Do You Need to Wash Fruit and Vegetables? - Photo by Odan Jaeger
My mother always asked if I had washed the fruit I decided to eat when coming home from the grocery store. The lazy side of me lied and said yes. Every time.

When meeting my boyfriend he introduced me to it again, and at first I may have lied, but then I decided to do some research.

Why is it that we keep being told to wash our fresh produce before eating it? Does it make any difference in terms of the nutritional value? Will not washing fruit and vegetables make us sick?
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Why 8 Hours Sleep is Unnatural
The notion of getting 8 hours of sleep a night has been ingrained in most of us for as long as we can remember.

For many, sleeping is a constant struggle, and waking up during the night is considered unnatural and sends us into a self chant of "go back to sleep, I have to get up in [insert figure here] hours!"

But what if we told you that new evidence suggests 8 hours might not be the most natural sleep pattern for humans after all?
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Why Stay Away from Drinking Soda?
It's hot. You're thirsty. And you reach for a can of coke. Or diet coke. Or a soda with ginseng and extra caffeine to keep you awake.

A large percentage of the Australian population drinks soft drink to hydrate, but do we really know what we are pouring into our bodies?

Half a litre of soda contains 25 teaspoons of sugar, a litre of soda equals about 500 calories, which in comparison is the equivalent to a quarter-pounder, 7 apples or 6 pieces of toast with jam.
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5 Great Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is more than just a tasty salad dressing ingredient. It can be used as a health tonic or a cleaning product, or kept in the bathroom as a beauty essential.

It is suggested that drinking apple cider vinegar can help the body maintain a healthy pH level, detox the liver, aid digestion, support weight loss and boost the immune system.

For best results, use organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (pregnant women are advised against using unpasteurised products, so please check the label and check with your doctor if unsure).
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10 Benefits of Beetroot
The amazing properties present in beetroot were never evident to me as a child growing up.

It was a food that was always present, particularly in summer, but I can honestly say I never gave a thought to it being a beneficial food to have in my diet.

So it is with absolute wonder that I have now discovered the many fantastic health properties and uses these beautifully coloured, earth flavoured root vegetables contain.

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What is Wrong with Sugar?
The sugar debate is ongoing. Should we eat sugar? When should we eat it? What type of sugar should we consume?

Most people would agree that a diet containing an excessive amount of sugar will result in weight gain, but do we know why?

Sugar is Addictive. Upon repeated exposure to fructose, the reward centre lights up less and less, which means you crave more to achieve the same effect. In fact, fructose has similar effects on the reward centre to those of alcohol, tobacco, nicotine and heroin.
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Tips to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain
Too much goodness and too little exercise over the silly season is the perfect formula for creating a few new love handles.

Weight gain during the festive Christmas season seems to be a lot more common than at any other time of the year.

But by following these simple tips and tricks everyone should be able to have their cake and eat it too.
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A Very Merry Vegan Christmas
Christmas comes to people all over the world in many various forms. The foundation of a traditional Christmas dinner is usually made up of turkey, chicken or ham, or in the hotter climes, seafood and cold meats.

If you happen to be a person who chooses a Vegan diet it is just as important for your Christmas dinner to be a celebration and time for the family to share a wonderful meal. This can be achieved with a little imagination and fortitude.

Here is a wonderful main course to be eaten with baked vegetables and steamed greens of your choice, followed by an easy, natural fruit dessert.
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12 Health Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is an incredible plant that has tons of natural healing properties. Historically it has been used for centuries medicinally, with particular focus on relieving nausea, upset stomachs and dizziness.

However, ginger's potent anti-inflammatory, immune boosting and pain-relieving properties have more recently been discovered as helping a number of serious diseases.

The phenolic antioxidants in ginger have been found to help protect against diseases caused by oxidative damage, such as stroke, heart disease and cancer.
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How to Train Your Brain with Neurofeedback
If you suffer from depression, anxiousness, obsessive thought patterns, attention deficit disorder or sleeplessness, then Neurofeedback training might just be the answer.

Making changes or training the brain has a direct effect upon the mind. Neurofeedback can help improve emotional regulation, cognitive function, mental flexibility, alertness and attention.

The whole process can be likened to personal training sessions for your brain, enabling it to function in a more positive way.
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Ingredients to Avoid in Cosmetics
Did you know that a lot of what you put on your skin is toxic? A lot of brands of makeup and cosmetics, as well as shampoo, face cream, deodorant, lotions and body washes, are loaded with chemicals and carcinogens.

In fact, research shows that people who use makeup every day absorb 2.3kgs of chemicals into their bodies every year. And that's not even taking into account the chemicals absorbed through shampoo, deodorant and other lotions and creams.

