Get Moving! Here’s What You Need to Know About Running Safely  

It is very important to stay healthy, especially during the pandemic. In order to strengthen our immune system, we need to keep our bodies moving. Daily activity and oxygen is the key to enhancing our wellbeing. We recommend that you take up a solo outdoor activity and maintain social distancing. One of the best options is running. Since many gyms are closed and summer is here, a quick run in your neighborhood or a secluded area is an excellent way to maintain your fitness. However, you need to take some precautions to avoid the spread of the virus.

Why run outdoors?

Running may not be everyone’s go-to exercise, but in these circumstances, it is the best option to keep moving. You don’t need teammates or other people. You don’t use any equipment. And you get fresh air. Running is good for both your physical health and psychological wellbeing. Here are some benefits of running outdoors:

  • Blood flow and white blood cell circulation increases, strengthening your immune response.
  • It reduces stress by lowering cortisol hormones in your body.
  • You’ll get vitamin D by running outdoors.
  • Running outside will clear your mind.
  • It will strengthen your cardiovascular and lung health.
  • It can help you to reach your healthy body weight.

Related: How to Not Gain Weight During the Coronavirus Lockdown

Get Moving! Here’s What You Need to Know About Running Safely  

Is it safe?

If you are running alone in an isolated area, it is perfectly safe to run outside. When you are alone, you don’t share any objects with other people. This will limit the spread of the virus and keep you isolated. By avoiding other people, you’ll avoid the droplets that disperse when someone sneezes or coughs. You will also strengthen your immune system by getting 30 minutes of daily activity. Just keep in mind that you should stay home and rest if you are not feeling well.

Here are some simple tips you can follow for running safely:

  • Exercise outside during non-peak times.
  • If you have the chance, choose secluded running routes such as trails or forest paths instead of a crowded park or sidewalk. This will help you maintain social distancing.
  • Always have your mask with you and don’t take it off unless you are running in an isolated area.
  • Don’t touch any public-use equipment.
  • Be sure to leave plenty of space between you and the person running ahead of you so you won’t come into contact with any droplets they left behind.
  • Pay attention to local information and warnings.
  • Start slowly if you are new to running to avoid injuries. 

Get Moving! Here’s What You Need to Know About Running Safely  

Do you need to wear a mask?

It is necessary to wear a mask if you are running in public or in a non-isolated area. However, if you are running alone in a forest or on a trail, it is not necessary. Ten to twelve feet of distance from other people will allow you to run safely. You should keep a longer distance than the usual advised social distancing length because runners breathe heavier, and this breath cloud may contain virus particles. Be sure to keep your mask with you in all situations. There are several things to keep in mind while using a mask:

  • Carry a double-layered mask with you even if you are running in a secluded place and use it in the presence of people.
  • Don’t use a mask that prevents you from breathing.
  • Avoid touching your face and mask as much as possible.
  • The purpose of the mask is to protect other people.
  • Using a mask properly can sometimes be difficult. Check WHO’s website for guidance. 

Get Moving! Here’s What You Need to Know About Running Safely  

What is the effect on overall health?

Exercising has many physical benefits, such as enhancing lung and heart health. In addition, being active will keep you fit and help strengthen your immune system. Another positive aspect of running is that it is an effective way to maintain your psychological health. Daily activity is an excellent way to start your day and stay motivated. Running daily will also increase the secretion of endorphins, which will reduce the chances of anxiety or depression, helping you feel happier and more positive. 

What do I do when I get home?

One of the most important times is when you get back home after your run. You want to avoid bringing the virus into your home. Here are some tips to return home safely:

  • Take your shoes off and leave them at the door.
  • Wash your face and hands at least for 20 seconds.
  • Disinfect your phone with wipes containing at least 70% alcohol.
  • Change your clothes. We also advise you to wash your hands again after touching your clothes.
  • Take a shower.

Get Moving! Here’s What You Need to Know About Running Safely  

Running outside during this time may take a little more planning, but it can be done. If you follow these instructions, it is both safe and healthy to run outdoors. We recommend that you run according to your physical condition and avoid overexertion, but you will still get many benefits from your run. The fresh air will help improve your psychological health, and the exercise can help you reach your healthy weight. In addition, you will strengthen your immune system as well as boost your lung and cardiovascular health. So what are you waiting for? Let’s go for a run!

 

Related: How Do We Protect Our Mental Health While the Pandemic Continues?

 

8 Proven Health Benefits of Avocados

Avocados have become an indispensable addition to our diets in the last few years. But many people still wonder whether it’s fruit or fat. It has an extremely high-fat content but isn’t sweet like many fruits. 

Avocado is a fruit that has a dark green outer shell, a light green interior, and a large seed in the middle. It has a rich, creamy flavor that ranges from slightly sweet to mildly earthy, depending on the type. They originated in Mexico before being cultivated in Central and South America. Avocados are now grown in tropical and Mediterranean climates around the world and are recognized for their nutritional value. So what are the benefits of avocados?

8 Proven Health Benefits of Avocados

Lots of Vitamins and Minerals

Avocados are loaded with nutrients. They contain at least 20 different vitamins and minerals as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Just 100 grams of avocado meets a significant amount of the daily recommended intake of the following nutrients:

  •       Vitamin K: 26%
  •       Folic Acid: 20%
  •       Vitamin C: 17%
  •       Vitamin B5: 14%
  •       Potassium: 14%
  •       Vitamin B6: 13%
  •       Vitamin E: 10%

Avocados also contain magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamin A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin).

