It’s official: Nutella ingredient has been linked to cancer

All good things seem to be bad for me. That’s what you’re probably thinking, especially now that modern research suggests that the delicious, creamy, chocolate spread may be cancerous. So, before you spread some on your toast tomorrow morning (or eat another spoonful– who are we kidding? ), let’s delve into what’s putting Nutella on your watch-list and why.

What is Nutella?

In the months following World War II, a young confectioner named Pietro Ferrero had the idea to make a hazelnut-chocolate spread that was accessible and affordable to all. This was a novel idea considering chocolate was, as his grandson Giovanni Ferrero said, “so expensive, it was really high-end, nobody could afford it, at least in Italy.”[1]

Pietro’s initial product, Pasta Gianduja, was not spreadable. Rather, he produced it in loaves wrapped in foil and you would have to slice it like bread. The game-changer, however, was first introduced in 1964 under the name Supercrema – the first accessibly-priced hazelnut-chocolate spread.[2]

It wasn’t until Pietro’s son, Michele Ferrero, got involved that Supercrema became Nutella as we recognize it today.[3] Over fifty years later, people still recognize the brand, purchase the product, and include it in their morning routines.

But despite the Ferrero family’s incredible story, the Ferrero company has been on the receiving end of an onslaught of cancer-causing claims about Nutella that may lead its lovers to avoid the product.

What’s So Bad About It?

Nutella contains seven ingredients and they “choose only the freshest raw materials, carefully selected according to a sustainable sourcing and a great attention to their quality.”[4] Here are the ingredients:

  1. Sugar

  2. Palm Oil

  3. Hazelnuts

  4. Cocoa

  5. Milk

  6. Lecithin

  7. Vanillin

The current concern is about number two – palm oil. Palm oil comes from the oil palm tree’s fruit, which grows in tropical regions and is reddish in color and olive-sized.[5] It’s the ingredient that helps give Nutella its picture-perfect smoothness. However, because of this fear, one of the biggest Italian grocery chains, Coop, has removed the spread from its shelves.[6] Chains in the U.K. and North America, for example, haven’t made any changes just yet.

Health Effects of Palm Oil

While there does seem to be some benefits[21] to palm oil, it can have some serious health effects:[22]

  • High in calories

  • Can cause toxicity

  • Could increase cholesterol levels

  • Can cause weight gain

  • Cancer linked (via carcinogenic components)

Studies: Even Deeper Concerns About Palm Oil

In a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) report about process contaminants in vegetable oils and foods, researchers found glycerol-based process contaminants in palm oil.[7] According to the EFSA, one study suggested that contaminants such as glycidyl fatty acid esters (GE) pose potential health risks[8] for average consumers in all young age groups and high consumers in all age groups.[9]

GE is generally perceived as a carcinogenic component. In the case of palm oil, the likelihood of its carcinogenicity is increased when producers refine it at temperatures above 392 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).[10] Palm oil also contains the highest levels of GE.[11]

However, it is what Glycidyl Fatty Acid Esters become in your body that is the real worry. The human digestion process breaks down GE in your system, which releases glycidol into your system. Organizations including the International Agency for Research on Cancer have labeled glycidol as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”[12,13]

While there are grounds for concern and reasons enough for continued studies, much of the research regarding GE’s carcinogenicity has used rodents. Furthermore, scientists said that “no relevant toxicity data were identified” when analyzing their human subjects.[14] But due to the fact that “there is sufficient evidence that glycidol is genotoxic and carcinogenic…[the EFSA] did not set a safe level for GE.”[15]

In all of this, however, the EFSA has not recommended that people stop eating Nutella and has acknowledged that further study is necessary to assess human risk. It is important to note, too, that although the EFSA does not have the legal capacity to make regulations, the European Commission is reviewing the issue.[16]

Ferrero’s Response

In a Reuter’s article, the Ferrero company shared that “it uses an industrial process that combines a temperature of just below 200C and extremely low pressure to minimize contaminants.”[17]

The process Ferrero uses “takes longer and costs 20 percent more than high-temperature refining,” and has brought GE levels down to the point where scientific instruments have trouble tracing it.[18] Ferrero’s purchasing manager Vincenzo Tapella said, “Making Nutella without palm oil would produce an inferior substitute for the real product, it would be a step backward.”[19]

Interestingly, the EFSA declined to comment when asked about the possible risk of refining palm oil at lower temperatures.[20]

Other Foods to Avoid

Here is a list of some other common foods or brands that use palm oil:[23,24]

  • Cadbury’s chocolate

  • Clover

  • Ben & Jerry’s

  • Instant noodles

  • Margarine

  • Cookies

  • Packaged bread

Healthier Nutella

Whether you’re going to stop or continue eating the popular spread, why don’t you try this 15-minute healthy, homemade “Nutella” recipe. There are other nut butter recipes inside, too. Go nuts!

