10 Ways to Maintain Good Oral Health through Proper Nutrition and Lifestyle

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM).  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cavities remain the most common chronic disease faced by school-aged children and adolescents. In addition to brushing 💡 at least twice a day and flossing daily, here are 10 ways to maintain good oral health through proper nutrition and lifestyle.

  1. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
    • Choose more leafy greens, cucumber, celery, baby carrots, watermelon, pear, berries
    • Limit dried fruits, juices
  2. Maximize your sunshine vitamin D
    • 10-15 minutes of daily sun exposure during the summer
    • Up your vitamin-D rich foods (mushrooms, fortified unsweetened almond milk, oysters, egg yolks). (See Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Recipe 🙄 )
  3. Eat Calcium-rich foods
    • Fortified unsweetened plant milks, leafy greens, broccoli, sesame seeds, plain greek yogurt, bok choy, calcium-set tofu, pumpkin seeds
  4. Eat Magnesium-rich foods
    • Leafy greens, sprouted nuts, seeds, avocados, plain greek yogurt
  5. Eat Phosphorus-rich foods * ?
    • Eggs, plain greek yogurt, beans, lentils, sprouted nuts and seeds
  6. Choose healthy carbs
    • Sweet potato, pumpkin, quinoa, sprouted grain bread
  7. Drink tap water
    • Avoid soda, juices, sweetened ice tea
  8. Avoid processed sugar
    • Such as jelly beans, cough drops, caramels, mints, sugary flavored yogurt, sugary cereals, snack bars/pasta sauce/ketchup/salad dressing with added sugar
  9. Avoid frequent snacking
  10. Visit your dentist every 6 months

💡 Make your Homemade Toothpaste by combining:

  • 3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon of Peppermint Oil

*? If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), you may be advised to limit your phosphorus intake. Reach out to me to tailor your diet to meet your specific needs.

7 Diseases the Amazing Beet Can Help You Fight Off and 7 Ways to Enjoy Beet

Beet is well known as a liver and blood cleanser. Due to its high-antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties, it has been linked to the prevention of lung, liver, colon cancer and many diseases.

Simple ways to incorporate beet into your diet include:

  1. Make an immune-boosting smoothie with beet, lemon, ginger, and raspberries
  2. Make a healthy side dish with roasted beet
  3. Add grated beetroot into your big salad
  4. Add fresh beet leaves into your big salad
  5. Steam beet, broccoli, cauliflower, tofu together and serve over brown rice or quinoa
  6. Make a beet and carrot soup
  7. Make a Beet Latte with beet juice, almond milk, ginger, and honey/maple syrup

6 Winter Superfoods to Eat Post-Workout

During the cold months, not many brave souls who can choke down a 20 ounces cold smoothie or frosty green juice after a workout. The basic components of recovery meal include a complex carb, lean protein, healthy fat, and veggies. My winter post-workout meal consist of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants to help decrease inflammation and aid in muscle recovery. The ingredients can be mixed and matched according to your taste. Read about the benefits of these 6 superfoods and YOU can prepare your next post-workout meal in less than 15 minutes.

  1. Green Tea with Mint, Lemon, and a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
    • Replenish fluid lost in exercise
    • Support weight management
    • Reduce muscle soreness
  2. Sweet Potatoes
    • Restore glycogen level
    • Sustain energy
    • Support weight management
  3. *Miso Soup with Mushrooms, Celery, and Organic TofuPlus (by @nasoya)
    • Restore electrolytes
    • Boost energy
    • Boost immune system
    • Promote gut-health
  4. Chia Seeds
    • Reduce inflammation
    • Boost energy
    • Support bone and joint health
  5. Avocados
    • Prevent muscle cramps
    • Maintain electrolyte balance
  6. Raw Cacao Nibs
    • Boost energy
    • Speed up recovery time
    • Maintain muscle function
    • Support weight management
    • Support muscle growth

*Miso soup is a vital, versatile item at my house. You can add any vegetables and lean protein you have on-hand. Get this 10-minute Green Tea Noodle Bowl Recipe by me.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Kefir Cookies with 5 ingredients

