Harvey, Irma, and Fire. The natural disasters right now are fierce! Over 8-Million acres have burned in the West so far this year according to government statistics. The smoke is horrible. Here are a few things you can do for your health:
Please Stay Safe
If your home is in danger, get out.
This is obvious, but still the number one thing you can do to protect yourself. As we have learned from the many natural disasters lately, please evacuate before the traffic-jam causes your journey to take longer than normal. Better to be safe than sorry.
Air Quality: Outside and Inside
Your lungs do not want to breathe smoke.
The big and tiny particles are dangerous. This is exacerbated if you have any respiratory health concerns such as asthma or COPD.
Watch the air-quality reports for you area and stay indoors if the ratings are greater than 100 (for sensitive people) or greater than 150 (for everyone.)
Check your air-quality here.
Change the air filter in your home’s furnace/AC filter.
One of my Montana friends recently posted a picture of the thick layer of gray nastiness hers had built up in just a month. You may need to be changing your filter *very* frequently during this smokey time.
Buy a good air purifier for your home.
You want your home to be a safe haven. You want your body to be able to heal and renew while you sleep. This means breathing clean air in your home.
You can find systems for your whole house or all the way down to a one-room system. Decide what your budget is and prioritize for where you/your family will be spending the most time. Usually, this is the room(s) you sleep in.
Here is a great website to start your search for a system that meets your needs and is within your budget. Here is another website with great information about the benefits of air purifiers and what to look for in the one you choose.
When you are out and about, wear a mask.
I know, you might look kind of funny because not everyone else is doing it. But these are health tips, not style tips. 😉
Per the CDC:
do not rely on dust masks nor bandanas for protection. Paper “comfort” or “dust” masks commonly found at hardware stores are designed to trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks will not protect your lungs from the small particles found in wildfire smoke.
You want a mask that will filter out the tiny particles. Using “N95” in your search terms (on Amazon, google, etc) will help you find one that will do this.
Be aware that if you have lung/breathing problems, a good filtering mask may make the work of breathing harder for you, so please use your best judgement as to which is causing you more problems–the smoke or the mask. Be safe.
Nourish, Protect, and Renew.
Ensure you are Nourishing your body with enough micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.) Provide your body with what it needs to protect itself from damage–things like antioxidants. And also give your body the resources it needs to Renew.
When your body is under stress, you need increased amounts of B-vitamins, vitamins A, C, and E, minerals, healthy fats like Omega-3s, and protein. Stress can obviously come from natural disasters! Stress can also come from everyday things like your job, relationships, etc. Your body doesn’t care what is causing the stress, it has the same nutrient requirements whether it’s smoke-related stress or an argument with a friend.
B-Vitamins Are Especially Important.
A study published earlier this year showed that B-vitamins halted as much as 76% of the negative DNA changes due to air-quality. This study was looking at air-solution and how supplementing with b-vitamins protects our cells. Isn’t it amazing how our bodies can use the micronutrients we eat to protect our very DNA?!
Focus on Living Foods.
Where can you get all the nutrients to nourish, protect, and renew? Fruits, veggies, seeds, nuts are all great places to start! Stick to the outer areas of the grocery stores–that’s where the plugs are to keep living foods fresh. These living foods are packed with micronutrients that are vital for your health.
As with anything, if you are not getting enough from your foods, supplementation is the next thing to do. I have looked at tons of brands out there and, as a nurse and health coach, I stand behind the CellSentials as the very best multi-vitamin on the market in North America.
Do you have a friend affected by the fires and smoke right now? Share this post with them.
PhotoCredit for all background images in today’s post: Pixabay