Sunday, 20 August 2017

Dutch Man Starts Cleaning Up Pollution And Inspires Others To Do The Same (19 pics)

Tommy Kleyn from the Netherlands was sick and tired of looking at a polluted waterfront everyday on his way to work. He decided to clean it up himself, vowing to fill one garbage bag every single day until the waterfront was clean. As he started doing this, other people joined in, motivated by his ambition for a cleaner environment.

“Everyday, I ride my bicycle to work along the river bank. It’s a nice route to ride, except for one part.”

“A stretch of the river bank is covered in plastic bottles and other pieces of (mainly) plastic trash.”

“This is the littered part”:

“The trash annoyed me very much, so, I decided to start picking them up.”
“It took me about 30 minutes to fill one garbage bag with trash.”
“But, one bag doesn’t really make a dent in an area as polluted as this.” 
“I vowed to fill one bag of trash each day I passed the spot.”

“The area between the arrows was clean at this point. This is the progress made in only 6 days”

“I shared my experiences on Facebook and now, over 180 people ‘like’ the project”

“A lot of people were all like ‘There should be more people like you!'”

“And there were: this is my friend Rick helping out”

The Contrast

“The location was next to a bike path, and quite a few people got off their bikes and said what a great initiative this was.”
“The trash tried to communicate with me”
“The last garbage bag”

“In 22 bags of trash, this is the only item I deemed worth keeping.”
“The idea is to motivate people to fill one garbage bag with litter each year.”
“It only takes 30 minutes, it really makes a difference and you will be amazed about how good you’ll feel afterwards.”
“An Eurasian Coot started nesting in the part which I cleaned.”

The surprising health benefits of ginger

If you’ve ever taken ginger ale for an upset tummy, you understand the health benefits of ginger. Going back more than 2,000 years in China, the herb has been used to treat nausea, upset stomach and help with digestion and diarrhea.
Used in stir fries and Asian cooking, the spicy, pungent underground rhizome of the ginger plant is firm with a striated texture. It may be yellow, white or red, depending on the variety, and is covered with a thin or thick brownish skin, depending on whether the plant was harvested mature or young.
What’s ginger good for?
As it turns out, plenty. A 2009 study found ginger supplements when taken alongside anti-vomiting medicine reduced chemotherapy-induced nausea in patients by 40 percent.
“Therapeutically, it’s also used for poor circulation and lower back pain. On an emotional level, it can act as a catalyst if you are procrastinating and lack the drive to take action,” says Laurie Steelsmith, a licensed naturopathic doctor and author of “Natural Choices for Women’s Health.”
Studies have shown it can also ease muscle pain, eliminate inflammation, help with painful menstruation and migraines, and may even slow or kill ovarian and colon cancer cells. Here are some other health benefits of ginger:
Nausea and motion sickness: Ginger is well known for its ability to ease nausea, and it’s helpful for motion and sea sickness. Women suffering from morning sickness were given beverages with ginger during the first trimester of pregnancy, and when compared with women given a placebo, ginger alleviated the nausea in a large majority of the cases.
Diabetes complications: Studies show ginger may reduce urine protein levels, decrease water intake and urine output, and reverse proteinuria, which is kidney damage caused by too much protein in the urine. Ginger may also protect nerves in diabetics and lower blood fat levels. “Ginger can help increase circulation, thin blood, and lower both blood pressure and cholesterol,” says author Steelsmith.
Arthritis: A placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study published in the journal Osteoarthritis Cartilage found patients with painful arthritis in the knee who were given ginger vs. a placebo experienced significantly less pain and loss of movement compared to those taking the placebo.
Cold and flu: Chinese medicine practitioners commonly prescribe ginger to treat symptoms of colds and flu. The root acts as an antihistamine and decongestant, two cold-easing effects that can help with symptoms.
A dose of ginger
Ginger is susceptible to heat and oxygen, so handle carefully when using this herb and store in a cool, dry place or the crisper bin of the refrigerator for two to three weeks.
To make a tea, shave the skin from a piece of fresh ginger, cut off a 2-inch chunk and slice it into 2 cups of water to simmer covered for 20 minutes. Remove the slices and pour into a mug and add honey and a squeeze of lemon. Eat the slices after drinking the tea. Drink up to three cups of tea per day, before meals.
Ginger capsules or powder are also available. Take at least 2,000 milligrams three times or more per day with or without food.
Do not take ginger with blood thinners without first consulting your health care provider. Ginger may also lower blood sugar and interact with blood pressure altering medications, so speak with your physician prior to using ginger if you take any medications.