Classic chocolate chip cookies made healthier. These cookies are chewy, soft, tangy, easy to made, and only requires 5 ingredients. They are packed with fiber +protein, and just sweet enough to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you don’t have any Kefir on hand, feel free to swap it with 3/4 cup 2% Greek Yogurt plus 1/4 cup water.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal (by #earthlychoice)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (by #justins)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup flavored kefir (by #lifeway organic green kefir)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Mix peanut butter with kefir.
  3. Stir in whole wheat flour, flaxseed meal, and chocolate chips just until combined.
  4. Scoop 2 Tbsp of cookie dough each onto parchment sheet. You can roll it into a disc or cut it with cookie cutter.
  5. Bake at 350ºF for 10-12 minutes until edges are just set (The center may look undercooked).
  6. Allow to cool on the parchment sheet for 5 minutes before removing. If desired, sprinkle with sea salt.

Know these 5 things about Eggs

1. Eat Eggs occasionally, but not Egg Beaters
2. Pastured Eggs are ideal (Buy at Fairway Market)
3. Second choice: Organic or Free-Range Eggs
4. Top 5 nutrients in Eggs:
?Sulfur – boost Skin and Joint Health
?Vitamin B12- boost Energy and fight Depression
?Choline- boost Energy and Brain Health
?Vitamin D- boost Immunity and Bone Heath
?Lutein- boost Vision Health
5. Egg yolk contains most of these vitamins and minerals

Understand Egg Label

Photo by The Humane Society of The United States

Read more about eggs and choline in my Eat Eggs blog post.

Fall Pumpkin Pancakes with Mixed Berries Sauce

Pumpkin Pancakes

INGREDIENTS- Pumpkin Pancakes

  • 1 cup organic spelt flour (I used Arrowhead Mills’s. You may also use other whole grain flour)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp of water (Let sit for 5 minutes before adding to your recipe. You may also use 1 whole egg if you don’t have flaxseed meal)
  • 1 cup calcium-fortified almond milk (I used Blue Diamond Almond Cashew Blend)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I used 365 100% Pure Pumpkin)
  • ½ tsp almond extract (I used Simply Organic’s. You may also use vanilla extract)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Add wet ingredients into the bowl and stir until well-blended.
  3. Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat. Oil surface with Coconut oil spray.
  4. Pour 1/2 cup batter into skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side.
  5. Serve with mixed berries toppings.

INGREDIENTS- Mixed Berries Sauce

  • 1 cup organic strawberries
  • 1 cup organic wild blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Simmer all ingredients in a small saucepan over low-medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Stir often to keep from burning.

Healthy Eating for the Holidays

image

7 Tips for avoiding over-indulgence at Holiday parties:

  1. Spend time making conversations instead of stuffing yourself with foods/drinks.
  2. Have a 200-350 Kcal snack before you arrive the party (ex. a handful of nuts, a non-fat Greek yogurt with 1 Tbsp of flaxseed/chia seed/fresh chopped berries, a piece of fruit with 1 Tbsp natural Almond Butter).
  3. Suggest guests to bring a healthy dish along with recipes to share with friends and family.
  4. Limit alcohol consumption. Choose wine or straight spirits over mixed drinks or beer. Have at least a glass of water in between drinks.
  5. Eat slowly and enjoy every bite of your meal.
  6. Stick with the 3 bites rule if you want to have cheat foods (ex. high calorie pie).
  7. Have fun and dance off the calories with friends and family.

Holiday Meals

Holiday Food Choices:

EAT MORE

  • Vegetable or Fresh Fruit Salad with light dressing (ex. Greek yogurt)
  • Steamed/Roasted Vegetables
  • Mashed sweet potato/pumpkin
  • Boiled Fish/Chicken breast/Turkey breast
  • Water

EAT LESS

  • Eggnog/Soda/Juice
  • Gravy/Cream/Butter sauce
  • Baby ribs
  • Holiday pies/cakes/bread pudding
  • Fried Foods
  • Alcoholic beverages

 

Should I eat chocolate?

image

Why do so many of us have chocolate cravings? My patients are wondering if it is due to a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Overall, chocolate is a good source of magnesium and iron. I tried to provide other (magnesium and iron) alternatives such as nuts, seeds, dark leafy greens, lentils & beans, and did not find any reduced cravings of chocolate in my patients. Perhaps it is due to the mood-calming compound in chocolate that release your body’s “feel good” chemical- Dopamine and Serotonin, or just the complex, rich flavor and smell of chocolate ??.

