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.

9 Amazing Reasons Why You Need Nutritional Yeast

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Nutritional yeast is a natural source of vitamin B1.  But be aware that when you buy nutritional yeast they will usually fortify it with synthetic vitamins which are sourced from things like coal tar acetate, ammonia, and hydrochloric acid.  But synthetic B1 is not the same as a natural B1. Synthetics are a lot cheaper and natural B1 is a lot more expensive because you have to use more raw material from some natural sources to get a very tiny amount of the vitamin. But it’s totally worth it because the effects that the B vitamins, specifically B1, has on the body are important and widespread especially nowadays as  it relates to stress.

Benefits of Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional Powerhouses

Yeast are vitamin producing machines, they make B vitamins and amino acids. In fact, nutritional yeast is a complete protein. It has all of the essential amino acids and has quite a few trace minerals too like selenium for the conversion from T4 to T3. It also has zinc and copper which is very important in your immune system and in building testosterone. It has chromium which is really good for blood sugars. It is loaded with phosphorus which makes up something called ATP – adenosine triphosphate which is the energy currency of your body. It will give you more energy. It also has beta glucan; you may have heard that when people are talking about oatmeal or consuming Cheerios because these grains are so-called heart healthy. Beta glucan is a type of fiber that can help lower your cholesterol. But what about all the carbohydrates in cereals that’s going to raise insulin and create other issues. Beta glucan can also help with the immune system.

Energy

B1 is the most important water-soluble vitamin, vitamin D is the most important fat-soluble vitamin. B1 is needed in all of your cells in the energy factory of your cells called the mitochondria. When you take oxygen, fuel, and a spark plug you get energy. The spark plug in our body is thiamine (B1), without the spark plug (B1) you cannot generate energy. If you give the body too much fuel, as in a high carb diet, you’re going to flood the “engine”.  So in our bodies if we have too much glucose, as in too many carbohydrates, the requirement for B1 rises dramatically higher and if you’re not consuming B1 you’re going feel tired all the time and that’s called chronic fatigue syndrome. So, one of the big benefits of nutritional yeast is it gives you energy. It’s great for athletes to maintain endurance.

Stress, Anxiety, Panic Attacks

There are other benefits of nutritional yeast but first we need to explain part of the brain called the limbic system. It has different structures in it that do different things related to homeostasis which is the body’s ability to adapt to the environment to maintain a constant state of function internally.  And also, you have the autonomic nervous system that’s working with this system. So, we have both the flight or fight mechanism (sympathetic nervous system), and we have the rest and digest (parasympathetic nervous system).  Sympathetic and parasympathetic – one system is trying to speed everything up and adapt to stress the other system is trying to calm things down to help you digest and help you sleep at night.  Of all the structures in the brain, the limbic system, is the part that needs a tremendous amount of oxygen because there’s a lot of oxidation going on. So, the need for B1 is really high and so that part of the brain is very susceptible to a vitamin B1 deficiency. In one part of that system called the amygdala gives you the emotion of fear. It’s a survival mechanism and so if you are deficient in B1 you’re going to find that you have different states of fear like anxiety, nervousness, and panic.   If you’re sleeping at night and you have nightmares it could mean you’re deficient in Vitamin B1.  Panic attacks could be caused by a severe B1 deficiency.  So taking nutritional yeast can greatly help anxiety and stress and make you feel very calm. It helps to decrease irritability and the sensation of feeling aggravated. If you have a low tolerance to stress, then you may benefit from nutritional yeast. Another symptom of a B1 deficiency that can be improved with nutritional yeast is just general confusion, lack of clarity, or lack of focus.

Better Sleep

If you go to bed at night and you start thinking excessively, the thoughts just keep going and you can’t turn them off, taking nutritional yeast before bed even though it increases energy, won’t keep you up at night. In fact, it will calm down things so you can drift off into a night sleep.

Good for Hair Growth

Nutritional yeast is loaded with the trace minerals and amino acids so it’s really good for your hair. If you’re losing hair nutritional yeast could help you.

POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome)

Nutritional yeast also can help a condition called POTS.  This is the condition where you stand up and you feel dizzy, and you might feel like you want to faint or pass out.  That is part of the autonomic nervous system’s inability to adapt to stress.  Nutritional yeast will support the autonomic nervous system’s ability to cope with physical stress.

Pulse Rate

Another really positive benefit is for your pulse rate. The autonomic nervous system controls a lot of things, but it definitely controls your pulse rate. So if you’re deficient in B1 you might find that your pulse rate goes higher and higher. You might find that you get palpitations.