9 Foods That Fight Bad Breath

While savvy Casanovas may know to avoid garlic and raw onions before a hot date, there are other factors beyond pungent foods that contribute to a malodorous mouth. The two key things leading to breath worthy of a dog or a dragon are oral hygiene and gastrointestinal health. Brushing and flossing after every meal can address the first issue; a good diet and healthy gastrointestinal track can help with the second.
parsleyBut for the times when you can’t brush or the diet’s not up to snuff, there are some great quick fixes that are as close as the refrigerator; some actually work to clean your mouth, while others help neutralize the stomach to help quash the stench. Consider these edible remedies and breathe easier.
1. Fresh herbs
Parsley is one of the better-known bad breath fighters, but that doesn’t mean that other fresh green herbs aren’t effective as well. Cilantro, spearmint, tarragon, rosemary and other chlorophyll-rich herbs all do wonders for sticking it to the stink. You can chew on them as is, or make a rinse by steeping them in hot water and drinking like a tea.
2. Yogurt
A daily serving of yogurt has been shown to reduce the level of odor-causing hydrogen sulfide in the mouth, as well as diminishing unhealthy bacteria; one study showed a reduction in plaque and gum disease in yogurt eaters as well. The American Dietetic Association confirms this by recommending vitamin D from yogurt, cheese and milk for fighting halitosis because it creates an unpleasant environment for bacteria growth. Just be wary of brands with an ungodly amount of refined sugar, and make sure that active cultures are listed on the label.
3. Apples, celery and other crunchy foods
If it comes from the produce aisle and provides an audible crunch, it will probably work as an effective weapon in fighting bad breath. Think apples, carrots, celery and the like, which work to increase saliva production and help keep the mouth rinsed and scrubbed.
4. Ginger
Ginger has long been used as a natural remedy for upset stomachs; in the same vein, it is often used for knocking out halitosis. To make a homemade ginger rinse, dice fresh ginger and mix with lemon and hot water.  
5. Peppers, papayas and other vitamin C-rich foods
Bad-breath producing bacteria does not get along well with vitamin C, which is an important dietary component for preventing gum disease and gingivitis. While many people take vitamin C supplements, they can cause gastrointestinal problems that can further add to bad breath. Oranges have a good reputation for their remarkable levels of vitamin C, but other foods like bell peppers, papayas and strawberries have even more.
6. Green tea
While the acids and enzymes in coffee might make your mouth smell like a mix of dirty socks and an outhouse, green tea actually prevents bad breath. According to, the flavonoids in green tea prevent bad breath and help keep harmful bacteria from sticking to teeth, among its many other health benefits.
7. Fennel seeds
Fennel seeds have been appreciated many cultures as a digestive aid; they are similarly employed as a remedy for bad breath because they help neutralize unpleasant odors. Like crunchy foods, they encourage the production of saliva, which helps rinse bacteria way. The oil from fennel seeds also has antibacterial properties that can help fight odor-generating germs.
8. Water
Yet another reason to get your daily H2O. In general, water acts as a cleanser and encourages saliva production; swishing water helps rid the mouth of food that bacteria feasts upon.
9. Minty things
When all else fails, mask and rinse with gum or mints. Sugarless gum can increase saliva production to gently wash away plaque and bacteria; and mints can mask as well. Just remember that sugar creates plaque, which leads to halitosis, so aim for one that is low in sugar or sugar-free.
And a word to the wise: If your oral hygiene and diet are in good shape but the halitosis remains, consider consulting a doctor or dentist since bad breath can be a sign of an underlying condition. 

