As the Formula One racing
circus visits Singapore for its latest race, air pollution and the haze created
has been brought into sharper focus than for a long time. There are reports of the
haze closing schools in Malaysia and fears for the visibility and wellbeing of the
F1 teams and their drivers in Singapore. Suddenly, something that is a constant
for those who live in the region becomes big news.
what is Haze?
The definition is that it is
an atmospheric phenomenon where suspension of extremely small dry particles in
the air obscure the clarity of the sky.
Its components can be gases
such as ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon
monoxide, and carbon dioxide. Particulate matter also in the air includes
benzene sulphate, organic carbon, microbial components and pollen.
These particles can penetrate respiratory and
circulatory systems and can cause damage to the health of an individual exposed
to it for any length of time, or on a regular basis,
and your health.Air pollution can affect your health in all
sorts of different ways from eye irritation and redness, headaches and
dizziness, runny nose, sneezing as well as nasal congestion.
But it’s not just the head that
is affected. By breathing in particulate matter, this can cause problems in the
throat with irritation, dryness and soreness causing coughing.
Extreme cases can create
chest discomfort and respiratory tract infection. Asthma attacks are often prevalent
and even something as natural as drinking water can be an issue if the drinking
water is contaminated by dense haze. This can lead to stomach upset and
vomiting. The skin can also be irritated by constant exposure to Haze.
what precautions can be taken to prevent all these outcomes?Top of the list is wearing appropriate dust
masks when going outdoors. Those of us who don’t live in such badly affected
areas will have seen the sort of protection worn by people appearing on news
items about air-pollution.
The advice is always to consult a doctor if
there is any difficulty in breathing, coughing, chest pain and any of the
symptoms detailed above.
less time outdoors.
Sadly, at a time when we are
encouraging our children to spend less time on their iPads and more time
outdoors, the advice in areas of high air pollution is to reduce outdoor
activities such as jogging and cycling amongst others.
Drink plenty of water as long
as it does not fall into the contaminated category.
Wash your hands and face on a regular basis and
especially after outdoor activities and finally, please make sure that if you
are prescribed medicines by your doctor that you take them on a regular basis
especially if you have an underlying respiratory or cardiovascular dilute
We will be revisiting the subject of air
pollution in future blogs but in the meantime stay safe.
Mayfair, we care.
For years now we have all loved bottled water
and it has been the fastest growing area of drinks in the world with a forecast
estimate of $215 billion by 2025.
Amazing isn’t it? A commodity that a lot of the
world can have, freely available from our kitchen taps, is selling for around
2000 times the price in the supermarkets and we are buying it!
are we buying bottled water?
Well firstly, it is viewed as a healthier
product than tap water and in a lot of countries this may be true. However, in
those countries were tap water is perfectly drinkable, bottled water is still
selling in vast numbers. Perhaps we would not be so enthusiastic to buy if it
was more widely known that many bottled water brands are too acidic to pass the
stringent tests that tap water has to undergo, and the quality of bottled water
Do you buy bottled water or spring water because
of the minerals?
Once again testing has
indicated to tap water has a relatively high concentration of beneficial
minerals like calcium and magnesium – more than most bottled brands.
Most bottled water brands are supplied in a
single use plastic bottle and with the current publicity about plastic waste,
and the millions of tons of landfill produced by bottled water bottles every
year, it is easy to see how these single use plastic products will lose their
appeal. They contribute to landfill and the vast majority are made from petroleum
which is a non-renewable resource.
Far from being the healthy option to tap water a
recent study suggests that bottled water is one of the largest sources of
plastic micro particles. Although the long-term effects are not yet known it is
believed that bottled water is a significant contributor to micro plastic
ingestion which could, in theory, cause internal damage.
Further studies are taking place to examine the
effect on human health but such research and the publicity about plastics and
the environment is likely to have a damaging effect on bottled water sales as
those of us who can, turn back to tap water.
Improving the environment
and your health; it’s a powerful argument to turn away from plastic bottles of
Mayfair, we care.
Carbohydrates get a bad press of these days for
a variety of different reasons but a number of widely held beliefs do bear
Weight lossWe are often told that cutting carbohydrates
will lead to weight loss and thousands, if not millions, of diet books have
been sold explaining why.
not all research backs this up and whilst it may be true that some studies have
found low-carb diets to be more effective for weight loss than low-fat diets in
the short-term, in the longer term both approaches produce modest weight loss
review of the research on different types of diet found that low carb diets marginally
outperformed the low-fat diet. However the difference in weight loss on the
groups of dieters was tiny with the low-carb dieters losing about one girl
kilogram more after 12 months.
One expert advised that the best way of losing
weight was simply to eat less of everything in a way that can form a habit and
be maintained over a long period. That sounds less complicated to us!
A low-carb diet
is healthier?This is what we are led to believe but as
carbohydrates come from plants i.e. greens, fruit and vegetables, if we make
the decision to restrict this type of food in our diet our overall health is
likely to suffer. Many plant foods are rich in the vitamins, minerals and fibre
that we need to stay healthy.
there is a big difference between unrefined and refined plant foods.
A diet high in unrefined whole grains protects
against cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes, but swap these for refined
grains like white flour, white bread, sugar and white rice and your risk of
poor health will increase.
and carbohydrate rich foods such as legumes also encourage a healthy diversity
of gut bacteria, something that is linked to reduced inflammation, better
immunity and improved mental health.
One recent study found that switching to a
high-fat, no carb diet lowered the number of beneficial bacteria residing in
Avoid fruit –
really?Fruit contains sugar so some people believe that
fruit can be bad for you but this simply isn’t true. The sugars in fruit are
absorbed slowly and steadily so making fruit your go to snack will mean that
you will get essential nutrients fibre and antioxidants all wrapped up in a low
Where fruit can be a problem however is when
it’s juiced. Drinking fruit as juice makes it easier to ingest more kilojoules
and also releases the fruit sugar (fructose) faster into your bloodstream. You
will also reduce some of the benefits of the fibre by pulverising fruit so
finely that it changes the physical structure. Some commercial juices will even
remove the fibre altogether. On balance it is best to stick to whole fruit.
that this clarifies some of the myths surrounding low-carb diets.
Mayfair, we care.