16 Superb Health Benefits Of Cucumber | Care2 Healthy Living

Pick a handful of firm, dark green cucumbers and pop them into your shopping basket. Congratulations! You have just bought yourself a fruit (yes, the cool cuke is fruit, not a vegetable) full of good health!

Here is a short list of the impressive health benefits that a cucumber carries:

  • Keeps you hydrated. If you are too busy to drink enough water, munch on the cool cucumber, which is 96 percent water. It will cheerfully compensate!
  • Fights heat, both inside and out. Eat cucumber, and your body gets relief from heartburn. Apply cucumber on your skin, and you get relief from sunburn.
  • Flushes out toxins. All that water in cucumber acts as a virtual broom, sweeping waste products out of your system. With regular use, cucumber is known to dissolve kidney stones.
  • Lavishes you with vitamins. A B and C, which boost immunity, give you energy, and keep you radiant. Give it more power by juicing cucumber with carrot and spinach.
  • Supplies skin-friendly minerals: magnesium, potassium, silicon. That’s why cucumber-based treatments abound in spas.
  • Aids in weight loss. Enjoy cucumbers in your salads and soups. My favorite snack? Crunchy cucumber sticks with creamy low-fat yogurt dip.
  • Revives the eyes. Placing chilled slices of cucumber on the eyes is a clichéd beauty visual, but it really helps reduce under-eye bags and puffiness.
  • Cuts cancer. Cut down your risk of several cancers by including cucumber in your diet. Several studies show its cancer-fighting potential.
  • Stabilizes blood pressure. Patients of blood pressure, both high and low, often find that eating cucumber brings relief.
  • Refreshes the mouth. Cucumber juice refreshes and heals diseased gums, leaving your mouth smelling good.
  • Helps digestion. Chewing cucumber gives the jaws a good workout, and the fiber in it is great for digestion.
  • Smooths hair and nails. Silica, the wonder mineral in cucumber makes your hair and nails stronger and shinier.
  • Soothes muscle and joint pain. All those vitamins and minerals in cucumber make it a powerful enemy of muscle and joint pain.
  • Keeps kidneys in shape. Cucumber lowers uric acid levels in your system, keeping the kidneys happy.
  • Good for diabetics. Patients of diabetes can enjoy cucumber while also reaping its health benefits: cucumber contains a hormone needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin.
  • Reduces cholesterol. A compound called sterols in cucumber helps reduce bad cholesterol.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/16-superb-health-benefits-of-cucumber.html#ix

Source: 16 Superb Health Benefits Of Cucumber | Care2 Healthy Living

Can coffee cause cancer? Only if it’s very hot, says WHO agency | Reuters


There is no conclusive evidence that drinking coffee causes cancer, the World Health Organization’s cancer agency said on Wednesday in a reverse of its previous warning, but it also said all “very hot” drinks are probably carcinogenic.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) had previously rated coffee as “possibly carcinogenic” but has changed its mind.

It now says its latest review found “no conclusive evidence for a carcinogenic effect” of coffee drinking and pointed to some studies showing coffee may actually reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer.

“(This) does not show that coffee is certainly safe … but there is less reason for concern today than there was before,” Dana Loomis, the deputy head of IARC’s Monograph classification department told a news conference.

At the same time, however, IARC presented other scientific evidence which suggests that drinking anything very hot – around 65 degrees Celsius or above – including water, coffee, tea and other beverages, probably does cause cancer of the oesophagus.

Lyon-based IARC, which last year prompted headlines worldwide by saying processed meat can cause cancer, reached its conclusions after reviewing more than 1,000 scientific studies in humans and animals. There was inadequate evidence for coffee to be classified as either carcinogenic or not carcinogenic.

IARC had previously put coffee as a “possible carcinogen” in its 2B category alongside chloroform, lead and many other substances.

The U.S. National Coffee Association welcomed the change in IARC’s classification as “great news for coffee drinkers”.

The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee, whose members are six of the major European coffee companies – illycaffè, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Lavazza, Nestlé (NESN.S), Paulig, and Tchibo – said IARC had found “no negative relationship between coffee consumption and cancer”.


In its evaluation of very hot drinks, IARC said animal studies suggest carcinogenic effects probably occur with drinking temperatures of 65 Celsius or above. Some experiments with rats and mice found “very hot” liquids, including water, could promote the development of tumours, it said.

