The Superfood Seven
According to AARP magazine, “the right foods can cease your aches.” Try consuming these seven natural painkillers before popping ibuprofen for joint and inflammatory pain.
RED GRAPES. The resveratrol found in red grapes can block tissue-degenerating enzymes. This is the same compound found in red wine. The Mayo Clinic says resveratrol can also reduce levels of bad cholesterol and prevent blood clots, with preliminary research pointing to its ability to help protect from obesity and diabetes.
GINGER. Both a digestive aid and a painkiller, ginger can block the enzymes responsible for the inflammatory process. Just two teaspoons a day should be enough to reduce post-workout pain or aching joints.
SOY. Soy’s healing powers lie in its isoflavones. These estrogen-akin hormones can significantly reduce joint pain associated with osteoarthritis. Soy-rich foods like tofu, soy milk, soy burgers and edamame may also protect against breast and prostate cancer, menopausal symptoms, heart disease and osteoporosis, according to isoflavones.info.
TURMERIC. This spice can fight rheumatoid arthritis and other joint pain and may inhibit the destruction of joints from arthritis. The American Cancer Society notes that studies have found that the antioxidant curcumin, found in turmeric, may also have some anti-cancer effects.
CHERRIES. Cherries are high in anthocyanin, which has been found to reduce pain and improve functioning in osteoarthritis patients and reduce muscle damage among exercisers. Some studies have suggested anthcyanin can also destroy free-radical molecules that cause cancer and regulate immune responses, among other benefits.
COFFEE. Recent studies suggest that the caffeine in coffee can reduce exercise-related pain and raise your pain threshold, making it easier to work out harder. According to Howstuffworks.com, the source of caffeine’s strength is its ability to cause blood vessels to constrict blood flow. Of course, it’s also been linked to a long list of other possible health benefits, from preventing diabetes to boosting metabolism for weight loss.
FISH. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can lower pain levels and the inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis, migraines and other ailments. Whether through fish oil, EPA/DHA supplements or eating fish for dinner, omega-3 can be a great alternative to pharmaceuticals and their side effects. And that’s not all—according to the Mayo Clinic, heart-healthy fish like salmon, herring and tuna can also help lower your total cholesterol.
A Lasting Impression
In many ways, email has come to replace face-to-face contact, effectively masking emotion and altering the course of winded conversation to that more terse. But words have “body language,” too: written speech can come off as rude, distant, too friendly or just right. Without the luxuries afforded by real body language and vocal intonation, “it’s extremely easy for a harmless phrase to be interpreted as a rude gesture,” writes DivineCaroline.com, or “an inappropriate salutation [to] discredit…an otherwise acceptable email.”
Perhaps the most critical part of email etiquette lies in the closing sentiment. Like a goodbye at the end of a business dinner or the last remarks to wrap up a conference call, the closing line reaffirms the tone, relationship and purpose of your dialogue. Depending on the familiarity of the subject and the relationship you have with the recipient, it can be informal or formal. “Closing lines vary from the highly self-conscious (‘My warmest regards,’) to the impersonal sig file to the charmless (‘Best,’),” according to Bobulate.com.
“Email signatures are so easy to do well that it’s really a shame how often they’re done poorly,” writes Kat Nelville on SmashingMagazine.com—especially when your choice of words “affects the tone of every email you write.”
“You might be astonished at how little attention people pay to the closing lines,” continues Bobulate.com. “This underrated rhetorical device is so frequently disregarded that many people have the gall to use an automatic closing line attached to their email signature file.” This site has compiled a list of the most popular email closing lines into the above chart—use it, and choose your last words wisely!
Sitting Is As Sitting Does
Sitting for more than six hours a day can increase your risk of heart disease by up to 64 percent, put you at risk for certain types of cancer and shave seven years from your life expectancy, says Lifehacker.com. Unfortunately, the majority of white-collar positions dictate a lifestyle behind a computer. Lifehacker says following just two rules is enough to counter the negative effects of office life: stand once an hour and get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity per day.
Small Steps, Giant Leaps
2012 is predicted to be a pivotal year for commercial space flight, as companies like Sierra Nevada, SpaceX and Blue Origin continue to gain momentum. And last year, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic completed its New Mexico “Gateway to Space,” a 120,000-square-foot, LEED-certified building—and the first commercial spaceport. The company is now advertising flights starting at just $200,000, booked online or through “accredited space agents” like Chicago’s Jet Set World Travel and Paul Klein Travel Service.
Dry Cleaning PERCS
Dry cleaning ‘s benefits are vast: stains are easily removed, fibers aren’t damaged, and garments return without shrinkage or loss of color. But despite the perks, there’s perc. In a report released last month, the EPA concluded the widely used dry cleaning solvent is “a likely human carcinogen”—news that may advance current regulations to phase out perc from dry cleaners located inside residential buildings by 2020. Until then, the EPA stresses wearing clothes cleaned with perc is not cause for concern: perc only adversely affects the nervous system, liver and kidneys when consumed in contaminated food or water. Help speed the transition to perc-free by supporting businesses using alternative technologies like CO2, hydrocarbon and wet-cleaning.