Think you are feeding your kids healthy food? Think again

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We all know that eating junk food is not healthy for us or our kids.  So, we all strive to eat healthy and that includes feeding healthy foods to our kids.  But there are some foods that are advertised as healthy, full of vitamins and nutrients, when in actuality, they are just junk. These so-called healthy foods will not only lead kids to becoming overweight, but a number of other health issues could follow down the road.

Juice

Perhaps the most common misconception is that juice is healthy for kids.  Parents will pack their kids’ lunch with orange juice, grapefruit juice etc., thinking that it is packed full of vitamins.  But unfortunately, it is just pure sugar. The high sugar content will raise their blood sugars so high that it’s even worse than drinking a soda. This is setting the stage for a cycle of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) in the future. This cycle of spiking blood sugars and subsequent blood sugar crashes is just going to harm the pancreas and it’s going to deplete a lot of nutrition from the body. It will likely also lead to dental problems.  You might be thinking that orange juice is good because it has vitamin C. Unfortunately, there is no vitamin C in orange juice because all of these juices are pasteurized which means they are heated which kills everything in it including all of the vitamin C. The only vitamin C in orange juice is the stuff they add later but it’s synthetic. So, essentially, kids are just drinking sugar water and it’s going to create problems down the road with hyper irritability, ADD, ADHD and so on.  One substitute you can try is carbonated water with flavoured stevia.  Stevia comes in different flavours like root beer, lemon, fruit berry.  Just take 10 drops of liquid stevia and add it to carbonated water and kids will think they’re drinking soda but there is no sugar.

Flavored yogurt

Plain yogurt has 10 grams of sugar per serving!  Flavored yogurt has about 38 grams of sugar per serving size. So, in one of the large tubs of yogurt, for example, there’s probably 4 servings which means that’s 38 x 4 times the amount of sugar.  Yogurt is another one of those foods that is advertised as healthy, and they package them so that it’s easy and portable to pack in a kid’s lunch.  But there’s so much hidden sugar in yogurt.

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Nutritional Shakes

You may have a child who is underweight so naturally you would think that the nutritional shakes like Pedia-sure or Ensure that are supposed to be loaded with vitamins and calories for weight gain are healthy.  Well, this is another item that is just loaded with tons of sugar. The first ingredient is sugar, and all the vitamins are synthetic so you’re really not getting the real deal. If you want your child to gain weight the best foods to give your child are things like potatoes such as red potatoes, yams, or sweet potatoes.  Try to avoid the nutritional shakes because they’re not going to gain weight in a healthy way.

Whole grain Cereal

Firstly, most of the whole grain is made from flour that’s been sitting on a shelf for about six months. When you grind the grain, you lose a lot of nutrition right away and anything that is refined grain like breads, pasta, cereal, crackers, biscuits, waffles, pancakes, etc., should only be consumed in very small amounts. In large amounts, like you see with pasta dinners, it will lead to the child’s insulin being raised which leads to obesity and whole host of other health problems down the road. Instead of grains try proteins and vegetables that the kids like, fruits, nuts and seeds.

Minimizing grains and the other foods mentioned above can be very difficult especially when you have more then one child in an already busy household.  But there are a lot of great resources for recipes that incorporate vegetables and other healthy, nutritious substitutes into foods that your kids will eat.  Here is just one example https://www.freshstartnutrition.com/kid-friendly-ways-to-sneak-in-more-veggies/

 

 

 

Detoxify Your Body Just With Food

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Let’s talk about how to detoxify thousands of toxic chemicals out of your body but doing it in a way that’s very safe. There are many chemicals in our environment like Bisphenol A, PCB’s, heavy metals, certain toxic plastics, and biosolids. What you may not realize is biosolids are treated sewage sludge. It’s very interesting how certain groups use public relations to make something that is normally harmful to the environment sound as though it’s good for you. They came up with this new term ‘biosolids’ and actually redefined treated sewage sludge as a’ nutrient rich organic by-product’. Biosolids contain over 60,000 toxic substances. This is the stuff that exits your toilet, and it goes right into a sewage treatment plant where they are processing this material and actually selling it as an ingredient in your pet food, animal feeds, and in fertilizer. There’s at least 80,000, probably hundreds of thousands of different poisons or toxins called xenobiotics that we are exposed to on a daily basis.

Our bodies have a defense mechanism for these toxins.  It is a series of detoxification pathways that will turn these poisons into harmless particles which is then eliminated through our waste and urine.  This is called biotransformation, where you have these very powerful enzymes called cytochrome P-450 enzymes that are meant to breakdown all these poisons and keep us healthy. So, what should you be doing or eating to keep these toxins from causing disease?

Cruciferous Vegetables

There is a really interesting book called The International Agency of Research on Cancer by the World Health Organization, and it talks about cruciferous vegetables and their ability to induce biotransformation. If there is one thing you should be consuming on a regular basis it’s cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, arugula, and bok choy.