High in Potassium

Potassium is crucial for our bodies Unfortunately, many people do not get enough of it from their daily diets. That’s where avocados can help.. A 100-gram serving meets 14 percent of your daily potassium requirement. Getting enough of this vital nutrient lowers blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease. Being high in potassium is an important benefit of avocados. 

Contain Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

Avocados have a high-fat content, but that’s no reason to avoid them. The fats they contain are oleic fatty acids, which are also found in olive oil. Oleic fatty acids are monounsaturated and are beneficial for health. They reduce inflammation and help protect against some cancers.

Another benefit of avocados is that they are rich in fiber

High in Fiber

Another benefit of avocados is that they are rich in fiber. Fiber can assist with weight loss, regulate blood sugar, support bowel movements, and increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Each 100-gram serving contains seven grams of fiber, which constitutes 27 percent of the recommended daily fiber consumption.  

Reduce Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

Heart disease is one of the most common causes of death in the world. Avocados can be beneficial when it comes to this issue. They help to lower the level of bad cholesterol in the blood while increasing good cholesterol. Studies show that they can reduce triglycerides by up to 20 percent and LDL (bad) cholesterol by up to 22 percent while raising the HDL (good) cholesterol level by up to 11 percent.

Increase Nutrient Absorption

Eating nutritious food isn’t enough to get the nutrients into the body. Nutrients need help so they can be absorbed. Some foods are absorbed by dissolving in the water while others are oil soluble. The high-fat content found in avocados can facilitate the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K and allow the body to use them efficiently.

Protect Eye Health

Protect Eye Health

In addition to aiding in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, avocados simplify the absorption of antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and carotenoids, which are carried by these vitamins.

These antioxidant components are beneficial for eye health.

Help to Lose Weight

If you’re having trouble losing weight, adding avocados in your diet may help. Studies show that people who include avocados in their daily diet stay satiated 23 percent longer than those who don’t. Although we tend to avoid consuming fats while trying to lose weight, they actually may help due to their long digestion time. This helps you feel fuller for longer. The fiber in avocados may also aid in weight loss as it regulates digestion.

Avocado is a fruit that is both delicious and beneficial for health. So how can you add avocado to your daily diet?

8 Proven Health Benefits of Avocados

You can add slices or use it in a dressing for your salads. The vitamins and minerals will add nutrients and the fat will extend your satiety time. Here is a simple dressing recipe to help you get started.

  •       ½ avocado
  •       1 teaspoon olive oil
  •       1 tablespoon lemon juice
  •       1/4 clove of garlic
  •       pinch of dill

Mix all ingredients in a bowl or blend in a food processor until smooth. Drizzle over salad and enjoy!

Avocados also make great snacks. Slice an avocado, then top with a little salt and pepper to help tide you over. Mash it into a paste, spread on toast, and add an egg on top for a quick and yummy breakfast. Avocados can even be made into a great cocoa pudding by adding in some cocoa, honey, walnuts, and a little herbal milk – a delicious and nutritious dessert.  

No single food is a “magic bullet”, but avocados come pretty close. Adding them to a balanced diet will help you take advantage of their many benefits of avocados.

 

Related: Vegetarianism: Why Are Plant Based Diets on the Rise?

 

 What You Need to Know About Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections, most commonly referred to as UTIs, are infections in any part of the urinary system, including your kidneys, bladder, urethra, and even your ureters. The most common UTIs are in the bladder and the urethra. UTIs are usually described as uncomfortable and annoying as they make it uncomfortable to urinate and give people the constant urge that they have to urinate, even when they don’t. UTIs are not uncommon in people, however, they should be taken seriously and people should know the basics of what a UTI is.

Some people are more prone to bladder infections than others, and some UTIs are more serious than others. In order to prevent, treat, and understand UTIs, it’s important that you know the answer to some frequently asked questions. Here is what you need to know about UTIs.

What Are the Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infections?

What Are the Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection?

UTIs can go undetected for quite a while, or sometimes they can cause irritating, painful, and uncomfortable symptoms. The most common symptoms of a UTI include:

  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Urine that appears cloudy
  • Urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-colored — a sign of blood in the urine
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain, in women — especially in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should go to a doctor right away in order to get treatment to make the pain/discomfort go away and to stop it before it turns into a kidney infection.

Who and How Can I Get a UTI?

Who and How Can I Get a UTI?

UTIs are caused when bacteria enters the urinary tract through the urethra. Both men and women can get UTIs, however, UTIs are most common in women and it will typically affect her bladder and urethra. However, men over the age of 70 are the second demographic that is at the most risk because they sometimes have trouble emptying their bladders. An expert from a senior living community in NJ said that she has seen this with residents. Likewise, people of all ages can get UTIs.

UTIs can be caused by a number of different things such as:

  • Sexual intercourse, especially if more frequent, intense, and with multiple or new partners
  • Diabetes
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Problems emptying the bladder completely
  • Having a urinary catheter
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Blocked flow of urine
  • Kidney stones
  • Some forms of contraception
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Procedures involving the urinary tract
  • Suppressed immune system
  • Immobility for a long period

Importance of Drinking Water

How Can I Prevent a UTI?

It’s important to be as proactive as possible when it comes to preventing a UTI. Not only are urinary tract infections painful and uncomfortable, but they can also lead to kidney infections, increased risk of delivering a premature baby, and septicemia (bacteria in the blood). Some easy and precautionary ways you can prevent a UTI include:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Urinate often
  • Don’t hold it
  • Keep your genital area clean
  • Empty your bladder before and after sex

Another outstanding way to prevent a UTI is by using a urine tracking app called Vivoo. This easy to use tool requires you to urinate on a test strip, scan it using the app on your mobile phone, and from there, will give you lifestyle and health recommendations and suggestions. This is an outstanding technology that may change the way that people prevent UTIs.

