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How to Purify the Air in Your Home

How to Purify the Air in Your Home

Every homeowner wants to ensure that the air in their house is clean. Over the past few decades, our society has become more and more aware of the health problems caused by polluted air. We all know that allergens are a problem for some people, while chemicals and mold are problems for everyone.

Yet achieving air purity is not a simple task. Cleaning the air in older homes seems like a never-ending chore — and even new homes can have air quality problems.

Here are eight tips for purifying the air in your home.

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1. Get your ducts cleaned.

If your home uses forced air cooling and/or heating, the ducts should be cleaned at least once every year. Mold, pollen, dust, and debris build up over time, and unfortunately there’s no DIY way to get it out. So bite the bullet and call the professionals.

2. Invest in an air purifier.

These machines are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (and therefore doctors are cautious about recommending them), so it’s unclear to what degree their claims about reducing the levels of dirt and allergens in the air can be believed. However, they have definitely improved over the past 20 years and will have a positive impact on the air quality in your home (if used as instructed).

3. Choose home cleaning products with care.

Along with the pollutants that enter the home through the windows and doors, there are the pollutants that people carry into their homes and then release! Try to use cleaning products with natural ingredients and without harsh chemicals.

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4. Choose new flooring materials with care.

Another way that homeowners inadvertently introduce pollutants into their home is through the installation of new flooring (and other synthetic materials). Carpet, laminate, and tiles can all emit pollutants for a period of time after installation. Reduce such off-gassing by doing research before you buy flooring, by choosing a product that releases the smallest amount of harmful chemicals, and by ventilating well during and immediately after the installation.

5. Try wet dusting.

Keeping in mind that traditional dusting and sweeping propels dust and pollen into the air, consider “dusting” with a wet cloth and “sweeping” with a damp mop.

6. Clean old carpets well.

Old carpets can absorb and store dust, pollen, mold, and harmful chemicals. Ensure that they are cleaned regularly with a vacuum cleaner using a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorption) filter. If you choose to wet-clean old carpets, professional steam cleaning is the safest and most effective option.

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7. Clean curtains and drapes.

Curtains and drapes are no doubt what add to your home that final perfect touch of elegance, beauty and decoration and allow in the ideal amount of sunlight. They come to breathe life into a room as they complement the interior décor. However, Curtains and drapes mostly get dusty — very dusty, which means they need to be washed or cleaned on a regular basis. Although you can clean your drapes and curtains yourself at home, the best option remains to hire the services of a professional cleaner especially when it comes to those without a washing instruction label.

8. Monitor humidity levels.

In the bathroom and kitchen, ensure that the ventilation is adequate to eliminate excess humidity in a timely manner. On the other hand, if you use a humidifier to deal with dry indoor air, monitor the humidity with a hygrometer. Relative humidity levels of 30 percent to 50 percent are optimal. A level above 60 percent results in mold.

A variety of factors affect the quality of the air in your home. Therefore constant vigilance is required to maintain a healthy indoor environment. Every effort that you make is worthwhile, as cleaner indoor air results in fewer respiratory problems and a reduced need for medications.

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Featured photo credit: shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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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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