Category Archives: Health

Coffee could save your hearing – seriously

Posted in Coffee, Health on by .

hearing loss

 

It’s been a popular belief in the past that caffeine can actually have a negative impact on those suffering from tinnitus, and cutting back on caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee was the solution to helping with the condition. But there’s been a distinct lack of scientific evidence to support this. Numerous medical studies have concluded that reducing caffeine intake has had little to no effect on tinnitus, with some sufferers actually reporting that their condition worsened.

This prompted new controversial research from Canada which has been published in the American Journal of Medicine. The results indicate that an increased caffeine intake may actually have protective qualities against tinnitus. The study, which involved 70,000 Canadian women, found that those who regularly drank three to four cups of coffee a day were 15% less likely to develop tinnitus. Researches were astounded by the results. It’s been suggested that caffeine may have had a positive effect on the delicate hair cells in the inner ear, which could explain the results of the study.

cup of coffee

Image courtesy of http://sarahfirnberg.com

Doctors have warned that further research is needed before they can recommend increased caffeine intake as a preventative measure for tinnitus. As the study was only conducted on women; further research inclusive of men is needed to see if caffeine has the same positive effect for both genders. However, the findings of the initial research is very welcome news for those suffering from the condition.

Tinnitus can be caused by numerous factors, such as exposure to loud music or an ear infection which leads to nerve damage in the inner ear. Sufferers experience a persistent ringing sound in their ears. Short-term tinnitus is common from exposure to loud music – but it can be a life-long problem for some. Long-term tinnitus has become a growing problem, especially in younger people, due to overexposure to increasing noise pollution. Currently, there’s no cure for long-term sufferers – and the condition can be highly distressing for those affected.

According to the NHS, in the UK around 6 million people (10% of the population) suffer from a mild form of the condition, with 1% suffering from tinnitus to an extent where it negatively affects their quality of life. Tinnitus is most common in people aged 65 and over, however can affect people of any age including children.

If you’re hard of hearing, perhaps a fresh cup of coffee could be the solution to your problems? Coffee is a fantastic natural source of caffeine and contains numerous beneficial anti-oxidants. For more information on coffee’s array of awesome advantages, read our article on 7 health benefits of drinking coffee.

hearing loss

Image courtesy of http://www.houseofhearing.co.uk/data/images/hearingloss2.jpg

Running the Ashby 20: Sunday 9 March 2014

Posted in Charity, Community, Health on by .

 

Eden Springs’ own Darryl updates us on his training to run the London Marathon. Please do support Darryl’s fundraising at www.virginmoneygiving.com/darryljohnson.

push it

Ran the Ashby 20 yesterday in the lovely warm sunshine!

1200+ people turned up for the race, which is organised to coincide with London marathon training.
There was a fantastic atmosphere and great support all round from local people embracing the race as part of local culture.

Personally I was very pleased with my race with a very modest 3hrs 22min. The last two miles were very tough going but I achieved yet another milestone: every step over 19 miles was a step further than I’d ever run in my life.

I got very emotional at the end as four years ago my life was as low as it has ever been (won’t go into details) and I have been able to turn my life around – with the support and belief in me from my family and true friends (mostly my gorgeous fiance), set myself goals AND achieve them. Life is good right now :)

ashby 20 darryl johnsonashby 20 darryl johnson

 

Butter coffee movement: The amazing truth

Posted in Coffee, Health on by .

Knob of butter on plate for coffee

 

A new health trend has emerged, and it’s not something you would normally associate with healthy living: butter is the latest buzz food in the health conscious community.

Even more bizarre is that people aren’t eating it on their morning toast, they’re drinking it in their morning coffee! Let’s take a closer look at this seemingly paradoxical movement.

butter coffee

Base, base, buttery base

David Asprey from Bulletproof Coffee explains the health benefits of sticking a knob of butter in your morning fix! This bizarre new craze in health drinks boasts a hefty number of converts and claims to help keep energy levels up throughout the day, promote weight loss and even improve brain function. Steep claims to make.

David claims that butter contains all of the benefits of milk fat without the denatured proteins found in cream. The drink has proven particularly popular amongst those on high protein and high fat diets such as the “paleo” diet.