Does Vivoo Really Work?

The answer is yes! Vivoo is an app like no other and provides quality and trustworthy results to ensure that anyone who is using it is getting accurate results. Vivvo’s goal is to keep users healthy and to help them be proactive when it comes to UTIs and overall health and wellness. Vivoo will provide results for 10 different things :

  1. Wellness
  2. Water
  3.  pH
  4. Immunity
  5. Kidney
  6. Liver
  7. UTI
  8.  Ketone

Learn Your Body's Needs with Home Urine Test Strips - Vivoo

In fact, one of our writers used Vivoo to understand how exactly it worked and to reap the benefits of this innovative health technology. Her results are as follows:

– Wellness: Moderate6.8/10

– Water: Dehydration2/10

– pH: Acidic 2/10

– Immunity: Great10/10

– Kidney: Great10/10

– Liver: Great10/10

– UTI: No Risk10/10

– Ketone: Great10/10

She says she was pleasantly surprised with the results and is happy that she sees areas where she can improve in order to aid in her overall physical wellbeing. She added that she would recommend this to a friend in a heartbeat as this may be the future of UTI prevention.

Urinary Tract Infection

What are the Treatments?

If you do in fact end up contracting a UTI, don’t worry, there are a handful of simple treatments that you can do before you have to worry about the infection turning into something more serious.

Depending on the severity of your UTI, you may want antibiotics that you can get after going to your doctor. In addition to antibiotics, some treatments include:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids; being hydrated will help you flush out bad bacteria
  • Increase your vitamin C intake; vitamin C will kill bacteria and will help prevent any future UTIs
  • Take a probiotic; this will help your body regulate the good bacteria in your body
  • Drink unsweetened cranberry juice; cranberry juice will get rid of bad bacteria in your body

Understanding UTIs

It’s important that you understand UTI’s. Whether you are suffering from a UTI, or are taking preventative measures against one, it’s best that you understand what is going on in your body. If you think you may have one, call your doctor, and be sure to practice some of the above preventative measures.

 

Related: Making Your Urine More Alkaline Naturally

 

How Much of Your Body is Water? 

Without question, water is the number one essential need to survive. Nearly 60% of your body is water, and this amount ranges from 45% to 75%, depending on your physiological properties and daily habits. Although this water is not stable, it is lost and gained many times throughout the day. During this dynamic cycle, water is lost during urination and sweating and regained by your daily liquid and food consumption. In order to maintain the balance, there is a certain amount of water you should drink every day.

Water in Our Bodies

In the body, 73% of the brain and heart, 83% of lungs, 64% of skin, 31% of bones, and 79% of muscles and kidneys are composed of water. For these organs to survive, the water amount should remain in balance, but how much water do you have in your body? This number varies according to age, gender, environment, and body mass. The lean mass has more water than fat tissues, which is why the water percentage in your body changes related to your lean tissue mass and gender. Also, the climate that you live in determines your water loss by evaporation, so the environment is another factor that changes your water consumption. The average adult man is 60% water, with woman at 55% water, due to their differences in natural fatty tissue amounts. Infants are 75% and children are 65% water. They lose some of it as they grow up.

Water in Your Body

In order to keep homeostasis of the body, water intake and water loss should be balanced. Water in your body is primarily obtained from the digestive tract and lost by excretion in urine. Other than these two major mechanisms, sweating evaporates water from the skin, and lungs breathe out some water during respiration. Also, cases such as vomiting and diarrhea can cause a big reduction in the water in your body. 

Water in your body also contains mineral salts, like potassium and sodium, and the water and electrolyte balance work together. When you eat salty food, sodium levels elevate and your body makes you thirsty, causing you to drink water to balance your electrolytes and water, and vice versa. When water is high and sodium is low, kidneys release more water into the urine, excreting the excess water to keep the balance. 

Things Water Does in Your Body

  • A building material and key nutrient of cells
  • Metabolizes and transports carbohydrates and proteins
  • Balances internal body temperature by respiration and sweating
  • Excretes waste materials via urine
  • Lubricates joints and supports their movement
  • Forms saliva and mucus to keep mouth, eyes, and nose moist
  • Enhances skin health

How Much of Your Body is Water? 

  • Supports bowel movements
  • Balances blood pressure
  • Absorbs shock to protect the brain, spinal cord, organs, and fetus
  • Dissolves minerals, some nutrients, and soluble vitamins
  • Works as a transporter and carries nutrients and oxygen to cells 

Vivoo’s Water box is designed to assess the user’s hydration status and give comprehensible insights. It shows how hydrated you are and gives suggestions about:

  • How much water your body needs daily.
  • How to reach the optimal hydrated state if you are either dehydrated or overhydrated.
  • What you can do to stay hydrated
  • How to maintain your body’s electrolyte balance

How much water should you drink? 

You lose water during your daily routine while urinating, breathing, and sweating. You should take in the same amount (or more) of water to sustain the balance. When the water in your body goes down too much due to these body functions, your body is dehydrated. When you lose 2% of the water in your body, you feel thirsty, and this causes some reduction in performance.

How Much of Your Body is Water? 

It may lead to a foggy mind, difficulty concentrating, mood changes, constipation, or kidneys stones. Try to drink water before you feel thirsty, and make it a habit to drink water regularly. On average, suggested water consumption for adult men is 3.7 liters and for adult women is 2.7 liters. However, if you exercise regularly, have high lean tissue, and live in a dry hot environment, you should drink more water than average. Good news, though. You don’t just get water from liquids. The food you consume also has water, especially fruits and vegetables, supplying some of the water your body needs.