Bile salts

Your body makes its own bile, but you can also take a bile supplement. This is very important because anytime you do a detox you should always start by taking bile salts for a few days and then do a detox because taking purified bile salts helps to start the flow through the liver. When you start to detoxify you start killing off certain pathogens that release endotoxins that then shut down the bile ducts. That’s why you might feel toxic from detoxifying.  So, bile salts help you eliminate xenobiotics naturally. The chemicals from your liver should be coming out with the help of bile salts. Also, the microbes in your gut help you detoxify, and they also have the ability to make this cytochrome P-450 enzyme to help you breakdown these poisons. One recommendation is to combine cruciferous vegetables with probiotics.  For example, if you were to take a prebiotic that has fiber as in cabbage and fermented it into sauerkraut then it is not just cruciferous but it’s a prebiotic and a probiotic. So, sauerkraut is a great food to help you detoxify.  The great thing about doing this with food is it happens slowly so you don’t really feel it. There’s many other different vegetables and herbs that will help you detoxify such as garlic, rosemary, thyme and clove. All of these have the enzyme cytochrome P-450.

Fasting

Another thing to make note of is that a lot of these chemicals create a lot of free radical damage in the body but the foods that you eat have antioxidants. However, your body also makes antioxidants called endogenous antioxidants. This is especially true when you fast. When you’re fasting you are putting your body into state of autophagy which not only accelerates repairing the damage in the body but also the clearing out of pathogens. Fasting will help increase your endogenous antioxidant networks so you will have a lot more antioxidants. Not to mention your immune system will be stronger and the body will resist the stress from the free radical damage.

Read labels

Certified organic foods do not contain biosolids so it would be best to try and eat as much organic food as possible.  It would also be a good idea to make sure when you buy pet food that you read the ingredients to make sure it does not have what’s called “nutrient rich organic by-products” because it sounds like it’s really healthy but it’s not because it’s just another name for biosolids.

Fake Food Secrets Exposed! Here’s the Juicy Details

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It may surprise you to know that most people live on a diet that is comprised of mostly fake foods. This could come as a surprise because the differences between real food and fake food can be very subtle, and often confusing. Knowing this, is it any wonder why there is a link between our diet and chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and some cancer?

You may also be wondering why fake food even exists. There are many factors that contributed to the production of fake food. After World War 2 chemical agriculture grew in response to starvation and hunger, replacing natural organic methods of farming with fertilizers and pesticides. Supermarkets replaced butchers, bakers and farmers and canned and packaged foods predominated.

Farming practices changed dramatically which affected food production and now 10 companies now control the overall food supply some of which are Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Kraft, Unilever, General Mills, Nestle, Mars, Kellogg, Proctor & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson.

In some areas of the world affected by climate, war or other factors, the consumption of fake food has increased by more than 95 percent.

Here is a list of some fake foods that might surprise you.

Fake Steak

Some restaurants and caterers used pieces of meat that have been glued together with something called meat glue. The glue is called transglutaminase. There are a couple of problems with this glue. First, they must re-handle the meat so there is increased risk of adding more bacteria to the meat. Secondly, they don’t have to actually tell you the process of how they make this glue. Originally it came from blood plasma from either a cow or pig and then they combine that with certain things like bacteria. But then they evolved to just fermenting a bacteria to make these enzymes that make this glue. But the problem in all of this is that they are not very transparent. You don’t really know how they’re making it. If you are eating anywhere where there’s bulk filet mignon, you might want to ask them if they use meat glue.

Parmesan Cheese

Unfortunately, most parmesan cheese does not come from Parma Italy. Most parmesan cheese is made with a mixture of cheap cheeses like cheddar cheese or powdered mozzarella cheese with added cellulose, and a mold inhibitor. What is even worse is the FDA makes it legal to sell this fake parmesan cheese and that is because the cellulose is from natural sources.  This source is wood pulp, and it is between 4 to 20% of the ingredients. So, one-fifth of the product is wood.

Crab sticks

Imitation crab meat has another name- surimi. They take random fish flesh or fish leftovers and add some starch whether it’s from potato, wheat, corn, tapioca and mix that with some MSG to add flavoring.  Then they have to add crab flavoring because it doesn’t taste like crab and some protein but that protein is either egg white protein or soy protein. They also put some sugar in like sorbitol and some soy oil or other vegetable oils. Then they sprinkle a little sodium benzoate as a preservative to make it last longer. Then of course they add colouring to make it look like crab.

Fake tuna

Precooked canned tuna or even packaged tuna is another to look out for. One company that did some investigation into this found that 21% of the companies they found did not contain actual tuna. It was mislabeled. Instead of having tuna they had another fish called escuela. This fish is also known as butterfish or oil fish. It was banned in Japan from 1977 because they said it was too toxic. They even have a name for it, “ex-lax fish” because of the side effects of diarrhea or anal leakage. If you see your tuna looking extremely white, almost opaque white, then it is not tuna.