Unsurprisingly, there’s been some level of opposition to the butter coffee initiative, with nutritionists warning that drinkers are increasing their intake of unhealthy saturated fats and that the added calories could lead to weight gain.Knob of butter on plate for coffee

How to make butter coffee

If all this talk of butter has given you a curious craving, you’ll be pleased (and unsurprised) to hear that the formula for butter coffee is pretty simple. The recipe calls for 1-2 tablespoons of butter mixed into your morning java – simple enough.

Trendsetter David Asprey, however, insists on using unsalted, grass-fed butter mixed into special “low-toxin” coffee. Perhaps some of the supposed health benefits are due to these healthier alternatives.

If the claims are true, the health benefits could be worth putting up with the taste of buttery coffee. But we’re not sure if we’re brave enough to try it ourselves – the verdict is still out on this one!

7 very bold (and totally legit) claims about your morning coffee

Posted in Coffee, Health on by .

yin-yang-coffee

The morning coffee is worshipped universally as the ultimate easy-access pick-me-up. Sometimes coffee gets a pretty bad rap – what naysayers may not know, however, is that what coffee-lovers consider a cheeky vice is actually a very positive life choice. Want some stats with that? Get this data down you so you can give your next coffee a big old swirl of self-righteousness.

 

Coffee vs. Diabetes

Regular coffee drinkers will be relieved to see a negative correlation between their java intake and their chance of contracting Type 2 diabetes. This study by ACS indicates that people averaging four or more coffees a day have a 50% lower risk of the disease, with every further cup lowering the risk by another 7%.

Coffee vs. Parkinson’s

Not only can coffee lower committed drinkers’ risk of developing Parkinson’s, but sufferers will find welcome relief in this hot cup of health benefits, as coffee has been further proven to lessen the disease’s symptoms.

Coffee vs. Stress

That mystical coffee aroma is pretty powerful stuff – studies show that the stress associated with lack of sleep can be alleviated just through exposure to the smell of a hot cup of coffee.

Coffee vs. Liver Failure

Long-term studies have been performed over decades that indicate people drinking at least one cup of coffee a day are 20% less likely to contract liver cirrhosis later in life. The disease, primarily caused by alcohol abuse, is something that your morning coffee can help to prevent long-term.

Coffee vs. Depression

The National Institute of Health conducted a study concluding that people drinking four or more cups of coffee a day are 10% less likely to suffer from depression than non-drinkers – and don’t make the mistake of thinking this is down to the caffeine high. We’ve got the lovely antioxidants to thank for that. On a bigger scale, a few cups of java per day can reduce the risk of suicide by half, acting as a mild antidepressant by producing serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine.

Coffee vs. Inertia

Having a cheeky cup of coffee is universally known to give you an immediate mental and physical boost, offering some lovely motivational properties. Athletes in particular will see a jolt in performance following their morning cuppa, particularly from an endurance perspective. The reason for this is just simple science – caffeine gets more fatty acids into your bloodstream which can be absorbed and burned for fuel, giving you a carbohydrate reserve you can save for later.

Coffee vs. Stupidity

Coffee is the first port of call for anyone suffering from the terrors of sleep deprivation. While a caffeine injection gives you the instant pick-me-up you need, the benefits extend far beyond that. Amazingly, a dose of caffeine offers improved attention span, reaction times, reasoning and vigilance – which ultimately means a simple cup of coffee can make you smarter (temporarily, of course; coffee alone will not make you a rocket scientist).

Coffee vs. Cancer

Female coffee fanatics have a lot to gain from fuelling their cravings. A 20-year study by Harvard Medical School concluded that women drinking 3 or more cups a day are significantly less likely to contract skin cancer – which makes this drink not only a day-changer but also a potential life-saver.

So…put the kettle on?

yin-yang-coffee

Image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/89483624@N03/8630713016/

Should you drink as much coffee as you want?

Posted in Coffee, Health on by .

Should You Drink as Much Coffee as You Want?

A number of coffee studies from major universities and institutes have recently reached similar conclusions: They suggest that you can drink as much coffee as you want without any particular health issues being raised. The only suggestion is for people to cut out the last cup of coffee each day if sleeping is a problem. So is there a limit to how many cups of coffee you can drink in a day?

Drink more coffee for a healthy lifestyle

The Institute for Coffee Studies at Vanderbilt University suggests that you can drink as much coffee as you like so long as it doesn’t keep you awake. The thought behind this is that the coffee is healthy and cannot do you any harm, and might help you achieve a healthy lifestyle.

