Drinking Water Week

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention shared that Drinking Water Week (May 6-12, 2018) is observed each year in May to recognize the critical role drinking water plays in our daily lives. This year’s theme, “Protect the Source,” encourages people to learn more about the source of their drinking water and why its protection is critical to our health.

Have you ever stopped to think about how many times a day you use water from a faucet? Drinking water refers to the water that comes out of our tap or bottled water. Americans use drinking water many times a day, every day, for many different activities such as drinking, bathing, cooking, and washing clothes, to name a few. The United States has one of the safest drinking water supplies in the world, and it’s important to know how that water gets to our faucets and what makes it safe to use.

However, new challenges require us to continue to work to protect our water supply. Drinking water systems in the United States are aging, and most are long overdue for replacement.[247 KB]

During Drinking Water Week, learn more about where your drinking water comes from, what makes it safe to use, and what CDC is doing to address challenges to our water supply.

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Bathroom hand dryers may leave your hands dirtier than before

The study, the results of which were published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, found that plates exposed to 30 seconds of a bathroom hand dryer gained at least 18-60 colonies of bacteria, while plates exposed to bathroom air for two minutes had fewer than one.

The authors concluded that the “results indicate that many kinds of bacteria, including potential pathogens and spores, can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand dryers, and that spores could be dispersed throughout buildings and deposited on hands by hand dryers.”

Still the study’s authors, who found that the nozzle of the dryers had minimal bacterial levels, said that more evidence was needed to determine if the dryers were bacteria harbors themselves or simple blew large amounts of contaminated air.

It is known among those paying close attention to bathroom cleanliness — a hobby we probably wouldn’t recommend here — that bathroom air can contain fecal matter and droplets of urine.

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Strokes May Lead to Epilepsy

The Center for Disease Control shared that a stroke happens when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.About 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year.1 It is a major cause of disability and the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.Signs that someone is having a stroke are:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or problems understanding speech.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.1

Preventing Stroke

Lower your chance of having a stroke by:

  • Controlling high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol
  • Having a healthy weight
  • Being physically active
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Avoiding smoking.2


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The Importance of Sleep

Dr. Michael Twery shared in a post for the Office on Women’s Health  why sleep is important, how much you need, and what might be keeping you from a good night’s sleep.   He wrote that it can be tough to make time for sleep, especially when you’re trying to juggle family, friends, work, and your other commitments. But sleep is worth prioritizing. Dr. Michael Twery, the director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at NHLBI, shares why sleep is important, how much you need, and what you should know about sleep disorders.

How much sleep do women need each night?

Adults need a regular schedule of seven to eight hours in bed each night, and they need good quality sleep. Scientists have discovered that while many people may feel awake after getting less sleep, sleeping for shorter periods of time or following an irregular sleep schedule does not help your organs work together at their best. How long you sleep, your schedule, and the quality of sleep all contribute to achieving your best health and well-being. Not getting enough sleep is associated with diseases such as diabetes, depression, obesity, and heart disease.

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Salmonella and Eggs

CDC, FDA, and several states are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to Rose Acre Farms shell eggs. Don’t eat, serve, or sell the recalled shell eggs, which were sold under many brand names. Throw them out or return them. Wash and sanitize refrigerator drawers and shelves that held recalled eggs. Learn more about the outbreak and read our advice to consumers.


Eggs are one of nature’s most nutritious and economical foods. But you must take special care when handling and preparing fresh eggs and egg products to avoid foodborne illness, also known as food poisoning.

The inside of eggs that appear normal can contain a germ called Salmonellathat can make you sick, especially if you eat raw or lightly cooked eggs. Eggs are safe when you cook and handle them properly.

How can I reduce my chance of getting a Salmonellainfection?

  • Consider buying and using pasteurized eggs and egg products, which are widely available.
  • Keep eggs refrigerated at 40°F (4°C) or colder at all times. Only buy eggs from stores and suppliers that keep them refrigerated.
  • Discard cracked or dirty eggs.

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Your Wakeup Workout

Woman Drinking Glass of Water — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Erika Fortes, COD Nursing Student, shared with Healthy Lombard that getting out of bed and starting your morning is the most grueling thing in the world. At least it is to me. Like any other college student, waking up to go to class or work is always a struggle. My bed is warm and cozy, and even though I really don’t feel like moving, I must get up to start my day. There were days where I would move like a zombie after getting out of bed. I would wander around my room mindlessly gathering all I needed for the day, still half asleep, wishing I was in bed. Sometimes this sleep-like awake state would continue to when I was sitting behind the wheel of my car in the driveway! But that heavy-eyed feeling is now a thing of the past for me. No, I did not somehow miraculously convert myself into being a morning person. That would be quite a miracle. But the following are some little tips and tricks to shake off that tired feeling, increase your energy, and feel a little more prepared to start your day.

