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Top Ways to Live With Your Pet if You Have Allergies

Top Ways to Live With Your Pet if You Have Allergies

America is a country that simply loves its pets!

It is estimated that around 30.5% of all American households have a dog — and another 30% have a least one cat. And anyone who has enjoyed the cuddles, company, or unconditional love of a pet understands just how important animals are to our lives.

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Americans love their pets so much that they keep them even if they have been diagnosed with allergies. Around 1 out of 3 people who are allergic to cats, for instance, still have a cat in the house and when a doctor recommends that a patient find another home for their pet due to allergies, only about 1 in 5 actually take that advice.

If you are a pet owner who has allergies, then, read on to find out ways that you can manage your condition while still holding on to the cat or the dog that you love!

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Call in the Clean Team

If you suffer from allergies but still have a cat or dog around the house, you need to be prepared to go the extra mile in regards to housekeeping. The house needs to be dusted and vacuumed thoroughly at least once a week in order to suck up the dander and hair as well as non-pet-related allergens like dust or mold that settle in the house. If your partner does not have allergies, it is better for them to get this housecleaning done. If you need to do it yourself, consider wearing a mask while doing it to prevent exposure to the allergens.

Consider a Weekly Bath

While there’s no way you could get the average cat anywhere near a bathtub without an epic fight, if you are the proud owner of a dog, then weekly baths should be part of your routine. Like the dusting and vacuuming, this is a lot of extra work, but these weekly grooming sessions can help to safely eliminate excess hair and dander that would otherwise be distributed throughout the house.  This particularly helps with dogs who have a thick undercoat which can be the source of a lot of shed hair, depending on the breed. If you combine the weekly bath with a thorough going-over with a good fur brush, this routine will be especially effective.

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Spend More Time in Your Laundry Room

Like the extra vacuuming and dusting, you will also have to consider doing more laundry than normal if you are trying to reduce your allergy problems while still keeping your pet. Your bedding (including blankets, sheets, pillowcases and pillows) should be washed weekly, as should things like slip covers on sofas or chairs.  If your pet has a pet bed, this, too, should be washed once a week as it is a magnet for hair and dander.

Get Equipped

The good news is that there are many products now on the market that can help you in your fight against allergens. The first and most important is a HEPA filter. This special kind of air filter is able to virtually suck dander, dust mites, pollen, mold and other nasties right out of the air and does so with amazing efficiency. In one study, homes with dogs that used HEPA filters were able to reduce the amounts of dander and hair in the air by around 90%. However, in order to be effective, these filters need to be changed and cleaned on the regular basis (usually monthly).

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After an air filter, other important things to invest in include hypoallergenic covers for your mattress and pillowcases as well as covers for your chairs or sofas that can be laundered regularly in order to keep them as allergen-free as possible.

Change Out Your Décor

If you are trying to reduce pet allergens in the home, consider this a great excuse to redecorate! The idea here is to reduce the number of “allergen magnets” you have around the house. Getting rid of carpets and opting for flooring like wood, tile or linoleum is a great choice for a cleaner home. Also consider replacing your curtains with blinds. Even the materials you choose for chairs and sofas can make a difference: if you opt for leather couches or bare wood chairs, for instance, these are much easier to wipe down and keep clean.

To be honest, all of this is a lot of work — and if you buy a good filter and change out your home décor, it can also be an expensive undertaking (at least to begin with). However, for many people, the extra effort and expense involved are worth being able to keep their beloved pet while still managing their own allergies.

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Brian Wu

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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