Chocolate craving is not a nutritional concern as long as you are sticking with the less processed forms. In fact, the flavonoids in dark chocolate is beneficial to your skin and heart health. This powerful anti-aging antioxidant can help to reduce blood pressure, the bad cholesterol “LDL”, and keep your skin soft & moist.

I like the bitterness, woody taste and smooth texture in a piece of dark-chocolate (85% cocoa), a warm cup of unsweetened almond milk with a tablespoon of pure cocoa powder, or a few bits of cacao nibs in my homemade smoothie or oatmeal.

I do not recommend white chocolate, milk chocolate, peanut butter/caramel chocolate candy bars, or chocolate with more than 10g of sugar per 40g serving.

Last year, I posted a recipe of Homemade Protein Chew on my Instagram. I was exploring a caffeine-free version and have created this Vegan, Less Fat, Sugar-Free formula. I replaced the cocoa and honey in the original recipe with Chatfield’s All Natural Carob Powder* (naturally sweet, low in fat).

 

Photo Credit: Chatfield's
Photo Credit: Chatfield’s

* While Carob powder is a good substitute of cocoa powder for those who are very sensitive to caffeine or watching their weights, please note that it doesn’t contain the phytochemical flavonoids. However, this product is delicious in warm, almond milk and baked goods.

image

Recipe:

Raw Vegan Protein Chew
Ingredients:
1 Tbsp of Epic vanilla protein *
3 Tbsp raw shelled #hempseeds (@harvesthemp)
6 Tbsp Chatfield’s All Natural Carob Powder
1 Tbsp #coconutoil
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup of Almond Milk

Directions:
1. Mix the first 5 ingredients in a bowl.                                                                                                                                                                     2. Add almond milk gradually while mixing the batter.
3. Knead and roll batter into #proteinballs.
4. Place on wax paper and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Enjoy ?
* Reviews of Epic Protein Supplement

Food & Travel- New Orleans

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

Dining out for every meal while you travel can make every bite matters a challenge. Although your nutrition intake won’t be perfect, there are some #nutritiontips that can improve your travel-eating.
Step 1: Bring a healthy snack for flights. I am hooked on the @bramibeans #lupini beans. My favorite is the Chili Lime #brami.
It keeps me full until I arrive my destination.

image

Other good choices include: Raw nuts & seeds, dried dates, Justin’s Almond Butter packet, Kind bars (with less than 4g of sugar per bar), 80% dark chocolate

KIND Breakfast Peanut Butter- 115 Kcal, 4g Sugar, 2.5g Fiber per Bar
KIND Breakfast Peanut Butter- 115 Kcal, 4g Sugar, 2.5g Fiber per Bar

Step 2: Drink water when flying. Aim for at least 8oz per hour of flight. Dehydration often exaggerates jetlag, which can be a real drag to fun travel.

❌Pass on alcohol and soda.

Step 3: During meal time, start with a tall glass of water with lemon. Next, include a #salad in most meals. Leave the dressing on the side.

❌Skip croutons, cheese, raisins, bacon bits, white bread.

Avocado Salad at Vitascope Hall- Simple, Fresh, Delicious
Avocado Salad at Vitascope Hall- Simple, Fresh, Delicious

Step 4: Taste everything, Enjoy the local specialty, and Double the veggies.

image
Love the daily Farm-to-Table 3-course menu at Coquette in the beautiful Garden District

Step 5: Share your food with friends and puppies.

Coquette
Coquette

Step 6: Refill a few more rounds of water with lemon.

Step 7: Have your King Cake and eat it too. Finish your meal with fresh tasting fruits and maybe a sweet note of local favorite. ???