The agency said studies of hot drinks such as maté, an infusion consumed mainly in South America, tea and other drinks in several countries including China, Iran, Japan and Turkey, found the risk of oesophageal cancer “may increase with the temperature of the drink” above 65 Celsius.

“These results suggest that drinking very hot beverages is one probable cause of oesophageal cancer and that it is the temperature, rather than the drinks themselves, that appears to be responsible,” said IARC’s director, Christopher Wild.

Oesophageal cancer is the eighth most common cause of cancer worldwide and one of the main causes of cancer death, with around 400,000 deaths recorded in 2012.

The WHO’s official spokesman in Geneva, Gregory Hartl, stressed that smoking and drinking alcohol were among the most serious risk factors for oesophageal cancer and urged people to focus on reducing these as a priority. He said IARC’s evaluation of hot drinks was based on limited available evidence in humans and animals and more research is needed.

“We say: be prudent, let hot drinks cool down,” he told Reuters, adding that the WHO’s advice was to “not consume foods or drinks when they are at a very hot – scalding hot – temperature”.

Drinking very hot beverages is now classified as probably carcinogenic in IARC’s group 2A category, alongside red meat and nitrogen mustard.

But David Spiegelhalter, a professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at Britain’s University of Cambridge, said he was concerned that IARC’s review would confuse people.

“Last year the IARC said that bacon is carcinogenic, but it became clear that when eaten in moderation it is not very risky. In the case of very hot drinks, the IARC concludes they are probably hazardous, but can’t say how big the risk might be,” he said in an emailed comment. “This may be interesting science, but makes it difficult to construct a sensible response.”


(Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Pravin Char)

A cup of coffee served at a coffee shop in Caracas, Venezuela, February 26, 2015.


Source: Can coffee cause cancer? Only if it’s very hot, says WHO agency | Reuters

Want to Get More Done at the Office? Just Stand Up – WSJ


Texas A&M researchers found that workers who could stand at their desks were 46% more productive than those with traditional seated desks

New research supports the use of standing desks, finding workers are more productive. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES


When employees stand, they deliver. That, at least, is the implication of a new study of workers who sit all the time versus those who use standing-capable desks.

Stand-up desks have been gaining popularity in recent years, but reports on their benefits have been mixed, and much of the focus has been on whether they help workers to be healthier and more comfortable. Researchers at Texas A&M University now report that, in their study, the workers were indeed more comfortable, probably because they were moving—and that the standing desks benefited their employers as well.

The researchers found that workers at a call center who were given “stand-capable” desks—ones that were either adjustable to standing height or set to standing position—were 46% more productive than workers with traditional seated desks. This was the case even though the workers at these stand-capable desks had less experience on the job.

Beginner’s luck probably wasn’t a factor, the scientists say, since the bulk of the productivity gains didn’t set in until the workers’ second month at the standing desks, and all had been employed for at least 90 days.

The study covered 167 employees, divided into two groups: those with traditional seating and those whose desks promoted standing. The researchers measured productivity by the number of calls per hour in which a worker reached a target client and went through a health-related script, including arranging a follow-up call.

The researchers attributed much of the productivity gains to the greater physical comfort reported by the workers at the higher desks. Nearly three-quarters of those workers said that they felt less discomfort after using the desks for the six-month study. The greater comfort was consistent with prior research showing that standing desks offer benefits to their users—by helping them burn more calories, for example, or improving their concentration and other mental powers.

Some earlier evidence has suggested that workers with stand-capable desks don’t actually spend much time standing. But the Texas A&M researchers found that the call-center workers with such desks really did spend a lot more time on their feet—an extra 1.6 hours a day compared with workers using traditional desks. (The amount of time spent standing was measured by wearable monitors.)

One of the scientists, Mark Benden, who heads the university’s Ergonomics Center, says that merely getting workers to stand probably doesn’t fully account for the team’s findings. As he puts it, “statically standing is not much better than statically sitting.” The key difference, he argues, is that the standing-oriented desks get people to move more: The standers “wiggle, wobble, pivot, lean, perch, etc.,” which is crucial, he says, in today’s age of “technology induced inactivity.” Dr. Benden says that he can foresee the day when a smartphone or some other high-tech device, attuned to our activities as well as our vital signs, will pick a good time to nudge us to get up and move around a little on the job.

