Archive | HEALTH AND WELLNESS

These Foods Could Keep Your Family From Developing Cavities

Most people say that having a beautiful smile can boost their confidence in life. But approximately 32% of people say they’re concerned about the look of their teeth… and we all know that dental care doesn’t come cheap. If you want your child to have superior oral health, it’s important to start early. But in addition to dental care tips, like regular brushing and flossing and early visits to your dentist, there may be other ways to ensure your family stays cavity-free — like the meals you make right at home.

Restrict Your Acids

Even if you’re vigilant about oral hygiene, consuming too many acidic foods or drinks can be dangerous for your teeth. In fact, the American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatrics say that parents should refrain from giving juice to any child under one year old. This is mainly due to its high sugar content, but it’s an important lesson for grownups, too. Drinks with high acidity (and yes, that includes wine) can be damaging to tooth enamel and lead to increased cavities. If you or your children do indulge in sugary and/or acidic foods or drinks, be sure to get the toothbrush out right after.

Go Ham On Yams

That isn’t to say that all sweet stuff is bad. Sweet potatoes (which are actually yams) are excellent for oral health — when they’re not loaded with marshmallows, that is. This vitamin A-rich food helps with salivary function and helps to keep your mouth’s pH levels consistent, which helps to prevent tooth decay. They also have more potassium than bananas, making them a great snacking option.

Remember Whole Fruits Are Your Friend

Just because you should restrict your juice consumption doesn’t mean that fruit = bad. Firm, fibrous fruits like apples are a good option because their crunchy texture is a natural workout for your jaw. And strawberries can promote healing, which can make your gums stronger. Fiber is really important for strong teeth, and your body won’t get as many nutrients out of these items if you stick them in a smoothie. It be a convenient way to eat breakfast, but there are sometimes better ways to fuel young bodies.

Be Nutty About Nuts

Phosphorus-rich foods are tooth enamel protectors, and nuts are filled with phosphorus. In fact, one ounce of raw peanuts contains 107 mg of phosphorus. This element can help reduce cavity risk by helping our saliva to neutralize acids. So whether you like to snack on them raw or would rather spread PB on your toast, it’s definitely a tooth-friendly snack. Plus, with high levels of protein, potassium, and fiber, it’s an option that will keep you fuller for longer (and will reduce your risk of reaching for something more sugary later on).

Don’t Assume Fat Is A Bad Thing

Remember that not all fats are created equal. Avocados are a great source of healthy fat, but they also contain a lot of potassium — a mineral that can strengthen bones and keep them from breaking down. We all think of calcium as important part of strong, healthy bones, but a lack of potassium can lead to tooth decay too. You might also be surprised to learn that butter contains vitamin B12, which can promote gum health and even heal canker sores. If you don’t have enough vitamin B in your diet, you may be more prone to gum infections and subsequent tooth loss. If you’re a dairy fan, keep in mind that cheese is a great option for teeth and gums, as its calcium and B12 can protect both (and who doesn’t want an excuse to eat more cheese?).

Ultimately, it’s vital to eat everything in moderation. Too much butter, of course, won’t make for a healthy diet. But the stuff we might be inclined to see as “healthy,” like fruit juices, can actually be detrimental to our bodies — particularly developing ones. While this doesn’t mean you have to remove these foods from your diet completely, awareness is key to ensuring the foods you eat support your dental care efforts. Plus, tooth-healthy foods are generally healthy in general, meaning that you can help your family start enjoying these staples from an early age.

Compelling Reasons To Add Honey To Your Winter Healthcare Regimen

Americans consume about 1.3 pounds of honey per person per year. And while most think of the substance as nothing more than a sweet treat, there are actually a surprising number of health benefits of honey that many people overlook. Here are just a few reasons to consider adding honey to your winter healthcare regimen.

Cleans Wounds

It’s no secret that winter weather often comes with an unavoidable and imminent risk of slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk or driveway. Fortunately, the healing powers of honey can work to help you recover from any cuts or scrapes you may have after a fall or other minor injury. While it’s not a miracle cure, it’s antimicrobial properties can help keep wounds clean and heal them faster.

How exactly can you use honey to treat a wound? It’s easier than you think.

“After cleaning the wound, put honey on one side of gauze or a clean cloth, and lay it onto the wound. Or pour a thin film of honey directly onto the wound and put the gauze over that. Either way, seal the honey in with surgical or duct tape on the edges of the bandage. Clean and repeat twice a day,” explains Commonsensehome.com.

