Friday, March 3, 2017

Natural Bad Breathe Fixes

More than 80 million people suffer from chronic halitosis, or bad breath, and in most cases the odor is caused by bacteria in the mouth, the decay of food particles, and poor oral hygiene.

But no matter how diligent you are in practicing good oral hygiene and watching our diet, we all occasionally suffer from an episode of bad breath.

Here are 13 natural ways to help cure the problem of bad breath:


Brush, your teeth and tongue, twice a day, and be sure that your toothbrush is in good shape. A chewed-up, disfigured brush will miss those hard-to-reach areas. Use a soft- or medium-bristle brush; they are gentler to the surface of your teeth.Floss

Brushing your teeth helps eradicate the plaque and bacteria on your teeth, but flossing helps dislodge anything that your toothbrush couldn’t get to. If you don’t floss regularly, the food in between your teeth will feed the bacteria in your mouth, and the more nutrients you give the bacteria, the more the bacteria will give off stinky acids that cause bad breath. Flossing also helps prevent periodontal disease — another common cause of bad breath.

Drink plenty of water

When a mouth gets dry, odor-causing bacteria can thrive. Saliva contains oxygen that deters the growth of bacteria. The solution is to always drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, to keep bacteria at bay. Add some oranges, strawberries, and kiwis, that are all high in vitamin C, and you will also create an acidic environment hard for bacteria to thrive in. A powerhouse combination against stinky breath!

Use nature’s “toothbrushes”

Whenever you need a quick “brush up” but don’t have the chance to go grab your toothbrush, try snacking on any of the following foods. They not only kill bacteria, but are naturally fibrous enough to -“scrub” your teeth.

Apples: The high fiber content makes apples one of the top natural toothbrushes out there.

Celery and raw carrots: These firm and crisp these veggies “brush” your teeth and also have a high moisture content to help keep your whistle wet.

Make your own lemon ice “candies”

Our salivary glands produce 3 pints of saliva every day which (among other things) fights bacteria that causes bad breath and helps food pass through our mouth and throat. Dry mouth usually equals bad breath. To “wet your whistle” – make ice cubes with a little lemon juice added, then when frozen, break into hardy candy-sized chunks. As the ice melts it will moisten your mouth, while the citric acid in the lemon will stimulate the salivary glands.

Natural mouth rinse

Try this simple alcohol-free DIY mouthwash. Mix 1 cup of water with a teaspoon of baking soda (which changes the pH level and fights odor in the mouth) and a few drops of anti-microbial peppermint essential oil. Swish around in mouth for 30 seconds, then spit out. (Yields several rinses.)

Green and black tea

Both teas are rich in polyphenol, which is a powerful antioxidant that can stop plaque from sticking to your teeth. Plaque build-up leads to bad breath, among other dental problems. Studies have also found polyphenols inhibit the growth of bacteria in the mouth, thus minimizing the foul-smelling compounds that those bacteria produce.

Scrape your tongue

Your tongue is home to a lot of germs. These microbes feed on the dead cells that accumulate on the top of your tongue creating noxious fumes which can give you really bad breath. By scraping your tongue once a day, you can clear away this germ buffet. Brushing your tongue is not as effective, because it doesn’t actually clear the dead cells from your tongue. Make sure you get as far back on your tongue as possible.

If you have a metal or plastic spoon, use it as a tongue scraper. To scrape safely, place the spoon on the back of your tongue and drag it forward. Repeat four or five times. Scrape the sides of the tongue as well, with the same back-to-front motion.

Don’t skip meals

When you don’t eat for a long period of time, your mouth can get very dry. It becomes a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. An empty stomach from skipping meals can also cause foul breath as acids in the stomach build up.

Drink your milk

Sipping milk can effectively reduce bad breath IF you drink it before or during a meal (according to a Journal of Food Science 2010 study.) The fat in milk neutralizes sulfur while the water in milk acts as a mouth rinse. Whole milk is more effective than skim since it contains more fat.

Chew on fresh herbs

Chew a fresh sprig of parsley, basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, or cilantro. The chlorophyll in these green plants neutralizes odors. They also contain monoterpenes that travel from bloodstream to lungs and are released with your breath.