The King Cake Story
The King Cake Story
indulge in every bite of @courtoftwosisters 's gourmet selection. ??☘??
Indulge in every bite of @courtoftwosisters ‘s gourmet selection. ??☘??
Enjoy the great jazz ambience, admire the spectacular Wisteria trees, listen to the running water of the blue fountain
Enjoy the great jazz ambience, admire the spectacular Wisteria trees, listen to the running water of the blue fountain

Step 8: Enjoy a glass of drink if you like but limit high-sugar cocktails to 1 glass per day/night.

Sip on a glass of dry red wine, champagne, spritzer, or Ketel One with club soda ??

Vitascope Hall by the Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Vitascope Hall by the Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Step 9: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. ?

Step 10: Allow yourself a spurge you would love. The #beignets and dark roasted coffee & chicory at #cafedumonde were worth it ?☕️

Cafe du Monde
Cafe du Monde

Step 11: Dancing and Walking are exercises. Keep moving ???

Oak Alley Plantation
Oak Alley Plantation

Step 12: Choose healthy snacks such as fresh fruits, baby carrots, coconut water, Kombucha, or legumes & lentils while soaking up the sun and making Vitamin D.

❌ Avoid snacking on candies, chips, pretzels throughout the day. You have too much exotic dishes to explore/taste.

image

Happy Memorial Day! Summer is officially here. Enjoy the journey! ✈️⛵️

Fort McHenry National Monument
Fort McHenry National Monument

KIND Bars: A boost of Nutrients and Flavor

IMG_1963

Savor the Flavor of Eating right with :

  • a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables at every meal;
  • oats, quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice, sweet potato for fuel;
  • healthy nuts & seeds for snacks;
  • more plant-based protein

One of the nutrition questions I get from many of my patients is regarding the high fat content of nuts. It is true that many nutrient-dense plant foods such as Avocados, Nuts & Seeds, Dark Chocolate, Coconut, Tofu, Edamame are high in fat. They naturally contain unsaturated as well as saturated fat.  Here are some things you should know: The presence of saturated fat in a plant-source, whole food doesn’t label a food into the unhealthy category if it is loaded with more essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, the healthy fats, which make up the majority of the fat content in the above high-fat plant foods help reduce LDL cholesterol and lower the risk of coronary heart disease.

Here are some things you should know: The presence of saturated fat in a plant-source, whole food doesn’t put a food into the “unhealthy” category. You have to look at the complete nutrition profile.

My new favorite Kind Bar- The Cashew & Ginger Spice Bar contains 200 Kcal, 14g Total Fat, 2g Saturated Fat, 4g Sugar, and 6g Protein. It tastes incredible and it’s way healthier than candied ginger!

Photo Source: kindsnacks.com
Photo Source: kindsnacks.com

Epidemiological studies suggest that regular nut consumption is unlikely to contribute to obesity and may even help in weight loss and lower the risk of hypertension. Raw nuts and seeds consumption, (especially walnuts, flaxseed, chia seed) have been associated with cancer risk reduction. Go Nuts with 5 oz serving weekly to maximize the benefits of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. According to the INC and USDA National Nutrient, the following equal one ounce of nuts:

Photo Source: INC and USDA National Nutrient 150-157 Data Base for Standard Reference, Release 19, 2006.
Photo Source: INC and USDA National Nutrient 150-157
Data Base for Standard Reference, Release 19,
2006.

If you are looking for the perfect sweet & salty granola-like bar, I would recommend KIND Bar’s Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt. Each Bar contains 150 Kcal, 5 g Total Fat, 1 g Saturated Fat, 6 g Sugar, 3 g Protein. It contains all the healthy grains I like: Oats, brown rice, millet, oat flour, buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa + a subtle maple flavor blend with the nuttiness of pumpkin & sunflower seeds. It makes a great chewy snack packed with amazing nutrients. Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, magnesium, and Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which are great for your immune system, bone and heart health.

source: kindsnacks.com
source: kindsnacks.com

Bottom line: Fear not the fats in nuts & seeds. You can read more about the latest nutrition research about nuts here.

 

What's on my office bookshelf?
What’s on my office bookshelf?
everybitematters © 2015 | Made with love by NUDGE MEDIA DESIGN.
简体中文繁體中文EnglishDeutschItaliano日本語Español