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6 Surprisingly Dirty Places in Your Home

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If you dropped a piece of fruit in your kitchen sink while rinsing it, would you think twice about popping it in your mouth? What if you dropped it in the toilet?

Germs like cold viruses and bacteria can live in some unexpected spots. Here are six surprisingly dirty places in your home — like your kitchen sink — and what you can do to protect yourself.

Dirty Places: The Kitchen Sink

Although the mere thought of retrieving anything from your toilet bowl may be enough to make you sick, your toilet may be cleaner than your kitchen sink, says Eileen Abruzzo, director of infection control at Long Island College Hospital of Brooklyn, New York. Food particles from plates left to soak or rinsed from dishes on their way to the dishwasher can serve as a breeding ground for illness-causing bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella. They can get on your hands or spread to foods.

Although most people take steps to disinfect their toilet bowls, few give their kitchen sink the same consideration, Abruzzo tells WebMD. “They rinse their sinks with water and assume they are clean — but they’re not.”

Quick fix to banish bacteria:

Too sanitize your sink and prevent the spread of bacteria, Abruzzo recommends washing it with a solution of bleach and water once a day and then letting the solution run down the drain. Remember to remove the drain plug and clean it, too, she says. Then wash your hands.

Dirty Places: Your Toothbrush

You put it in your mouth twice a day, but do you ever think of all the germs lurking on it? “You rinse it off after using it and put it away damp,” says Abruzzo. “Bacteria like the moist area and grow on it.”

If the germs from your own mouth weren’t enough to contaminate your toothbrush, the germs from your toilet certainly are. Research in the 1970s by Charles P. Gerba, PhD, of the University of Arizona Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, found that flushing the toilet sends a spray of bacteria- and virus-contaminated water droplets into air. These germs, he found, can float around in the bathroom for at least two hours after each flush before landing on surfaces — including your toothbrush.

Quick fix to banish bacteria:

Abruzzo recommends placing your toothbrush where it can air out and dry between uses — but not too close to the toilet. Also, replace your toothbrush often, particularly after you’ve been sick, and be sure to be sure to close your toilet lid before flushing.

Dirty Places: Your Salt and Pepper Shaker

Could one of the dirtiest places in your home be right on the table where you eat?

Unfortunately, yes, according to a 2008 study by researchers at the University of Virginia. In the study, researchers asked 30 adults who were beginning to show signs of a cold, to name 10 places they’d touched in their homes over the previous 18 hours. The researchers then tested those areas for cold viruses. The tests found viruses on 41% of the surfaces tested, and every one of the salt and pepper shakers tested were positive for cold viruses.

Quick fix to banish bacteria:

When you wipe the kitchen table after eating, wipe off the salt and pepper shaker too. But your best protection against spreading or picking up germs when you reach for seasonings is to wash your hands — before and after.

Dirty Places: Your TV Remote Control

It’s dropped on the floor, stuffed between the sofa cushions, coughed on and sneezed at. Everyone in the house handles it.

“Anything people touch a lot has germs on it,” Abruzzo tells WebMD. The University of Virginia study of cold viruses on household surfaces showed the remote control’s surface is among the germiest. Researchers found that half of the remote controls tested were positive for cold viruses.

Quick fix to banish bacteria:

Abruzzo wipes her remote with a bleach or alcohol wipe — “that is, if I can ever find it or get it out my husband’s hands,” she says. Aside from that, regular hand-washing is the best way to protect yourself against these germs.

Dirty Places: Your Computer Keyboard

If you eat at your computer, sneeze on your keyboard, or sit down to surf the Internet without first washing your hands, your computer keyboard could be a health hazard. In a recent study by a British consumer group, researchers swabbed keyboards for germs and found a host of potentially harmful bacteria, including E. coli and staph. Four of 33 sampled keyboards had enough germs to be considered health hazards. One had levels of germs five times higher than that found on a toilet seat.

Quick fix to banish bacteria:

Wash your hands before and after using your computer. If you must eat at your desk, don’t drop crumbs into your keyboard. To clean your keyboard, gently shake out the crumbs or vacuum it. Abruzzo recommends wiping the keys with alcohol or bleach wipes, but “nothing too wet,” she says. “And don’t forget to wipe the mouse.”

Dirty Places: Your Bathtub

The place where you clean yourself is not so clean itself. A recent study found staphylococcus bacteria in 26% of the tubs tested. A separate study had even worse findings for whirlpool tubs. When Texas A&M University microbiologist Rita Moyes, PhD tested 43 water samples from whirlpools, she found that all 43 had mild to dangerous bacterial growth. Almost all showed bacteria from fecal matter; 81% had fungi, and 34% contained staph bacteria.

According to Moyes, the main reason whirlpool tubs are so dirty has to do with the lining of the pipes. Water tends to get trapped in the pipes, providing a breeding ground for bacteria. When you turn on the jets, the germy water spouts out into the tub where you’re soaking.

Quick fix to banish bacteria:

Experts recommend cleaning and disinfecting your tub with bleach or bathroom cleaner after bathing, then dry with a clean towel. For whirlpool tubs, the best way to prevent bacteria from accumulating is to clean out the pipes.

Protecting Yourself from Germs

Lots of germs are harmless, many are even good for your health. But you can help protect yourself from those that aren’t by keeping your hands clean. Your hands transfer bacteria and viruses to your eyes, nose, and mouth. They can also transfer germs to others.