Can Improve Oral Health

Many people may be shocked to hear that despite honey’s sugar content, it still has positive oral health benefits. That’s right — the honey present in sugar does not harm your teeth — that is, as long as it’s 100% raw honey. Anything less is almost certain to be mixed with high fructose corn syrup, which is known to cause cavities like other sweeteners.

Raw honey, however, can be used as a form of tooth decay prevention in addition to treating gum disease. According to an AACD survey, virtually all adults (99.7%) surveyed believe a healthy smile is socially important, but it’s undoubtedly medically important as well. And fortunately, certain types of honey are known for their cavity prevention abilities as a result of their microbial properties.

Furthermore, if you have an infection or inflamed area in your mouth, honey can work its antibacterial magic to ease pain and discomfort associated with the infection and help to flush out the bad bacteria that caused it.

Don’t Forget…

Unfortunately, not all honey is created equal. The key to reaping these fantastic health benefits of honey is investing in the right type of honey. As mentioned earlier, it has to be completely raw honey with no fillers such as high fructose corn syrup. Ultra-filtrated honey should also be avoided, since the process of refining it removes many of its healing properties.

Finally, it’s ideal to know exactly where your honey comes from. Always try to buy locally to ensure that your honey is not being altered or processed in any way.

According to current data, the U.S. needs about 52,000 more primary care physicians by 2025 to meet our healthcare needs, and even though honey isn’t necessarily a miracle cure, you never know if it could save you a trip to a healthcare professional this season. Of course, for more severe injuries and health issues, it’s always best to consult a doctor before attempting any DIY treatments.

Natural Remedies To Ease Your Lower Back Pain

For many adults, lower back pain is an ever-present factor in their lives. Whether caused by age, genetic factors or lifestyles, it can become too much to handle. In fact, about 69% of Americans say that this pain impacts their daily lives. While many adults turn to medication to treat their pain, it is not the only option.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate lower back pain management into your holistic health routine. This guide will help you incorporate these methods into your lifestyle and control your risk factors going forward.

Natural Treatments For Lower Back Pain

For many people, there is not a cure-all remedy for lower back pain. It generally takes a combination of changes to help you find relief. While you should always consult a physician about your pain, consider the following methods as well.

Exercise
When you strengthen your body, you strengthen your ability to support your spinal column. This is especially true when it comes to your abdominal strength. A strong core can make your entire center more steady and improve your posture. Yoga can be especially useful for strengthening, loosening, and aligning.

Massage
Massage therapy can help release tension in your back muscles that may be pinching nerves and causing pain. A massage therapist can also work with you on lifestyle changes and stretches to better care for your back.

Postural Treatment
Chiropractic adjustment and relating treatment can help align the spine and improve your posture. Your chiropractor may even incorporate massage and physical therapy to provide a more holistic healing approach.

Anti-Inflammatory Food
To nourish and heal your body, it’s essential to fill it with quality food. By avoiding refined grains, sugars, and fats, and eating nutrient-rich food instead, you can calm inflammation. This then calms your pain.

Controlling Your Risk Facotrs

While natural treatments can help ease your current back pain, it’s also important to practice prevention. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lives, there are ways to control your risk:

    • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Avoid a sedentary lifestyle
    • Work to improve your posture
    • See your physician for preventative care
    • Learn what treatment methods work for your body

Remember: You are in control of your life. While low back pain may be a factor, it is not in the driver’s seat. By trying some of the above treatment methods and taking care of your health as a whole, you can control your pain and live the most vibrant life possible.

Can You Travel This Holiday Season AND Eat Healthy?

As the holidays approach, more and more families are buying train, plane, and bus tickets to meet up with loved ones and enjoy the season. The problem is, for many, “enjoying the season” means putting diets and other healthy habits on hold. But even if you’ve failed to eat healthy during holidays past, it is possibly to enjoy the season and eat healthy. You just need a plan.

Here are just a few ways to keep yourself on track with your diet while traveling during the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season.

Consider Your Travel Method
Unfortunately, those traveling by air don’t have as much flexibility when it comes to which snacks and sizes are permitted onboard. But if you pack liquid- or gel-based snacks such as yogurt and applesauce in containers smaller than 3.4 ounces, you should be good to go. Luckily, many brands are already a step ahead of the game and have multiple options for snack-size and spill-proof containers.