Extra virgin olive oil

80% of extra virgin olive oil is not extra virgin. Extra virgin means it’s processed very quickly and cold pressed.  It’s a high-quality process so it has more antioxidants and when you consume it, it has a completely different taste and smell. It has a fresh smell and a taste that gives you a little tickle in the back of your throat. In the fake EVOO they add canola or just a blend of other oils so it is rancid, cooked, and heated.  It does not have the vital nutrients that real extra virgin olive oil has.

Maple syrup

Most maple syrups that you buy is either made from dark brown sugar or refined white sugar with maple syrup flavoring and artificial colorings. Some are even made with high fructose corn syrup. Because these ingredients don’t have the natural antioxidants as a preservative, they have to add preservatives like sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid to prevent this syrup from spoiling.

Truffle oil

Truffle oil comes from a very expensive mushroom. Instead, they use a flavoring molecule to make some other ingredients taste like truffle oil. They use this in restaurants a lot because it is a way to save money.

Powdered instant coffee

Some of the blended ingredients include cereal, caramel, starch, malt and figs. In addition, instant coffee has something called acrylamide that is a potentially very harmful chemical. This chemical is created when the beans are roasted. Instant coffee has more than double the amount as other types of coffee. It can affect the nervous system and increase the risk of cancer if you are consuming it regularly.

Wasabi

The vast majority of wasabi in the US is simply a mixture of horseradish, hot mustard, and green dye. It doesn’t actually come from the wasabi plant.  A report showed that up to 95% of the wasabi sold is not real wasabi. This is because wasabi is very difficult to grow and it’s extremely expensive. Also, when you take fresh wasabi and pulverize it, it only lasts for about 15 minutes meaning it loses its flavor. So, horseradish is used because it lasts a lot longer.

Commercial guacamole

The impostors are made with skim milk vegetable oil, water, emulsified egg yolks and a slew of gums and gels. It’s even created with isolated soy protein.  Of course, to make it look green they add food dye. Some commercial guacamole only has 2% avocado!

The Devastating Impact of Lack of Sleep

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What can happen if you have poor sleep for 14 days?  What actually happens overtime if you’re sleep deprived might shock you because every single cell in your body is connected to an internal clock that controls your circadian rhythms.

Symptoms of Poor Sleep

  • Tiredness – The most obvious symptom is you’re going to be tired which will lead to chronic fatigue.
  • No energy to carry out your daily tasks.
  • Cognitive function will suffer. This means that your memory is not going to be that great, you’re going to lose creativity, imagination, focus and concentration. You may notice brain fog and your mood will suffer.
  • Anxiety, depression, or irritability may show up and you’re going to have more overall stress.
  • The heart is greatly influenced by your sleep. The risk for having a heart attack and stroke goes up. The heart must constantly pump 24/7. It doesn’t have a chance to rest unless when you’re sleeping. But when you’re going through the day and you’re exercising or going through stress that is more strain on the heart.  So, at the very least it needs a good night’s rest to recoup and recover.
  • Hormones and the endocrine system are greatly influenced by your sleep cycles. Testosterone and libido are negatively affected by poor sleep. Infertility is another issue if you have poor sleep.
  • Inflammation increases with lack of sleep. You might have more pain.
  • Blood sugars rise because cortisol increases when you’re not sleeping. The stress hormone glucocorticoid increases so your body starts making more sugar even when you’re not eating. This is going to lead to more weight gain. Most of the fat that is burned is at night when you are sleeping. So, if you’re not sleeping, you’re not going to lose weight and you could potentially gain weight.
  • Immune system is highly influenced by the quality of sleep. People that don’t sleep are more susceptible to getting infections because they have a weakened immune system.

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How to Improve Sleep

  • Increase oxygen when you sleep. There are several plants that produce a lot of oxygen that can help you sleep and give you more oxygen.  One is called Pothos which is also called Devil’s Ivy and the other is Peace Lily. Keep these in your room and they’ll produce more oxygen for you. People also tend to sleep better with the window open.
  • Lighting is important when you’re sleeping. You want no light when you are sleeping and unfortunately, we have lights 24/7. If you live in the city, you have even more lights.  You also want to avoid blue light.  This is the kind of light that comes from cell phones, computers, tablets and even some of the lighting in your house. The reason why blue light is bad for sleep is because it inhibits melatonin. Red light or infrared light increases melatonin. So, if you are using incandescent lights in your house that’s very good because they will give off a lot of infrared.  Even a fireplace, candles and campfires will give off infrared light which are all really good for building up melatonin which can then help you sleep at night.  What’s interesting about melatonin is that it doesn’t necessarily cause sleepiness, but it is involved in the circadian rhythms, and you need enough of it to be able to get into a proper sleep cycle.
  • Getting enough sleep. We need about 7-8 hours of sleep in order to recuperate, regenerate and heal.
  • Temperature of the room is very important as well. You want your room to be on the cooler side between 64- and 68-degrees Fahrenheit because your body tends to sleep better when it’s cooler versus when the room is hot.
  • No liquids before bed. Try to get most of your water around dinner time and not past that so you can avoid getting up in the middle of the night. If you are getting up in the middle of the night to urninate, then fixing your insulin resistance will resolve this issue.
  • If you have pain and inflammation that keeps you up at night the solution for that is usually vitamin D3. You want to take about 10,000 international units before bed and that should usually resolve that issue. Vitamin D in general for most people before bed will help them sleep.
  • Reduce noise as much as possible. If you can wear ear plugs that will help.