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8 ridiculous things that people used to believe about the female body

The female body has baffled men since the beginning of time. In fact, its mysterious form, unique monthly visitor, and complex orgasm continues to leave men scratching their heads. Over the course of history, the world’s greatest thinkers have attempted to explain female biological processes such as menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy using logic which proves to be absolutely absurd!

While such theories have been severely debunked by science, the lingering notion that women are inferior to men still persists in many subtle ways, even in medicine, and can probably be linked to some of these ancient ideologies. Read on to laugh (or cry) at eight absolutely ridiculous things people used to believe about the female body.

1. The Saber-toothed Vagina

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According to ancient folklore belonging to cultures around the world, the inside of the vagina is decorated with a ring of sharp teeth. The myth of vegina dentata describes the vagina to have the ability to castrate or cause extreme harm to any unlucky male, foolish enough to engage in sexual activity with a woman. This belief is a clear allusion to the archetype of the “evil seductress”, and has even been used as the concept for Belgian comedy-horror movie Teeth.

2. The Poisonous Period

In 1919 Viennese gynecologist, Professor B. Schick published findings that deemed blood from menstruating women to cause flowers to wilt, and wine to spoil. He stated that this was due to a toxin found in period blood called menotoxin. While his study was entirely baseless, and menotoxin has not even been identified in women, news of his findings caught wind in India, where it is still considered hazardous for a menstruating woman to go near the kitchen or perform household chores.

3. The Wandering Womb

Hysteria was a malady that was heavily diagnosed in women for hundreds of centuries, that according to Plato was a result of a wandering womb. Common symptoms of hysteria were; fatigue, anxiousness, low sexual appetite, and extreme irritability which were postulated to have been caused by the physically active uterus “blocking passages, obstructing breathing, and causing disease.” Female hysteria is thankfully no longer recognized as a legitimate medical disorder, however one historical scholar claims that a common treatment for hysteria was to massage around the pelvic area, which subsequently led to the invention of vibrators!

4. The Inside-out Vagina

The male and female reproductive organs were considered practically identical for thousands of years. The idea was that women lacked heat, and therefore had inverted male genitals for warmth purposes, while men, who were apparently just naturally warmer, possessed hanging, external genitals without the need to be toasty. This belief was championed by Galen, a prominent Greek philosopher during the Roman Empire who wrote, “turn outward the woman’s, turn inward, so to speak, and fold double the man’s and you will find the same in both in every respect.” We beg to differ.

5. The Infertile Academics

women who read

In the late 1800s, former professor at the Harvard Medical School, Edward Clarke, asserted that women that devoted energy towards studying, would hinder the development of their reproductive organs by weakening the “flow to power”, thereby weakening their ability to reproduce. This idea became a strong argument for opponents of women’s education, and was heavily debated amongst many during the introduction of co-education. Academic excellence by women soon after however, swiftly refuted Clarke’s silly claim.

6. The Rape Exception

Perhaps the most heinous myth listed in this article, is the former belief that female rape survivors were incapable of getting pregnant. This stems from Greek philosopher Galen, who along with claiming the vagina and penis were one and the same, stated that much like the men, women released a seed during intercourse. This ‘seed’ could only be produced upon female orgasm, and therefore would not occur from rape. For many centuries, Galen’s theory was used in medieval court to dismiss rape survivors as complicit in the accused rape if found pregnant. While this myth is now understood as completely untrue, it still finds its way in modern discussions about rape and pregnancy.

7. The Impressionable Pregnancy

One of the earliest explanations for birth defects arose in the 18th century, with the notion that external stimuli experienced by the mother during pregnancy could affect the physical appearance of her child. This bizarre phenomenon called maternal imprinting, was most famously used to explain the elephant-like appearance of Joseph Merrick, who’s mother was known to be startled by an elephant during a circus show. Maternal imprinting was also used to explain the birth of a not-so-attractive child, it was proposed that if the mother looked at ugly things while pregnant, it would be reflected in her child’s appearance. We suppose this is a far gentler explanation than let’s say, genetics.