Supplement with Zinc

Another common cause of halitosis is a deficiency in the mineral zinc, which helps maintain a clean, bacteria-free mouth. Taking zinc supplements and eating more zinc-rich foods such as shellfish, lean red meat & poultry, and nuts, seeds & beans can help address the problem systemically.

Boost good gut bacteria with probiotics

A lot of mouth odor comes from way further down the gastrointestinal (GI) track, and is caused by how the bacteria that inhabit your GI track metabolize the food you send down there. So changing your bacteria can often change the odors from your mouth.

Boost your good gut bacteria by adding fermented milk products, such as live yogurt, to your diet. You can also take a probiotic supplement to help regulate the growth of troublesome bacteria.

Apple cider vinegar

Bad breath can be caused by improper digestion, and apple cider vinegar is a digestive aid. Dilute one tablespoon of ACV in a glass of water and drink before each meal, or gargle for 10 seconds after a meal.

It also contains natural antibacterial properties, which kills odor-causing bacteria in the mouth and between teeth.

If you keep up with your flossing, brushing, and the advice above, you should be odor-free!

Note:  If you have bad breath all the time, despite all your efforts, it can actually be an indication of a more serious health issue. You should speak to a dentist to ensure there aren’t any other medical conditions. 

Foods that help lower blood pressure

Taking care of your heart is one of the best things you can do for yourself. This calls for managing high blood pressure, a condition associated with heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and even blindness. Not sure where to start? Begin with a heart-friendly diet called the DASH eating plan. From dark chocolate to pomegranates, you can also tackle your blood pressure through the power of food. Your body – and heart – will thank you for it!

The heart is the body’s powerhouse. It fuels your organs with enough oxygen and nutrients to keep your body going. But when high blood pressure develops, things can go a little awry. Your heart has to work harder to get the job done.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is no stranger to the American population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 adults in the United States have high blood pressure. This condition is characterized by a blood pressure level of 140/90 mmHg or higher. It can increase your risk for undesirable conditions such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness – just to name a few.

If you have hypertension, managing your blood pressure can be a game changer for your health. For some, this might mean medication. However, there is also quite a bit you can do to naturally control your blood pressure. Regulating your weight by staying active and eating right can go a long way. Diet plays an especially important role. Check out this game plan for lowering blood pressure through food.

DASH To Lower Your Blood Pressure

The National Institutes of Health has developed an eating plan called DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) designed to lower blood pressure. This plan focuses on eating habits that help keep hypertension at bay.

Eat: It is no surprise that fruits and vegetables are the superstars of DASH. Opt for 4-5 servings of each group on the daily. Keep things interesting by focusing on a variety of colors and preparation techniques. The DASH plan also recommends poultry, fish, and whole grains. Nuts and low-fat dairy also make the cut. Aside from nourishing your body with fiber and protein, these foods also provide vital minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Limit: DASH is all about cutting back on foods that are high in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Additionally, it is crucial to limit sugar intake and minimize salt consumption. Aim for the recommended 2,300 milligrams or less of sodium per day. This equals to 1 teaspoon (6 grams) of table salt. Remember, table salt is not the only source of sodium. Everyday foods like soy sauce, baking soda, canned soup, and salad dressing are high sources of sodium. Keep tabs on your intake by carefully reading food labels. Do not fret, though – toning down your sodium consumption does not mean that you have to sacrifice flavor. Add onions, garlic, spices, and herbs to help your taste buds warm up to a low-sodium, heart-friendly diet.

Choose Foods That Naturally Lower Blood Pressure

In addition to following the DASH plan, you can also reach for foods that have a proven history of lowering blood pressure. It might just be that extra boost that your heart needs.

1. Dark Chocolate

Polyphenols (organic chemicals) found in cocoa, especially flavanols, boast powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They have been shown to increase the production of nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels and helps lower blood pressure. In fact, a study in the Journal of Nutrition found that consuming flavanol-rich dark chocolate for just 15 days reduced hypertension.

Furthermore, it improved glucose sensitivity in people who had high blood pressure and glucose intolerance. So go ahead and indulge in some dark chocolate. It is a real treat for your heart!

2. Pomegranate

This delicious fruit known for its ruby red seeds has wonderful medicinal properties. A study in Phytotherapy Research delved into the effects of pomegranate juice by giving people with high blood pressure a daily glass (150 ml) of pomegranate juice between lunch and dinner for two weeks. Pomegranate, which is rich in antioxidants and bioactive polyphenols, was found to be effective at lowering blood pressure.

