What’s Healthy Eating? 10 Guidelines

fresh produceIn recognition of National Nutrition Month, the faculty of the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University recently sent out a list of tips for maintaining a well-balanced, healthy diet. It’s good stuff, reminding that nutrition isn’t just about what you eat but how you eat; your attitudes about food; your approach to eating; the priority you give to making healthy choices.

Check it out:

  1. Take time to eat.
    Humans require food to be nourished. It’s that simple! Think of all the things you schedule in a week. Feeding yourself must be at the top of the list in order for you to accomplish all those other things well. Plan ahead. Prioritize meals. Respond to your hunger. Take time to eat. It’s a basic human need!

  2. Enjoy your food.
    Savor the aroma and flavors of your food. Chew with intention and take delight in every mouthful. Eating is a pleasurable experience that engages all our senses, and the food on our plates deserves this careful attention. Sit. Slow down. Enjoy!

  3. Spice it up.
    Herbs and spices boost foods with calorie-free flavors to make food even more exciting and delicious. As a bonus, many contain bioactive compounds that enhance health by supporting immunity and suppressing inflammation.

  4. Create a feast for your eyes. Nature offers a rainbow of colors as fruits and vegetables that provide your body with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds that have positive health benefits. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is associated with lower blood pressure, decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, and lower risk for some cancers.

  5. Feed your flora.
    Did you know that the human body has more bacteria cells than human cells? These bacteria help support good digestion, a strong immune system and healthy metabolism. Here are two simple ways you can keep your inner residents happy and healthy. First, eat a variety of fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, legumes (beans), fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Secondly, eat fermented foods such as yogurt, pickles, olives, miso, sauerkraut, kombucha, fermented vegetables and kefir. Food that add good bacteria into the diet support the resident colonies.

  6. Boost your brain. Mend your mind. The verdict is in! We know what nutrients the human brain needs to stay sharp! That list includes carbohydrates, B vitamins such as folate, and omega 3-fatty acids. To sharpen your brain power, think salmon and other fatty fish, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and folate-rich leafy greens and legumes. Choose your foods wisely for a brain that is wise!

  7. Get back to your roots.
    Good food grows both above the ground and below, so don’t forget about those that grow in the dark! Root vegetables are packed with nutrition, and they store well for relatively long periods of time. All root vegetables, such as parsnips, rutabagas, carrots, beets, and fennel are filled with nutrients and can be prepared super easily.

  8. Commune at the table.
    Eating together enhances the enjoyment of any meal. Turn off those distractions from all screens and cell phones and make it a practice to eat with others. Studies show that communing together solidifies family bonds and encourages communication. Plus, eating meals at home can be conducive to consuming more fruits and vegetables.

  9. Raise a glass!
    We all know that staying hydrated is important. In addition to tipping back a glass of water, try herbal teas. The options are endless – green, black ginger, hibiscus, mint, and even some exotic ones like rooibos and roasted dandelion root. Tea is high in plant compounds called phytochemicals that have antioxidant properties and are linked with heart health, brain health and a reduced risk of cancer. So raise that glass, or that tea cup! A well-hydrated you is a nourished you!

  10. Nourish the “whole you.”
    There are countless ways you can nourish the whole you. Nourish your body and brain by getting 7-8 hours most nights of restful, high-quality sleep so you feel rejuvenated and resilient enough to deal with whatever comes your way. Nourish your body and soul by getting outside into nature where you can feel the sun (or mist) on your face, walk in the park, smell the roses, hike the trails, cycle on the paths, or just play and have fun. Nourish your spirit by connecting with other people, including those you love. Hug your child, hug your mom or dad, hug your partner or spouse, hug your grandma. And laugh a lot. Because we all know that laughter is the best medicine to nourish all of you!

Image by Olearys, via Flickr

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A Long Look at Sugar

Although there’s a moment in this BBC documentary where they seem a little too generous toward artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, overall, it does take a good, broad, and interesting look at sugar and its impact on human health.

And as for what happens when you quit the stuff? Read on…

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If Ever There Were a Case for Minimally-Invasive Dentistry…

dental explorerA young woman needed a dental exam before starting a new job. She chose a dentist online. She went to her exam.

She complained of no dental problems. None of her 32 teeth had ever been restored. Her x-rays showed no signs of decay. The bone supporting her teeth looked healthy.

On clinical examination, visual findings were of a mouth with good oral hygiene and no staining on the teeth. [But] when the dentist did his clinical check for caries, he found that the explorer “stuck” on all 20 of the posterior teeth occlusal [biting] surfaces and also some buccal [cheekside] pits.

Some would take a “wait-and-see” approach here, perhaps counseling on diet and other factors that could hasten or stop the development of decay. Some might treat with ozone or turn to micro air abrasion just to be safe. You probably wouldn’t start drilling away at the teeth.

Or would you?

