100 percent,…