8. The Lesser Smile

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Aristotle also proposed that women had fewer teeth than men, which could have been a result of poor dental hygiene amongst women. However, even that defense is rather weak considering he could have easily counted the number of gaps in women’s teeth, to understand that men and women have in fact, the same number of total teeth. Or perhaps he was under the illusion that women’s’ missing teeth, were resting in another cavity altogether.

Women’s bodies are still under constant policing, but it’s nice to think that at least some progress has been made in regards to how we view the female body. There are however, indirect consequences of the dated ideologies described above, for instance, infertility research is still largely focused on female bodies, while male-centered infertility research is hugely lacking. Additionally, a study examining the effects of male birth control was abruptly shut down last year for negative side effects, while it took years to discover the link between depression and birth-control administered to women.

These discrepancies in research can be traced to ancient perceptions of femininity, and the female body. While Aristotle, Galen, and Plato may have forgotten their female origins, we surely hope you do not! It is, after all, the female body, that brought each and every one of us into this world.

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The carb-cutting diet that thousands of women are using to burn pounds of belly fat

Okay, so you’ve just decided that you want to start on a low carb diet after reading the many health benefits that it has to offer. But these questions keep popping up in your mind… How many grams of carbs can I eat each day? What are the high carb foods that I should avoid? I don’t know anything about nutrition, so how do I even start?

I know these are common doubts and worries that newcomers to low carb diets have; don’t worry, because today I’m going to help you on how to start your low carb diet correctly, even if you know nothing about nutrition!

Starting On a Low Carb Diet – 10 Points to Remember

Starting and following a low carb diet is actually much easier than other diets – you don’t need to count or restrict calories, and there are no supplements to buy and take other than magnesium which will help you through the transitional “keto or low carb flu” period; you just eat whole natural foods that have no or little carbs until you’re full.

1. Write down everything you eat in meals and snacks in detail.

This is absolutely critical. When you take your blood sugar readings, and it spikes, refer to your food journal especially your last meal to identify the carbs that spiked your blood sugar.

2. Get a carb counter.

You can use this one or you can download one to your smartphone; there are numerous carb counter, GL and GI apps on both iOS and Android. Check out Atkins Carb Counter

3. Get rid of all the forbidden high carb and processed foods.

The most difficult period will be the initial 2 – 4 weeks because, during this transitional phase, you’ll be tempted to revert to your unhealthy eating habits if you have all the forbidden high carb and processed foods within an arm’s length if you don’t pre-empt this temptation.

4. Have low carb foods within easy reach. 

I know that this is difficult to do if the rest of your family isn’t on low carb. What you can do is get raw nuts, whole cheese, and eggs, etc. – everything that you can eat a low carb meal or snack, put them near you so if you’re tempted to cheat, then you don’t have a choice but to eat only those low carb items.

5. Sugar Cravings

If you have sweet or sugar cravings during this initial transitional phase, try squeezing the juice of half a lemon into a glass of plain water and add 2 -3 drops of liquid Stevia.

6. Low carb foods for hunger pangs.

The low carb diet emphasizes an increase in fat intake as this is the only macronutrient that doesn’t raise blood sugar at all. That being the case with fat as a substitute for carbs, you should be able to feel full between meals.

However, if you get hunger pangs, drink some coffee or tea with either coconut milk or heavy cream or have a protein and fat snacks like 1 or 2 hardboiled eggs or an avocado smoothie blended with cream or coconut milk and sweetened with a few drops of liquid stevia.

7. Always have whole and natural protein foods in the fridge.

Free range eggs and chicken, fresh pasture raised meat and offal, wild caught fish and other seafood like clams, mussels, shrimps, and oysters – so that you are able to whip up quick, nutritious meals when you want to eat.

8. Pass up the high carb foods when you’re having family meals.

This is what I do when I eat with my family who isn’t into low carb like me. If you’re the one cooking, then you can set the menu for the meals. If another person in the family does the cooking then just simply ask for more low carb foods so that you can eat until you’re full.

9. Pack your lunch and snacks from home.

When I discovered how expensive it was buying low carb food for lunch, I decided to pack my lunch to work: it was either leftover from the previous night’s dinner or a 6-egg cheese omelet with 2 cucumbers and some raw nuts.

