Archive for October, 2013

October 15th, 2013

15 Surprising Uses for Baking Soda

 

15 Surprising uses for Baking Soda

15 Surprising uses for Baking Soda

 Personal Care Uses for Baking Soda

Another great article from Care2. So much great information out here in internet world. I am happy that I can find these and that they can help people make good decisions on what they use around their homes. Enjoy!

From green cleaning to personal care, baking soda is a little scrubby dynamo! Check out these 15 surprising uses for baking soda.
Eco-friendly cleaning supplies and green beauty products are expensive, and they tend to come in disposable plastic packaging. Next time you need to wash your hair, scrub pots and pans, or even get crafty with your kids, grab that cardboard box of baking soda instead!

When you’re making your own supplies with baking soda, you get to choose exactly what ingredients go into it. You can also choose to use reclaimed packaging to reduce waste. These are some of the containers I like to use when I’m making baking soda cleaning and beauty products:

old baby food jars
used, cleaned mason jars or other glass food jars that I’ve washed well
reclaimed spray bottles
used shampoo and conditioner bottles (just rinse out really well)
For me, storing what I make in reclaimed containers is as important as creating a healthy product to go inside it. What upcycled containers do you like to use when you’re whipping up homemade cleaning and beauty supplies? Let’s swap storage tips in the comments!

You know that baking soda is great for cooking, and you probably already use it in some unconventional ways, like to deodorize your carpets or even brush your teeth. Baking soda’s basic pH and natural grit make it perfect for all kinds of cleaning. Check out these personal care and green cleaning uses for baking soda.


1. Wash your hair. With just baking soda and one other non-toxic ingredient, you can wash your hair without harsh (and expensive!) shampoo. Get the deets here!

2. DIY Deodorant. Combine 1/4 cup baking soda with 10 drops of your favorite essential oil for the easiest homemade deodorant ever. To use, just get some of the powder onto your fingers, and rub it gently into your pits, then brush off any excess baking soda.

3. Make a face scrub. Baking soda makes a great scrub for normal skin. Click here for 3 DIY face scrub recipes, including a baking soda scrub for normal skin. The tiny grains can be harsh on sensitive skin, so if your skin is delicate you’re better off sticking with a sugar or salt scrub instead.

4. DIY acne remedy. Combine baking soda with just enough water to form a paste, and dab it onto your blemish at bedtime, then wash it off in the morning. Since baking soda is a salt, you don’t want to put it onto a blemish that’s popped, because it will sting like crazy.

5. Dry shampoo for your dog. Is your dog a little stinky, but you don’t have time to do a proper bath right now? Sprinkle baking soda onto your pup’s fur, then use a brush to work the baking soda in and out of the fur. You want to brush until there’s no baking soda left, then wipe her down with a dry towel.

6. Treat your feet. Make a paste of baking soda, water and a little lavender or chamomile essential oil to exfoliate your feet.

7. Treat a UTI. If you feel the symptoms of a UTI coming on, check out how to use baking soda as a natural remedy. I’d still recommend following up with a doctor, because an untreated UTI can turn into a kidney infection, and that is bad news. Just as some UTIs don’t respond to certain antibiotics, some will need a little more than baking soda to get rid of them.

Next: Baking Soda for Green Cleaning (and more!)

8. Clean stainless steel. Next time your stainless steel cookware has stubborn, stuck-on food, sprinkle some baking soda onto your sponge before scrubbing. It cuts the grease, and the granules help scrub the mess away.

9. Get the smell out of glass jars. Have you been saving old sauce and pickle jars for crafting? Glass is porous, so it tends to really hang onto odors. Here’s how you can use baking soda to get rid of any soaked-in smell in glass jars!

10. Safely clean baby toys. Whenever I clean my son’s toys, I worry about soap residue, since every toy goes straight into his mouth when I hand it to him. It turns out that you can use a mixture of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of water to clean baby toys much more safey.

11. Deodorize upholstery. Put down the toxic Febreeze! Next time your sofa is a little bit stinky, sprinkle on some baking soda, wait 15 minutes, then vacuum it away. Your room will smell great without spraying harmful chemicals into the air.

12. Make non-toxic water colors. Combine 2 tablespoons baking soda, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 2 teaspoons water. Mix it up really well to create your paint base. Divide up the paint base, then use food coloring to get whatever colors you want to use.

13. Clean your shower curtain. Do you feel terrible every time you have to replace your plastic shower curtain? A sponge, a little water, and a sprinkle of baking soda can help get the hard water and mildew stains off to prolong its life.

14. DIY laundry detergent. Baking soda is a key ingredient in making your own inexpensive, DIY laundry detergent. Click here for the recipe.

15. Scrub produce clean. Want to get the pesticides and wax off of that apple? Use a little baking soda and water to scrub, then just rinse the baking soda away.

October 11th, 2013

9 Reasons to Love (and Eat!) Pumpkin

pumkin yummies 1

 

9 Reasons To Love (and Eat!) Pumpkin

Pumpkins are so beneficial. Here is another great article from Care2 about eating yummie pumpkins. I really love them baked. They are so good for you. I can’t wait to eat my first pumpkin pie. Not that I need it weight wise, but we must enjoy the holiday foods.

Native Americans included pumpkin in their traditional diet. They even dried it for use during the winter months when food was scarce. There are many reasons why this underrated superfood makes a great and healthy addition to your diet, too:

1. It is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates (the “good carbs”) that help provide essential energy to the body.

2. It contains plenty of fiber to keep bowels moving properly. One cup of pumpkin has three grams of fiber.

3. Its high fiber content also aids weight loss. Research shows high dietary aids weight loss in people who are overweight.