24 Food Swaps That Slash Calories

When it comes to weight loss, slow and steady wins the race. "While complete diet makeovers can be overwhelming, focusing on small simple changes makes healthy eating more manageable and sustainable over the long term," says Kelly Pritchett, RD, Ph.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Instead of throwing your kitchen, eating habits, and sanity upside down, focus on making these simple food swaps suggested by Pritchett, as well as Tracee Yablon Brenner, RD and CEO of Real Food Moms and Kimberly Gomer, a registered dietitian at Pritikin Longevity Center. These swaps will save you calories and help you slim down.

Instead of granola, eat oatmeal.

The body benefit: A half-cup cooked serving of Quaker Steel Cut Oats contains just 150 calories, 2.5 grams of fat and 1 gram of sugar. Sprinkling 10 fresh blueberries onto your oatmeal adds natural sweetness for just 8 calories. Meanwhile, a half-cup of Quaker's Apple, Cranberry & Almond Granola clocks in at 200 calories, 5 grams of fat, and a whopping 13 grams of sugar -- and that's before you add any milk.

Instead of an egg sandwich, eat scrambled eggs with veggies.

The body benefit: Filled with fiber, veggies will give you a longer-lasting energy boost than the empty carbs in a breakfast sandwich. Plus, a generous helping of tomato, mushroom or spinach in your eggs is a flavorful way to sneak in at least one of your five-a-day. Two large eggs scrambled with a half-cup of spinach comes in at 150 calories, a far cry from the 290 calories you'll find in a Dunkin' Donuts Bacon, Egg and Cheese English muffin sandwich.

Instead of fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt, eat plain yogurt with fresh fruit.

The body benefit: The concoction at the bottom of yogurt containers is typically more sugar than fruit. Slice up some strawberries or plop in some blueberries for a fresher take on the fruit-yogurt combo. Switching from Dannon's blueberry-flavored fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt to their plain variety topped with fresh blueberries will save you 60 calories and 13 grams of sugar.

Instead of a latte, drink an Americano.

The body benefit: Sticking with the straight stuff gives you a more concentrated dose of coffee -- and its free-radical fighting antioxidants. After all, research from the University of Scranton shows coffee is the greatest source of antioxidants in the American diet. Even if you can't stand black coffee, a splash of low-fat milk, drizzle of honey or dash of good-for-you cinnamon can still help you save hundreds of calories over a latte, which gets its extra calories from steamed milk and added sugar.

Instead of tomato-based soup, eat broth-based minestrone.

The body benefit: Don't let the word "tomato" fool you. It's so thick because it's full of heavy cream, and a serving can set you back nearly 500 calories. Stick with broth-based soups with chunks of vegetables you can actually sink your teeth into.

Instead of iceberg lettuce, eat spinach.

The body benefit: Sure, it's sort of green, but iceberg lettuce really doesn't have much nutrition to call its own. Spinach, however, is full of iron, magnesium, folate and vitamins A and C, which your body needs to keep your metabolism in tip-top shape.

Instead of French fries, eat potato salad.
 The body benefit: Chilled potatoes pack more resistant starch than any other kind of spud, according to a 2013 USDA Agricultural Research Service study. Sometimes called the third starch, resistant starch is not absorbed in the small intestine, making you eat less and feel fuller longer. Use mustard in place of mayo to cut even more calories.

Instead of a white bun, eat a whole-wheat bun.

The body benefit: While they both come in at about 150 calories per serving, a whole-grain bun has several added benefits. Compare Arnold's 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Buns with their White Hamburger Rolls, for instance: The wheat version contains three extra grams of both protein and fiber, which each help you feel fuller for longer. Plus, research shows that consuming whole grains as opposed to refined can help prevent inflammation and may even help your body burn more fat.

Instead of chicken stir-fry, eat tandoori chicken.
 The body benefit: Besides skipping the sodium-filled soy sauce, tandoori's curry is a great source of the antioxidant curcumin, which, according to research from Tufts University, inhibits the formation of fat tissue.

Instead of white pasta, eat spaghetti squash.