10. Buy good quality low carb foods at low prices.

Low-carb can be done on a budget if you follow these tips:

  1. Buy in bulk when there are special offers or bargains,

  2. Buy organ meat like chicken, duck or geese gizzards and livers as they are cheaper and very nutritious.

  3. Eat more eggs because they are the cheapest high-quality protein food.

11 Foods to Avoid

dry pasta

  1. All grains and grain related products e.g. bread, pasta, noodles, rice, porridge & yes, not even oats or quinoa.

  2. All processed foods and meats.

  3. All root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, taro, lotus roots, etc.

  4. All Legumes e.g. peas, lentils, and beans including soy.

  5. All milk including soy milk, almond milk, etc

  6. Most fruits, only berries are allowed.

  7. All juice, soft drinks, punch, sweetened tea, etc.

  8. Beer & all alcoholic drinks.

  9. All desserts, baked foods, sweets, ice cream, etc.

  10. Processed vegetable and seed oils e.g. canola oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, etc.

  11. Processed commercial sauces and dressings e.g. BBQ sauce, ketchup, chili sauce, etc.

10 Wholesome Foods that You Can Eat

avocados1

  1. All meat e.g. grass-fed beef, lamb, pork, free-range poultry, organ meat, wild caught fish and seafood.

  2. Free range eggs.

  3. Cheese (NOT sliced cheese which is highly processed).

  4. All leafy and cruciferous vegetables i.e. most vegetables except root vegetables listed above.

  5. Avocados, coconuts, and olives. (Give this delicious Avocado Pesto Sauce a try!)

  6. All natural oils and fats e.g. extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter, lard, clarified butter or ghee, cream, sour cream, and cream cheese.

  7. A handful of raw nuts because most nuts have carbs.

  8. Seeds like chia, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds.

  9. A little full-fat Greek yogurt.

  10. Coconut milk and cream – these will come in handy if and when you get hunger pangs at night.

Steps In The Low-Carb Diet

  1. When you start going on the low carb diet, begin by getting rid of processed food, refined carbs, root vegs and limiting to 1 or at most 2 small fruit servings every 24 hours.

  2. Give it a few weeks for your body to adjust. Once you’re used to the low carb diet, then you start reducing carbs further IF you’re still getting spikes in the prediabetes range from your fasting and post-grandial blood sugar readings.

  3. If you do decide to reduce your carbs low enough to enable your body to enter ketosis, you will encounter one or more of these transitional symptoms which will last anything from a few days to 3 weeks for some people.

Low-Carb Diet Transitional Symptoms

1. Weight Loss Especially During the 1st 2 – 3 Weeks

This is because every gram of carb holds 3 grams of water. When you drastically reduce your carbs, you’ll experience increased urination as your body sheds the extra water weight. After the 1st 2 – 3 weeks, your weight loss will be stabilized i.e. more gradual as your body starts burning fat for energy instead of glucose.

2. Irritability and Brain Fog

You can’t think at all and get irritated easily: this is perfectly normal. What you can do is to put half a teaspoon of salt into a large glass of water and drink it: after about 30 minutes such symptoms will ease. Drink this salt water drink once a day for the 1st week or until these symptoms disappear.

Another thing you need to do is to increase your fat intake dramatically. Low carb plus low fat will put your body into starvation mode, and you will feel terrible.

3. Poor Performance When You Exercise or Go to the Gym to Workout

This is because your body needs time to adjust to burning ketones (fat) instead of glucose (carbs) for energy and fuel. This adaptation will take weeks; however, the more you exercise while on a ketogenic diet, the faster the adaptation will take.

4. Constipation for Some People

Constipation happens especially if this is the first time on a very low carb diet, so the digestive system needs to adjust. There are a few ways to remedy this:

  1. Increase water and fluid intake

  2. Increase fiber intake with vegetables or psyllium seed husks

  3. If it gets really bad, you can use Milk of Magnesia

5. Calf Muscle Cramps

Calf muscle cramps happen when you first start the ketogenic diet because of the increased urination. You lose water through increased urination; these can decrease the minerals in your body especially magnesium. Try increasing water intake, taking a magnesium supplement and ensure you’re consuming enough salt.

If you still get calf muscle cramps, then you can increase your carbs to get out of ketosis; this will definitely put an end to the bothersome calf muscle cramps.

6. Bad Breath

Bad breath when you’re on the ketogenic diet. The smell is described as fruity, like a nail polish remover. Your body causes this is burning fat which is being converted to ketones to provide energy for the brain. This is usually temporary and will go away in a week or two.