The American Medical Association (cited in the New York Times) recommends that a moderate amount of coffee drinking won’t harm your health, providing all other aspects of your lifestyle are healthy and good for you. They further go on to suggest that coffee drinking might prevent Alzheimer’s disease by protecting your liver. The size of the studies that they’ve carried out is significant. They recommend that a moderate amount of caffeine is good for everyone because you can consider it as a nutrient.

Harvard’s School of Public Health and the Department of Nutrition has found that coffee drinkers are at a lower risk of suffering from type II diabetes than non-coffee drinkers. Caffeine increases the levels of blood glucose which helps increase the resistance of insulin. Twenty years of studies have shown an 8% decrease in the risk of type II diabetes for women while men show a 4% reduction.

For 30 years from the 1980s, data from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study followed a large group of people including 80,000 women and 40,000 men. The data is seen as reliable even though it was self reported. Although sugar sweetened beverages do increase the risk of diabetes slightly, it is the preference for sugar and cream that increases the risk of danger. They have found no difference whatsoever between the consumption of regular coffee and decaf in the health of the study groups.

4 or 10 cups a day?

The studies show that a number of ingredients in coffee offer biological benefits. They also confirmed that there is no association between moderate coffee consumption and heart failure. During their experiments, while many people drank 4 cups of coffee a day the beneficial effects did not decrease when people increased their consumption beyond 10 cups a day.

The studies also developed ideas that caffeine works well as a pain reliever, because many people who worked in offices and usually suffered from back, neck and shoulder problems, experienced less pain when they consumed more coffee.

A Japanese study of 550 adults, drinking both coffee and green tea, saw a reduction in the risks associated to coronary artery disease, stroke and type II diabetes.

The Harvard School of Public Health follow-up study found that coffee offers a high level of protection to some types of prostate cancer, particularly amongst people who drank six or more cups of coffee per day.

The American Society for Nutrition, which studied 500,000 adults, reported that people drinking a high dosage of coffee regularly were effectively fighting colorectal cancer.

It would appear that many sensible universities and studies are proving that a good level of coffee consumption certainly won’t kill you. In fact, it may help you live longer.

Get your daily caffeine fix from one of our business coffee machines.

Image credit: Epsos_de

Active? Why you should start drinking before you get thirsty

Posted in Health, Well Being at Work on by .

Why You Should Start Drinking before You Get Thirsty

When you’re physically active on a hot day and don’t have the opportunity to take on sufficient water, you might notice that your calf muscles develop a cramp. If you continue the muscle will develop an extremely annoying trembling feeling. If you’re lucky enough to take a few sips of water at this stage, the cramp might disappear for a very short period of time but when it does return your breathing might resemble that of someone having an asthma attack. Despite the hot weather, you might start to feel a chill, which will inevitably be followed by dizziness and if you don’t stop running immediately, you could lose consciousness.

These are all the signs that are associated with an electrolyte and fluid imbalance. For those being physical for long periods this can be dangerous to your health, which is why you must develop a regime to drink sufficient water before you become thirsty. Prevention is much easier than the cure.

The difference between professional and amateur athletes

One of the major differences between professional and amateur athletes is not about the amount of money that the athletes receive, but about the way they understand the science of the way that their body works. Professional athletes understand water loss during a race and will hydrate their body sufficiently before a race so that the body is able to function all the way to the finishing line.

Amateur athletes will fail to consume enough water before and during a race and you will see them rocking-and-rolling as they try to complete the final push or last mile.

When you feel thirsty, you will already have lost about 3% of your body’s water, causing you to be extremely dehydrated. This equates to reducing your best performance by over 15%. This will lose you the marathon or long distance track race.

To put this into perspective, if someone running a 10k is 2% dehydrated, the race will take them almost 3 minutes longer to complete. Dehydration can reach the stage of becoming life-threatening when between 10% and 20% of a person’s body weight is lost.

Making sure urine is the right colour

Taking on a lot of water before or during a race is not productive. Your body prefers to sip fluids gradually throughout the day. If all other aspects of your health are in perfect condition, your urine will flow as a very pale yellow colour if you are fully hydrated.

Be aware that any caffeine or soda bubbles in what you consume can reduce the amount of fluid in your body.

Experts suggest that you need to gradually take in around 16 ounces of plain water at least an hour before exercising. It is better if this water is taken in gradually, than in one quick drink. That’s because you need to maintain a fluid balance during the exercise as you will lose sweat, which will become more rapid the longer you exercise.