 

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  • If you’re thinking too much or trying to resolve problems instead of sleeping, then taking vitamin B1 helps to turn that off and that can help you drift off into a better sleep. Another helpful tip is to write things down. Jot down a short list of tasks you want to accomplish the next day.  A short list won’t overwhelm you but will allow you to achieve the tasks on your list.
  • Cramps in your feet is usually caused by a magnesium deficiency. It could also be a potassium deficiency. If you get cramps, chances are you need to look at what you are eating or not eating.
  • If you have a higher pulse rate that is going to affect your sleep greatly and that usually is a potassium deficiency. So, you need to consume foods high in potassium which are usually vegetables, in larger quantities. You could also take a potassium supplement. Another cause of high pulse rate is your pH is too acidic.
  • Stress is an obvious disrupter of sleep. There are many things you can do for stress and of course exercise is at the top of the list. But physical work is a little bit better than exercise because it doesn’t give you a chance to focus in on problems that are on your mind. When you’re working on something your mind can focus on the task at hand. Ashwagandha is a good supplement as is lemon balm tea and vitamin B1 which you can get in the form of nutritional yeast.
  • Kiefer before bed. It has a combination of not just good bacteria but friendly yeast as well. This is going to help your gut and you will also make more neurotransmitters like L tryptophan and serotonin. Serotonin turns into melatonin which we already know is important for sleep.
  • Melatonin – one good way to get melatonin naturally is to be out in the sun. The sun’s rays give out various wavelengths, infrared is one of them, and that increases melatonin. Just getting outside, without direct sun exposure is enough. You can actually wear a hat, sunglasses and clothes that cover most of your skin because infrared can still penetrate clothing.
  • Avoid stimulants like caffeine, tea or even chocolate later in the day.

Here’s What Happens to You When You Cut Out Sugar!

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We’ve all heard that sugar is bad for you but do we know why?  Let’s take a look at what cutting out sugar  would to to our bodies and by understanding this we can learn how to live healthier lives.

Lose Your Appetite for Sugar

Every time you consume sugar it triggers a hormone that pushes your blood sugars down causing a low blood sugar state, essentially hypoglycemia to some degree. This will cause you to crave sugar so by cutting out sugar you get rid of the craving for sugar.

Less Hunger

Sugar keeps you hungry all the time so when you give it up you decrease hunger because you stabilize your blood sugars. Without sugar your cells can be actually fed.  This is because sugar is toxic to the body, and it will start rejecting it.  This is called insulin resistance, when the body is blocking insulin because that controls sugar. What your body is really trying to do is limit amount of sugar inside the cells.  So, the body doesn’t consider sugar a good thing, it’s a bad thing and when you give up sugar it could reverse this process. Without sugar you can now absorb proper amounts of fuel, absorb nutrients much better, and absorb minerals and vitamins.

Less Fatigue

When you consume sugar, you will notice that you feel tired especially after eating a meal. This has to do with blood sugar levels.  Cutting sugar out of your diet allows blood sugar levels to stabilize which means your brain and body are getting the fuel and nutrients it needs for energy.

Loss of Excessive Water and Fat

For the first week off of sugar you’re going to get rid of a lot of water and some fat. But after that you will start to lose both fat and water.  You would be surprised how much fluid you can retain.  Some people within one week can lose about 13 pounds of fluid they are holding which is not healthy for the heart. You will notice fat loss especially on the midsection.  Your waist is one of the best indicators of too much sugar. If you reduce the sugar, the waistline shrinks.

Enhanced Mood

Cutting out sugar will lead you to be a lot calmer, less stressed and you’re going to be in a better mood which is also good for the people around you. Also, your cognitive function will improve because you’re going to feel more focused. You may better concentration and more attention to focus on your projects.

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Improved Skin

Less sugar means better skin.  It is going to look much better, have less acne and more glow. The skin is a reflection of what happens when you consume sugar.  With high sugar levels your insulin goes up and so do the androgen hormones.  In females, high androgen levels will create acne. In a male body the increase insulin will lower testosterone so you’re going to have other problems that are associated with low testosterone.

Less Stiffness

When you cut out sugar you will notice less inflammation and less pain. What happens is that you are converting your fuel source from sugar to fat, and it takes three days of cutting down the carbohydrates and sugar to do so. You may have a worsening of the symptoms for three days but for most people three days is manageable.  But if you take some B vitamins from nutritional yeast and some potassium you probably won’t have any symptoms. At the cellular level your building new enzymes to run your body off fat fuel. Your cells are literally changing over to a different fuel source. You’ll also have decreased inflammation in your arteries which will prevent a clot or plaquing and help reduce the risk of a stroke and a heart attack. Also, you’ll start growing brain cells because your body is running off a different source of fuel called ketones and ketones support the growth of nerve cells.

