There are so many fad diets and lifestyle trends floating around these days, but what’s truly healthy? While these diets lead to a slimmer waistline, and in some cases very dramatic weight loss, they can negatively affect your oral health. Regardless of what diet or lifestyle you choose to follow, there are some foods and beverages you should be drinking more of and others you should try and avoid.
The Good List
Fruits and vegetables, especially apples, celery and carrots, are great ways to help clean your teeth and keep the doctor out of sight! You can look at these three foods as “nature’s toothbrushes”. They help remove plaque that lingers on your teeth after eating and promote gum health by aiding in the removal of food particles from your teeth. Juicing diets, while they can be beneficial for one’s health, can negatively affect your oral health. Your teeth need to be cleaned throughout the day and many fruits and vegetables also help whiten teeth but only if you’re chewing on them.
Whole grains are rich in vitamin B and iron, which help maintain the health of your mouth and gums. Those who have a diet that includes the recommended doses of vitamin B and iron notice fewer instances of swelling and irritation in their mouths. Low carb diets have lead more people to avoid healthy carbohydrates, whole grains being one of them. Instead of cutting out healthy carbs from your diet, try limiting them to the earlier part of the day and your body will burn off the calories from those two slices of whole grain bread (yes, two slices is all you need)!
Green tea is not only a healthier alternative to coffee, but it helps reduce your risk of developing oral cancers. Antioxidants, substances that protect cells from free radicals, along with other properties in green tea help lessen the risk of developing cancers, including oral cancers. According to the National Cancer Institute, “Antioxidants interact with and stabilize free radicals…they neutralize the electrical charge and prevent the free radical from taking electrons from other molecules.” In other words, they sweep free radicals under the rug!
The Bad List
Sugar is one of the leading contributing factors to poor oral health. Foods and beverages that contain sugar attack your teeth and tend to stick around and cling to your teeth, causing harmful plaque that can lead to erosion in your tooth enamel (cavities). Another cavity-contributor is refined carbohydrates, which attack the teeth like sugary foods. By eliminating, or at least limiting, candy, sweet baked goods and soda from your diet you can do your teeth a huge justice!
Acidic foods are healthy for your body, but they can deteriorate the enamel on your teeth. Lemons, pickles, oranges and tomatoes are some examples of acidic foods that have shown to be healthy for your body but can cause some issues with your teeth. Instead of cutting these foods out follow up with a glass of water to help promote saliva production to get rid of the acidity in your mouth.
When deciding to follow a healthy lifestyle remember that everything in moderation is fine, including sugar. Rather than choosing to follow a diet, choose to include healthier options into your diet or limit foods instead of eliminating them.
Rory Mycek is a guest contributor for Top Dentists, a dental health site in the Everyday Health portfolio. On her free time she can be found doing yoga, dancing, making up healthy recipes to satisfy her sweet tooth, or veganizing popular dinner dishes.
Natural Foods That Heal Urinary Tract Infection: What you eat and certain foods can heal urinary tract infection and ease symptoms. Most people including me have suffered from urinary tract infection at some time or the other. I have found certain foods do ease symptoms and relieve the condition . Again, as I advocate with all my natural health remedies I am not asking you to toss your antibiotics or drugs out of the window. Nope!! But leaning towards natural foods to ease symptoms is safe and builds your immune health. In a lot of cases, easing the symptoms as they start prevents a full-blown infection. Most of these are common foods that you probably have in your pantry right now.
What causes Urinary Tract Infection?
Your urinary tract is the system that makes urine and carries it out of your body. It includes your bladder and kidneys and the tubes that connect them. When bacteria via germs get into this system, they can cause an infection. Women tend to get more bladder infections than men. This is probably because women have shorter urethras, so it is easier for the germs to move up to their bladders.
Symptoms of UTI
- Burning or pain when you urinate
- You feel like you have to urinate often, but not much urine comes out when you do.
- Nausea and vomiting followed by fever
- Pain in one side of your back under your ribs.
- Urine is cloudy or smells bad
When the symptoms get to severe, you need to call your doctor, but here are some natural remedies that can be used to manage mild symptoms and which can be preventive in nature.
Foods that heal Urinary Tract Infection.