4. The brilliant orange color indicates its high beta carotene content. Beta carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, which is needed for healthy immunity and vision.

5. It helps with skin healing, protecting against sun damage, and even helping scars to fade.

pumpkin yummie 2

6. Beta carotene found in pumpkins may reduce your cancer risk. Diets high in beta carotene have been linked with a reduced risk of certain cancers, including: breast, prostate, lung, cervical, and skin cancer.

7. Pumpkin can aid electrolyte balance after a workout. It contains more potassium than a banana (564 mg of potassium vs. 422 mg in a banana).

8. It can help ward off colds and flu. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains 11 mg of vitamin C. While controversial reports cast doubt on vitamin C’s anti-infectious capabilities, the well-constructed studies demonstrate vitamin C’s immune-boosting properties.

9. Beta carotene found in pumpkins helps boost overall immune health. In a study conducted on people suffering from HIV, researchers found that those taking beta carotene had a significant reduction in infection risk.

8 Creative Pumpkin Recipes for the Holidays

Visit this page for some great pumpkin recipes: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-creative-pumpkin-recipes-for-the-holidays.html

October 10th, 2013

10+ Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

pumkin seeds

The month of October is the month of my favorite holiday. Halloween. Pumpkins really set my decorations off. This article by Care2 about the great benefits of pumpkin seeds. Unbelievable. Enjoy!

October, November and December are all prime pumpkin months in the U.S. and soon enough, people will be carving up pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns, homemade pies and pumpkin bakes! But before you prepare your pumpkin as a decoration, dessert or dinner, remember to save your seeds. If you simply scoop out and compost your pumpkin/squash seeds you could be throwing out a heap of great nutrients and their inherent plant-based health benefits.

Vitamins, minerals and other important phytonutrients in pumpkin seeds*:
– Manganese

– Tryptophan

– Magnesium

– Phosphorus

– Copper

– Zinc

– Iron

* Pumpkin seeds are either an excellent or very good source of all of these nutrients and vitamins. There are many other nutrients, minerals and vitamins present in pumpkin seeds that are not listed here.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds:

Tryptophan: Helps fight depression (converted into serotonin and niacin).

Glutamate (needed to create GABA): Anti-stress neurochemical, helps relieve anxiety and other related conditions.

Zinc: Boosts immune function and fights osteoporosis.

Phytosterols: Reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and raise HDL (the good kind). May also be effective in the prevention of cancer.

pumpkin

 

10+ Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

Rich in Antioxidants: Pumpkin seeds have a diverse range of antioxidants in them. These include, but are not limited to:

-Vitamins: Pumpkin seeds contain E in a variety of forms: Alpha-tocomonoenol, delta-tocopherol, alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol and gamma-tocomonoenol. Having so many forms of Vitamin E in one food is beneficial because some of the forms of Vitamin E are more bioavailable than others.

– Minerals: Pumpkin seeds also contain mineral antioxidants like zinc and manganese.

– Phenolic antioxidants: Pumpkin seeds include phenolic antioxidants like the following acids: hydroxybenzoic, ferulic, protocatechuic, caffeic, coumaric, sinapic, vanillic, and syringic acid.

– Other antioxidant phytonutrients: Pumpkin seeds contain beneficial lignans including: lignans pinoresinol, lariciresinol and medioresinol.

Antimicrobial Properties: According to whfoods.com, “Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed extracts, and pumpkin seed oil have long been valued for their anti-microbial benefits, including their anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Research points to the role of unique proteins in pumpkin seeds as the source of many antimicrobial benefits. The lignans in pumpkin seeds (including pinoresinol, medioresinol, and lariciresinol) have also been shown to have antimicrobial—and especially anti-viral— properties.”

Diabetes Support: Preliminary studies have suggested that ground pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed extracts, and pumpkin seed oil may improve insulin regulation and help protect the kidneys of those with diabetes.

Cancer Prevention: Because of pumpkin seeds’ rich antioxidant profile (and thus their potential to reduce oxidative stress) they may help decrease our risk of cancer. Preliminary studies have focused specifically on the lignans in pumpkin seeds, and their potential to reduce the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer.

pumpkin2

 

Pumpkin Seed Extracts and Oils

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): Pumpkin seed extracts and oils are used in the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) (A non-cancer enlargement of the prostate gland). U.S. Studies have shown a beneficial link between nutrients in pumpkin seeds (pumpkin seed oil extract), and treating BPH. These nutrients include phytosterols, lignans, and zinc, among others.

Protein: Along with all the beneficial phytonutrients and antioxidants in pumpkin seeds, they are also a rich source of protein! One ounce of pumpkin seeds contains 9.35 grams of protein.

How to use pumpkin seeds:
– With any nut or seed a little goes a long way (remember it contains the building blocks to create a whole new plant!)

– Enjoy the whole kernels on their own, raw or lightly roasted. (This way you get the complete package of nutrients.)

– Sprinkle some seeds on top of your cereal or granola in the morning.

– Enjoy them with your evening salad.

– Throw shelled seeds into a smoothie (as long as you have a good blender.)

– Take a small handful of pumpkin seeds mixed with some dried fruit along for a hike.

– Sprinkle on top of your homemade bread (or mix it into the dough) before baking.

There are many ways to enjoy pumpkin seeds, so experiment and enjoy!

Sources:

whfoods

Huffington Post

Wikipedia

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-health-benefits-of-pumpkin-seeds-2.html#ixzz2hJg2aEcc

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