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How to Choose the Best Food Storage Containers

How to Choose the Best Food Storage Containers

Every family’s refrigerator always has food containers dedicated to storing and preserving food. Most of them are made of plastic and are available at low prices and offer convenience and ease of cleaning. Other food storage containers available on the market are made of glass and are a more secure and advanced product, but it tends to be more expensive than plastic containers.

Although plastic containers have cheaper prices than glass containers, buying these types of containers can ultimately affect your family’s health over time because they tend to include hazardous substances. Therefore, this post will help you learn more about the harmful effects of some storage containers over others and the way to choose the best food storage containers for your family.

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1. The harmful effects of plastic containers

    Photo Credit: MICHAEL SULLIVAN via http://thesweethome.com/

    When using poor quality plastic containers to contain an assortment of hot foods or processed foods when reheating in the microwave at high temperatures, the additives or harmful ingredients in plastic containers will soak into the food. In the market, there are a few types of plastic that can withstand temperatures from 150 to 200oC. However, when using this type of plastic to produce food containers, the manufacturer has added some other additives to increase product quality and reduce production costs. These additives are not conducive to human health, so if you use the product in long-term, they can affect your health.

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    The best plastic for making food containers is PP (Polypropylene), which is non-toxic and very flexible. If the plastic used for food containers is recycled from waste plastic, it is very toxic because they only tolerate temperatures between 70 and 80oC, so when used for packaging hot food or exposure to high heat sources, the harmful ingredients can be released.

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    2. The way to choose the best food storage containers

      Photo Credit: easylunchboxes.com

      Choosing food storage containers is an important thing with people, so you should learn more about the way to choose the best type of food storage containers to use. There are seven types of plastic containers with different features:

      • Type 1: All products that are made by polyethylene terephthalate (PETE) are quite safe and regarded as not being harmful to your health. However, the products made from this plastic are often used one time because its surface is capable of accumulating bacteria and it is difficult to kill them just by using water to wash them normally. The plastic is used to make water bottles and 16.9 fl oz beverage bottles, such as the kinds used to hold mineral water, cola, syrup, and so on. This is the reason why you should not reuse such bottles.
      • Type 2: HDPE is considered to be relatively safe because the ability to smell and accumulate bacteria on the surface is relatively low. However, the disadvantage of this plastic is its milky color. Therefore, people often use this kind of plastic for containing water, juice, and milk.
      • Type 3: PVC is very dangerous if you use the material to produce all kinds of plastic containers for food storage containers because of its ability to prevent the development of hormones and decrease fertility. Furthermore, PVC is very susceptible to distortion when used for holding hot foods or exposure to high temperatures.
      • Type 4 and 5: They are quite similar in structure and functions. Type 4 is often used to produce all kinds of wrapping paper and food wrap film. Type 5 is suitable for making plastic bottles and food storage containers. In fact, these types of plastics are quite safe for human health. However, you should choose the containers that have number 5 on the surface to avoid toxicity.
      • Type 6: This plastic is quite similar to type 1 because it is also used to create plastic products for one time use. However, this type of plastic also contains toxic substances that affect human health because, when exposed to high temperatures, the material can soak into the food.
      • Type 7: It is a mixture of Polycarbonate and BPA. This is the plastic used for packaging food and it contains substances with no health benefits.

      In summary, when choosing food storage containers, you should choose the containers that are made of a type 2, 4 or 5 for plastic for packaging and food preservation.[1] Furthermore, in order to protect your health, you should limit exposure to high heat sources to prevent food from becoming tainted with toxic substances.

      Featured photo credit: Pleasant Kitchen via pleasantkitchen.com

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      Reference

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      Angella Copper

      Professor of Hanoi University of Science and Technology

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      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

      Video Summary

      Why is it important to train up our core strength?

      There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

      This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

      Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

      In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

      One Exercise, multiple benefits

      There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

      By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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      When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

      Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

      In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

      What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

      What will happen when you start doing planks every day

        1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

        Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

        • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
        • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
        • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
        • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

        2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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          Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

          Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

          3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

            Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

            4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

              Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

              A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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              A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

              On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

              5. You’ll improve overall balance

                Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                  Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                  7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                    Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                    How to hold a plank position

                    1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                    2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                    3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                    4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                    5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                    6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                    7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                    Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                    Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                      How to improve your plank time gradually

                      1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                      2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                      3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                      Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                      Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                      You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                      • Prolapse
                      • After prolapse surgery
                      • Pelvic pain conditions
                      • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                      • Previous childbirth
                      • Overweight

                      Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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