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5 Tropical Fruits That Can Change Your Life

5 Tropical Fruits That Can Change Your Life

    In many parts of the country, snow and ice still have a deathgrip on the local climate. In my neck of the woods, we still have massive piles of ice and snow on every street corner and at the end of every driveway. So it’s only natural that many of us are looking for a way to bust through the winter blues.

    One thing that often works is to enjoy more tropical fruits, such as mangoes, bananas, coconuts, or papayas. These fruits are usually available all winter long, and are like an early preview of summer’s warmth. But beyond these warm feelings, many tropical fruits have far more powerful abilities.

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    Did you know that one tropical fruit can be used as a substitute for IV fluid in an emergency? Or that another tropical treat has been shown in studies to kill cancer cells? Aside from their health benefits, there are plenty of other reasons to love the following tropical fruits…and some of these benefits will definitely surprise you.

    1. Coconuts

    You might think of coconut as the sweet topping on German chocolate cake, but this fruit has plenty of health benefits as well. Coconut water has a ton of health benefits. It’s a sterile source of clean water, useful for survival hydration. On top of this, coconut water has the same level of electrolytic balance human blood. In the Pacific Theatre during World War II, coconut water was frequently used in the field as an emergency plasma transfusion for wounded combatants.

    Coconut water makes a better sports drink than commercial products, as it is lower in salts and sugars and higher in potassium. And, of course, the flesh and oil of the coconut is also edible and good for you!

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    2. Mangosteen

    The mangosteen is a small fruit with white flesh, popular throughout Asia. One group of scientists has proposed that alpha-mangostin, an antioxidant found only in mangosteen, can cause cell death in leukemia cells, effectively treating the disease. While more research needs to be done, mangosteen is also said to have powerful anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties.

    3. Avocado

    You might think of it as a vegetable, but this is actually a fruit. And not just any fruit, but a fruit that has been shown to lower cholesterol. They are also rich in folic acid, which can prevent some kinds of common birth defects. Even more interesting is that avocados are the ultimate life hack fruit: when you eat an avocado with other vegetables, you absorb more nutrients from the meal than you would have from eating the vegetables alone. Top your salad with a few slices of avocado, and you’ll be increasing your intake of vitamins and minerals from the meal.

    4. Mango

    A single mango will contain half of your recommended daily allowance of both Vitamin A and Vitamin C, as well as some B-Vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols, beta-carotene, and…well, maybe it would have been quicker for me to list the few nutrients that this little fruit DOESN’T contain…

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    I picked up an interesting tip about quickly ripening mangoes from the book “Urawaza”, which I reviewed here recently. If you pick up a mango at the supermarket that is still hard, soak it in simmering water for just 10 minutes to speed up the ripening process. The sooner you can eat one, the sooner you can start to enjoy its beneficial qualities.

    5. Longan

    Longan berries, native to China, have long been said by Asian herbalists to have relaxing properties, making them the perfect snack to enjoy to lower your stress levels. It is also said to have anti-cancer, antioxidant, and liver-protective properties. The longan contains high levels of iron, potassium, and large amounts of vitamins A and C. Finding them in a form other than fresh at your local market may be tough, but dried and canned longan are also available.

    Conclusion

    In general, eating more fruits is good for your health. Overall, tropical fruits have been known to reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease. On top of these benefits, a diet rich in tropical fruits ensures that you will have improved digestion and GI function. Best of all, these fruits can neutralize free radicals, protecting you from asthma, joint pain, and the above-mentioned heart and cancer risks.

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    You are what you eat. If you want to be smart, eat smart, and reach for these tropical fruits the next time you are craving a snack.

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    Tucker Cummings

    Writer and social media professional sharing productivity tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on September 28, 2020

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

    Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

    One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

    When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

    So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

    Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

    This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

    Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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    When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

    Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

    One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

    Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

    An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

    When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

    Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

    Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

    We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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    By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

    Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

    While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

    I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

    You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

    Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

    When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

    Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

    Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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    Con #2: Less Human Interaction

    One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

    Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

    Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

    This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

    While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

    Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

    Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

    This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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    For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

    Con #4: Unique Distractions

    Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

    For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

    To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

    Final Thoughts

    Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

    We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

    More About Working From Home

    Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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