Motorcoaches, on the other hand, account for 751 million passenger trips annually, and since they don’t have the rigorous security measures of airlines, they and allow for much more snacktime flexibility. Furthermore, the storage they provide allows easy access to any snacks you’re inclined to pack along in you carry-on. It’s best to avoid exceptionally messy foods, as well as those that may emit a strong odor, just to be considerate of your fellow passengers. But granola bars, raw veggies, trail mix, and sandwiches are all great options.

Depending on the length of your trip, you may enjoy the idea of packing a salad in a ziplock bag along with a plastic fork. You can add whatever you want, as long as it’s eaten within a few hours. For maximum nutritional content, pack a mix of leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce. You can also try adding microgreens, a tiny form of edible greens produced from very young vegetable, herb or other plants. They range in size from one to 1.5 inches long, including the stem and leaves. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your healthy travel snacks — as long as it can be stored properly and eaten easily, the possibilities are nearly endless.

The Fresher, The Better
According to a 2016 survey, Americans consume more fresh foods — including fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses — than they did three years prior. Whether you’re staying at a hotel or crashing with your family, try to prioritize eating fresh foods over frozen or processed. This may not be an issue for those staying with a family member that always seems to be pulling out another fresh, hot dish from the oven. But for those limited to hotel lobby convenience stores and other small sources, finding a healthy, fresh meal can prove to be a bit more challenging. Instead of taking the easy route by stopping by a fast food restaurant, don’t hesitate to seek out the nearest grocery store and stock up on any available fresh foods, provided that you can store them properly.

“If you stop at a grocery store that offers whole or healthy foods — fruits, bagged carrots, nuts, hummus — or a supermarket that features a salad bar, you quickly expand your choices (and reduce junk-food temptations),” writes Men’s Fitness.

Ultimately, knowing how to stay healthy when traveling during this holiday season can help you continue to make health-conscious choices all the way through the new year. But regardless of the time of year, you should always be on the lookout for more ways to incorporate fresh foods into your diet!

2 Healthy Magnesium-Rich Recipes, Including Cinnamon Plantain Bites!

Magnesium is one of those minerals that people are generally aware of but don’t really know what it is or what it can do for your body. Magnesium is a nutrient that the body requires in order to stay healthy. It plays a critical role in regulating muscle and nerve functions, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and making protein, bone, and DNA.

Oftentimes, people don’t get enough magnesium in their diets. While it takes a while to start noticing the effects of a magnesium deficiency, symptoms can include loss of appetite, nausea, weakness, muscle cramps, and an abnormal heartbeat. Since magnesium is critical for over 300 enzyme processes in the human body, it’s important to get a good dose of the mineral every day. Below are a few healthy recipes rich in magnesium for you to try!

Salmon Salad Bowl

This power veggie bowl features fresh salmon and a raspberry balsamic glaze. It’s rich in flavor and antioxidants, and organic too!

Ingredients:

  • 4-oz organic grilled or baked salmon
  • 3-4 cup organic seasonal greens
  • 1/2 cup organic slices zucchini and squash
  • 1/2 cup organic raspberries
  • 1 tbsp organic balsamic glaze
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon avocado or olive oil
  • dash of organic sea salt
  • dash of organic pepper
  • 2 organic thyme sprigs
  • organic parmesan crumbles
  • organic lemon juice

Luckily, salads are super easy to throw together. After slicing the veggies, sautee in a skillet with oil, salt, and pepper. Once the vegetables and salmon are cooked, begin to build your bowl. Greens first, then veggies, then salmon. Top off with the balsamic glaze, thyme, and the remaining oil. After tossing, throw in some raspberries with a touch of lemon juice and parmesan.

Cinnamon Spice Plantain Bites

These heavy-packed protein bites are full of spices, are grain-free, and require no baking!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut or almond flour
  • 1/2 cup plantain flour or ground plantain chips
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup nut butter of choice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves (ground)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground anise
  • 1/2 tsp butter or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp molasses

Begin by grinding up the plantain chips. Then, after mixing up the dry ingredients, add in nut butter extract, molasses, and honey. After mixing, roll into bite-sized balls. Freeze right away and use coconut or almond flour to roll the bites in after they’re frozen. To maintain freshness, store in fridge or freezer.