Health Buzz: Air Pollution Causes Cancer, WHO Agency Says

How to practice self-defense through awareness; why and how to consume plant-based protein

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WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer identifies air pollution as a carcinogen

Outdoor air pollution is one of the top environmental culprits for cancer-related deaths, stated the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, today. According to an IARC press release, leading experts found sufficient evidence linking exposure to outdoor air pollution to lung cancer, as well as a positive association with an increased risk of bladder cancer. The IARC added air pollution to its newest volume of the Monographs Programme, a sort of encyclopedia of cancer-causing factors. "Classifying outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic to humans is an important step," states IARC director Christopher Wild in the press release. "There are effective ways to reduce air pollution and, given the scale of the exposure affecting people worldwide, this report should send a strong signal to the international community to take action without further delay."

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  • How to Practice Self-Defense Through Awareness 

    It's dark, you're walking down the street and you're all alone. But it doesn't feel like you're all alone. Your gut sends signals that an unseen person is watching. He's probably harmless, but for all you know, he's sizing you up, deciding whether or not to sneak up from behind you, stick a gun in your back and take your property. The scenario may seem dramatic, or like the plot of an unoriginal television crime show, but it's a terrifying reality for many people.

    In 2012, there were more than 1.2 million violent crimes committed nationwide, according FBI data. About 63 percent of those reported crimes were aggravated assaults, 29 percent were robberies, 7 percent were acts of rape and about 1 percent were murders.

    Don't be a statistic: Take a self-defense class. Avoid dangerous routes. Be smart, and be aware. Awareness and risk reduction account for 90 percent of personal self-defense, according to the National Self-Defense Institute, a nonprofit based in Florida. Follow the tips below to learn which actions make you a target to assailants and which deter them. [Read more: How to Practice Self-Defense Through Awareness]

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    • Why and How to Consume Plant-Based Protein

      Last month we talked about how to stock your cupboards with nutrient-dense essentials so you can quickly and easily build meals from whole foods that you'll love, writes U.S. News blogger Brendan Brazier. I have achieved top-level athletic performance and sustained huge health gains by switching to a plant-based diet but still get asked frequently about plant-based proteins and how to get enough.

      Here's why and how to consume more plant-based proteins, starting with the top three benefits of plant-based proteins:

      They're alkaline-forming. The typical North American diet (meat, bread, etc.) is acid-forming in contrast to the body's naturally alkaline pH. Your body will always have an alkaline pH, but when inundated with acid-forming foods, it has to pull minerals from your bones to maintain an alkaline pH. Adding more alkaline-forming foods from a clean, plant-based diet can help you combat inflammation, reduce stress and protect bone health. A good indicator of whether a food is alkaline-forming is the presence of chlorophyll – the greener the food, the better.

      They're low in saturated fat. High levels of saturated fat in your blood raise cholesterol and contribute to clogged arteries. If your diet is rich in saturated fats (found mostly in meat, dairy and eggs), you are more likely to suffer from heart disease in the years to come. Alternatively, unsaturated fats (found in nuts and seeds) help to keep your heart healthy. Note that the saturated fat in coconut oil is not metabolized like saturated fats from animal products, so it is fine to consume small amounts of coconut products. [Read more: Why and How to Consume Plant-Based Protein]