Signs of Dehydration

When the amount of water in your body drops below a certain point, the body signals you to drink water. You feel thirsty after you are active, or during hot and dry weather, because your body loses water by sweating. Actually, your body is dehydrated even before you feel thirsty. Some symptoms of dehydration are:

  • Feeling tired
  • Urinating less frequently than normal and having orange or darker urine
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion 

In order to prevent these symptoms, you should make a daily habit of drinking water. Start this habit by drinking water after you wake up, before meals, and before sleep.

How Much of Your Body is Water? 

Benefits of Drinking Water

After you increase your water intake, you’ll recognize some changes in your body that might include:

  • Losing weight easier and increased metabolism
  • You will feel more energetic and your physical performance will elevate
  • Brain gets more oxygen and brain functions to improve, you concentrate easier
  • Wrinkle and acne formation slows down
  • Reduces the chance of injuries and cramps
  • Bowel movement becomes more regular

Water in Your Body

Tips to Increase the Water in Your Body

  • Carry a water bottle with you and keep it in your sight.
  • Keep track of your water consumption by apps or labeled bottles, and set daily water intake goals.
  • Set reminders on your smartphone or agenda.
  • Drink different fluids, such as tea, milk, unsweetened juices, or smoothies.
  • Include soup in your weekly meal plan. 
  • Avoid sugary drinks, such as soda, alcohol, and sweetened juices.
  • Add lemon, lime, cinnamon or fresh fruits to your water for a different taste.
  • Consume foods that have high water content such as spinach, watermelon, cucumber, green pepper, celery, radish, berries, and cauliflower.

 

Related: What is Vivoo Water Box?

 

10 Fun Things to Do at Home

 Many people are stuck at home since Covid-19 has emerged. We’re all bored and sometimes the idea of being stuck in the same environment makes us feel more depressed. But just because we are physically stuck at home doesn’t mean that we have to be stuck psychologically. We can use this time not only for working online but also for trying fun things that we didn’t have not enough time for before.

Here are 10 fun things that you can do at home.

1. Decorate Your Home

Each of us has a kind of design taste. Some of us are keen on boho-style decorations while others like Scandinavian decoration at home. But the hardest thing is to find the time in our busy daily schedules to reorganize or redecorate our homes. Thanks to Covid-19, many of us have a lot of spare time nowadays, and this may be the chance to design our homes to suit our own tastes.

It may seem irrelevant since we are stuck at home to protect ourselves and the others, but we can also have fun with some decorative activities. We might not buy new furniture, but changing its location can be one way to enjoy our time at home.

10 Fun Things to Do at Home     

Painting the walls is another method of changing things up. We’re lucky to have so many amazing design ideas available on Pinterest when it comes to home decor. Pinterest can be your guide to redesigning your space, and this activity can definitely change the atmosphere and your mood as well. Explore a new color scheme or paint an accent wall with a bright color. Shop online for new home accessories or use what you have to create a warm and inviting space where you love spending time.

2. Travel with Google Earth

We’ve all started to plan the places we want to go once the pandemic is over. Until then, traveling around the world without paying any money can be another fun thing to do at home. Google Earth uses geographic data on a 3D globe to allow anyone to explore new locales using their web browser. Just spin the globe, pin your guy in the city or country you want to see, and zoom in to take a tour.

3. Try a New Haircut

If you’ve never had the courage to try an edgy new haircut or an off-beat hair color, this is the best time to give it a go. Shaving a beard or hair, growing a mustache, or dyeing your hair a unique color during this time will give you the opportunity to try a new look but still limit your exposure if you decide it’s not for you.

Marie Kondo-ing

 4. Marie Kondo-ing

Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant, and her books have been sold all around the world. The main idea of her “Konmari method” is to allow people to live with the items they cherish while passing on those that don’t inspire joy. And if Konmari isn’t for you, there are several other organization methods that can be used to tidy up your living space. If you are interested in organizing and decluttering the things you don’t need, trying Marie Kondo’s method could be a great way to reorganize your home and have some fun, too.

5. Join a Digital Sports Class

Although we’re trying to pay attention to our nutrition while being stuck at home, many of us are gaining weight. Even if you can’t go out, practicing a sport you like may be helpful in boosting your metabolism. Many yoga, pilates, and Zumba. studios are now giving online group classes or you can try one-to-one lessons as well. YouTube also has a variety of workout videos that can be done at home with little space and no equipment.

10 Fun Things to Do at Home     

6. Draw and Paint

If you’re really bored or have lost your motivation, why not let your creative juices flow? Drawing or painting can be a fun and artistic way to spend your time at home. Whether you think you’re talented or not, there are many different types of expressive art that you can try.. A search of YouTube can bring up hundreds of watercolor, oil, and acrylic painting tutorials. If creating from scratch isn’t your thing, you might want to try coloring books to explore new color combinations. With books being produced especially for adults, coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. And research has shown that coloring mandalas not only entertains us but helps us achieve a greater state of relaxation as well.

7. Instagram Your Hobbies

Now is definitely the time to use social media as a means of socializing. There are different ways to use Instagram to communicate with people you have never met before. Although it’s a tool for sharing photos and videos, you can use it to share your hobbies as well. You can create your own hobby account and then share it with the world. Who knows, maybe your hobby will be your future business.