Healthier Liver

Some of this fat that’s been accumulating in your liver will start to shed and you can use that as fuel. So, you’re initiating a cleansing of the liver. As a side note, if you have a large belly, chances are you have a fatty liver.

Better Kidney Function

If we take a look at a diabetic, the kidneys are the target for the disease. When you actually cut down the amount of sugar and carbs you can improve to their function greatly.

https://www.nature.com/articles/482027a

5 Ways Word Games Boost your Brain Health

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Regarding mental health, it is best to keep things simple. Word games are a fun activity that many individuals participate in. These games put your lexical knowledge and expertise to the test. 

Word games are among those dual-purpose games that can be used for amusement and teaching. These games impact your cognitive function whether you are playing for enjoyment or to learn. Many individuals think that playing such games keeps their minds fresh. Continue reading to understand how word games boost one’s mental health.

Improves your Concentration 

Playing word games necessitates a high degree of attention. The game is based on how concentrated you can be when identifying brain teasers, solving riddles, and deciphering clues. 

Despite how challenging the game was, you will always find it refreshing once you are done. Furthermore, the greater the complexity, the more concentrated you are during the game. 

After all, who denies needing good concentration power at some point in their lives? No one, for sure. So if you want to keep your concentration and focus at its peak, you should play more. 

Moreover, our attention spans have shrunk dramatically due to messages, emails, and multitasking. This leaves us with few opportunities to focus on a single task. Playing word games demands focusing on the board and planning your next move ahead of time. So training your brain to focus can be highly beneficial for both children and adults. 

Aids Psychological Well-being 

Keeping an active mind requires more than just studying and memorizing; it also entails keeping a sound and healthy mindset. If you wish to have keen cognitive talents, you must take care of your mental health. 

Many folks consider that distracting their brains with a word game is calming and stress-relieving. It allows them to escape the innermost anxieties and troubles they may have had during the day. To put it differently, it is one of the many helpful and healthy breaks a person can enjoy every day to improve their mental health. 

Your self-confidence is enhanced due to crafting complex words and scoring double and triple letter words. It makes no difference whether you win or lose. Word games are also known for bringing out creative and innovative sides of a person as they think of new words and try to figure out where they should go on the board.

Helps with Memory 

Anyone with a fish brain is aware that it is not the best they want. Word games have been demonstrated in studies to help your brain by improving memory. They stimulate your hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for long-term and short-term memory. 

You will notice that the more you play, the more it gets difficult. Most word games need you to decode letters, and it is always a smart option to hunt for more practice and help resources online, for example, a jumble solver. They help in solving jumbled words and can solve just any word puzzle. This also strengthens memory by reinforcing old knowledge with new knowledge. 

It will eventually dawn on you that having a better recall is among the most valuable assets somebody can acquire. You will be far more likely to recognize specific items for a long period as your memory strength improves.

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Makes your Brain Work Harder 

A healthy brain is an active one. Word games need concentration and critical analysis, which holds your brain engaged. They do the same to your intellect as going to a gym does to one’s body: they exercise it. 

Your mind will constantly focus on finding strategies to master any word game as soon as you start it, regardless of how challenging it is. After that, you will notice that your brain is much more alert and capable of doing more tasks than it normally does. Moral of the story is that word games train your brain to change its activity.

Improves Cognitive Abilities 

Playing semantic games that strengthen mental abilities can help people improve their cognitive skills. If you are unsure how you should learn further about your intellectual capacity. 

Cognitive talents are the abilities that enable your brain to think, focus, memorize, and understand. After you have grasped this simple definition, you will see how word games can help you improve your cognitive abilities. 

When confronted with real-life problems, acquiring such a talent will come in handy. They are beneficial not only to your mind but also to your interpersonal skills and relationships with others.

Final Verdict 

Semantic games are a lot of fun since people of all ages can play them. You can enjoy playing word games and profit from the perks it can provide to your intellect, regardless of your age.

 

Fun Ways to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth

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Oral health is one of the most crucial aspects of our overall well-being. With numerous dental products and services available today, like dentures, night guards, and cleaning and whitening services found in clinics like denturewinnipeg.ca, it is key that we take advantage of them for the sake of our oral health and appearance. This goes especially for kids.

Children need plenty of guidance when it comes to oral health.  How often have you reminded your kids to brush their teeth, but they still don’t do it? You’re not alone: many parents struggle to get their kids to brush their teeth regularly. But don’t worry, there are plenty of fun ways to encourage them. Try some of these ideas to get your kids to brush their teeth!

Make Dentist Visits Fun

If we’re being honest, a visit to the dentist is one of the least fun things that a kid can do, especially since a dentist’s office is hardly the most fun place. One of the best ways to help your kids promote healthy teeth, especially if you want to get them to brush, is to establish a healthy perception of the dentist.

Of course, many dentists make their offices as kid-friendly as possible, like Edmonton Emergency Dentist in Edmonton, especially in the case of a dental emergency, which can be a scary situation for a child. These dentist offices do their best and make an effort to make the child as comfortable as possible.