Several months later, she visited her parents while on vacation, and they noticed the many silver fillings in her mouth; she explained to them what happened. The patient’s father was very upset, so he took her to see her childhood dentist, who had seen her last about two years earlier.

This dentist examined the patient and, with her permission, asked the treating dentist to immediately forward to him his dental chart and digital radiographs for the patient. When they arrived by email, he made note that not a single one of the filled teeth had even a hint of pretreatment radiographic decay, and he did not see any clinical sign that there were likely any decayed teeth to have been diagnosed as carious by an explorer.

And now she has a mouth full of one of the most toxic substances on earth.

That makes for a doubly horrible horror story.

We believe that the best dentistry is the least dentistry. We feel that restorations should only be done after other, less invasive treatments have failed or the decay or damage to the tooth is so great as less invasive procedures are no longer an option. And we believe that patients deserve to know all their options up front and should play an active role in the decision-making process – not be told like a child to do this or that, regardless of their desires, beliefs, or values.

As for the young woman, she sued on the grounds of negligence and “egregious, malicious, and outrageous acts.” Amazingly, the jury found for the defendant, whose experts had testified that he was only doing what he’d been taught in dental school.

Yet it was a different story with the state dental board. They fined and suspended the dentist.

Previously

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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KTH Flashback: The Importance of Breastfeeding on Dental-Facial Development & Health

Originally posted August 23, 2013

breastfeeding childThe benefits of breastfeeding go far beyond just the infant’s receiving food when hungry.

For instance, consider the JAMA Pediatrics study which showed that children who are exclusively breastfed at 6 to 7 months may have a lower risk of overweight/ obesity.

With adjustment for children’s factors (sex, television viewing time, and computer game playing time) and maternal factors (educational attainment, smoking status, and working status),…”we demonstrated that breastfeeding is associated with decreased risk of overweight and obesity among school children in Japan, and the protective association is stronger for obesity than overweight,” the study concludes.

But it’s about far more than just obesity. There’s also evidence that children who are bottle-fed are three times more likely to die in infancy. According to Dr Chandra Pati Mishra, head of the department of community medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS), Banaras Hindu University (BHU),

Bottle-feeding is prone to several infections and is a severe malpractice for children, especially those younger than 6 months. “In fact, putting the child on breastfeeding for maximum time can increase her IQ level by six times more than one kept on alternative feeding habits,” he said.

It should be no surprise that infant humans thrive on the first food we evolved to consume. As noted expert Dr. Brian Palmer has written,

The nutritional, immunological, psychological, and general health advantages conveyed to infants have been documented for years. Legovic listed the merits of human breast milk as compared to artificial feeds to include ideal nutritional content, better absorption, fewer food-related allergies, more favorable psychological development, better immunologic defenses, and a substantial economic advantage. [References available at the link]

There’s another benefit, however, that’s often overlooked: good and healthy orofacial development. Here, we let myofunctional therapist and dental hygienist Carol Vander Stoep tell the tale via an excerpt from her book Mouth Matters:

In fact, breastfed babies have a far better chance at beauty and health because these infants learn to work their lips, cheeks, and tongue differently. Facial development occurs early, when facial bones are plastic. Genes, skeletal influences, and airway development determine facial shape.

It takes 1.4 grams of pressure to move teeth or change bone structure. The tongue exerts up to 500 grams of pressure, the cheeks up to 300 grams. For maximum attractiveness and a lifetime of healthy function, these forces must balance each other. Proper swallowing patterns learned by breastfeeding balance these forces so teeth erupt evenly around the tongue to form a beautiful and functional arch. A wide arch promotes a wide, open airway.

The coordination required for an infant to swallow and breathe at the same time while breastfeeding is also a critical step in learning correct swallow patterns. In a proper swallow, the lips touch together lightly. The lower jaw moves slightly upward to touch the upper teeth. The tongue lightly moves up and reinforces the good arch form. There is minimal TM/jaw joint compression. Good breathing and swallowing habits maintain the balance of forces.

Babies who breastfeed and develop proper swallowing patterns and facial structure generally have more prominent cheekbones, less constricted sinuses, and a larger eye orbit that allows the eyeball to develop a proper shape. This improves chances of good eyesight. They also develop far fewer ear infections. Children with deep dental overbites are 2.8 times more likely to have ear tubes placed.

On the other hand, the tongue of a bottle-feeding baby creates a strong vacuum against the roof of the mouth and at the back of the throat. This can form a very high palatal vault, reduce the width of the arch, and constrict the sinuses and airway.

Thus, you also tend to see far fewer significant orthodontal issues among children who were breastfed – less crowding of the teeth, less misalignment of the bite and related problems. When you consider the cost of orthodontic treatment today – in dollars, time, and stress alike – it’s clear that this is no small benefit. Add to that reduced medical costs for allergies, infections, sleep apnea and other problems that can arise, and you see quite a savings indeed!

