Looking for tips to keep your teeth healthy? Look no further, the below post tells you how to have healthy teeth naturally – through diet!
Your smile – probably one of your best attributes. Or one of your biggest confidence killers. You either were blessed with great looking teeth or you weren’t. Or so it seems. The land of dentistry is far and wide nowadays – so most of your teeth issues can be fixed (or at least masked). But did you know that there are ways to care for your teeth with diet? And daily teeth care habits?
Now I’m not an expert on this, but I will say this – I know a lot more about teeth health than I did a few years ago. And sadly, most of this knowledge came after a TON of issues started to arise. Especially in pregnancy. Can I get all of my pregnant and nursing mamas to raise their hands here? I mean – the saying “Gain a child, lose a tooth” doesn’t seem to be that far-fetched.
This post is long, so it will be broken up into three separate ones. I will start the three-part series off with diet and how certain foods can affect your teeth as well as overall health. The second part will be all about supplements. And the third part will include all of the teeth hygiene tools and trick I use to keep mine and my families teeth as healthy as can be. I will also include a list of resources for further reading if you are interested.
DIET TO MAINTAIN GOOD TEETH HEALTH
Now you may think, what does diet have to do with our teeth? Besides the saying we learn as kids of “don’t eat sugar, it’s bad for your teeth” – which is, of course, true, but there is SO much more to it than just sugar.
Limit these in your diet:
Now this one seems to be pretty self-explanatory, we don’t want those sugars to be attaching to our teeth and staying there. Besides our teeth, sugar has really NO benefit for our health in general. Especially those refined white sugars, high fructose corn syrups etc. However, even eating a ton of fruits isn’t all that beneficial for our teeth – and if you look back to our history, you will realize that much of the fruits we eat today did not exist many years ago, and especially not in the quantities a lot of us eat them now (nor was it ever so sweet – think crabapple), but that’s a topic for another time.
Here are a few names you should look for on labels that mean sugar – agave, barley malt, beet sugar, molasses, brown sugar, brown or regular rice syrup, cane sugar/juice, caramel, carob syrup, coconut sugar, corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, diastatic malt, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, fruit sugar, galactose, glucose, grape juice concentrate, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltodextrin, maltose, maple syrup, palm sugar, raw sugar, saccharose, sorghum sugar, sucrose, turbinado sugar, xylose among quite a few others.
PHYTIC ACID (PHYTATE)
This is a well-known antinutrient that is found in grains and legumes. It is the principal storage form of phosphorus in many plant tissues, like the bran and seeds. So think apple seeds – not many people eat the whole core with the seeds because they are known to carry some toxins in them and no one would want to eat a ton of apple seeds. Yet we do that with grains and legumes – and essentially that is exactly what they are – the seed of the plant – if you stored it for a while, and planted it – it would grow again. They carry within them the toxins to be able to withstand being eaten and then pooped out by animals so that they can reproduce.
So what does this mean when we eat grains and legumes? Once a month, most likely nothing. Every day? Which most of us do, in bread, crackers, cereals and other delicious carb-y meals – well we pretty much supply our body with food and then our bodies have issues absorbing most of the nutrients from that food AND the foods we eat along with them. There are research papers out there proving that phytic acid rich foods can interfere with both calcium and iron absorption which can cause a risk for anemia as well as bone loss. Ding, ding, ding. BONE LOSS. Our teeth are part of that too.
So what is one to do about this? If you choose to continue to eat grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Make sure you first soak and then sprout them! And if you eat bread products choose the ones that are made with said sprouted grains and/or go for fermented bread such as sourdough. I understand that we live in such a time where food choices are plentiful, and we would prefer to keep some of our favorite foods in our diets. But going back to traditional preparation methods for these foods is always a good idea if you keep them in your diet.
Add more of these to your diet:
All of those minerals will do your body good. Trust me on this one. The Instant Pot makes making bone broth quite a breeze and if you’re choosing chicken bones – it will only take you two hours. If you don’t want to drink it, include it in your cooking. Mix into veggies, cook meat in it, add it to soups – wherever you see fit, put it there. Honestly, I’ve even added mine to smoothies before. I don’t season my broth when making it, so I am free to add it to my smoothies without a salty taste to it. And it adds minerals galore! But my favorite way to have bone broth is a hot cup of it before bed with some salt and chipotle spices and a good splash of lemon or lime in there! Yum.
Now before you get all defensive and quote that one study that told us that fat makes you fat and also causes your arteries to clog up and your heart to stop, I will say stop! That study has been debunked OVER and over again, and the guy, Ancel Keys, who published it omitted more than half of the countries being studied, which would have proven his theory wrong from the very beginning. He had profits in mind, and profits he received. He also changed the history of human health and not for the best.