  1. Drink some water!

This simple little action could make a huge difference in how your body feels. When you wake up, your body is dehydrated. So, drinking a little bit of water helps stimulate your body and feel more energized for the day. For me, leaving a cold glass on my nightstand makes it easier to reach first thing in the morning. When I drink it, I can feel that cold water hit my stomach, and I feel more refreshed. Read more

E. coli & Food Safety

The Center for Disease Control shared that although most kinds of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick. Learn about E. coli and what you can do to help lower your chances of infection.

What are Escherichia coli?

Escherichia coli (abbreviated as E. coli) are bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals.

Most E. coli are harmless and are actually an important part of a healthy human intestinal tract. However, some E. coli can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, bloodstream infections, and other illnesses. The types of E. coli that can cause illness can be transmitted through contaminated water or food, or through contact with animals or people.

What are Shiga toxin-producing E. coli?

Some kinds of E. coli bacteria cause disease when they make a toxin called Shiga toxin. The bacteria that make these toxins are called “Shiga toxin-producing E. coli,” or STEC for short.

  • The most common type of STEC in the United States is E.coli O157:H7 (often shortened to E. coli O157 or even just O157).
  • Other STEC are called non-O157.

When you hear news reports about outbreaks of E. coli infections, they are usually talking about E. coli O157.

CDC estimates that each year STEC causes 265,000 illness, 3,600 hospitalizations and 30 deaths in the United States. Read more

Promote the Paddle

College of DuPage Nursing Student Schyle McKee shared that kayaking and canoeing is a great way to have fun on a sunny summer day. Being on the calm water in a manually propelled vessel can be quite relaxing and it promotes awesome exercise.

There are many ways to enjoy a day on a boat. Float on to the middle of that pond to soak up the sun, racing your buddies who are in the boats that are next to you, casting a line overboard to catch a fish or two. The possibilities go as far as your imagination, which is pretty much endless.

Did you know? It’s easy to burn calories by paddling! The average person burns about 300 calories an hour. Get out there and paddle those calories away! Paddling really gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing too. Getting the heart rate up strengthens the heart muscle making it more efficient. This very good for the rest or your body as well.

Also, when sun rays hit the skin, Vitamin D is made. Vitamin D is needed to help calcium absorption to make bones strong. This form of getting vitamin D is great for all ages. Vitamin D is in very few foods but it could also come from supplements. Why buy supplements, however, when its easy to go outside, jump in your boat, and catch some rays? On the plus side, it’s free AND healthy!

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Health on the Shelf: 14 Superfood Staples

Claire McIntosh wrote for AARP that sometimes you just can’t get to the farmers market. Eat healthfully with what’s on hand. These nutrient-dense superfoods that are shelf-stable put the power of prevention right in your pantry.

1. Oatmeal

It’s a cholesterol buster, thanks to lots of soluble fiber. But keep in mind that all oats aren’t equal. Quick-cooking oats have lost some fiber during processing. Instant flavored versions have added sugar. Old-fashioned rolled oats are a fantastic fiber fix. But steel-cut oats, which take longer to digest — making them low glycemic, or less likely to cause spikes in blood sugar — are the true breakfast of champions.

2. Canned salmon, tuna and sardines

Fatty fish such as these are the best way to get your omega-3 fatty acids, which protect against hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats. All these delish fish options are anti-inflammatory. Plus, they’re packed with protein. White tuna is a better choice for omega-3s.

3. Dried blueberries

Ready to make your pancake dreams come true, these sweet balls of goodness contain compounds that may delay the effects of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Besides being an indulgent source of fiber and vitamin C, they’ve got the immune-boosting, inflammation-busting power of antioxidants.

4. Quinoa 

A great grain to star in your favorite veggie-bowl recipes, the South American superfood is high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

5. Canned beets

These are an ideal topping for that quinoa-veggie bowl. The red root vegetable packs vitamins, minerals and antioxidants galore. Beets may help ward off cancer and lower blood pressure, too. Read more

9 tips that will transform your food shopping

Alanna Elliott, RD, LDN wrote for Edeard-Elmhurst Health that grocery shopping these days is no easy task, especially when you are faced with a decision in every aisle. The cereal aisle alone is packed with dozens of choices.

Complicating your shopping experience even further, each package is plastered with claims like “whole grain,” “low fat” and “sugar free!”

Have you looked closely at that nutrition information box on your items? It’s time to get familiar with it, as that box is your best ally in healthy eating.

The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 requires all packaged food to include nutrition information on the label.

The labels can help you make healthier choices, and be mindful of what is in the food you eat. But it’s also important to read the label with a critical eye. Analyze the serving size and servings per package, as well as the sodium and calorie contents. You might have to do some quickie calculations to get a true picture of the nutritional value of an item. Read more