Source: Want to Get More Done at the Office? Just Stand Up – WSJ

Sweat Equity: These Wireless Skin Sensors Could Check Your Vital Signs And Monitor Your Health – GE Reports



by Mark Egan

Anil Duggal has always had a knack for invention — the GE Global Research chief scientist has 98 U.S. patents to his name. Now, with the support of his colleagues Jeff Ashe andAzar Alizadeh, Duggal is on the verge of turning years of abandoned research into what might be the world’s most advanced skin-surface medical sensors.

The slim, wireless devices, which GE is developing with the support of the Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, stick to the wrist like Band-Aids. They remotely analyze sweat, check vital signs and even keep track of patients’ medical progress after treatment. “This will really improve patient experience and get doctors better data about patients,” Duggal says.

The sensors will also be able to track heart rate, blood pressure and blood-oxygen saturation levels, and potentially make EKG go wireless. You could wear GE’s sensors under a business suit and allow your doctor to check your heart activity while you work in the office or play at home.


Top image: A prototype of a wireless sensor. Above: Anil Duggal with a sheet of OLEDs. Images credit: GE Global Research

The story of this project starts miles from any medical research lab. To power these sensors, Duggal and team resurrected a moon-shot idea that never quite reached orbit: organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).

OLEDs were once the next big thing in lighting for GE. They glow when electricity flows through specialized organic polymers and could be embedded in printed rolls of flexible sheets. Energy-efficient? Check. Pliable? Check. Innovative? And how. We’d leap beyond single-point bulb illumination in favor of glowing furniture, wallpaper or ceilings. The technology looked like it was going to revolutionize lighting.

Except it didn’t. GE engineers realized that in order to fully develop and commercialize OLEDs, they would have had to pull resources from another approach the company invented and had invested heavily in: LEDs. So five years ago, GE made the wrenching decision to cut the cord on OLEDs.

Duggal has experienced something similar in his own life. At Princeton University, he briefly considered leaving science for religion and philosophy. He wanted to try out different things and “follow my nose.” But the science bug didn’t let go. “I realized I was much better at science than religion and philosophy, and it made for a better career too,” he says. “As a scientist in an industrial lab, you have an opportunity to change the world, so when that goal gets set back, it’s disappointing. But then you ask yourself: How else can I use this research? We figured out we could use all this technology in reverse, as a detector.”

GE’s Jeff Ashe is building brain sensors. Image credit: GE Reports

Like Duggal’s passion for science, the OLED research didn’t die. It ended up on the shelf of the GE Store, GE’s internal exchange for people and know-how. It’s now helping the company create a new world of possibilities for sensor technology.

Most talk about sensors today revolves around Fitbits or Apple Watches. But the team’s new flexible sensors and the lessons from OLEDs have implications for healthcare and beyond. They are being tested in clinical trials to monitor hydration levels of people during intense exercise. The team is working to expand this testing to measure stress as well.

This research is closely connected to GE’s efforts to digitize medicine and upload medical information into the cloud. GE engineers in Helsinki are looking for ways to constantly stream heartbeat, blood pressure, respiration and other information into massive data banks, where software can analyze it, alert doctors to anomalies and looming crises, and effectively create our digital twins.

Within five years, medical body sensors could enable patient monitoring over a wireless network that will allow doctors to learn what’s happening with a patient from any connected device. Image credit: GE Healthcare

“The same transformation that happened with mobile phones is taking place in patient monitoring,” Erno Muuranto, the engineer leading the effort, told GE Reports. “The world is going wireless and wearable. We could run hospitals like smart factories. Wireless sensors and data analytics will help correctly diagnose patients in the ambulance. It will allow us to administer correct treatment faster, which could lead to faster discharge. It will also allow us to monitor people remotely from home. All of this will help improve care and costs.”

But GE’s flexible-electronics research applies to machines as well as bodies. Duggal and his team can turn the sensors into flexible X-ray detectors that can conform to the shape of pipes and inspect them for cracks to support the oil and gas business.

Duggal isn’t done inventing. He and colleagues like Ashe want to explore whether soft, organic semiconductors can interact with human tissue, merging electronics with biological tissue — an approach that could be used in neural implants to treat epilepsy, for example, or in helping electronics interact with your skin. Duggal wants to figure out how to blend the advantages of OLEDs — principally their size and flexibility — with the computing power of a traditional small, inflexible silicon chip.

While Duggal’s career might still have plenty of highs and lows, he’s not planning on letting future disappointments get in his way. “I like to think that my brief foray into religion and philosophy gave me a perspective and wisdom that disappointments are not the end of the world,” he says.