The body benefit: Automatically make your pasta a veggie-filled one with this low-cal, high-fiber replacement. In addition to saving you close to 200 calories, the squash's generous helpings of vitamin C, folate and magnesium will increase your energy.

Instead of standard steak, eat grass-fed steak.

The body benefit: Grass-fed steak cuts have 92 fewer calories and up to a third less fat per serving, and the fat they do have is higher in omega-3s and more similar to that found in seafood.

Instead of mashed potatoes, eat mashed cauliflower.

The body benefit: The skinny starch delivers almost a day's worth of vitamin C for the small price of 27 calories per cup. (Compare that to potatoes, which clock in at 116 calories per cup.)

Instead of hummus and pita, eat hummus and red pepper.

The body benefit: Pita loves to masquerade as a healthy snack, but nutritionally it's not that different than white bread, and no one's calling that a health food. Trade in the enormous amount of sodium (one serving has about 13 percent of your recommended daily intake) and munch on some equally crunchy -- and much more flavorful -- red pepper slices. Red peppers are packed with fiber as well as vitamins A, C and K, and you'll save about 135 calories.

Instead of potato chips, eat kale chips.

The body benefit: You can eat a cup and a half of kale chips for just 84 calories, while the same amount of potato chips will set you back more than 200. A serving of kale hits your entire daily requirement of vitamins A and C, not to mention delivering a generous helping of calcium and folate.

Instead of cheese and crackers, eat cheese and apple slices.

The body benefit: It doesn't take long to put a big dent in your box of crackers. Do the same to apple slices, and your body rejoices. One apple packs about 17 percent of your daily filling fiber needs, and with significantly fewer calories. Plus, eating apples may help erase signs of aging.

Instead of a snack bar, eat a handful of almonds.

The body benefit: Far too many bars (snack bars, protein bars, meal-replacement bars) contain high-fructose corn syrup. And even the ones that don't are generally high in sugar and binding additives. For protein without all of the fillers, a handful of almonds will do the trick. A recent Harvard study found a daily dose of nuts can lengthen your lifespan by cutting your risk of conditions including heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

Instead of low-fat cheese, eat fresh goat or feta cheese.

The body benefit: The low-fat processed cheeses you'll find hanging in the dairy section are filled with additives and preservatives, not to mention they lack much flavor. Instead, go for fresh goat cheese or feta. They contain conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which may help your body burn more fat.

Instead of sour cream, eat Greek yogurt.

The body benefit: Plain Greek yogurt and sour cream are so similar in taste and texture that you really have no excuse not to use the lean, protein-packed alternative to fattening sour cream. As a fajita-topper, sauce base or chip dip, a dollop of Greek yogurt can save you 20-plus grams of saturated fat while more than doubling your protein intake.

Instead of croutons, eat nuts.

The body benefit: Besides lending your salad a healthier crunch, the unsaturated fatty acids in nuts can help you get the most nutrients from said salad. Vitamins A, D, E and K are all fat-soluble, meaning your body can't absorb them unless you eat fat (like those in nuts!) along with them.

Instead of cooking with butter, use extra-virgin olive oil.

The body benefit: Both pack fat, sure, but not all fats are created equally. While butter is a big source of artery-clogging saturated fat, extra-virgin olive oil has healthy unsaturated fats. Olive oil promotes higher levels of the satiety hormone serotonin, which prevents overeating, according to a 2013 study from the Technische Universitat Munchen in Germany.

Instead of ice cream, eat frozen bananas.

The body benefit: Replacing a huge splurge with fruit is a win-win. You not only sidestep tons of sugar, but you score plenty of potassium, folate and vitamin C. If you have a few minutes, you can even throw the banana in the food processor to give it the same creamy, spoon-able texture as your favorite soft serve.

Instead of a milk chocolate bar, eat dark chocolate-covered peanuts.

The body benefit: The darker your chocolate, the less sugar and milk and the more antioxidant-packed cacao it has. No wonder why research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that dark chocolate improves insulin sensitivity and reduces blood sugar, markers of diabetes and heart disease. Meanwhile, peanuts give the treat a salty and protein-packed crunch.