The CDC recommends regular hand washing with soap and water, washing your hands for 20 seconds — the time it takes you to sing Happy Birthday twice. “It doesn’t matter how warm the water is, what’s important is that you use friction,” says Abruzzo.

Hand sanitizer gels can be used to kill germs, but they should not replace hand washing. Hand sanitizers can build up on the hands, so you should wash your hands the regular way after every fourth use, Abruzzo advises.

By Mary Anne Dunkin
WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD


P3 Property Investments

10 Foods That Detox The Body

1. Fruits

Fruits are extremely high in liquid-content, helping the body wash out toxins. They are also very easy to digest and are high in antioxidants, nutrients, fiber and many important vitamins like vitamin C.

2. Green Foods

When you are ready to detox your body, fill your refrigerator with blue green algae, barley, wheatgrass, kale, spinach, spirulina, alfalfa, chard, arugula or other organic leafy greens. These plants will help give a chlorophyll-boost to your digestive tract.

Chlorophyll rids the body of harmful environmental toxins from smog, heavy metals, herbicides, cleaning products and pesticides. They also aid the liver in detoxification.

3. Lemons, Oranges & Limes

These citrus-wonders aid the body in flushing out toxins, as well as jump-start the digestive tract with enzymatic processes. They also aid the liver in its cleansing processes. To increase detoxification, start each morning with a warm glass of lemon water.

Remember, vitamin C is one of the best detox vitamins around, as it transforms toxins into digestible material.

4. Garlic

This pungent bulb stimulates the liver in producing detoxification enzymes that help filter out toxic residues in the digestive system. Adding sliced or cooked garlic to any dish, will help aid any detox diet.

5. Broccoli Sprouts

Extremely high in antioxidants, broccoli sprouts can help stimulate the detoxification enzymes in the digestive tract like none-other. The sprouts are actually more effective than the fully-grown vegetable, despite the picture on the right.

6. Green Tea

Packed full of antioxidants, green tea not only washes toxins out of the system through its liquid content, but also contains a special type of antioxidant called catechins, known to increase liver function.

7. Mung Beans

The mighty mung bean has been used by Ayurvedic doctors for thousands of years. It is incredibly easy to digest, and absorbs toxic residue on the sides of the intestinal walls.

8. Raw Vegetables

Best for juicing detox regimens or eaten raw: Onions, carrots, artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, garlic, beet, turmeric, and oregano. The combination of these foods will help your liver purge toxins during the cleansing process. These are high in naturally occurring sulphur and glutathione. Sulphur helps the liver detoxify harmful chemicals.

9. Seeds & Nuts

Incorporate more of the easily digestible seeds and nuts into your diet. This include flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, Siberian cedar nuts and sunflower seeds. While detoxing, avoid nut butters.

10. Omega-3 Oils

Use hemp, flax-seed, avocado or olive oils while detoxing. This will help lubricate the intestinal walls, allowing the toxins to be absorbed by the oil, and eliminated by the body.

Dietary balances

Dietary balances

How to calculate BMI (body mass index):

BMI = Weight (kg)/ Height (m²)

BMI between 25 and 29.9 is called overweight

BMI greater than 30 is called obese.

Calories per 100 grams of different foods:

Food Calories value per 100 grams
Apples 64
Beef (average) 268
Bread (white) 268
Butter 733
Carrots 45
Cashew nuts 609
Chocolate 570
Corn 372
Lamb (average) 230
Milk 69
Oranges 50
Pork, ham 340
Potatoes 85
Spinach 25
Strawberries 41
Tomatoes 23
Tuna, canned 194
Walnuts, English 702

Energy expenditure during different type of activity for a 70-kilogram man.

Form of activity Calories per hour
Sleeping 65
Awake lying still 77
Sitting at rest 100
Standing relaxed 105
Dressing and undressing 118
Typewriting rapidly 140
Walking slowly (2.6 miles per hour) 200
Carpentry, metalworking, 240
Sawing wood 480
Swimming 500
Running (5.3 miles per hour) 570
Walking upstairs rapidly 1100

from: Medical Physiology, Eleventh edition, Guyton & Hall

Do you feel tired the whole day?

Do you feel tired the whole day?

Maybe you need some vitamins and minerals.

Here is some information that could help.

Daily requirement of Vitamins.

A vitamin is an organic compound needed in small quantities for normal metabolism that cannot be manufactured in the cells of the body. Lack of vitamins in the diet can cause important metabolic deficits. This table lists the amounts of vitamins required daily by the average person. These requirements vary depending of factors as body size, rate of growth, amount of growth etc.

Vitamin Amount
A 5000 IU
Thiamine 1.5 mg
Riboflavin 1.8 mg
Niacin 20 mg
Ascorbic acid 45 mg
D 400 IU
E 15 IU
K 70 ug
Folic acid 0,4 mg
B12 3 ug

Most important minerals and the required daily amount for adults

Mineral Amount
Sodium 3.0 g
Potassium 1.0 g
Chloride 3.5 g
Calcium 1.2 g
Phosphorus 1,2 g
Iron 18.0 mg
Iodine 150.0 ug
Magnesium 0.4 g
Zinc 15mg

from: Medical Physiology, Eleventh edition, Guyton & Hall