You can use a breath freshener in the meantime to counter this. But if it persists, then you can increase your carbs to get out of ketosis – this will definitely solve the problem.

7. Heart Palpitations and Slightly Elevated Heart Rate

This is usually caused by dehydration and lack of salt. Again, this is normal and will usually resolve itself if you increase your water and fluid intake and ensure you get enough salt. But if it persists, then, by all means, get out of ketosis by increasing your carb intake.

There you have it, very simple and easily usable tips on how to start right on your low carb diet which I’ve used myself.

One thing I’ve discovered that enabled me to stay so long on this diet and eventually became part of my lifestyle was that right from the beginning, I decided to change my entire lifestyle instead of just the diet. If you need help in starting on the low carb diet, please complete the contact form below or just simply email me at galen@fitandhealthybeyond50.com. I’ll be more than happy to help.

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Russia Might Ban Tobacco For Anyone Born After 2014

This article is shared with permission from our friends at IFL Science

By Tom Hale

Can Russia Kick The Deathly Habit?

Nearly half of Russia is hooked on cigarettes, with almost 40 percent of its 143-million-strong population regularly puffing away on tobacco products. But amidst recent pushes to kick the habit, Russia has suggested their most radical action yet.

The Russian Ministry of Health has proposed a new plan to ban the sale of tobacco to people born in 2015 onwards, according to a report seen by the Russian news site Izvestia. The ban could come into force by 2033. This means that smoking could someday be illegal for everyone in Russia.

The Russian Federation has followed with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and made huge steps to ban tobacco advertising, raise the tobacco tax, and prohibit smoking in public places since 2013. A poster that read “Smoking kills more people than Obama, although he kills lots and lots of people,” even turned up in a Moscow bus shelter early last year.

The drive has made a dent in the number of smokers, although old habits die hard. It’s still estimated that 12 percent of kids aged 15 smoke every day. Many others are turning to “smokeless” vaping.

If this legislation passes, it would be up there with some of the world’s most stringent. Bhutan in Asia is widely considered to have some of the harshest tobacco control laws in the world, where the cultivation, harvest, manufacture, supply, distribution, and sale of tobacco products is banned.

As for the wider world, 6 million people are killed by tobacco each year, 600,000 of which are non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke. Eighty percent of the world’s smokers remain in low- and middle-income countries.

[H/T: BBC Newsbeat]

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Breaking study: diet soda just as ineffective as regular soda for weight loss

This article is shared with permission from our friends at Medical News Today

From soft drinks to white bread, almost everything on the menu seems to contain sugar. Although “diet” drinks have been promoted as a healthful alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages, researchers now argue this is not the case.

There are currently numerous campaigns trying to raise awareness of the negative health effects of sugar, particularly on weight gain and obesity.

Sugar is highly pervasive in our diet. Approximately 75 percent of processed foods and drinks contain added sugar. Additionally, the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) has increased fivefold since the 1950s.

Numerous studies have pointed to a link between SSBs and cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.

The alternative to SSBs promoted by soft drink companies is the sugar-free, “diet” drink. These artificially sweetened beverages (ASBs) are said to be healthful and prevent weight gain. But researchers from Imperial College London in the United Kingdom argue otherwise.

Full-Sugar Vs. ‘Diet’ Drinks

A new commentary on existing ASB research and policy – published in the journal PLOS Medicine – argues that ASBs are just as ineffective in preventing weight loss as their full-sugar counterparts.

The commentary is a collaborative effort between Imperial College London, the University of Sao Paulo and the Federal University of Pelotas – both in Brazil – and Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

According to the authors, in the U.K., SSBs make up a third of the total sugar intake among teenagers. In Brazil, they are the second largest source of dietary sugar, and in the United States, SSBs account for almost half of the added sugar in Americans’ diet.

The researchers – led by Prof. Christopher Millett – argue that although SSBs are very high in calories, they contain almost no essential nutrients. Additionally, “convincing epidemiological evidence” has suggested that consuming SSBs increases the risk of being overweight or obese, as well as developing diabetes.

ASBs are becoming more and more popular as an alternative to harmful sugary drinks. By 2008, the number of American children consuming ASBs had doubled, compared with 1999.

Soft drinks, fruit juices, flavored water, and ready-to-drink coffee and tea are all artificially sweetened. Because they taste similar to their full-sugar counterparts and have none of their energy content, ASBs are perceived as healthful, as it is believed they do not trigger any energy compensation mechanisms.

