Live Well, Work Well – April

Live Well, Work Well- April Fighting Off Illness: Phlegm is a Key Player

Phlegm is a mucus-like substance produced by your lungs and respiratory system. When you get sick with a cold or a sinus infection, your body will produce more mucus than normal in an attempt to trap and expel the virus or bacteria causing your illness. Essentially, it helps your body by fighting off illness.

Depending on your illness, the color and consistency of your phlegm will change. The American Chemical Society recently released a video that describes what different colors of phlegm may indicate and offers tips about which treatments are best for your symptoms.

  • Yellow or white phlegm is present when you’re congested. The color, combined with the thickness of your phlegm, indicates that you could have a cold.
  • Green phlegm indicates the presence of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) and a green-colored enzyme that they produce, called myeloperoxidase. Green phlegm indicates that your body is likely hard at work fighting a viral infection.
  • Red phlegm indicates the presence of blood in your mucus and is generally the result of irritation and drying of your nasal tissue. A little bit of blood is nothing to worry about, but if you experience excessive bleeding, contact your doctor right away.

For more information on phlegm or for advice on treatment methods, contact your health professional.

Monitor, Your Rice Intake to Minimize Arsenic Consumption

Arsenic, an element from the Earth’s crust that is naturally found in air and water, may not only cause cancer but can also negatively affect a child’s development and cause problems into adulthood. Inorganic arsenic is the type of arsenic that is associated with adverse health effects and the type of arsenic that is found in common foods and drinks, like rice and apple juice.

Rice has been found to absorb the highest amounts of inorganic arsenic when compared to other commonly eaten foods. Last April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a limit on the amount of inorganic arsenic to be allowed in infant rice cereal. The FDA, however, has not imposed action limits on other rice items. Instead, the FDA and Consumer Reports recommend that adults and children eat a well-balanced diet for good nutrition and avoid consuming an excess of rice.

For further information on arsenic in rice and recommendations on how to safely keep rice in your diet, visit the FDA’s Q&A page.

Are You Getting Enough Calcium?

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in your body. Consuming enough calcium is critical for keeping your bones and teeth strong and for maintaining the function of your nerves, heart, and muscles. Failing to get enough calcium can stunt children’s growth and can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis. The current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) by age group is as follows:

  • 1-3 years—700 mg daily
  • 4-8 years—1,000 mg daily
  • 9-18 years—1,300 mg daily
  • 1950 years—1,000 mg daily
  • 5170 years—1,000 mg daily (men) and 1,200 mg daily (women)

Please note that these RDAs reflect suggestions from the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health. Your personal recommended calcium allowance may differ. Please consult your doctor to determine how much calcium you need in your diet.

Top Ten Calcium Rich Foods:

  1. Yogurt
  2. Cheese
  3. Cow’s Milk
  4. Soy Milk
  5. Seafood
  6. Dark, Leafy Greens
  7. Beans
  8. Oatmeal and Fortified Cereals
  9. Tofu
  10. Molasses

Healthy Recipe – Basic Quiche

Help your body out this April by feeding it the right things to help with fighting off illness. You’ll need:

1 9-inch pie crust (baked)

1 cup broccoli, zucchini or mushrooms (chopped)

½ cup cheese (shredded)

3 eggs (beaten)

1 cup nonfat milk

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

½ tsp. garlic powder

Makes: 6 servings


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. In a medium-sized skillet, cook the vegetables until fork-tender.
  3. Put the cooked vegetables and shredded cheese into the prepared pie crust.
  4. Mix the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and garlic powder together in a bowl. Pour mixture over the vegetables and cheese.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Let cool for five minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Total Calories 230
Total Fat 13 g
Protein 9 g
Carbohydrates 18 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Saturated Fat 5 g
Sodium 440 mg
Total Sugars 4 g

Source: USDA


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These articles is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.