Breathing

Nutritional yeast can help you with that another thing that is connected with the B1 deficiency and that is your breathing.  Let’s say your breathing is off, which it usually is during a stress event, nutritional yeast can help you with that because anything that is connected to the autonomic nervous system can be improved with vitamin B1.

Satiety

Another interesting thing that a B1 deficiency will manifest as is either excessive hunger or no appetite. A mild B1 deficiency will cause you not to be satisfied after you eat something so you’re going to want to keep eating something and you’re just not going to be satisfied. But a very severe B1 deficiency can cause you to lose your appetite.  It seems the centres in the brain that are satiety centres that help satisfy you are very vulnerable to a B1 deficiency.

Chiropractic Management of Ankylosing Spondylitis

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What Is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing spondylitis is the fusion of the vertebrae in the spine due to an autoimmune inflammatory disease.  It more commonly affects men than women.  Fusion of the spinal bones is due to an increase in calcium production. Symptoms may first appear in early adulthood and include low back pain and stiffness. Some patients also report persistent neck and hip pain and difficulty breathing in severe cases. Although there are no known causes of this condition, experts suggest there is a genetic component, particularly in people with the gene HLA-B27.

Other complications of this condition include recurrent heart problems due to interference with the aorta, leading to inflammation, spinal compression fractures leading to a stooped posture, and inflammation of the eye. Seek medical treatment should these symptoms arise.

How Chiropractors Manage Ankylosing Spondylitis

The subject of chiropractic care in general can sometimes seem controversial let alone the idea that it be part of the care regime for someone with Ankylosing Spondylitis.  But, it is important to note cases where patients have benefited from chiropratic care as seen in this case – https://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(03)00110-6/fulltext.

Chiropractors focus on alignment and function of the spine and its relation to the nervous system. Chiropractors are suitable healthcare practitioners for the management of ankylosing spondylitis and are trained to provide a treatment regimen that won’t aggravate the condition which may include activator adjustments designed to help with mobility.   Regular chiropractic care can help patients manage symptoms and prevent disease progression, improving their quality of life.

The chiropractor will first of all review your general health and family medical history.  It is important for the chiropractor to know if any family member has had the condition.  A family history of Ankylosing Spondylitis may be indicative in diagnosing this condition but it is not necessary.  During the physical examination, you will be asked to move and bend in different ways so the chiropractor can see how flexible your spine is.  In early stages subtle changes can be significant.  In a later stage the mobility can be significantly reduced.  The chiropractor will also check your chest expansion which can be reduced in AS.  The chiropractor will also do a neurological examination.

When to Seek Chiropractic Management for Ankylosing Spondylitis

The goals of AS treatment are to reduce pain, improve your quality of life, and delay spinal damage. Since ankylosing spondylitis affects the spine and nervous system chiropractors make an important part of your healthcare team and care should be included as a complementary treatment.

Conclusion

Chiropractic care is an excellent complementary option to manage the symptoms associated with ankylosing spondylitis. Consult your medical team and discuss a recommendation for chiropractic care.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5731838

 

 

The Fascinating Science of How Pumpkin Seeds Help Brain Function

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Pumpkin seeds are a fall snack favorite adored by many. But, did you know that pumpkin seeds also have powerful brain health benefits and are integral in healthy brain function? They are rich in many micronutrients that are essential for healthy brain function, including copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Their magnesium content provides a calming effect on the brain — an amazing and all-natural option for stress relief.

Keep reading to learn more about how pumpkin seeds help brain function.

Key Minerals and Nutrients in Pumpkin Seeds

A quarter cup of raw pumpkin seeds contains about 150 calories, 15 grams of healthy fat, a few grams of carbs, and 8-10 grams of plant protein. They are also packed with nutrients.

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Pumpkin seeds, which are also called pepitas, are an excellent source of manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper. Magnesium is key to helping improve mood and sleep. Manganese plays a key role in collagen production — promoting bone and skin health. Iron and Cooper found in pumpkin seeds are involved with energy production, whereas iron helps transport oxygen to the cells in the body. Zinc is key for immunity, vision, and skin health.

Eating just one serving of raw pumpkin seeds can supply between 14-42% of the daily target for these essential nutrients.