Cranberry juice: This is probably the oldest remedy in the book and is a popular one. Some studies have found that cranberries contain compounds that seem to inhibit bacteria from setting-up-shop and infecting the lining of the urinary tract. In order to get benefit of this you must consume pure unsweetened cranberry juice, easily available at health food stores. 1 ounce diluted with 7 ounces water drunk 3-4 times a day helps clear infection. Drinking Cran water regularly to ward off or prevent urinary tract infection is not a bad idea for those prone to UTI. Cran water is a regular part of my diet. It also helps remove water retention.
Pineapple: Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that may decrease inflammation from infection and may even kill bacteria and viruses, which would make it effective to heal UTI. Adding pineapple to a smoothie or juice is a delish easy way to get pineapple in your diet.
Probiotics: Flush your digestive tract with healthy bacteria which strengthen your immune system and help ward off infection. Eating fermented yogurt or yogurt with live cultures will give you a dose of healthy robotics. You can also take a course of natural probiotic pills when you feel UTI symptoms coming on. My favorite way to get probiotics is by drinking a kefir smoothie! Make it a pineapple kefir smoothie to get a double dose of goodness !
Vitamin C: Keeps your bladder and urethra healthy and working well, It also makes your urine more acidic, which helps to prevent bacteria from growing and causing UTIs, she says. Popping a Vitamin C pill or getting good food sources of Vitamin C via food is great for many other conditions as well.
Lemon juice: Works the same way as Vitamin C in keeping the urine acidic. Conversely this makes the body more alkaline which is again the best state for the body to be in to ward off infection. Drinking water spiked with fresh lemon juice or organic pure lemon juice is a good practice for those prone to UTI.
Baking soda: Baking soda may help with the burning pain of UTIs and helps create an alkaline PH which is optimum for any infection. Stir in ¼ or ½ tsp of baking soda in a glass of warm water first thing in the morning. Since baking soda is high in sodium, this is not recommended for those who have high blood pressure.
Water : Flushing you system with water when you have UTI should be common sense, but bears repeating. Water helps flush bacteria and germs away and when the bacteria gets flushed away, the burning sensation that often accompanies UTI is lessened. Drink at least 8 cups of water on a regular basis and at least 12 cups when you have UTI. While a lot of liquids can constitute a fluid, when you have UTI plain water, non sugared herbal teas or Cran Water are the best ! Drinking water everyday should be a must for everyone to prevent UTI. Water helps with so many other functions as well, not a bad idea to chug it down!
Foods to avoid when you have UTI!
On the flip side, sugar, refined foods like white bread, pasta and simple carbs like soft drinks, junk food are best avoided when you have UTI. These contribute to yeast overgrowth and can aggravate the condition. It is also recommended that spicy foods, alcohol, diary which are considered bladder irritants be avoided when infection is at its peak. These may be included back once infection is out of the body. Avoiding these foods for a short period could speed healing.
Do you have any natural remedies you use for urinary tract infection. Do share ! Would love to hear from you !
It’s that time of the year again when the dry itchy feeling in the throat happens. I started mine 2 days back and I hate taking meds unless I have to. My first choice is always giving natural foods a try. I pulled out all those foods I usually double up on when I get a sore throat and now after 48 hours I feel so much better. I’ve found them to be very useful in quelling the symptoms. The sooner you start natural food therapy the better it is . A sore throat can progress into a painful hard to swallow feeling and then into flu-like symptoms. Nipping it in the bud while it is just a sore throat may prevent progression into a full-blown cold. Even if these foods do not completely heal a sore throat they do ease the symptoms which is a good enough reason to try it. So here goes : my tried and tested list of foods that heal a sore throat and some scientific reasons why they may help!
Foods that heal a sore throat !
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Ginger : Lots of it eaten as close to raw as possible. Ginger is an analgesic (a pain-killer) that may alleviate the pain associated with a sore throat. It is also a good antibacterial and antifungal and can help fight the infection causing your sore throat. I love ginger and use it a lot whether I have a sore throat or not. I keep a grater handy and grate fresh ginger into soups, salads, veggie sides and meat dishes. I also love to blend it with fruits and veggie smoothies. The trick is to eat it as raw as possible. so if you’re adding it to dish, add it at the end to get maximum potency. I also carry around dry ginger honey crystal packs for drinks on the go. I get these neat packets in China town that dissolve into cold and hot water and I have a box of that at work. I can seriously get a little jittery if I run out of fresh ginger.