Instagram Your Hobbies

8. Indoor Gardening

We may live far away from nature in a high-rise building or be lucky enough to have a small garden outside our door. Even if you think your home doesn’t have a suitable space, that doesn’t mean you can’t create a garden of your own. If you don’t have the time or motivation to raise a plant, now might be the time to give it a try. There are many indoor plants that require minimal space, are easy to keep alive, and don’t even need a lot of sunlight. No matter what your skill level, there is a plant just for you. Your indoor garden is about to become a reality. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

9. Design Your Website or Portfolio

This might be the time for you to review your website or portfolio. With so much going on in our daily lives, we rarely find the time to perform these tasks. If you don’t have a website of your own, now is your opportunity to build one. There are tons of how-to videos on YouTube, or you can use free website builders as well.

10 Fun Things to Do at Home     

 10. Learn a language

Always wanted to learn a foreign language but never had the time? Maybe you started to learn one before but never have a chance to practice it. Since we’re all stuck at home and can’t socialize physically, this could be a good chance for you to try again. Thanks to the internet and numerous apps that have been built just for learning different languages, it’s never been easier to start attaining that goal. If you don’t know where to start, here is a quick guide to get you motivated.

This shortlist of 10 fun things to do at home can be used as a starting point, but there are many other things that you can do as well. But don’t feel pressured to be productive all the time. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when stuck at home and feel the need to keep busy Do not forget that doing nothing and enjoying the present is also the best activity.

 

Related: Tips for Meeting Your Vitamin D Needs While Indoors

 

Making Your Urine More Alkaline Naturally  

The pH scale is used to indicate the acidity or alkalinity of a liquid. While 7.0 pH indicates neutral, values lower than 7.0 are acidic and those higher than 7.0 are alkaline. The fluids in our bodies also have a wide range of acidity related to their functions. For example, the pH of the stomach ranges from 1.3 to 3.5, while the skin and vagina are between 4.0 and6.5. The pH value of urine can be between 4.5 and 8.0, and values in this range are considered to be normal urine pH levels. 

Optimal pH Value of Urine 

When we look at the kidneys, we see that they work as a filter to neutralize the blood pH from acids and alkalies and keep the blood pH between 7.35 and 7.45. Excess water, salt, electrolytes, and chemicals are excreted, which makes the urine a good indicator of overall health. 

An optimal urine pH is generally between 6.0 and 7.0. The American Association for Clinical Chemistry determines the average value of urine pH to be 6.0. As we mentioned in our Vivoo pH box blog, the daily nutritional consumption directly affects the acidity or alkalinity of your urine. Values lower than 7.0 are acidic, and values higher than 7.0 are alkaline. Generally, people tend to have more acidic urine due to their eating habits. 

Vivoo pH box - normal urine ph

Having the optimal pH balance is critical for the peak performance of hundreds of enzymes in our bodies. If your urine is acidic, adding more alkalizing foods to your diet will have a significant benefit to your health. Remember that it is important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Acidifying foods:

  • Grains
  • Soda
  • Protein-rich foods
  • Foods high in sugar
  • Fish

Alkalizing foods:

  • Most vegetables
  • Most fruits
  • Nuts
  • Herbs

Water consumption, exercise, kidney health, diseases, and medications also can change the pH of your urine. 

veganism

A lower than optimal urine pH can be indicated by the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Diarrhea
  • Starvation
  • Dehydration
  • Kidney stones

A higher than optimal urine pH can cause the following issues:

  • Vomiting
  • Kidney stones
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Kidney-related disease
  • Asthma

Why You Should Track Urine pH

Urine tests can give critical information about your overall health, showing whether you are living a healthy lifestyle or not. Protein intake, glucose intake, hydration, alcohol consumption, and exercise can affect your kidney function. With Vivoo strips,  you can test your urine and get more precise information and nutritional recommendations to have a more balanced urine pH.

Making Your Urine More Alkaline Naturally  

Why Make Urine More Alkaline

Changing your diet can cause urine pH to become less acidic, which can help support a healthy bladder. High acidity can lead to weakened body functions, causing inflammation, digestion problems, joint aches, muscle and bone loss, weight gain, sugar cravings, and brain fog. You can try these natural methods to make your urine more alkaline.

  1. Avoid alcohol and coffee.
  2. Reduce your red meat consumption.
  3. Increase hydration.
  4. Boost vegetable intake.
  5. Consume fewer fatty foods.

Keep in mind that these are general suggestions, and these foods can have different effects on different people. You can try a Vivoo test to get more personalized nutritional and lifestyle advice.

 

Related: Vivoo pH Box

 

What Is The Impact of Social Media? Positive & Negative Effects

Social Media Day is observed every year on June 30th. It was launched by Mashable in 2010. This day’s main purpose is to recognize social media’s impact on global communication and to bring the world together to celebrate it.

Social media is a way of communicating. It’s how people interact and share things with their family, friends, and the world in a simple and fast way. Moreover, it has become a big part of our lives and many of us use it every day.

Social Media Day: What Is The Impact of Social Media? Positive & Negative Effects

3 Facts About Social Media

  1. Young adults spend more time using social media than doing any other activity. 
  2. Sixty-five percent of all American adults and 90% of young adults in the U.S. now use social networking sites.
  3. According to a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine report, the participants who spent the most time on social media throughout the day had 2.2 times the risk of reporting eating and body image concerns, compared to their peers who spent less time on social media.

Effect of Social Media on Our Eating Habits and Diet 

Around 40% of the world’s population spends an average of two hours every day using social media. With social media playing such a big part in our lives, how does it affect our well-being and eating habits? Does it trigger emotions like anxiety, stress, depression, low self-esteem, and loneliness? Or does it make us feel better about ourselves and the world around us?