Where possible, your body will benefit from drinking 6 to 7 ounces of fluid, roughly every 20 minutes of exercise. For an amateur exercise, this is quite easy to achieve, but not for a professional athlete in the middle of a 10,000 m race.

When you start to feel thirsty, your body is telling you that it is already dehydrated. It takes good practice and planning to ingest sufficient water before you begin exercising while still avoiding feeling bloated.

 

Make sure you always have enough to drink with our Eden Springs bottled water and water dispensers.

 

Image credit: Homespot HQ

How good water can reduce world cholera levels

Posted in Health on by .

Aerial view of Haiti

Eden Springs are involved in charity and water projects around the UK and the globe. As part of this work we’re looking at humanitarian issues caused by poor water quality. 

The people of Haiti have suffered terrible, desperate times in the past decade. Of the 200 or so countries in the world, Haiti is usually listed as one of the poorest alongside Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In just two years, a cholera epidemic has killed over 8,000 people and infected almost 700,000, according to the country’s Ministry of Health. Experts suggest that use of good water, rather than vaccination, can reduce cholera outbreaks.

Haiti’s personal problems

During 2008, Haiti was hit by four different hurricanes, dropping immense amounts of rain across an already financially ravaged nation. With 98% of their forest cover lost to deforestation, flood waters ran rapidly into all of the major towns and villages across the country. Many people were simply listed as missing. Almost 107,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. And 8% of the population was greatly affected by the rains which ruined 70% of Haiti’s crops.

With several hundred thousand Haitians living in makeshift tent camps, the earthquakes of January 2010 killed almost 50,000 people. Now several more are at risk from cholera.

What is cholera?

For the majority of the world, cholera is an almost forgotten disease, but in poorer countries, it has not yet been eradicated.

When a patient is diagnosed with cholera, their small intestine will be infected, causing a dreadful watery diarrhoea and terrible vomiting. The transmission of cholera is usually from drinking poor water or eating food which has probably been contaminated by the faeces of another infected person.

The government’s response

The Haitian government, being one of the poorest in the world, has been reliant on financial aid to guide them through their many difficulties in recent years. From 2013, they have launched a £1.5 billion plan to eradicate cholera from the country.

Haiti has a population of around 10 million people, but has twice as many people affected by the disease as the entire 1 billion population of Africa.

Their aim is to increase people’s access to potable water from less than 70% of the population to 85%. They further intend to increase the proper use of water and flushing facilities to toilets and latrines from under 30% to 90%. While they are reinforcing education and infrastructure, they hope to achieve proper healthcare for 80% of the population, up from the current 54%.

The intention to promote clean water and proper sanitation is vitally important to this nation, but there is also an urgent need to ensure that financial aid reaches the government. Of the previous $200 million raised to battle cholera only 3% of those funds went to the government in Haiti; while the UN and its agencies received almost 24% of the money.

According to current research, the Haitian government has created model environments for over 500 local communities. This has proved that clean water and the education of good hygienic methods are much more effective at reducing the spread of the cholera disease than using funds to continue a vaccination campaign.

With just 150,000 vaccinations remaining for the Haitians, pushing forward their plans for clean water and high-quality waste hygiene can’t happen quickly enough.

Image: Leyna Hutchinson/Flickr

Celebrating World Water Day

Posted in Charity, Community, Environment, Health on by .

World Water Day is held on 22 March every year to celebrate fresh water, reaffirm its importance, and help develop the sustainable management of water resources across the world.

As a beverage company we’re clearly heavily involved in water and hydration, and our charity efforts extend into helping provide drinking water to Tanzania through the PeopleHelpPeople – One World initiative as well as helping charity fundraisers with free water closer to home in the UK.

Access to clean and safe drinking water is correctly seen as an important human right, and the day aims to increase awareness of the difficulties huge numbers face in accessing this vital resource. Millions of people across the globe are forced to drink dirty water daily in order to survive, causing disease, ill-health and suffering.

The day has been celebrated since 1993, following a United Nations Conference on Environment and Development recommendation the previous year. The theme for 2013′s event is the “International Year of Water Cooperation”.

You can follow World Water Day initiative on Twitter with #waterday, or see pictures and donate at waterday.org

 

Our commitment to the less fortunate

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How to change your kids’ drinking habits (from fizzy drinks to water)

Posted in Health on by .