Although visits to the dentist are often stressful, there are things that you can do to make the experience fun, too. One way to make a dentist visit fun is by making a day of it. For example, after visiting the dentists, you can take them to eat their favorite food or visit an amusement park.

Teach with Games

Another thing you could do if you want to get your kids to brush their teeth is by teaching with games. Games have been added to education because educators have realized that kids learn faster when having fun.

One game that you could play with your kids is telling them that they are small, tiny, invisible monsters living on their teeth, and the only way to get rid of these monsters is by brushing them away. Of course, you’ll have to introduce this game in a fun way. Otherwise, it can be particularly scary.

Offer Rewards

The best way to make brushing their teeth fun for kids is by rewarding them for doing it. It can be easy to forget to reward your kids for the behaviors you want them to display, especially if you have been battling with them to do it in the first place.

However, it’s imperative to remember that positive reinforcement is a powerful motivator for young children, even adults. As such, every time your kids finish brushing their teeth, reward them somehow, whether it be with some playtime or introducing them to a new toy.

Set an Example

Another fun way to get your kids to brush their teeth is by setting an example. How can you expect your children to brush their teeth if they never see you doing it? More than this, when you brush your teeth, take it as an opportunity to make it seem like the most enjoyable activity in the world.

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Be the Test Subject

Very similar to setting an example, what you can do is be the test subject for your children. Some kids might be hesitant or nervous about brushing their teeth by themselves since it is quite a strange action if you think about it.

To counteract this, all you need to do is hand them the toothpaste and toothbrush and tell them to brush your teeth. While they are brushing your teeth, you can make it seem like you’re having fun. This will naturally make them want to do it, too.

Fun Toothpaste

Finally, if you want to inspire your kids to brush their teeth, consider buying fun toothpaste. There’s a very good reason why toothpaste for kids features fictional characters. If you know that your child’s favorite fictional character is Iron Man, try to find toothpaste with Iron Man on it. This creates a positive association with brushing their teeth, and they’ll be excited to brush their teeth using a toothpaste that has their favorite character on it.

The Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

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How Massage Therapy Restores and Maintains Your Mind and Body

During these highly stressful times, it’s easy to let our own physical and mental health fall by the wayside as our stressors slowly accumulate in our mind and body. It can be easy to become hyper focused on work, raising a family, and keeping up with other obligations. However, no matter how busy you get, you should always make time for self-care.

You may have already noticed that when you’re stressed and tense that you’re not performing at your best. Sometimes this results in a lack of focus and inability to concentrate on things like work or school. Other times, stress can cause physical discomfort, like tense and sore muscles. Whatever the case may be, you don’t have to endure this.

In fact, professional massage therapy has proven to be effective in combating both the mental and physical aspects of stress. It is helpful in combating conditions relating to physical and mental health that aren’t stress related. Unlike medication, massage therapy is a holistic method of helping the mind and body feel and function at their best. Let’s dive in a little deeper about the health benefits of massage therapy and how to become a part of the healing body club.

You Feel Better When You Sleep Better

According to the CDC, roughly 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep issues. That means that approximately one out of every five people you walk by on the street aren’t fully rested. There are several issues associated with sleep deprivation, including lack of focus, decreased brain function, memory loss, weakened immune system, and even more serious issues like risk of heart attack and hypertension.

If you have been dealing with sleep issues, then you are a prime candidate for massage therapy. The techniques used during massage therapy should release serotonin, which is a naturally occurring chemical in the body that aids sleep. Even after one massage therapy session, you will notice that you can get to sleep quicker and stay asleep longer.

It is a wonderful holistic alternative for those who have tried sleep medication and other methods, to no avail.

Reduce Stress and Boost Your Mood

According to Stress.org, more than half of Americans report feeling stressed throughout the day. Of course, there are several ways to deal with stress. Some do it through breathing exercises, engaging in physical activity, and some even go as far as to take a vacation. However, don’t overlook the benefits of massage therapy when it comes to combating stress and improving your mood.

The scientific explanation behind this is that licensed massage therapists are specially trained to manipulate the body’s muscle tissues so that the brain will release endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. These chemicals that naturally occur in the body holistically make a person feel good, which reduces their anxiety and naturally boosts their mood.

The great thing about massage therapy is that it’s amazing for both combatting stress or preparing the body for when you expect stress. For example, if you’re expecting a particularly tough week at work, book yourself a massage therapy appointment over the weekend. You will be amazed at how you are mentally and physically prepared to deal with stress.

Combat the Pain in Your Body

According to the CDC, approximately 20% of people suffer from some variety of pain. That could be because of a physical injury or a medical issue, such as fibromyalgia or arthritis. Additionally, many older adults suffer from pain in their joints and muscles that is related to aging. That can lead to them relying more on over the counter and prescription medications.

However, massage therapy is a holistic alternative that can naturally help them reduce their pain. Licensed massage therapists can manipulate muscles in a way that improves the body’s circulation with oxygen-rich blood flow. Recipients of massage therapy will instantly notice that their pain levels will go down significantly after only a single treatment. Massage therapy is also a great way to reduce pain and soreness for those who are engaging in physical activity or competitive sports.

