Tag: lifespan

Add Length to Your Life with These Foods and Drinks

You know that eating certain foods are great for your health, like these 7 leafy green veggies you can conveniently drink and have delivered right to your home. But what you might not realize is the length of time that eating certain foods can prolong your life, in minutes. And on the flip side, if we knew that having a cheat meal would rob our lifespan by “X”  minutes, maybe we’d have an easier time thinking twice about eating fast food. 

But thanks to researchers at the University of Michigan, we can do just that. The researchers evaluated almost 6,000 different types of foods and ranked them by their potential to create disease in humans. The neat thing about their research, which was published in the journal, Nature, is that each food had a corresponding length of time that the food either added to or subtracted from a lifespan. 

For instance, if you’ve ever been to a baseball game and were bored out of your mind (guilty as charged) and tried to make the most of it by eating a hotdog, well that frankfurter just cost you 36 minutes of your life, according to the researchers. 

Instead of eating a hotdog, if you have sunflower seeds or peanuts, it will add nearly a half hour to your lifespan.

Foods That Make You—And The Earth—Live Longer

The cool thing about the research is that not only was the disease burden to humans measured, so was the environmental impact. One take away from the study was that substituting processed meat like chicken wings and deli slices for a mix of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and certain seafood like wild salmon can extend your life by almost 50 minutes. Moreover, doing this would reduce your dietary carbon footprint by one-third.

As I alluded to, the problem with nutrition advice is there’s not enough real world, consequential associations with food choices. In other words, can you imagine if every food you purchased from a supermarket had a plus or minus along with a number that corresponded to how many minutes of life you would gain or lose? That would really put things in perspective. 

Katerina Stylianou, one of the researchers in the study said, “Generally, dietary recommendations lack specific and actionable direction to motivate people to change their behavior, and rarely do dietary recommendations address environmental impacts.” So true!

Another thing I liked about the work by these researchers from UM is that they split the foods according to the three colors of a traffic light. Go for green foods, yield to yellow and stop and think twice before eating foods in the red category. 

Green foods are not only healthy, they have the lowest carbon footprint. They are: 

  • Field-grown vegetables, like the organic leafy greens Chef V uses for Organic Green Drinks
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes (beans, soy beans, lentils, peanuts)
  • Sustainably-raised, wild-caught seafood

Red light foods should be avoided as much as possible because they don’t contribute to a longer lifespan and also carry a heavier ecological burden. Foods in this category are processed beef and pork products. 

fresh veg

Think In Minutes, Not Calories

If you want to geek out and read the study, check it out here. I wrote this article because I really dig the concept of thinking about food choices in the context of lengthening your lifespan. 

For some people, hearing that a certain food has this many calories or that many grams of carbs or this many grams of sugar or this much fat rings hollow; it doesn’t sink in. I know it’s wishful thinking, but maybe this study will spark a movement for a lifespan ranking to be added to food labels. 

Look, I realize that it’s not shocking to say that organically-grown, fresh fruits and veggies along with other plant-based foods add the most amount of time to our lifespan. And the cherry on top is that they are the most environmentally-friendly. But maybe for those who struggle with food choices, placing more emphasis on whether eating a certain food will add to or shorten lifespan will have more of an effect than merely saying, ‘eat this because it’s healthy and don’t eat that because it’s bad.’ 

Add Minutes To Your Lifespan With Organic Green Drink

The same goes for my Green Drink. When you swap a typical American breakfast for Green Drink, just think that you’re adding at least half an hour to your lifespan with every bottle!

Is Your Laundry Detergent Ruining Your Health?

“I love when my clothes smell neutral and still have stains on them after I do the laundry.”

—Said nobody, ever. 

We all love that aromatic, fresh-scent experience when our clothes come out of the dryer. But when it comes to doing your laundry, there are a shocking number of highly-toxic substances in standard detergents.