Social Media Day: What Is The Impact of Social Media? Positive & Negative Effects

Did you know that the most-liked photo on Instagram is an egg, and pizza is the most Instagrammed food? Food is a big part of social media. Moreover, it’s nearly impossible to scroll through any feed without seeing pictures of food, recipes, and food-related videos. Have you ever wondered how all of this exposure to food affects your eating habits?

Related: A Guide to Intuitive Eating

Positive Impacts of Social Media

Social media can have many positive effects on our eating behaviors.

  • It can give you the opportunity to reach out to anyone. For example, you can connect with life coaches, doctors, or dietitians via direct messages.
  • Social media helps us express ourselves through what we cook or eat.
  • It makes us creative and allows us to share with other people.
  • Viewing social media inspires and motivates us to try new things.
  • It gives us easy access to healthy recipes.
  • We can learn more about nutrition and diet from social media.

Social Media Day: What Is The Impact of Social Media? Positive & Negative Effects

  • It can be a great way to relax, which can also be positive for your mental health and well-being.
  • Social media helps us to find other people like ourselves. This can be especially important for people who are dealing with eating disorders or body image issues as it allows them to build a community.
  • It can connect you with similar people, which can make you feel accepted and support you emotionally.

Negative Impacts of Social Media

There can also be some negative effects of social media on our eating behaviors.

  • Social media is directly associated with negative body image and the idealization of thinness, which is associated with eating disorders.
  • You can experience bullying or harassment about your body image on social media.

Negative Impacts of Social Media

  • Inactivity caused by excessive viewing of social media can increase body weight, which can lead to obesity. Studies show that television viewing time is positively associated with BMI (Body Mass Index).
  • If you compare yourself to social media models, it can make you feel inadequate and lower your self-esteem.
  • It may increase the use of laxatives, diet pills, or diuretics to lose or control weight.
  • Social media can take over your world and distance you from real-life and in-person communication.
  • Not all online information is true. It is easy to be misled by false information found on social media.

Positive Impacts of Social Media

  • Staying online instead of doing other important things like eating, sleeping, spending time with others, or exercising can have a negative impact on your health.
  • Social media can lead to feelings of depression or anxiety, which can cause emotional eating

Conclusion

Social media makes our lives easier and has both positive and negative effects. It would be wrong to say that it’s only bad for us. However, it affects people differently, depending on conditions and personality traits. Just be sure to spend a low to moderate amount of time on social media. Therefore, don’t let it take up the major part of your day or your life. If you feel that it has a negative impact on your life or you are experiencing feelings of depression or anxiety, talk to someone or seek professional help. You don’t have to deal with this on your own.

 

Related: Steps to Building a Strong Relationship with Food

 

National Country Cooking Month

If you love traditional home cooking, let’s celebrate National Country Cooking Month this June! It’s all about creating simple, healthy home-cooked meals and is the perfect month to try something new.

For National Country Cooking Month, why not try cooking something from scratch every day? For instance, you can grow your own vegetables and fruits in your garden and use them in a meal. It’s a great experience and much tastier and healthier. Or you can try to use new techniques, like making bread by hand instead of using a machine in this Country Cooking Month!

Recipes to Try for National Country Cooking Month 

1. Green Gazpacho

Try this dazzling take on the classic chilled Spanish soup with green vegetables, herbs, and yogurt.

Green Gazpacho - National Country Cooking Month

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 ounces of baby spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 large cucumber, deseeded and chopped
  • ½ green chili, deseeded
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • ½ small bunch basil
  • ½ small bunch mint
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 4 spring onions
  • 7 ounces of yogurt
  • 2 tbsp of sherry vinegar
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Handful of pea shoots
  • Edible flowers and ice cubes

Method:

  • Put all the ingredients, except the oil, pea shoots, and ice cubes, into a food processor with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Blitz, adding enough water to get a soupy consistency. Taste, and add a little more vinegar and seasoning if necessary.
  • Chill for up to 24 hrs or for at least 2 hrs.
  • To serve, divide between shallow soup bowls, float a few ice cubes in each bowl and add a scattering of pea shoots and a drizzle of oil before serving.

2. Beef Stew

This stew is an easy and super healthy way to add some protein to your diet…

Beef Stew

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 10.5 ounces of beef, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 14-ounce can of chopped tomato
  • Handful of rosemary and olives

Method:

  • In a large saucepan, cook onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes until they soften and turn golden. Add the beef strips, pepper, tomatoes, and rosemary, then bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes until the meat is cooked through, adding some boiling water if needed. Stir in the olives, and serve with mash or polenta.

3. Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh is a super fresh herb and bulgur salad, with parsley being the number one ingredient. It’s refreshing, light and packed with healthy ingredients. It is also a great recipe to try for National Country Cooking Month.

Tabbouleh Salad - National Country Cooking Month

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup bulgur
  • 1 cup diced cucumber (1 small-to-medium)
  • A large diced tomato (1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • 3 medium bunches curly parsley
  • ⅔ ounce (⅓ cup) chopped fresh mint (optional but recommended—you can chop it in the food processor with the parsley)
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced green onion
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
  • 1 medium clove garlic, pressed or minced

Method:

  • Cook or soak the bulgur until tender according to package directions. Drain off any excess water, and set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, combine the diced cucumber and tomato in a medium bowl with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Stir, and let the mixture rest for at least 10 minutes, or until you’re ready to mix the salad.
  • To prepare the parsley, cut off the thick stems. Then finely chop the parsley and remaining stems—you can do this by hand, but it’s much easier in a food processor. Process 1 bunch at a time (it should yield about 1 cup chopped), transferring the chopped parsley to a large serving bowl before proceeding with the next.
  • Add the cooled bulgur, mint (if using), and green onion to the parsley. Strain off and discard the cucumber and tomato juice that has accumulated in the bottom of the bowl. (This ensures that your tabbouleh isn’t too watery.) Add the strained cucumber and tomato to the mixture.
  • In a small measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Pour it into the salad and stir to combine. Taste, and adjust if necessary—add another tablespoon of lemon juice for zing or salt for more overall flavor.
  • If you have the time, let the salad rest for 15 minutes before serving to let the flavors mingle. Otherwise, you can serve it immediately or chill it for later. Tabbouleh will keep for up to four days in the refrigerator if covered.