Booking Your Massage Therapy Appointment

The beauty of massage therapy is that it is a widely available service that you should be able to find in your local area. Start by Googling the term “massage therapy near me” or “massage therapy in Kansas City.” That should bring up many massage therapy clinics that can help restore your mind, body, and spirit.

There is no reason to suffer from stress or pain. Book your massage therapy appointment today and take the first step to an improved, happier you.

 

Vitamin Overdose and Toxicity

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Scientific studies showed that vitamin and mineral supplementation may be beneficial to a person’s health. However, the harmful effects of vitamins often receive little attention(1).

For example, high doses of vitamin C may put people at risk of developing kidney stones(2). To diagnose the condition and support its treatment, doctors use advanced medical imaging procedures, like computed tomography (CT) or X-ray.

Experts have also noted the importance of looking for non-toxic vitamin alternatives that promote health without any adverse effects. To avoid the harmful effects of vitamins, some people opt for natural solutions to boost the immune system.

Water-Soluble vs. Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamins are divided into two categories: fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins(3).

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins are compounds not stored by the human body. These compounds, including vitamins B and C, are excreted through urine(4).

Water-soluble vitamins are less likely to cause side effects even in high doses than fat-soluble compounds.

However, high doses of water-soluble vitamins may still trigger the onset of harmful conditions in the body.

For example, niacin or vitamin B3 may cause liver damage if administered in high doses(5). Additionally, taking high doses of vitamin B6 may lead to potential nerve damage over time(6).

Other water-soluble vitamins include thiamin, riboflavin, and folacin(7).

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are compounds that do not dissolve in water and are stored in the body’s tissues(8). Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, and E(9).

Although uncommon, taking these vitamins in high doses may lead to harmful side effects(10).

Side Effects of Vitamin Overdose

Vitamins are generally safe to consume on a daily basis. However, taking high doses of these supplements may trigger adverse side effects.

Although rare, there have been recorded cases of death associated with vitamin toxicity.

Complications arising from vitamin overdose vary depending on the compound administered.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin A

Hypervitaminosis A (vitamin A toxicity) may occur from consuming high amounts of vitamin A supplements.

Data from the Mayo Clinic show that high doses of vitamin A may cause(11):

  • Diarrhea
  • Joint pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Skin irritation
  • Liver damage
  • Birth defects

Vitamin A overdose may also trigger increased intracranial pressure, coma, and even death(12).

A study on hypervitaminosis A was conducted on a patient with kidney failure.

Results showed that one large dose of more than 200mg of vitamin A, which is over ten times the recommended daily dose, may lead to serious complications. These complications include higher spinal fluid pressure, coma, and fatal organ damage(13).

Vitamin D

Side effects of vitamin D overdose include weight loss, irregular heartbeat, and appetite loss. Vitamin D overdose may also boost blood calcium levels, which may lead to organ damage(14).

Additionally, taking over 50,000 IU of vitamin D daily over long periods may increase calcium levels in the blood. This condition, called hypercalcemia, is potentially fatal(15).

Vitamin E

Excessive vitamin E intake may affect the body’s blood clotting process, cause hemorrhages, and even trigger a hemorrhagic stroke(16).

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid

Adverse effects of vitamin C overdose include migraine headaches, nausea or vomiting, flushing, and dizziness(17).

Vitamin C overdose may also cause tissue damage and fatal heart conditions in patients with hemochromatosis, a disorder caused by iron buildup in the body(18).

Vitamin B3 or Niacin

High niacin doses may cause abdominal pain, high blood pressure, impaired vision, and liver damage. Nicotinic acid, a form of niacin, may cause severe skin flushing, dizziness, and nausea(19).

Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine

Long-term intake of vitamin B6 in high doses may cause skin lesions, severe neurological impairment, heartburn, sensitivity to light, and nausea(20).

Vitamin B9 or Folate

Overconsumption of folate or folic acid may affect cognitive function, leading to mental decline.

High folate levels may also impair immune system response and hinder the detection of a potentially severe vitamin B12 deficiency(21).

Taking Vitamin and Mineral Supplements Safely

The dosage of vitamin and mineral supplements depends on several factors, including the person’s age, medical conditions, genetic disorders, and diet.

Although most manufacturers provide dosing guidelines for supplements, dosage needs vary from person to person.

It is not recommended to administer more than the tolerable upper intake levels set for vitamin and mineral supplements. Taking high doses may result in adverse effects and, in rare circumstances, even death.

It is important to seek medical advice before consuming vitamin and mineral supplements in high doses.

Doctors and other medical professionals can offer advice about safe and accurate dosing to avoid adverse effects.