These chemicals can lead to a host of health problems and serious diseases. It is for this reason that you need to check the ingredients in your cosmetics. Or better still, make the switch today to natural cosmetic alternatives such as mineral makeup.
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The Lowdown on Fluoride in Drinking Water in Australia
We've all been brought up ingrained with the notion that fluoride is important for healthy teeth and gums. Colgate advertisements are a staple of any Australian's childhood. But what about ingesting fluoride through our drinking water?

Australia is heavily serviced by an artificial fluoridation scheme. Figures from 2009 show 17.6 million people in Australia were supplied with artificially fluoridated water.

Australia is one of the most extensively fluoridated countries in the world. In 2009, 80% of the country had access to fluoridated water compared with 60% in 2002. The figure has continued to rise since 2009.
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The Absolute Best Cure for Jet Lag
There is nothing worse than saving for and planning the perfect holiday only to be crippled by jet lag for the first week. Not to mention returning to work with a pounding head, shaking limbs and burning, tired eyes.

After years of travelling, and more recently frequently tackling the 13-14 hour time difference between Australia and Argentina, I have finally worked out the best cure for jet lag.

And best of all, the cure is completely natural, and doesn't involve a concoction of sleeping pills and paracetamol to get you through the day and night.
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Health Risks of Mould in Your Home
Mould and mildew are rampant in many houses across Australia. Even when mould isn't immediately visible on walls and ceilings, it can be hiding in central heating systems or in wall cavities.

Black mould, damp and mildew can be incredibly dangerous to your health, causing allergies, asthma and other breathing problems, sickness, and even permanent lung damage.

If you or members of your household have begun to suffer from allergies or asthma; regular sickness such as colds and chest infections; coughing, sneezing or itchy eyes; or even fatigue or depression, you might want to look at a mould removal method.
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Pads and Tampons Ridden with Toxic Chemicals
Most of us try to watch what we put in our bodies, so why should tampons and pads be any different? The largest organ in the body, the skin is able to rapidly absorb and transport toxins throughout the body.

With such close contact, chemicals in pads and tampons are able to leach directly through the skin into your body. And yet, most commercial varieties of pads, tampons and panty liners contain a host of dangerous chemicals.

As well as the massive health risks, pads and tampons are a huge burden on the environment and on women's purses. So why do women continue to buy toxic pads and tampons?
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Advertisement promoting flu shots in Australia
Winter is well and truly upon us and if the last couple of weeks are anything to go by, it's going to be a cold one! And we all know what that means, it's flu season!

Doctors' offices are already swarming with notices advertising the need to get a flu shot this winter. Advertising campaigns across Australia call for the young and the elderly in particular to get vaccinated for the flu before it's
too late.

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How do Monsanto and GMOs Affect Australia?
A worldwide march against Monsanto and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on the weekend has brought the issue of how GM foods affect our health to a head.

What has been particularly notable surrounding the event is just how many Australians are still unaware of who Monsanto are and what the health risks are of genetically modified foods.

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Monsanto Rallies Attract Thousands Across Australia
Protestors showed up in their droves on Saturday in 12 Australian cities to march against agri-giant Monsanto and its role in introducing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into food across the world.

Protests happened simultaneously across the world in 52 countries and 436 cities. Australians took to the streets in Adelaide, Albany WA, Bellingen NSW, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Redcliffe Qld and Townsville.

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Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue wreaks havoc on many stressed, worried, grieving and overworked people. However, due to a lack of knowledge about adrenal fatigue, and a lack of diagnosis, particularly in the medical world, adrenal fatigue continues to go undiagnosed.

Adrenal fatigue, or adrenal exhaustion, occurs when your adrenal glands (located on the top of each kidney) are not functioning properly. Adrenal fatigue is most common after prolonged or intense periods of physical or emotional stress.

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10 Health Ways to Lose Weight
Are you sick of people talking about fad dieting or their 3 hour a day exercise routine? Thankfully, losing weight does not have to be so extreme. There are a number of ways to lose weight healthily and simply. And it doesn't come in a pill!

Sugar is one of the biggest weight-gaining foods. It raises your levels of the fat-producing hormone insulin, is highly addictive and hinders your body's natural ability to tell when you are full. Try eating fruit instead, which, while also high in sugar, has the additional benefits of water, fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. If you are wanting a little bit of sweet in your life, try Stevia, raw honey, or pure organic maple syrup instead.
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Side Effects of Antidepressants
More people than ever before use antidepressants in Australia, making them one of the most prescribed drugs not just in this country but in the world.

More than 13.6 million scripts for antidepressants were written in 2010-11 in Australia under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. In fact, from 2000 to 2011, a 95.3% increase in the use of antidepressants was recorded across the nation.

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