4. Ratatouille

This recipe for Mediterranean-style ratatouille is perfect for a super healthy dinner.

Ratatouille

Ingredients:

  • 2 red onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 eggplants
  • 3 zucchini
  • 3 red or yellow peppers
  • 6 ripe tomatoes
  • ½ a bunch of fresh basil  (about 15g)
  • Olive oil
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 14 ounces of plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ a lemon

Method:

  • Prep your ingredients before you start. Peel and cut the onions into wedges, then peel and finely slice the garlic. Trim the eggplant and zucchini. Deseed the peppers and chop into 1-inch chunks. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Pick the basil leaves and set aside, then finely slice the stalks.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large casserole pan or saucepan over medium heat, and add the eggplant, zucchini, and peppers. (You may need to do this in batches.) Fry for around five minutes, or until golden and softened, but not cooked through. Spoon the cooked veggies into a large bowl.
  • To the pan, add the onion, garlic, basil stalks, and thyme leaves, using another drizzle of oil if needed. Fry for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened and golden.
  • Return the cooked vegetables to the pan and stir in the fresh and tinned tomatoes, the balsamic vinegar and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
  • Mix well, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat for 30 to 35 minutes, or until reduced, sticky and sweet.
  • Stir in torn basil leaves and finely grated lemon zest. Adjust the seasoning, if needed. Serve with a hunk of bread or steamed rice.

5. Raw Date and Hazelnut Brownies

These brownies are gooey, chocolatey, and oh so delicious. Perfect for when you need a sweet treat.

Raw Date and Hazelnut Brownies

Ingredients:

For the brownies

  • 3 cups medjool dates, pitted
  • 7.7 ounces blanched hazelnuts
  • 5-6 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons date syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt

For the frosting

  • 16 medjool dates, pitted
  • 2.1 ounces cacao powder
  • 7 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup  almond milk

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, fan setting.
  • Roast the hazelnuts in the oven for 5-10 minutes until golden. Remove from the  oven and leave to cool.
  • Once cooled, blend the roasted hazelnuts in a food processor until they form a crumbly mixture.
  • Add the dates and blend again before adding the cacao powder and date  syrup.
  • Place the mixture into a baking tray (we use 8 in x 11 in) and refrigerate.
  • While the brownies are in the fridge, place all of the frosting ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth.
  • Spoon a smooth layer of the frosting over the top of the brownies.
  • Place back in the fridge for 3-4 hours to allow the brownies to set.

 

Let’s Celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month this June!

Fruits and vegetables provide a variety of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In addition, they have many health benefits like lowering the risk of developing certain chronic diseases.

The United Fresh Start Foundation is focused on one mission, which is to increase children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Every child should grow up with access to fresh fruits and vegetables to have a strong and healthy future.

Nearly one in three kids in America is overweight or obese. That’s why fresh fruits and vegetables should be available to children everywhere they live, learn, and play.

National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month

The Foundation builds on United Fresh Produce Association’s leadership in nutrition policy and supports schools, communities, and innovative partnerships that benefit children’s ability to learn about, and confidently select, fresh produce when reaching for their next snack or meal.

Health Benefits of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Evidence shows that eating at least five portions of fruits and vegetables every day has significant health benefits.

A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can:

  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Prevent some types of cancer.
  • Lower the risk of eye and digestive problems.
  • Have a positive effect upon blood sugar.
  • Promote weight loss when consumed from green leafy vegetables and fruits like apples and pears.
  • Provide various vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation.

Variety of types and colors of fruits and vegetables

Try to eat a variety of types and colors of fruits and vegetables in order to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs.

Related: Why Are Plant-Based Diets on the Rise?

How to Store Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Storing fruits and vegetables is easy! You can freeze, refrigerate, or even keep them on the countertop, depending on the fruit or vegetable.

In a cool, dry place: Keep bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, lemons, eggplants, and mushrooms in a cool, dry area, not in the fridge.

In the fridge: Most fruits and veggies can be stored in the refrigerator. Store berries in the fridge and wash gently before eating or using. Plastic bags with tiny vents help keep produce fresh longer by releasing moisture. They are great for grapes, blueberries, cherries, or strawberries. Fresh heads of lettuce should be washed well with water. Then dry the leaves and store them in a clean plastic bag with a few paper towels.

In the freezer: Many fruits and vegetables can be stored in the freezer. Just make sure to wash and peel if needed. Then store in a clean plastic bag

At room temperature: Garlic, onions, whole melons, tomatoes, and whole pineapple should be kept at room temperature in a well-ventilated area. Mangoes, plums, peaches, and pears can be ripened at room temperature in a brown paper bag and should then be refrigerated for longer storage.

How to Cook Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

How to Cook Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

There are many ways to cook your vegetables and fruits that will help them retain their benefits. Here are some cooking tips to help you get started.