And it’s not just the clothes we wear that are exposing us to these harsh chemicals. It’s the sheets we sleep in, clinging to our body for several hours a night. And it’s the towels that we press deeply into our skin when drying off.

But if you want to reduce your toxic load (no pun intended), there’s a problem with going natural with laundry detergent…

Many brands of eco-friendly laundry cleaners just don’t work very well. They don’t remove stains effectively and they don’t really smell that good. Thankfully, there are some toxic-free laundry detergent brands that actually can get Green Drink and red wine stains out and have a pleasing scent. I’ll share with you one brand that has caught my eye, but first…

What’s In Your Laundry Detergent?

In 2021, Americans spent almost $6 billion on laundry detergent. Although sales of eco-friendly detergents are increasing, they still amount to a drop in the laundry basket. Mainstream brands like Tide still dominate. But if you’ve never given thought to what’s in your laundry detergent, it’s my hope that reading this will make you more aware of the chemicals you’re exposing yourself to.

It’s shocking how the government allows toxic chemicals in everyday household goods like laundry detergent. Consider this study in Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health. It concludes that scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets “contain carcinogens that waft through vents, potentially raising cancer risk.”

The researchers tested several brands of laundry detergent and dryer sheets. What they found was that there are more than 25 toxic chemicals released into the air by scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets. A couple of these chemicals are acetaldehyde and benzene, both of which are associated with higher cancer risks.

So it’s not just the risk of using conventional laundry detergent on your skin that poses a risk. It’s the breathing in of the chemicals, too. If you have kids, hopefully reading this will make you realize how important it is to limit synthetic chemical exposure in your home.

There was another study I came across published in Environmental Health Perspectives. It said that out of six best-selling laundry products, five of them polluted the air with at least one cancer-causing chemical.

folded clothing

No Safety Oversight In Laundry Detergent

Check out the irony here. When it comes to protecting our interests and welfare as consumers, the agency tasked with that job is the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Yet the Commission doesn’t require companies like Procter & Gamble (maker of Tide) to list all their ingredients that may cause cancer.

Sure, you might see an ingredient labeled as “fragrance.” But what the label doesn’t tell you is exactly what’s in that fragrance. The label would be much longer because “fragrance” can mean a toxic cauldron of a dozen or more synthetic chemicals. What’s even more troubling about fragrance is that the vast majority of them have not been  properly tested for their effects on human health.

One “mystery” chemical in fragrance are phthalates. These are chemicals used to make fragrances last longer and to make plastic products more durable. Even mainstream WebMD says that daily contact with phthalates may lead to the early deaths of about 100,000 older Americans a year.

Commercial Detergent: Bad For The Lungs

Remember, when you do your laundry, the chemicals aren’t just making contact with your skin when you put your clothes on, dry off after showering and when you sleep. Your lungs are also being exposed.

In fact, according to a study in an allergy journal, even a full 24 hours after washing your clothes, the residue from your detergent can weaken the protective barrier in your lungs. This damage puts you at higher risk of developing asthma and allergic symptoms.

Laundry Sauce: Eco-Friendly Pods That Work

A friend of mine started a company called Laundry Sauce. Instead of liquid detergent, Laundry Sauce uses pods that are free of toxic chemicals. But does it work? Yes! Thanks to natural essential oils.

My friend and his collaborators say they were bored by the “mundane scents in the detergent aisle,” and that’s why Laundry Sauce was launched. For many people, the problem isn’t just that the scents of commercial detergents are mundane. It’s the fact that they are toxic.

Some people are so sensitive to these chemicals that they can’t even walk down the detergent aisle because the synthetic fragrance is overwhelming and triggers allergies.

Another reason I like Laundry Sauce is because they don’t use any artificial dyes. And instead of using harsh, abrasive stain removers, the company uses natural enzymes.

I don’t receive any financial compensation for endorsing this brand by the way. I just want to give them some props for making a safer laundry detergent. Give them a try.

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.