Instead of chocolate chip cookies, eat fig bars.

The body benefit: Fig bars are technically still cookies, but since figs are deliciously sweet all on their own, you'll use much less refined sugar in your recipes. Plus, they are a great source of fiber, meaning you won't plow through the whole batch in a single sitting.

Instead of cream pie, eat fruit tart.

The body benefit: Chocolate cream, banana cream, cheesecake, it doesn't matter. A single slice can set you back hundreds of calories, and all with little nutritional benefit. A tart can give you a similar taste with less fat and more good-for-you fruit.

5 Best Essential Oils to Ease Depression

Coping with depression can be difficult, but there are natural remedies that can help. Essential oils quickly access the brain via the olfactory system that begins in the nose. Once there, their natural chemical constituents go to work to help restore brain hormonal balance. While there are many excellent essential oils that can help with depression, here are some of my preferred options:

Clary Sage

The essential oil most known for its hormone-balancing effects has been shown in an animal study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology to balance the brain hormones linked to depression, making it a novel potential treatment for those suffering from the mental illness. The oil has been found to have strong hormonal balancing effects. In another study of menopausal women published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, clary sage demonstrated the ability to reduce stress hormones, which may be helpful in the treatment of depression.


The fresh, bright scent of lemon is valuable for more than just cleaning your home—it can actually help ward off depression. According to a study in the journal Behavioural Brain Research, scientists found that lemon was effective in the treatment of depression. 


Research found that lavender was about as effective as a common drug used in the treatment of depression. Another study found that inhaling the scent of lavender essential oil every 8 hours for 4 weeks immediately following pregnancy can significantly reduce the risk of postpartum depression, which can be serious and long-lasting in many women. In a study published in the medical journal Frontiers in Pharmacology, researchers attribute lavender essential oil and its naturally present compound known as linalool’s antidepressant effects to its ability to help regulate the brain messenger known as serotonin. Serotonin is one of the body’s feel good chemical compounds that is imbalanced in people suffering from depression.


In a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, a natural compound found in frankincense was found to have antidepressant qualities. The compound, known as incensole acetate (IA), was found to regulate hormones secreted by the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands. The hypothalamus and pituitary glands are located in the brain and are involved in mood regulation while the adrenal glands sit atop the kidneys and help address stress in the body. The researchers concluded that frankincense has potential as a novel treatment for depression. Frankincense contains compounds known as sesquiterpenes, which cross the blood-brain barrier and may help to oxygenate the glands in the brain.


Rosemary essential oil has been found to have a potent antidepressant effect on animals studied. Published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, researchers found that the long-term traditional use of rosemary as a treatment for depression was justified. They found that the essential oil reversed depression about as well as the drug fluoxetine.
You can diffuse one or more of the above essential oils in an essential oil diffuser to reap their antidepressant effects, or you simply inhale the oil several times throughout the day for at least a few minutes each time. Alternatively, carry a cloth that you add a few drops of the oil to and sniff it throughout the day. Or place the cloth on your pillow to breathe in the scent during the night while you sleep.
Make sure you select high quality, pure, undiluted essential oils. While you may end up diluting the oils yourself, most of the oils on the market are diluted in less-than-desirable oils. High quality oils cost more than the cheap varieties on the market but are worth the increased price. Many cheap varieties can also contain synthetic versions of the oils, which offer no therapeutic value and may actually be harmful. But, worse than that, many cheap oils are adulterated with solvents used during the extraction process or toxic pesticides used in the growing process of the herbs from which the oils are extracted.
After diluting the oil in carrier oil, always conduct a 48-hour patch test on a small inconspicuous part of your skin to determine whether you have any sensitivity to the essential oils, if using them topically. Do not discontinue any prescribed medications without the guidance of your physician.

Morning Person or Night Owl? 6 Benefits of Both

Rise and shine or rise and whine? Whether you enthusiastically jump out of bed shortly after the sun comes up or prefer to stay up late and sleep in largely depends on your circadian rhythm—though it averages about 24 hours, many people have either a slightly longer or slightly shorter cycle, making them more likely to be night owls or early risers, respectively. But whichever one you are, there are benefits to both.