Healthcare OLED Sensors GE HealthcareGE Global Research Digital Twin GE Store


Source: Sweat Equity: These Wireless Skin Sensors Could Check Your Vital Signs And Monitor Your Health – GE Reports

Patients Ponder Life and Death as California’s New ‘Right to Die’ Law Begins – NBC News


Terminally ill California residents may now legally take medicine to end their lives, thanks to a new law that goes into effect Thursday.

Under the “End of Life Option Act,” California has become the fifth state in the nation to create a legal process for patients to obtain aid in dying.

And how the law fares in such a large and diverse state could shape whether this controversial option gains traction in the rest of the nation.

Advocates say people should have the right to decide whether they want “aid in dying,” while opponents argue patients could feel pressure to take their own lives.

‘I love my life’

Kristy Allan, a 63-year-old who has been in hospice care for terminal cancer since November, says the new law gives her peace of mind.

“I like my life, I love my children,” Allan emphasized. She has already decided, however, at what point she would seek to end her life.

“For me, it’s if I can no longer hygienically take care of myself,” she told NBC News, adding, “I don’t want my husband to have to.”

Kristy Allan and husband Ken J. Smith Courtesy Kristy Allan


Allan has been living with Stage IV terminal colon cancer since 2009.

Last fall, after exhausting all viable chemotherapy treatment options, she says she decided to focus on the time she had left. The turning point was her daughter’s engagement.

While gathering to celebrate with her family, friends — and even her oncologist — Allan sensed their concern that she might not live to see the wedding. Yet she was more focused on how she would experience the wedding.

“About a month before the wedding, I just said, no more — no more treatment,” Allan recalled.

By taking that step, Allan felt she was not only accepting her condition, but taking control of how she wants to live. Under the new law, Allan says she is also able to take some control of how she wants to die.

She learned about aid-in-dying from a radio interview about Compassion and Choices, an advocacy group.

Allan now views the option as a human right, telling NBC News, “I was confident the moment I heard the speaker on public radio that I was in support of getting the law implemented.”

If Allan is like other patients who have considered aid in dying, there is no guarantee she will ultimately use the option.

Kristy Allan (r), husband Ken Smith (l) and daughter Lillian Smith (c) Courtesy Kristy Allan

In Oregon, which has offered a similar program for almost a decade, some terminally ill patients obtain lethal prescriptions without using them.

Last year, for example, about 40 percent of patients who received prescriptions did not use them.

The California law requires that patients be informed that they can obtain the prescriptions without taking them, to discourage any sense of obligation for beginning the process.

To be eligible, the law also requires that patients are mentally competent; have a prognosis of less than six months to live; and are physically capable of ingesting the drugs — a contrast with euthanasia that requires direct lethal action by another person.

The law also states that physicians have no obligation to prescribe aid-in-dying drugs, or even discuss it, if they oppose the practice.

Patients should not ‘be abandoned’

Still, many doctors and medical ethicists object to lawmakers bringing suicide into the medical process.

The American Medical Association, the largest physician group in the U.S., has a formal ethics policy against doctors facilitating a patient’s death, including offering information or drugs “to enable the patient to perform the life-ending act.”

“Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks,” the policy states. It advises doctors to “aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the end of life,” rather than deciding patients should “be abandoned” or offered “assisted suicide.”

Neil Wenger, a doctor who directs a health ethics center at UCLA, opposes the practice and says the new law crosses a fundamental line.

“We have always, up till now, been able to say we will never hasten a death,” he told the Los Angeles Times.

While the human and ethical dilemmas run deep, at a policy level, state health officials project that very few people will actually exercise the new option.

Less than 1,500 adults per year “would request and obtain prescriptions” for aid in dying, based on the “low utilization” rate in states with similar policies like Oregon, according to an analysis by the California Department of Health.

Politically, the law has also drawn wide bipartisan support, backed by 67 percent of California Republicans and 82 percent of Democrats, according to a Berkeley poll last year.

Yet like many core questions involving death, the issue may feel fairly unknowable, or theoretical, for many people. For patients like Kristy Allan, the new law could not come sooner.

Source: Patients Ponder Life and Death as California’s New ‘Right to Die’ Law Begins – NBC News

Why ‘Follow Your Passion’ Is Awful, Flawed Advice

Why ‘Follow Your Passion’ Is Awful, Flawed Advice

Why 'Follow Your Passion' Is Awful, Flawed AdviceImage credit: Shutterstock

Carol Roth



Entrepreneur and author

With a job being something that we can no longer count on and more demands than ever on our time, we seem to be in constant search of balance and fulfillment. This has created a huge “follow your passion” movement, which suggests that you should earn a living by creating a livelihood from your greatest life passion.