3. Oats

If you have hypertension, a simple bowl of oats can turn things around. Research has found that soluble fiber-rich whole oats have the ability to significantly lower blood pressure. They can also reduce the level of “bad cholesterol” in your body. Talk about a power-packed breakfast that can help your heart in multiple ways.

4. Watermelon

This juicy summer fruit is loaded with amino acids (L-citrulline) which can increase nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide widens your blood vessels and is associated with lower blood pressure.

A study found that when people with hypertension ate watermelon twice a day for six weeks, they saw a reduction in their aortic systolic blood pressure (that is, blood pressure when your heart beats as against blood pressure in between beats). The experiment also observed a decrease in arterial stiffness, ensuring that blood can pass through with ease.

5. Beetroot

If beetroots do not have a place in your diet, maybe it is time to give them a second look. These veggies can really pack a punch when it comes to managing hypertension. A study found that blood pressure took a major plunge in healthy participants about three hours after consuming beetroot juice. The main player? Nitrate from the beetroot. The body converts this natural chemical into nitric oxide, which can have a desirable impact on blood pressure.

6. Garlic

When you crush or chop garlic, an organic compound called allicin develops. This substance dilates blood vessels and inhibits angiotensin II, a hormone that causes vessels to constrict. Various studies have found that garlic can effectively reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension. So, aside from enhancing your food, this pungent bulb can take your blood pressure down a notch. Talk about some serious talent!


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Stop headache naturally

Persons who suffer with headaches or migraines on a regular basis endure a dramatic reduction in their quality of life. Fortunately, there are natural cures available to ease the pain and discomfort.
A headache is typically caused by stress or a sinus infection. “Tension” headaches tend to start on the forehead and spread down to the neck and shoulders. Pain levels are usually characterized as mild to medium.

The difference between headaches and migraines

By contrast, a migraine is more severe and localized to one side of the head. The pain is characterized as a dull throb or ache that intensifies into an intense, concentrated pain. A migraine headache also causes sensitivity to light and sound, as well as nausea, chills and hot flashes.
In addition, movement of any kind can make the symptoms worse, so persons undergoing a migraine attack must often lie down in a dark, quiet area until the migraine subsides.

What causes a migraine?

Usually, this type of head pain is related to dilation and constriction of blood vessels in the head. Genetics, food triggers, stress, fatigue, eye strain, infections and alcohol consumption can also contribute to the problem.
Western migraine treatments include the prescription of ‘preventative’ medications to help block the causes of migraines. Painkillers may also be prescribed.  Bear in mind, the causes of a migraine such as a severe sinus infection, environmental causes or food triggers should always be addressed with a well-qualified healthcare provider.

For some people, dietary changes and regular exercise can really help to prevent migraine and headache pain.
Recent research has found a correlation between low vitamin D levels and chronic migraines. In fact, around 90 percent of teenagers and young adults studied showed blood vitamin D levels at 40 ng/mL or lower. Migraine sufferers also tended to be deficient in the compounds CoQ10 and riboflavin.

Specific foods that either help or trigger migraines and headaches

The link between migraines and food triggers is substantial. Some of the most common foods that trigger migraines include dairy, eggs, chocolate, meat, citrus fruits, wheat, corn, nuts, tomatoes and onions. Alcoholic beverages, caffeine, monosodium glutamate, nitrites and aspartame have also been linked with the causes of migraines.

Avoiding these foods for two weeks (or any food suspected to be a migraine trigger) can help to determine individual causes of migraines and offer a natural way to avoid them.
Foods known for having a positive effect against fighting migraines include ginger, and foods rich in calcium, magnesium and complex carbohydrates such as those found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Again, everyone is different; while for some, caffeine can trigger a migraine, for others, drinking coffee can actually relieve it.

A natural herb called feverfew has been used since ancient times to relieve headaches, migraines and fevers. A City of London Migraine Clinic study found feverfew to be helpful to up to two-thirds of migraine sufferers at varying levels of effectiveness.

Bottom line: Don’t give up.  Keep looking for the true cause of your head pain and you can feel better soon.