References

  1. Wooltorton, E., Too much of a good thing? Toxic effects of vitamin and mineral supplements. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 169(1): 47–48. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC164945/
  2. Massey, L., Safety of vitamin C. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  August 2005, Page 488, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/82.2.488
  3. Albahrani, A. & Greaves, R. (2016). Fat-Soluble Vitamins: Clinical Indications and Current Challenges for Chromatographic Measurement. The Clinical Biochemist Reviews,  37(1): 27–47. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4810759/
  4. National Research Council (US) Committee on Diet and Health. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1989. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK218756/
  5. Leung, K., Quezada, M., Chen, Z., Kanel, G., & Kaplowitz, N. (2018). Niacin‐Induced Anicteric Microvesicular Steatotic Acute Liver Failure. Hepatology Communications, 2(11): 1293–1298. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6211325/
  6. Bacharach, R., Lowden, M., & Ahmed, A. (2017). Pyridoxine Toxicity Small Fiber Neuropathy With Dysautonomia: A Case Report. Journal of Clinical Neuromuscular Disease, 19(1):43-46. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28827489/
  7. National Research Council (US) Committee on Diet and Health. Op cit.
  8. Lykstad, J. &  Sharma, S. (2020). StatPearls. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538510/
  9. A. Albahrani, et al. Op cit.
  10. Hamishehkar, H., Ranjdoost, F., Asgharian, P., Mahmoodpoor, A., & Sanaie, S. (2016). Vitamins, Are They Safe? Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 6(4): 467–477. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5241405/
  11. Mayo Clinic. Vitamin A. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-a/art-20365945
  12. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin A. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/
  13. Hammoud, D., Haddad, B., & Abdallah, J. (2014). Hypercalcaemia Secondary to Hypervitaminosis A in a Patient with Chronic Renal Failure. West Indian Medical Journal, 63(1): 105–108. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4655642/
  14. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin D. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
  15. Koul, P., Ahmad, S., Ahmad, F., Jan, R., Shah, S., & Khan, U. (2011). Vitamin D Toxicity in Adults: A Case Series from an Area with Endemic Hypovitaminosis D. Oman Medical Journal,  26(3): 201–204. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3191699/
  16. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin E. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/
  17.  Abdullah, M., Jamil, R., & Attia, F. (2020). StatPearls. Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499877/
  18. Aronow, W. (2018). Management of cardiac hemochromatosis. Archives of Medical Science, 14(3): 560–568. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5949916/
  19. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Niacin. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Niacin-HealthProfessional/
  20. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin B6. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-HealthProfessional/
  21. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Folate. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/

How to Stock Your Natural Medicine Cabinet

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At the beginning of the 21st century, 11 % of the 252 drugs considered “basic and essential” by the World Health Organization were “exclusively of flowering plant origin.” Drugs like codeine, quinine, and morphine all contain plant-derived ingredients.

With today’s skyrocketing inflation it seems like a good time to start creating your own natural medicine cabinet with herbs that heal. It’s not only a cost-effective way to heal various health conditions but you’re also getting the added benefit of preparing great food with amazing herbs.   Now, there are so many herbs, spices and other plants that have amazing, multiple benefits but this introductory list would be a great  starter kit and it covers a lot of different ailments that most people have experienced at one time or another.

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  • Basil – Mood – contains eugenol and rosmarinic acid which boost’s the brain’s production of dopamine and serotonin.
  • Cayenne – Congestion – Capsaicin deactivates substance P, a neurotransmitter linked to inflammation which results in decreased sinus congestion and pressure
  • Coriander – Tiredness – carboxylic acid binds to heavy metals such as mercury in the blood and carries them out of the body.  It reverses the toxin buildup that causes chronic fatigue, joint pain and depression.
  • Curry Powder – Joints – curcumin inhibits the production of prostaglandin E2, and inflammatory compound that over sensitizes nerves.  Reduces joint and muscle pain.
  • Dill – GI Tract – limonene works as well as antibiotics for killing bacteria like E. Coli
  • Ginger – Nausea – gingerol and shogaol calm GI tract spasms to reduce nausea
  • Mint – Abdominal Cramps – menthol reduces pain-inducing spasms
  • Oregano – Menstrual Cramps – thymol can carvacrol relax uterine muscles to prevent painful contractions
  • Parsley – Bloating – apiol and myristicin are natural diuretics that relieves bloating caused by water retention by preventing salt from being reabsorbed into the body tissues
  • Rosemary – Coughing – eucalyptol loosens chest congestion thereby making it easier to expel phlegm.  Also is rich in tannins which soothe sore throats

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Some of these herbs can also be packed in your herbal first-aid kit along with:

  • Aloe Vera – for burns, sunburn, bruises, and bug bites
  • Thyme – for foot fungus, anti-bacterial, oral care
  • Beeswax – for burns, insect bites
  • Echinacea – fights infections, and fever
  • Blackberry – helps with diarrhea, reduces inflammation

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As you can see by this short list mother nature provides a plenitude of remedies for all sorts of ailments.  This list is not comprehensive but merely gives you an idea of the things you can find in nature at a fraction of the cost of over-the-counter remedies.  So since we’re heading into spring, it would be a good time to plant, if you can, what will become your natural healers or maybe someone you know has a garden full of these wonderful herbs and flowers.  Tinctures made with these plants can last for decades!