But getting intoxicated by the passion story is akin to “business beer goggles.” You aren’t thinking clearly or seeing the reality.

For businesses to be successful, entrepreneurs need to think about opportunities from their customers’ perspective as much as from their own perspective.

While I do believe that successful businesses have leaders — and often employees, by the way — who are passionate about the business opportunity and their customers, you do not need your life’s passion as a starting point. If you were passionate about the television show Dexter, I’m pretty sure that doesn’t translate into you starting a serial-killer business — despite being amoral and illegal, I don’t think the market opportunity is that large. But seriously, why do so many people think that you need to earn a living from what you love to do the most?

Passion isn’t a starting point.

Zappos.com is a business where passion followed opportunity, but wasn’t the starting point. I can’t imagine that Tony Hsieh is more passionate about shoes than most of the women that I know. He is, however, completely passionate about customer service, which helped take that business to the top of its game.

But people’s life passions generally aren’t around concepts like customer service, which drive successful businesses. Kids grow up wanting to be firemen, ballerinas, baseball players or Star Wars characters, not community builders. If you ask someone their passion, I can guarantee that 99 out of 100 times or more, you will get answers like golf, dancing, wine, scrapbooking or sex before customer service, community building and customer loyalty. If you start with passion, Imelda Marcos or Sex & the City’s Carrie Bradshaw end up running Zappos.com before Tony Hsieh.

Successful businesses identify a customer need or want — an opportunity. When the entrepreneur is incredibly passionate about filling that customer need and is uniquely positioned to be the best person to do so in some way, that’s where business success happens.

And here’s the brilliant part: As long as entrepreneurs aren’t a bandwagon hopper trying to jump on whatever is hot, they will likely find an opportunity from an area of interest. For example, if you have no interest in green technologies, it’s not likely that you will notice a customer need in that area. On the other hand, if you are a foodie, it’s quite possible that you will run into an opportunity in or around food.

The reason work is not called ‘fun’ or ‘hobby’.

One of the ways to truly have some semblance of balance is to try to keep your work life from seeping into the rest of your life. If you have something that you do to relieve stress or add joy to your life, do you want to layer on the requirement of earning a living from it?  Once you depend on something to put food on your family’s table and to pay your mortgage, it changes the entire nature of the relationship. Sometimes, work can be fun, but it’s not called that for a reason. Plus, we weren’t designed to always be “on.” We need time to recombobulate and relax.

Passions are magical, but businesses are grounded in realities. Do you remember when Dorothy and the gang peered behind the curtain to find out that the Wizard of Oz wasn’t an all-powerful being, but rather, kind of a loser? Or when you found out that Santa Claus wasn’t real? Or when you figured out that your parents weren’t superheroes, just people with flaws? It sucked, right? Our hobbies are about escapism. There is a bit of magic and fantasy in them. When you make that your business, you are privy to the nuts and bolts. That tempers the magic.

It’s not all about you.

Having a hobby is a total self-indulgence. It is something that you can do that is mostly — if not entirely — you-centric. While you may think that you can have a business that is all about you, you would be wrong. A business is about your customers. In your business, you only get a say if it jives with your customers’ wants. Otherwise, they don’t buy from you.

We need to educate entrepreneurs that by approaching a business from what you are lacking or missing or passionate about, you are completely ignoring those who allow you to have a business: your customers. Again, our environment is fraught with competition. Customers, whose attention spans are contracting, are bombarded with messages and are harder to reach than ever. You have to make the customers the most important part of your business.

If you want to fulfill a passion, do it. That’s what hobbies and free time are for. But if you intertwine that desire with a business, remember that your passion does not pay your for goods or services.

While you may find an opportunity from things that you are passionate about, I don’t think it’s the best starting place to create a business. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. However, the exceptions don’t make for a good strategy. It is possible to win the lottery, but that doesn’t mean that you should invest all of your money in lottery tickets.

While you absolutely need to be passionate about making your business a success, you don’t need to make a business from your greatest passion in life. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Find the opportunities that ignite a passion within you- that is where the success will happen.

Source: Why ‘Follow Your Passion’ Is Awful, Flawed Advice