Early risers are more likely to be go-getters…

The early bird gets the worm, and the early riser may be more likely to get the promotion, according to a study of undergraduate students. Harvard biologist Christoph Randler found that morning people were more likely to agree with statements that indicate proactivity—like “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself” and “I feel in charge of making things happen.” 

But night owls are more creative thinkers.

Not to worry, night owls—your creativity can help you get a leg up on morning people in the office. Research from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan found that nocturnal types scored better on tests measuring originality, elaboration, fluidity, and flexibility.

Early risers may be happier…

You’re not imagining it—if you’re a night owl, your early riser friends and coworkers really are annoyingly chipper first thing in the morning. A University of Toronto study of more than 700 adults found that those who naturally wake up around 7am showed a 19-25 percent boost in feelings of happiness, liveliness, cheerfulness and alertness.

But night owls are less stressed.

According to research, early risers who wake up before 7:21am tend to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol than night owls do. Plus, their cortisol levels stayed high as the day went on.

Early risers are more alert for that morning meeting…

Ever notice that morning people look almost enthused at an early morning meeting? Turns out, according to scientists at the University of Alberta, the early riser’s brain is more excitable (and alert) at 9am than the brain of a night owl.

But night owls stay more alert later in the day.

By late afternoon and evening, it’s night owls who have the advantage. A study at the University of Liege in Belgium found that 10.5 hours after waking up, night owls were more mentally alert, while early birds had lower activity in brain regions associated with attention.

You Only Have to Drink This Much Soda to Consume 39 Pounds of Sugar a Year

Most people are not aware about all the health dangers of drinking soda. In Mexico (currently the world’s most obese nation) the average person consumes 459 cans of soda per year (or about 146 liters). This is 2nd to only one nation, America, where the average person consumes 487 cans of Soda per year (or 170 liters). According to the Bloomberg Total Health Index, in 2017 Italy has the world’s healthiest people whom consume only about 46 liters of soda per year.
The correlation between soda consumption and rising obesity and diabetes rates are well established. But there are many other reasons why this beverage is bad for you. Unfortunately, the sweet taste and inclusion of caffeine, has many people addicted to soda and many consume several cans per day. Other people are confused and tricked into thinking they are drinking a healthy alternative when they choose diet soda. This is unfortunately false as the ingredients used in diet soda are in many cases worse than those in regular soda.
Let’s look closer at the health dangers of drinking soda and the impact of soda consumption and why you should think twice about drinking it or allowing your kids to.

Health Dangers of Drinking Soda

Tooth Decay: According to the American Dental Association, soda is a leading contributor to cavities and tooth decay, especially in children. In some places, like territories in the Appalachian Mountains, tooth decay from sodas (like Mountain Dew) are an epidemic. Excessive tooth decay can affect both the nerve endings and the roots of the tooth causing pain and even tooth loss. When you do drink soda, make sure to brush your teeth after doing so.
Renal Problems: Both the acids (like phosphoric acid) and sodium (like sodium bentonite) can cause kidney stones and other renal issues. If you have renal problems and consume soda on a regular basis, you should consider if it is contributing to your condition.
Obesity: This is the obvious one and very impactful as carrying extra weight can result in diabetes, heart problems, skeletal issues as well as severely lowering your life longevity. It is estimated that if you consume 1 can of soda per day, you will have consumed over 39 pounds of sugar that year!
Osteoporosis: This affects many women (in particular) and can be very painful as you age. The high levels of phosphate found in soda affect your mineral equilibrium and in-turn damages your bones.
Diabetes: Daily consumption of soda will raise your risk of type 2 diabetes by 15% and promotes insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes can result in cognitive and cardiac impairment. One of the major epidemics in our society is the high rates of diabetes and pre-diabetic conditions in children.
Eliminating soda consumption would be the best way to reduce your children’s risk.
As you can see, when you drink soda there are many potentially harmful impacts to your body. Limiting (or completely eliminating) soda consumption will help you achieve your fitness and weight loss goals faster, live a longer life and maintain overall health as you age.