Additionally, “taxes and regulation on SBS and not ASBs will ultimately promote the consumption of diet drinks rather than plain water – the desirable source of hydration for everyone,” mentions Prof. Carlos Monteiro, one of the authors of the review.

Diet Drinks a ‘Potential Risk Factor For Chronic Diseases’

However, researchers explain why the common perception of diet drinks might be wrong.

ASBs can still cause a compensatory mechanism by stimulating sweet taste receptors. This can, in turn, increase appetite and stimulate the secretion of gut hormones. Knowing that ASBs are low in calories might amplify these effects and lead to excessive consumption of other foods.

This chain reaction could lead to weight gain, obesity, and obesity-related complications.

In fact, Millett and team point out that several observational studies and meta-analyses have correlated ASBs with increased body mass index (BMI) and a higher risk of cardiometabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and stroke.

However, observational studies are vulnerable to so-called reverse causality – for example, people with obesity might tend to consume more ASBs because they are trying to control their weight, rather than the ASBs causing the weight gain themselves.

Even so, randomized controlled trials of ASBs have shown either no effect at all on weight loss or only minor reductions in weight.

The authors warn against the dangers of biased research and conflicting interests. They refer to a systematic review that has shown studies sponsored by beverage companies tend to report positive effects of ASB on weight management.

“The lack of solid evidence on the health effects of ASBs and the potential influence of bias from industry-funded studies should be taken seriously when discussing whether ASBs are adequate alternatives to SSBs,” says Dr. Maria Carolina Borges, first author of the new review.

Finally, while the evidence reviewed does not directly demonstrate that ASBs trigger weight gain or metabolic disorders, it does not show ASBs to be effective for weight loss either.

The authors conclude:

“The absence of evidence to support the role of ASBs in preventing weight gain and the lack of studies on other long-term effects on health strengthen the position that ASBs should not be promoted as part of a healthy diet.

Far from helping to solve the global obesity crisis, characteristics related to ASB composition […], consumption patterns […], and environmental impact make them a potential risk factor for highly prevalent chronic diseases.”

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8 toxic skincare ingredients linked to headaches, allergies and cancer – avoid at all costs!

This article is shared with permission from our friends at Natural Holistic Health

10 Skin Care Ingredients To Avoid

1. Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Paraben

Used as inhibitors of microbial growth and to extend the shelf life of products. Parabens have caused many allergic reactions and skin rashes. Studies have shown that they are weakly estrogenic and can be absorbed by the body through the skin (1). Widely used even though they are known to be toxic.

2. Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA)

Often used in cosmetics as emulsifiers and/or foaming agents. They can cause allergic reactions, eye irritation, and dryness of hair and skin. DEA and TEA are “amines” (ammonia compounds) and can form cancer-causing nitrosamines when they come in contact with nitrates. Toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period. (2)

3. Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea

These are widely used preservatives. The American Academy of Dermatology has found them to be a primary cause of contact dermatitis. Two trade names for these chemicals are Germall II and Germall 115.

Neither of the Germall chemicals contains an excellent antifungal agent, and they must be combined with other preservatives. Both these chemicals release formaldehyde, which can be toxic. (3)

4. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate

A cheap, harsh detergent used in shampoos for its cleansing and foam-building properties. Often derived from petroleum, it is frequently disguised in pseudo-natural cosmetics with the phrase “comes from coconuts.”

It causes eye irritation, scalp scurf similar to dandruff, skin rashes and other allergic reactions. (4)

5. Petrolatum

Also known as petroleum jelly, this mineral oil derivative is used for its emollient properties in cosmetics. It has no nutrient value for the skin and can interfere with the body’s own natural moisturizing mechanism, leading to dryness and chapping.

It often creates the very conditions it claims to alleviate. Manufacturers use petrolatum because it is unbelievably cheap.(5)

6. Propylene Glycol

Ideally, this is a vegetable glycerin mixed with grain alcohol, both of which are natural. Usually, it is a synthetic petrochemical mix used as a humectant. It has been known to cause allergic reactions like skin irritation and hives. (6)

When you see PEG (polyethylene glycol) or PPG (polypropylene glycol) on labels, beware these are related synthetics.

7. Stearalkonium Chloride

A quaternary ammonium compound used in hair conditioners and creams. Developed by the fabric industry as a fabric softener, it is a lot cheaper and easier to use in hair conditioning formulas than proteins or herbals, which are beneficial to the hair. Causes allergic reactions. Toxic. (7)

Make your own Fabric Softener – click here!