Pumpkin seeds contain the following key brain health minerals:

  • Magnesium: This mineral is essential for a well-functioning nervous system, and it also supports brain development, memory, and learning. Research has shown that low levels of magnesium may increase neurological health issues and conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and the risk of stroke, migraines, epilepsy, and anxiety and depression.
  • Zinc: Zinc plays a key role in the regulation of communication between the brain cells that impact brain development, memory, and learning. Zinc deficiency is linked to a number of neurological conditions, including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and depression.
  • Iron: Iron is another mineral that plays an integral role in the day-to-day functions of the brain and development. Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue, headaches, and anxiety. Iron deficiency is a widely known cause of impaired cognitive, language, and motor development.
  • Cooper: Cooper plays a key role in brain function and development and is required for essential enzymes that supply the brain with energy. A proper balance of copper is key because too little or too much can cause brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Menkes, and Wilson’s diseases.

Brain Benefits

Some of the most significant brain benefits that pumpkin seeds pack include:

  • Feelings of calm — The high magnesium content of pumpkin seeds can lead to stress and anxiety relief and an overall sense of calm. Over the past 50 years, as magnesium consumption has plummeted, anxiety rates have gone up drastically. A calm and controlled mind increases your decision-making power and brings you a better sense of clarity.
  • Feelings of happiness — Pumpkin seeds can also help produce serotonin — the incredible neurotransmitter that helps us feel happy. According to the NCBI, Serotonin is one of the most important neurotransmitters that influence mental health.

How to Eat Pumpkin Seeds

You can buy pumpkin seeds at most grocery stores and health food stores. Or, you can make your own! Simply take the seeds from a pumpkin and bake them at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Here are some simple and delicious ways to incorporate more pumpkin seeds into your diet:

  • Eat them alone as a snack
  • Sprinkle them on top of salads for some crunch
  • Mix them into yogurt and smoothies
  • Blend them in with protein balls
  • Sprinkle them on whatever you want for added flavour, crunch, and a brain boost, from oatmeal to cereal and stir-fries and tacos.

Pumpkin seeds are an extremely versatile and delicious snack that packs a serious brain-boosting punch. Try adding them to your meals or snacking on them to harness the brain-boosting powers and ensure healthy and optimal brain function.

Learn How Melatonin Prevents Blood Clots in Ten Minutes

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Everybody needs 7-8  hours of sleep to function well. Without sleep, we don’t perform at our best, and lack of sleep can negatively impact our health.  Many people have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, tossing and turning during those precious hours intended for sleep. Melatonin, a neurohormone supplement, helps many people fall asleep and stay asleep, making it known primarily as a sleep aid. But there is research to show that melatonin can help in preventing blood clots. One of the most important areas of research would be exploring the use of melatonin in preventing blood clots, as around 100,000 people die from blood clots annually.

Melatonin has other health benefits that are just as important as sleep improvement possibly making it effective in treating:

Understanding Melatonin

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Melatonin has a long history in alternative medicine. In the U.S., it’s sold as an over-the-counter supplement, while it’s available by prescription in other countries. Natural melatonin is produced in your body by the pineal gland in the brain. Its production is triggered by darkness, which explains its benefits while sleeping in the dark. The supplement is a synthetic version of the natural substance.

Research on Melatonin and Blood Clotting

As far back as 2008, the Journal of Pineal Research published a study that showed the relationship between taking oral melatonin and blood coagulation. The study included 46 healthy men between 21 and 29 years of age. The subjects were given a placebo containing no medication or 3mg of oral melatonin. The study results reported: “A single dose of oral melatonin was associated with lower plasma levels of procoagulant factors 60 mins later.” Procoagulant factors promote blood clotting, and melatonin had lowered their levels, making clotting less likely. A 2013 research paper published by Arushanian described melatonin as a “natural inhibitor of (platelet) aggregation” that is potentially impactful in cardiovascular disorders so may be “recommended for use in pharmacotherapy.” A 2020 review of studies, published by Otamas, Grant and Aijan supported previous evidence, suggesting that, “…melatonin inhibits platelet aggregation and might affect the coagulation cascade, altering fibrin clot structure and/resistance to fibrinolysis.” In layman’s terms, melatonin inhibits bodily functions that lead to blood clots. This more recent study recommended further study to confirm and progress the research findings. The research on melatonin in this area is ongoing and more is needed in the future.

Who Shouldn’t Take Melatonin?

While Melatonin can have many benefits, including the potential to reduce clotting, it’s important to realize the dangers that may create to people on blood thinners, such as Warfarin, with herbs that can slow clotting, including garlic and ginger, and with blood clotting medication.

Taking melatonin along with blood thinning medication can lead to bleeding or bruising. It can interfere with the work of blood clotting medication. Melatonin is generally not advised for these groups but as always, people should follow the advice of their medical doctors.

Fluvoxamine (Luvox) is an antidepressant medication that increases the absorption of melatonin. Since more melatonin is absorbed creating greater conditions for blood thinning, taking it with fluvoxamine should be avoided.

