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child-with-inhalerSmokers are not the only ones affected by the health risks of cigarette smoking. According the American Cancer Society, secondhand smoke is classified as a “known human carcinogen” and is responsible for more than 42,000 deaths every year. Now, results of a new study show that infants and children who are exposed to secondhand smoke have a higher risk of developing allergic disease in adolescence and well into their teen years.

The 16-year study was conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and involved nearly 4,000 children. Parents were asked about their smoking and lifestyle habits during and after pregnancy, and the children were monitored for symptoms of asthma, allergies and other conditions.

Children exposed to secondhand smoke in the womb had a 45% higher risk of developing asthma by the time they were 16 years old. Those exposed as infants or in adolescence had a 23% higher risk of developing asthma and were 18% more likely to develop allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal passages due to allergens). In addition, they had a 26% higher risk of developing eczema (red, itchy skin).

While the link between secondhand smoke exposure and allergic diseases in children is not a new one, this was among the first studies to show that the risk continues through adolescence and into the teenage years. Fetal exposure to secondhand smoke has also been linked to a higher risk of miscarriage, birth defects and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

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Fall means football season, and football season means… food! Because we know game day is one of the toughest times to find healthy eating options, we’re serving up three delicious and good-for-you recipes from Brenda Watson’s new book, The Skinny Gut Diet. Whether you’re tailgating on the road or spending the weekend at home with your favorite football fans, these party-worthy recipes guaranteed to score big and help you stick to your health and weight loss goals.

egg-saladSavory Egg Salad
Ingredients:
4 hard-boiled eggs
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. pickle relish
4 tbsp. chopped celery
2 tsp. celery seeds
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Place eggs in small bowl; mash with fork. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Chill 20 minutes and enjoy. Note: This recipe makes two servings. Be sure to double or triple for large groups. And for a fun party idea, add lettuce and make lettuce leaf wraps!

Homemade Salsa in an Avocado Boat
Ingredients:
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 serrano chili or jalapeño pepper, chopped
1/3 cup scallions, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
¼ tsp. salt
1 avocado, halved, seed removed and partially hollowed out

 

Directions: Place all ingredients except avocado in a large bowl; mix well. Chill 20 minutes. Serve salsa atop avocado halves. Note: Serves two; adjust recipe as necessary.

Simple Beef Bruschetta
Ingredients:
3 tsp. coconut oil
½ cup halved artichoke hearts (packed in water)
¼ red onion, minced
1 ripe tomato, diced
3 fresh basil leaves, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
8 oz. lean boneless beef, such as top round or sirloin, cut into ½-inch slices
¼ tsp. cracked black peppercorns
¼ tsp. dried Italian seasoning

 

Directions: Coat grill pan or cast-iron skillet with 2 tsp. coconut oil and heat over medium-high heat. Lightly brown artichokes on each side, 2–3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool; cut into smaller pieces. In a small bowl, combine artichoke hearts, onion, tomato, remaining 1 tsp. coconut oil, basil, garlic and vinegar. Season beef with peppercorns and Italian seasoning. In the same skillet, sear beef over medium-high heat about 2 minutes per side, until nicely browned. Transfer to plate; top with artichoke bruschetta mixture and serve. Note: Serves two; adjust recipe as necessary.

 

See Chapter 13 in The Skinny Gut Diet for more healthful and delicious recipes and meal ideas!

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