The final word goes to Dr. Palmer:

Preventing disease, in a natural way, far outweighs the alternative: treating the disease with our newest medical technologies, which can be costly and time consuming. Breastfeeding has been shown to be immunologically, emotionally and nutritionally advantageous….

And dentally, as well.

Image by Ozgur POYRAZOGLU, via Flickr

Modified from the original

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Dental Problems Aren’t Always Confined to the Mouth

toothache sculptureWhen you’ve got a dental problem, it’s effects aren’t always confined to the tooth or even the mouth. Each of your teeth is connected with the rest of your body, energetically (via the meridan system) and physically (via your circulation). This is why root canal teeth, for instance, can become a major burden on overall health.

And it’s why, if you’ve got a tooth that’s hurting, you don’t want to put off seeing your dentist about the problem.

Maybe you saw the sad story that made our local news recently.

An Antelope family is grieving the loss of a young father who they say died early Monday morning after a tooth infection spread to his lungs.

Vadim Kondratyuk Anatoliyevich, 26, was a father of two little girls and a long haul truck driver.

His wife, Nataliya told FOX40 his tooth hurt when he left Truckee for New York two weeks ago. She said he visited a dentist in Oklahoma, who cleaned his infected tooth and prescribed him antibiotics, but that the infection got so much worse that the side of his face became swollen.

She said Vadim’s brother eventually made the cross country drive out to bring him back home, because he was feeling too weak to drive. Somewhere along the drive they checked Vadim into a Utah hospital. Four days into his stay there, Nataliya said she had a conversation with the doctors that she had no idea was coming.

“The doctor said tonight is the night he’s gonna die, because we did everything we can and nothing seems to work. It’s just the bacteria and the infection keeps growing to his lungs and they can’t clean it out,” Nataliya said.

It’s important to remember, though, that even in a catastrophic case like this, it’s never just the tooth that’s the problem. There is also a problem in the biological terrain interfering with the body’s self-healing and regulating abilities.

When the terrain is unhealthy, the rest of the body, including the mouth, cannot be truly healthy. Help the terrain, though, and you set the stage for healing and sustained health. This is why evaluating the terrain is the first thing we recommend when new patients come to our office for help with dental burdens they suspect may be impacting their overall health – mercury amalgam fillings, root canals, cavitations.

Once the terrain is dealt with, we can deal with the dental factors much more successfully. Without that, dental intervention may bring some temporary relief – or not.

The terrain, as they say, is everything.

Image by Richard Croft, via Wikimedia Commons

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No, This GIF of a Root Canal Probably Won’t Terrify You, But…

It’s a truly clickbaity headline:

clickbait

 

And as with so much clickbait, the promised image doesn’t fail to disappoint a little:

Root canal procedure

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Seriously? That’s it? We were expecting at least something more along the lines of…

(Warning: if you’re squeamish, you may want to just skip the clip below. It’s as graphic as the its thumbnail may suggest.)

 

 

But what’s scariest of all? The potential effects root canal teeth can have on whole body health.

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“We’re Sitting on a Time Bomb”

dental implantThere are plenty of reasons to be concerned about dental implants, not the least of which is that implants are often placed in diseased tissue. After all, most extractions happen due to severe gum disease or deep decay. That doesn’t just go away with a tooth once it’s taken out. One result is what’s come to be called “peri-implantitis” – gum disease-like inflammation and bone loss around a failing implant.

Studies have suggested that one third of patients will be infected. “We’re sitting on a time bomb,” says Dr Stephen Jacobs, a past president of the Association of Dental Implantology and well-respected implant surgeon. “We are going to be seeing more and more cases.”

And currently, there’s no standard of treatment, although mechanical cleaning of the sites affected is often a first step. But this can bring its own problems, according to research just published in Scientific Reports, particularly with titanium implants, which make up the vast majority of protheses placed today.

“In our study, [ultrasonic] scaling of Ti surfaces induced the release of particles that stimulated the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines,” the authors wrote. “An increase in the expression of IL1β, IL6, and TNFα, among other cytokines, was accompanied by an increase in osteoclast formation and activity, which was either directly or indirectly induced via a paracrine effect on neighboring cells (e.g., osteoblasts). These cytokines have been repeatedly shown to trigger and/or amplify inflammation-induced bone loss.”

In other words, scaling released metal. Those particles “exponentially increased” inflammation, triggering bone loss – loss that “is unlikely to be reversible,” note the authors.

A bad situation gets worse.

And that’s only looking at the short-term consequences. What are the long-term effects of having that metal released into the body? We know from earlier reports that toxicity is a real concern.

But as we noted before, this doesn’t necessarily indicate a rush to remove them.

Instead, have an integrative dentist or physician trained in German biological medicine evaluate your situation. Biological terrain analysis (BTA), EAV and other assessment tools can give insight to burden the implants may be placing on the body. If they are having a negative effect, we can work with you to develop a safe, sensible and secure route to healing.

Learn more

Image by Dan Klimke, via Flickr

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