You can’t blame a child for thinking that sweet fizzy or soda drinks taste better than water. Adults may think differently, but most children will reach for the sweet option every time.  With so many soft drinks, energy drinks and sports drinks being marketed to children and adults alike it’s not surprising that many people are picking up one of these drinks without realising the possible effect on their health; not just now but over the long term.

The attitude that drinking one extra energy drink now won’t make any real difference appears sensible until you realise that those who make the same excuse every single day of the week and will soon be overloaded with an excess of supplements, manufactured E-numbers and unnatural colourings.

A habit can turn into an addiction

Children soon forget how many cans of sugar filled soda they have consumed during the course of the day, and have no idea over a full week. And while you would think that fruit drinks would be healthy, many of these also contain high levels of sugar. That means that parents have to regulate consumption of these too.

It’s time to show kids what’s in the bottle

The key to moving your children’s drinking habits from soda to water is to physically show them what’s in the bottle. If you can have your child agree that five spoonfuls of sugar in every soda drink would be unhealthy, when you physically pour out 7 to 9 spoonfuls of sugar into one pile in front of them, they will quickly see how much sugar they are taking into their system every time they guzzle down a bottle of sugar packed soda.

By using every child’s favourite educational toy, the Internet, you can quickly show them how the chemicals that they are consuming can cause a range of diseases. When they physically see the effects and problems of type II diabetes, tooth decay, skin problems, cancer and premature ageing, they might be throw out the soda drinks and reach for the water.

Studies have shown that when children drink at least one soda drink a day, they have a 30% greater chance of gaining excess stomach weight. Many sugary carbonated drinks will rapidly reduce calcium levels which makes people particularly susceptible to osteoporosis.

Fruit drinks can be healthy for most people if they are diluted to reduce the high sugar intake. If you gradually change the mix from mostly soft drink to mostly water, your children’s taste buds will gradually get used to the new flavour.

Consider plumbed in water coolers to provide healthy water drinks at home or in the office.

 

It’s an emergency! Storing water in a watercooler-less world

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Water Storage Tips in Case of Emergency

One of the worst disasters most people could imagine would be running out of drinking water. There are a variety of disasters, both natural and zombie-apocalypse-related, that could precipitate a shortage of the water supply, but luckily for many of us there’s nicely contained and stored water in our workplace for our office water dispensers.

But how much harder would it be if the taps run dry and we didn’t have our handy water cooler bottles? Check out these tips for treating and storing water safely.

Water storage systems

The first consideration is what type of container you’ll use to store water. You may not have an handy. Whilst they can be constructed of plastic, glass or metal, it’s important to ensure the material is food grade. Jugs that once held soda, juice or milk are ideal. Although stainless steel containers are acceptable, you don’t want to store chlorinated water in them since it may corrode the metal.

Larger storage containers such as 100-litre tanks are available but always opt for food grade only; they will be stamped HPDE (High Density PolyEhtylene) on the bottom.

After you’ve thoroughly cleaned the containers you are going to use for water storage, rinse with water and a bit of chlorine bleach to ensure they are properly sanitized (or boil the container in clean water if small enough).

Here’s a valuable tip: label your containers. Clearly write “Drinking Water” and the date on them in permanent marker so you’ll know which should be used first.

Treating water for storage

If you are using tap water you can rest assured that it’s already been treated by your local water treatment facility. However, if you can’t be sure it’s been treated a few drops of chlorine bleach per gallon can be added to be on the safe side. This is recommended if you are repurposing containers that previously held some other beverage.

Although not ideal, if you had no other source you could use salt water as long as you distilled it first. There are some simple ways to distil the water so you can drink it; basically you must heat the water and collect the vapour.

Here’s another source of readily available water: swimming pools. If you’ve got a pool, then you’ve got lots of water that, as long as it is treated on a regular basis to prevent algae growth, is just fine to drink. Boil it first, however, then let it cool.

Water storage tips

Treated water should be stored in a cool, dry place that is out of direct sunlight; a cellar or waterproof storage shed (on a shelf away from pesticides and other chemicals) would be ideal. This follows pretty much the same rules as when storing your normal water cooler bottles, as chemicals can seep through almost any container over an extended period of time.

Although it can last indefinitely, it’s a good idea to use your water then replace it every year or so. That way you can rest assured that it is fresh should you need to use it in an emergency.

You never know when disaster might strike and leave you without drinking water. Take steps now to treat and store enough water to last you and your family for months so you are always prepared – zombies or no zombies.
zombie water shortage

Barrel image credit: Minnesota Historical Society