The definition of alveoli comes from the Latin meaning “little cavity”. A large amount of alveolus (plural) are contained especially in the lungs. It is within these large organs that an extremely large amount of alveolus can be found. They are clusters that are situated at the ends of our intricate branchlike structures of air passages. Envision a tree contained within the walls of the lung with clusters of grapes hanging off all of the branches. They number about 350 million per lung and they are responsible for gas diffusion. To put their vastness in perspective, they cover about 760 square ft., a space about 40 times the area of our skin. Alveolus can be looked upon as tiny air chambers that are responsible for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lungs and the blood stream. An alveoli is the membrane in which oxygen from the air is allowed to enter the blood. The process in which they inflate and deflate occurs each time we inhale and exhale. Because of their composition it takes more effort to expand them, inhalation, which makes exhaling easier due to their elastic recoil. They are particular only to the lungs of mammals. The membranes of these sacks are so thin they allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass easily through them. This is referred to as the “gas-blood barrier”. So numerous, they are able to support the needs of a large animal. Since this exchange has to be done in large quantities and quickly, the number of alveolus makes this task possible. The capillaries in the alveolus push the oxygen depleted blood to an oxygen rich area allowing for the exchange. This is the process in which carbon dioxide rich blood is pumped from the rest of the body where it is released and oxygen is absorbed in its place. If this elastic recoil is compromised breathing can become a problem. They are so delicate that if they are abused by any toxins allowed to enter the lungs the walls will break down. They can combine with each other or totally collapse making the grapelike structures larger giving less area for this important exchange to take place. Simple congestion, or inflammation can cause them to swell and limit their effectiveness. Because they are so delicate, white blood cells are constantly on patrol absorbing any foreign particles in their vicinity. Aerobic exercise is a key factor in increasing their strength and durability. The more they are forced to expand the more oxygen rich blood is allowed to enter the system. This in turn can increase both our stamina and endurance.
Some restaurants are serving unusually large portions. If you are aware that the serving size is too large in a particular restaurant, think about sharing an entree and begin the meal with two appetizers. Most restaurants are more then happy to split a meal and serve it on two plates. If you feel you cannot resist having dessert, try sharing one. The amount of calories you are saving will probably be close to a day’s worth.
– 1/2 cup coconut water
– 2 heaping tablespoon of plain yogurt
– 1 tablespoon almond butter
– 1/2 teaspoon of real vanilla
– 1/4 teaspoon ginger
– 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1 medium sized frozen banana
– 1 teaspoon flax seed
Cravings can be the result of an addiction to a certain food or they can stem from an attempt to fill an emotional need. There are also cravings that arise from an actual physical need for a particular vitamin or mineral. We love chocolate. Could it be that we sometimes crave it because of what it contains? Chocolate is rich in magnesium, chromium, b-vitamins and essential fatty acids. However, the chocolate should be extremely dark to obtain these benefits. Nuts, seeds and legumes are rich in magnesium. Broccoli and grapes are loaded with chromium. Take notice if adding more of these foods to your diet decreases an extreme desire for chocolate. Excessive carbohydrate consumption results mainly from eating processed foods such as white breads, crackers and noodles. These are not overly sweet but turn quickly to sugar. This may be an indication of insulin resistance resulting in blood sugar fluctuations. Increasing fiber rich foods can decrease the dependence on these refined foods. Bananas, celery, avocados and Swiss chard are a few of the foods that are loaded with fiber. A strong desire for simple sugars such as jellies, syrups or plain cane sugar, often found in sodas, can simply be an indication of extreme dehydration. A desire for fiery, spicy foods may stem from the inability to perspire easily. Consuming these foods can accelerate metabolism which in turn will lead to perspiring. There is absolutely too much salt used in restaurants and in processed foods. If however you are not addicted to heavy salt intake but are having a constant desire for something salty, it could be your activity level is not in balance with your electrolyte intake or it is due to stress hormone fluctuations. Another reason is that there may not be enough calcium and potassium in your diet. Citrus fruits, unrefined sea salt and coconut water along with mustard greens are a good place to begin to create balance. Fat is what gives food taste. The desire for fried, extremely oily foods or excessive amounts of cheese is simply the need for fat. However, those types of fats are extremely harmful. The need for this is better met with flaxseed, raw olive oil, and avocados which provide more essential fatty acids. Contrary to what we have been told, the desire for non-food items (pica) such as ice, clay, dirt and chalk does not always stem from abnormal eating patterns but can indicate a strong deficiency of iron or minerals in general. This trait is often exhibited in children and in women during pregnancy. Lentils, seaweed and black cherries are all laden with minerals. A taste preference for burnt foods can be symptomatic of a carbon deficiency. Since all fruit, vegetables and meats contain carbon it is possible that there is not a sufficient amount of real, unprocessed foods in the diet. If you feel you are not satisfying an emotional need by eating a certain food, take stock in the possibility that you may not be meeting your body’s true and healthy cravings.
Studies have begun in the University of Nottingham on the effectiveness of introducing humans to hookworm larvae. Scientists are hoping that the presence of hookworms will switch off the mechanism that makes the immune system overactive. This is one of the causes of MS. A low dosage of hookworm larvae is applied with a bandage to the person’s arm. They travel through the blood stream until they reach the gut and feed off the person’s blood. They are not able to reproduce since eggs are excreted in fecal matter. Patients are monitored closely to make sure they do not become anemic. Hope is that this could work on most people with autoimmune diseases.