8. Synthetic Fragrances

The synthetic fragrances used in cosmetics can have as many as 200 ingredients. There is no way to know what the chemicals are since on the label it will simply read “fragrance.”

Some problems caused by these chemicals include headaches, dizziness, rash, hyperpigmentation, violent coughing, vomiting, skin irritation, the list goes on.

Advice: Don’t buy a cosmetic that has the word “fragrance” on the ingredients label. Learn more about how to make good choices about scented products here.

Natural Alternatives to Toxic Products

For creative ways to substitute store-bought cosmetic products for natural ones, check out these articles:

DIY Magnesium Lotion

DIY Perfume Recipe

Coconut Oil Hair Mousse

Natural Hair Dyes

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Your sore throat isn’t going away because you haven’t done these 9 things

This article is shared with permission from our friends at Natural Holistic Health.

There are all types of reasons why you might experience a sore throat. The one thing that you do know is that it is not comfortable. Before you leave and spend money on over-the-counter drugs, consider how you can aid yourself at home.

9 Ways To Heal A Sore Throat

sore throat

Here are some ways that you may set about healing your problem the old-fashioned way.

1. Gargle

The throat might be irritated because it is dried-out. Try gargling with salt water. While you gargle focus on the rear of your throat (without coughing).

The mixture will comfort a rough, dry mouth and throat. Repeat every 60 minutes as required. Many gargle with water that has cayenne powder added. The spiciness in the gargle can numb the throat. (You can read more about health uses for cayenne here).

2. Drink a Lot of Fluids

Dealing with a sore throat can often lead to dehydration, especially when the pain discourages us from talking, eating, or opening our mouths at all. But staying hydrated is crucial for reducing irritation and helping our bodies fight infection. Consume a lot of water, non-caffeinated tea, other no-sugar-added drinks.

3. Honey

A tablespoonful of honey every day may help relieve irritation and pain by coating and calming the throat. It likewise features antibiotic properties.

4. Flush Your Sinuses

A sore throat may be caused by thick mucus secretions that are affiliated with a cold, flu or a sinus infection. Flushing the sinuses helps to dilute these secretions and then they can pass through and out. You can buy a Neti Pot from here.

5. Tea

Something warm on the throat might help alleviate the anguish. Sample a cupful of your preferred herbal tea with a little bit of fresh lemon juice (ginger, chamomile, and echinacea tea are excellent choices for a sore throat).

6. Add Moisture to The Air

Employing a warm air or cool mist humidifier might keep the air hydrated. Dry air can irritate a raw throat. Adding moisture perks up things.

7. Change Air Filters

Occasionally, sore throats may develop from irritants in the air. Most people are surprised to find out how much air pollution exists indoors (you can read more about it here). Replace the air filter every 3 months to guarantee that there’s a lower incidence of dust mites, dander, lint and dirt in the air.

8. Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid is powdered vitamin C. This might help step-up your immunity to things such as sore throats. You can take 1/4 tsp in juice 3 to 4 times per day while ill. Natural sources of vitamin C include:

  • orange juice (of course)

  • kiwis

  • strawberries

  • bell peppers

  • brussel sprouts

  • tomatoes

  • cilantro, thyme, basil and parsley

9. Garlic and Zinc

Also supplementing with garlic (either a good supplement or simply cut up a clove into pill-sized pieces and swallow as you would a pill) and zinc, being a key nutrient to support your immune system, can also help you fight infection and recover more quickly. Garlic has been proven to have antibacterial properties against several types of infections including strep throat (2009 research review).

The post Your sore throat isn’t going away because you haven’t done these 9 things appeared first on The Hearty Soul.

Scientists Find Fluoride Causes Hypothyroidism Leading To Depression, Weight Gain, and Worse…

Source: Scientists Find Fluoride Causes Hypothyroidism Leading To Depression, Weight Gain, and Worse… For more content like this visit REALfarmacy.com.

by JULIE WILSON The tables are finally starting to turn in regard to the perception that the world has of water fluoridation following the release of at least two reputable studies over the past three years documenting the adverse health effects caused by the chemical. Researchers from the University of Kent, a public research university […]

Source: Scientists Find Fluoride Causes Hypothyroidism Leading To Depression, Weight Gain, and Worse… Learn more at REALfarmacy.com – Healthy News and Information.