  • Bake: Sweet potato fries by cutting up into slices and season with olive oil, pepper, and salt.
  • Boil: Apples with lemon juice and cinnamon. Mashup and serve warm or chilled.
  • Steam: Broccoli and cauliflower with lemon and olive oil sauce.
  • Stir-fry: Red pepper, mushroom, and yellow squash with olive oil and herbs. Add some low-sodium soy sauce for an extra kick of flavor.
  • Sauté: Spinach with garlic and olive oil.
  • Roast: Brussels sprouts, beets and turnips drizzled lightly with olive oil.
  • Grill: Some eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms to use in a wrap.
  • Stew: Pears. Peel and stew gently in cinnamon, sugar, and water until tender.

Related: 12 Tips for a Sustainable and Healthy Diet

Tips for Meeting Your Vitamin D Needs While Indoors

Vitamin D is one of the oldest hormones thought to have existed for 750 million years. This hormone, which is in a different form on human skin, turns into vitamin D with the help of sunlight and the liver. It is important to recognize that we haven’t been getting enough sunlight, which is the best source of vitamin D.

Vitamin D deficiency is an important health issue in 50% of the world population. New research shows that vitamin D can help prevent various diseases, such as depression, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps absorb calcium, promoting the growth and mineralization of our bones. Vitamin D also plays a role in various functions of the immune, digestive, circulatory, and nervous systems.

1. What is the Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin D?

Vitamin D deficiency is a common condition and its prevalence varies by geography. Adult people who have an average level of vitamin D in the blood below 20 ng/dl have a vitamin D deficiency.

Tips for Meeting Your Vitamin D Needs While Indoors

Vitamin D requirements vary between 700-1300 mg/day, depending on age mostly. Getting to know vitamin D sources, and knowing how much we can consume, prevents vitamin D deficiency.

Oily seafood

Oily fish and seafood are natural sources of vitamin D. You can meet most of your daily vitamin D requirements with just 3.5 ounces (100 g-670 IU) of cooked salmon.

Vitamin D is also found in other natural sources, such as mackerel, herring, cod liver oil, and salmon.

Fish oil or cod oil meets 62% of your daily vitamin D needs (1 portion= 1 tsp 440 IU)

Tuna meets 32% of your daily vitamin D needs. (1 portion= 168 g 228 IU)

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

Mushrooms, just like humans, make their own D vitamins thanks to sunlight. Sunlight-like UV lamps used when producing mushrooms trigger vitamin D2 production. To avoid poisoning, buy the mushroom at the markets. Portobello mushrooms and mushrooms grown with UV light meet half the daily vitamin D needs. (1 portion=1/2 cup 316 IU)

Egg Yolk

Studies show that eggs obtained from chickens grown in pasture contain up to 20% of the daily vitamin D requirement.  In general, an egg meets 18% of your daily vitamin D needs. (1 portion= 78 g 44 IU)

Dairy Products

Dairy products are important sources of vitamin D due to the animal fat they contain.

Whole milk provides 18% of your daily vitamin D needs. (1 portion= 1 cup 128 IU)

Yogurt meets 17% of your vitamin D needs depending on its type.  (1 portion= 175 g  120 IU)

Dairy Products

Related: Facts About Dairy Foods

Products Enriched with Vitamin D

Other foods can be enriched with vitamin D because it’s generally in low supply.

Foods such as margarine, cheese, orange juice, soy-almond milk, bread, and cereal are enriched with vitamin D

Soy milk provides 16% of your daily vitamin D needs. (1 portion= 1 cup  116 IU)

Fortified ready-to-eat cereals meet an average of 7% of your daily vitamin D needs. (1 portion=1 cup 56 IU)

Fortified orange juice meets 14% of your daily vitamin D needs. (1 portion= 1 cup 100 IU)

Margarine meets 8.5% of your daily vitamin D needs. (1 portion= 1 tbsp 60 IU)

Some people may need much higher vitamin D doses to raise low vitamin D levels. A qualified healthcare professional must decide on this dose. Otherwise, there may be a risk of vitamin D toxicity.

Getting Vitamin D From Window

 2. Increasing Sunbathing Time

Vitamin D is called the “sunlight vitamin”. Our body needs sunlight to use vitamin D. Skin type, gender, clothing, nutrition, food supplement use, BMI, and degree of urbanization affect the level of vitamin D in the blood.

Skin color

 Melanin pigment in the skin blocks vitamin D. The need for vitamin D increases in people with darker skin because they have more melanin.

Geography

Vitamin D production is high in people who get direct sunlight. There are studies on the differences in vitamin D production in people living in tropical and cold climates.

Clothing

Clothing styles that cover the face, arms, and hands can prevent enough vitamin D intake. Additional exposure to sunlight can increase your vitamin D intake. Just try to avoid the time when the sunlight is most dangerous, between 10 am and 3 pm.

Tips for Meeting Your Vitamin D Deficiency While Indoors

Getting help from supplements

The USDA listed the foods to which vitamin D could be added in 1980 and showed the market availability of these foods. The Food and Drug Administration has paved the way to enrich some foods with vitamin D. These foods are calcium-fortified juice, some cereal and pasta products, yogurt, and some cheese and cheese products. There are two forms of vitamin D: D2 (herbal) and D3 (animal). Supplements allow you to take the vitamin you need with a single dose, but you should consult your doctor. In rare cases, an overdose may occur, causing toxicity.

Vegan

There are two types of vitamin D. Vitamin D2 is a herbal vitamin. If you are a vegan, you can buy vitamin D2 supplements from lichen or mushrooms at specialty stores.

 

Related: Importance of Getting Enough Vitamin D