Global warming may be the hot buzzword, but it’s not just about solar power, melting ice caps, or buying a Prius. The climate has been changing for a while, and it’s already affecting your everyday life. There are things you can do to combat the problems. Here’s a sampling from Rodale Publishing:

  • For example, one of the effects of global climate change is big-time allergies. Higher levels of carbon dioxide make plants release more pollen and these days, you’re breathing in TWICE the pollen people did 100 years ago. Particles from burning fossil fuels also glom onto pollen, making them bigger and more likely get stuck deep in your lungs. The fix: Eat at least 2 apples a week. They’re full of histamine-blockers, which help keep your breathing tubes open, and can reduce your risk of asthma by 32%.
  • Another issue: High air-pollution levels double your chances of dying from a stroke. A Japanese study found that soot and ground-level ozone from car exhaust and coal burning strain your lungs and blood vessels, raising your risk of stroke. Your best defense: Eat beans! Studies show you can reduce your stroke risk by 20% just by eating 1 cup of lentils or chickpeas a day.
  • Another global warming health issue: Higher carbon dioxide levels make poison ivy and oak bigger and more toxic. They’re twice as big as they were in the 1950s, and produce 3 times the chemical that causes itching. So if you come into contact with a poisonous plant, know this: You have 10 minutes before the chemicals soak into your skin. So, quickly wash the affected area with grease-cutting dish soap.
  • The final global warning health issue: Rocky Mountain spotted fever. It’s a tick-borne bacterial infection that can cause organ failure if left untreated. Experts at UC Berkeley say that ticks usually go dormant when it gets cold, but with milder winters, they can reproduce year-round. The number of cases has tripled in the past 5 years. The fix: Know how to avoid them! Ticks prefer to hang out on wood instead of leaves, so your odds of a bite increase if you sit on a log or gather firewood.