Clean Humidifiers and Air Conditioners Frequently

903Clean your humidifiers and air conditioners in your home often. Dirty filters can cause bacteria and mold to grow; and breathing in that dirt can trigger allergies and asthma. Even if you aren’t prone to those issues, bacteria and mold can bring on flu-like symptoms or even lung infections in otherwise healthy people.*

Clean your air humidifiers and air conditioners according to their manual. If you have central air, consider hiring a professional to rid your ducts and hoses of mold spores. Breathe healthier today!

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/remodeling/eco-friendly/how-to-improve-your-indoor-air-quality/
Photo | pc richards – installation gone amuck of air conditioner – Nova Scotia July 4 wknd 2008 362.jpg | ©Scott | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Clean Your Mattress

1444You probably vacuum your floors at least once a week, but when was the last time you vacuumed your mattress? Just like your floors, your mattress is subject to collecting dust, crumbs, and even dead skin! It is recommended that you vacuum your mattress every four months, so let each new season act as a reminder. Just use the upholstery tool on your vacuum to give the sides and top of your mattress a quick clean.*

For extra deodorizing, sprinkle some baking soda onto your mattress and let it sit for an hour before you vacuum. Mix a few drops of lavender essential oil into your baking soda to incorporate a soothing scent perfect for sleep.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/20-cleaning-tips-for-beds-and-mattresses
Photo | brian kelly | bed within reach | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Forget the Five Second Rule

1433The five-second rule states that if you drop food on the floor and pick it up in 5 seconds or less, then it is safe to eat. However, research suggests that this is a myth. Harmful bacteria can transfer onto your food in less than five seconds. The extent of how sick you will get from food that has been dropped on the floor depends on your immune system, the moisture content of the food, and how contaminated the floor is.*

Put dropped food in the compost bin; it’s not worth getting sick over. Also, make an effort to strengthen your immune system by exercising, getting enough sleep, taking probiotics, reducing stress and spending time in nature.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.popsci.com/does-5-second-rule-stand-up-to-science
Photo | Maya83 | Quail Egg | used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license

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Dried Plums for Colon Cancer

1428This year, it is predicted that colon cancer will be the cause of nearly 50,000 deaths it the U.S. Eating dried plums is a natural way to reduce this risk. In an animal study, rats that were fed dried plums reduced the amount of harmful bacteria in their guts. The plum-diet also reduced signs of precancerous lesions, thus reducing the risk of developing colon cancer.*

If you have a dehydrator, you can dry your plums at home. Simply slice your plums halfway, remove their pits and place the slices on your dehydrator cut-side up. Once the slices have been dehydrated and are completely dry, pack them in glass jars or thick freezer bags for storage.

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Dr. Kim

*http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2015/09/29/dried-plums-may-reduce-colon-cancer-risk
Photo | Alan Levine | Plum Plum | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Dangers of Dust

1414The average U.S. home has more than 5,000 species of bacteria and 2,000 species of fungi living inside of its dust. Exposure to dust can lead to irritation of the eyes, coughing, sneezing, hay fever, and asthma attacks. Overexposure to dust will most likely cause health issues for people at risk, such as elderly people, children, and people who smoke.*

Make an effort to clean things that commonly collect dust, such as electronics and furniture, once or twice a week. Don’t forget about door frames, ceiling fans, and baseboards, these spots can collect dust too, and forgetting to clean them can trigger an allergic reaction.

Dr. Kim

*http://www.lets-clean-up.com/house_cleaning_tips.html
Photo | Elliott P. | dusty lamp | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike licenses

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Removing Tonsil Stones

1363Sometimes food particles can get caught in the grooves of your tonsils. If those food particles stick around for too long, they can harden into calcified masses known as tonsil stones. Tonsil stones appear as white and yellow lumps. Unfortunately, they attract a sulfur-containing bacterium that causes bad breath.*

You can usually remove tonsil stones with a water flosser or cotton swab. Another natural way to dislodge tonsil stones is by gargling with warm salt water.

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Dr. Kim

 

 

*http://www.livescience.com/50847-tonsil-stones.html
Photo | Andrew Bardwell | Bonfire 7511 | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license

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Hand Wash Your Dishes

1274A study shows that children who live in homes with hand-washed dishes are less likely to develop allergies than children who live in homes that use a dishwasher. Hand-washing leaves behind more beneficial bacteria than dishwashers do, which allows us to build up our immunities. This study suggests that exposing your children to microbes early in life may be beneficial because it stimulates immune systems.*

If you decide to start hand-washing your dishes, it is still important to implement basic sanitary steps. Keep your sink clean with white vinegar spray and baking soda scrubs, and make sure your sponge is washed with antibacterial soap often and wrung dry every day.

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Dr. Kim

*http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/23/allergy-risk-may-be-tied-to-how-you-wash-your-dishes/?_r=0
Photo | peapod labs | Washing the dishes with soap | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Beware of Dirty Kitchen Sponges

1244More sickening than your toilet seat or garbage can, your kitchen sponge can be a host to many germs. An international study found that 77% of kitchen sponges had a form of bacteria, while 86% contained yeast and mold. When a wet sponge sits sink-side, new bacteria grow every twenty minutes!*

To properly disinfect your sponge, immerse it in a bowl of boiling water, and then place the wet sponge in the microwave for two minutes. You can disinfect your sponge this way every two days, and if it ever starts to smell just toss it out!

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ways-to-a-safe-kitchen/
Photo | Plain blue and pink polyurethane kitchen sponges | Horia Varlan | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Ginger for Acid Reflux

gingerIt’s common to reach for over-the-counter solutions to acid reflux, but did you know that ginger is eight times more effective at killing the bacteria that cause acid reflux? Rather than stopping your body from producing stomach acid, ginger simply helps your body keep production under control. Thanks to the antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of ginger, the lining of your stomach can actually become stronger with use.*

Whole ginger will add some pizazz to your meals, but keep in mind that it comes in flavorless supplement form as well. When battling an upset stomach, sip on some ginger tea to ease both the symptoms and cause of acid reflux.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/acid-reflux-natural-treatments/#axzz38Qts0UwA
Photo | Miran Rijavec | Ginger – Zingiber officinalis – Ingver | Used under a Creative Commons Attributions License

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Thaw Meat in Your Refrigerator

meatMany of us buy meat and freeze it at home in an effort to save trips to the grocery store. While this method is convenient, it’s also potentially dangerous should you choose to thaw your meat at room temperature. Prevent bacteria from growing on defrosting meat by always thawing it safely in your refrigerator.*

When thawing meat, risk contamination with the other contents in your fridge by keeping it in its original casing and sitting it on a washable plate or in a separate bowl. After removing the meat from your fridge, be sure to disinfect the shelf it thawed on as an extra precaution.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.stilltasty.com/articles/view/9
Photo | “90% Lean Beef – package” | ©ilovebutter | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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