Garlic : Garlic is also a strong antibacterial, antibiotic and has antiviral antiseptic powers. The potency of raw garlic seems to be stronger if eaten raw. The easiest way to do this is to add crushed garlic to soups, stirfrys and dishes at the end of cooking. I like adding it to individual bowls of soup, so I can control how much goes in. With fresh peeled garlic available at most grocery stores, peeling garlic does not pose a problem. To read my post on garlic and ways to use it in the diet, click here.
Honey: Has been used for generations as a throat soother. It is one of the best known anti-inflammatory agents and soothes irritation in the skin and mucus membranes lining the throat. Just what your throat is craving when it’s sore. when combined with ginger and lemon it makes a great tea and tastes better too. Honey also has special infection-fighting enzymes, such as the glucoseoxidase enzyme, which gives antimicrobial protection. Honey will coat the throat and will help in preventing irritation, which is the main reason behind coughing fits.The more natural the honey is, the more anti-inflammatory properties it has. Raw honey is the best. Note : Never give honey to children under age 24 months. They cannot digest it and the spores can cause botulism in infants.
Lemon Juice : Is commonly used in conjunction with honey and ginger to soothe a sore throat. A great remedy for inflamed throats, sore throats will feel better as the this magical mixture goes down your throat. It will thin any congestion and also cool down your aggravated throat. Lemon also gives you a nice boost of vitamin C to fight any infection.
Soups : Are the proverbial remedy for a sore throat of the first symptoms of the flu. Although chicken soup is supposed to be the key, any warm soup will do. The action of warm liquid floating down an inflamed throat is relief in itself. Power up your soup with coconut oil ( anti inflammatory) herbs, pepper, garlic and ginger for an extra soothing throat healing soup. the beauty about soup is you can add anything to it and customize it with all of the throat soothing ingredients. Try my chicken leek soup for a soothing soup that is a real throat tamer. As for chicken soup, it has mild anti-inflammation properties and helps in relieving congestion by limiting the viruses that come in contact with mucus membranes. Egg drop soup is the home remedy in Asian cultures for a sore throat and works the same way as chicken soup.
Sage : Known to have healing properties, sage has been used as a medicinal herb for sore throat remedies. It contains oxygen-handling enzymes, flavonoids, and phenolic acid. Add it to tea, soups or dishes. To get the maximum benefit of this herb it must soak in the cooked food awhile, so add it during cooking and let the flavor soak in. I love adding sage to my soups because it enhances the flavor or the soup. I keep some dried sage at work to infuse into my teas.
Turmeric : Is a strong antibacterial and kills bacteria on contact. Sipping a hot cup of hot milk with some turmeric (about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon) stirred into it is soothing for a sore/inflamed throat. Add a little honey if you want. Choose almond, rice or coconut milk. Dairy increases mucous production and may not be the best choice when you have a sore throat. Gargling with salt water and a pinch of turmeric soothes a sore throat. When I was kid, salt water gargle was the first remedy for a sore throat followed by a glass of milk with turmeric and honey. It worked wonders. Turmeric can be added to herbal teas too.
If nothing else these foods are all natural, so try them and see if they help. Are there any home remedies you use to soothe a sore throat ? Do share, would love to hear from you.
Image in collage courtesy of Ambro/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Feeling lethargic, tired, and sluggish? You may be suffering from “After Holiday Syndrome” If you’ve slacked on your workouts, skimped on sleep and stuffed yourself during the holiday season, a detox may be just what you need to get back on track. To read my easy to follow 3 -5 day detox, hop on over to Vanity Network Magazine and read my guest post entitled “Keeping It Clean: How To Detox”! It’s a super easy plan to follow complete with a shopping list and a recipe for a detox soup if you don’t want to juice!
I am pleased to be guest posting on Vanity Network Magazine, a great resource guide for women, helping them nurture their inner being. If you’re not following their blog, you may want to do so. They have some really neat tips for everyday living and again, hop on over and read my easy to follow clean detox plan!
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