Should I Take Melatonin?

A healthy person that doesn’t take blood thinning or coagulating medication, Fluvoxamine, or other medications or herbs that can interact with melatonin should be able to safely take melatonin if permitted by their doctors. If you’re considering melatonin, it may help you sleep, have additional benefits, and keep your blood free from unwanted clotting.

SOURCES USED:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5563342_Oral_melatonin_reduces_blood_coagulation_activity_A_placebo-controlled_study_in_healthy_young_men

https://www.livescience.com/42066-melatonin-supplement-facts.html

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1479164120920582?icid=int.sj-abstract.citing-articles.3&

https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/d04058a1

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/melatonin-side-effects#TOC_TITLE_HDR_6

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282008268_Effect_of_melatonin_on_the_thrombocyte_hemostasis_and_its_circadian_organization

This Is Your Brain on Vitamin C

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Vitamin C is well known for enhancing immunity, including preventing colds and improving mental health. Scientific studies indicate that people who consume foods rich in vitamin C experience less stress as they encounter physical challenges. After we consume vitamin C, it causes the body to dispense neurotransmitters that enhance mood such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. People who lack vitamin C have low synthesis of these neurotransmitters, and can become irritable and stressed.

 

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Vitamin C and Mental Health

A German study measured the stress levels of 120 individuals by letting them perform public speaking while solving math problems. The subjects were given 1000 mg of vitamin C prior to the task. Participants who did not take the vitamin showed elevated cortisol levels and higher blood pressure. Those who took the vitamin showed normal blood pressure levels and said that they did not feel that stressed.

Vitamin C also plays a vital role in maintaining the function and integrity of the central nervous system, including the formation of myelin and maturation of neurons, which protects nerve fibers and repairs neurons. In addition, it acts as a neuromodulator, which influences mood regulation.

Research studies also indicate that free radical damage and oxidative stress can play a part in the pathogenic mechanisms underlying several neuropsychological disorders including depression.

The American Journal of Psychiatry published a study stating that low levels of vitamin C were closely related to depression in the elderly. Another study published by McGill University found that administering vitamin C twice a day improved the mood of hospital patients. Vitamin C is also linked to promoting health for people suffering from bipolar disorder and anxiety.

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The Brain consumes a lot of vitamin C. Brain concentrations of vitamin C are higher than those of the rest of the body. It maintains vitamin C levels for a longer period of time after the body depletes them. That’s because metabolic furnaces in the neurons churn through glucose to power one’s movements and feelings. Vitamin C also works as an antioxidant. It surrenders electrons for the purpose of neutralizing rogue oxygen molecules which are emitted in the process. These are the free radicals that ruin DNA and cause cells to age.

Vitamin C also plays a role in the maturation and differentiation of neurons and in forming the myelin sheath that expedites impulse transmission and protects neurons. Thus, vitamin C is essential for cognitive performance and is also a cofactor in synthesizing several neurotransmitters. It plays a vital role in converting dopamine to serotonin. It also modulates the release of neurotransmitters in nerve cells. Vitamin C is also found in collagen, which is a stabilizing force for bones, teeth, and blood vessels. It helps ensure that the integrity of blood vessels retain their integrity as an aspect of cognitive capacity, particularly as people age.

In a review of fifty studies of Brain function and vitamin C levels conducted between1980 and 2017, Australian researchers discovered that there was a striking relationship between mental function and vitamin C status. A questionnaire, known as the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) measured the relationship.

In the study, the individuals that were cognitively intact had higher blood concentrations of vitamin C than the individuals who were cognitively impaired. Among the individuals who were cognitively intact, the levels of vitamin C in the blood had a correlation with cognitive ability. There was no linear correlation seen in people with cognitive impairment.

Factors such as exposure to toxins caused by air pollution and smoking as well as drinking alcohol make extra demands for vitamin C by placing the body under oxidative stress. Studies show that conditions like depression, fatigue, and poor healing of wounds happen when vitamin C levels are inadequate.

References

Bundrant, M. vitamin C and Its Key role in mental health. Psych Central. https://blogs.psychcentral.com/nlp/2017/01/vitamin-c- nd-its-key-role-in-mental-health/

Marano, H. The Cognitive Benefits of vitamin C. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/201801/the- cognitive-benefits-vitamin-c

Got Stress? You Need vitamin C. adrenalfatigue.org. https://adrenalfatigue.org/got-stress-you-need-vitamin-c/

Vitamin C: Essential for stress and Adrenal Function. adrenalfatigue.org. https://adrenalfatigue.org/vitamin-c-adrenal-function-stress/