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Fitness Finds
February 2015

Locate the Best Workout Space for You

best-workout-spacesSix years ago, Sherry Salmons, of Oak Ridge, Illinois, was perplexed by her “glowing, smiling, energetic” neighbor that worked full time while raising three young children, yet never seemed drained. Finally, she asked: “What’s your secret?” The answer was a life-changing visit by Salmons to a nearby holistic fitness studio.

Lucking into good recommendations can whittle down the multitude of choices available at 32,000 U.S. health clubs and studios, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. With the dual trends of niche studios and low-cost fitness centers fueling a diverse burst in workout options, club-seekers should apply their sleuthing skills before deciding on something that can prove so pivotal to their health.

 
Large Study Expands View of Sodium Intake
February 2015

Too Little Salt Shown to be Dangerous, Too

low-sodiumDietary Guidelines for Americans, published by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, recommends that people 50 years old and younger keep their sodium intake lower than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day, while those over 50 keep sodium ingestion below 1,500 mg. However, a large international study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals a different story.

Measuring levels of sodium and potassium excreted in the urine of 101,945 people between 35 and 70 years old from 17 low, middle and high-income countries, Canadian scientists found that consuming less than 3,000 mg of sodium per day was associated with a 77 percent increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Consuming between 3,000 and 6,000 mg of sodium daily was linked to lower risks of both cardiovascular disease and earlier mortality, while consuming more than 7,000 mg daily was associated with a 54 percent increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

The researchers added that current guidelines for sodium consumption have been based upon shorter studies that showed only modest results. They also determined that daily consumption of 1,500-plus mg of potassium related to a significantly reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and earlier mortality. Consuming less than 1,500 mg was linked to increased risk.

 
Eco-Fireplace Tips
February 2015

Best Ways to Enjoy Greener Indoor and Outdoor Fires

eco-firewoodOur inclination to position ourselves near fire is a year-round lure nationwide. Yet, the traditional ingredient in both indoor fireplaces in the north and outdoor fire pits in the south should give shivers to the eco-minded. In addition to causing considerable air pollution, wood smoke contains carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and fine particulates that can aggravate asthma, allergies and other health conditions.

Eco-friendly firelogs—many made of recycled biomass products like compressed wood sawdust, ground nutshells and other ingredients—provide low-emission and petroleum-free alternatives to cordwood. According to GreenAmerica.org, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends manufactured logs over wood to cut air pollutants. Major manufacturers noted byApartmentTherapy.com include Java, which uses coffee grounds; Energy Log briquettes made from recycled mill waste; and TerraCycle, ShredMaster Ltd. and CleanFlame, all of which use recycled and repurposed cardboard. In addition to producing greater heat, some of these logs even produce a natural crackling sound without throwing sparks.

 
Legumes, Nuts and Corn Cut Risk of Breast Cancer
January 2015

Foods That Protect

legumesA Harvard Medical School study concluded that eating more peanut butter, corn, nuts and beans, including lentils and soybeans, during adolescence significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer later on.

The researchers followed 9,039 young women that were between 9 and 15 years old when the study started in 1996, having the subjects complete diet questionnaires every year through 2001, and also in 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2010. When the women were ages 18 to 30, the number of benign breast diseases that had developed was recorded. The statistics associated a daily serving of nuts and legumes at age 14 with a 66 percent reduction in the risk of developing breast cancer. Just a single serving of peanut butter once every three days at the age of 11 was associated with a 44 percent reduction of breast cancer risk. Intake of at least one serving of corn every three days was correlated with a 39 percent reduction in the disease.

Earlier studies by Harvard researchers found that eating pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, soybeans, tofu and other vegetable fats also reduces breast cancer risk.

 
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