Obesity rates in the US are through the roof! More than one in three adults & one in six children, as well as one in eleven young children, are obese these days. Now if these numbers are not scaring you then maybe this statistic will, “Since 1980, childhood obesity rates (ages 2 to 19) have tripled – with the rates of obese 6-to11-year-olds more than doubling (from 7.0 percent to 17.5 percent) and rates of obese teens (ages 12 to 19) quadrupling from 5 percent to 20.5 percent. (NHANES, 2011-2014 data” And also this fact as well – “Nationally, nearly 38 percent of adults are obese (NHANES, 2013-2014 data)” Now if you followed the trends of obesity rates in America you would see that they started to increase dramatically following the publishing of Ancel Key’s study in 1978. Processed foods became the norm, low-fat (high-sugar & additives) foods were stocked in every kitchen refrigerator and pantry, and healthy fats were deemed the evil of all evil.
We(well, a lot of us do) STILL believe that fat is bad for us. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Fat is what keeps your skin and hair healthy. Fat helps you absorb the fat-soluble vitamins or A, D, E, and K. It fills your fat cells and insulates your body. It protects your vital organs. The essential fatty acids that we get from our diet are the ones that we need for brain development, inflammation control, and even blood clotting as well as your hormones functioning well. So what are good sources of healthy fat you ask?
Here are a few examples: Grass-fed beef, coconut, avocado, nuts & seeds (remember that these should be soaked and sprouted before consuming!), whole eggs, full fat raw dairy – yogurt, cream, butter, cheese & milk, wild salmon & other fatty fish & olives and olive oil.
Now when was the last time you had liver pate? Or gizzard stew? I’m going to guess around 95% of my readers will either say never or SO long ago you cannot even tell me exactly when it was. You might mention how you don’t like the taste or the smell or even the way it looks. And all I have to say about that is, you’re missing out. I mean, really missing out!
Here’s a short crazy story of my relationship to organ meats. I was a vegan then vegetarian for around 5 years. The last year of my vegetarianism I was pregnant and then nursing. And I kid you not, I craved liver probably every other day if not more often. But I didn’t give into my craving because I believed I was being healthy by not eating animal products. I can save that story for another post. Regardless to say, six months postpartum I got a lot of testing done because I was not feeling my best – and the first words out of my naturopath’s mouth were, “You might want to reconsider your vegetarian diet if you want to start feeling healthier.” I went home and cooked myself a grass-fed lamb steak the same night and have never looked back. And honestly, my health has improved dramatically since then too.
So what’s so good about organ meats? They are some of the most nutrient-dense foods that you can put on your plate. They provide a good source of iron and protein and are packed with Vitamin A, B12, and folate, and holds a high CoQ10 content. Pound for pound when compared to many fruits and vegetables – offal will usually win in any vitamin or mineral category.
So what kind of organ meats are there? We have quite a few – liver, gizzards, heart, kidneys, tongue, sweetbreads, brain, tripe, oxtail & liverwurst. And the recipe ideas with these are endless just as any other cut of meat. You just have to get creative, use the spices you normally would and allow your taste buds to get used to the tastes our ancestors knew very well! My grandfather cooked & ate aspic(a meat jello) every single day until the day he passed.
And as a side note, I will mention the fear of toxicity to organ meats. While most of us are quick to say that we don’t eat liver or kidneys because they have toxins stored in them, we are forgetting simple biology. Our liver and kidneys are a filtering system, not a storing system. So they filter the toxins and because they do so – they are loaded with the good stuff to be able to filter out the bad stuff.
The real deal – raw, unhomogenized, no antibiotics, full of enzymes and still with the vitamins and minerals intact. Stuff that will go bad quickly if not consumed. Is it hard to find it? Yes, but is it impossible? No. A lot of grocery stores now carry Organic Pastures raw dairy. If not, I have included a website below that can help you find some raw milk locally. Note: it has been made illegal in some states to BUY raw milk, however, you can own a cow/goat share and enjoy the product of those animals.
I won’t get into the horrid details of regular milk and how those poor animals are treated. What I will say is that raw milk is full of healthy fats, it does not contain added sugars or hormones (that low-fat milk you buy, it tastes good to you for a reason and it’s not because removing the cream from milk makes it taste good), it is full of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K2. It has a plethora of anti-inflammatory omega 3s, it is loaded with minerals and electrolytes – like calcium, magnesium & potassium, and it contains enzymes that help you digest the milk! Talk to anyone who can drink raw milk without a problem, but frequents the toilet when drinking store bought stuff – they will tell you what a difference it is!
You can find raw cheese at most health food stores – even Trader Joe’s carries a few! As for the milk, cream, cheese, butter – you’re best off searching at Whole Foods or a local co-op. If you cannot find any, look at the link in the references below, and you just might be able to find some through there.
Also – you may want to search for a WAPF Facebook group in your area. They usually have wonderful resources for local dairy, meat and other good for you things!
This sums up the dietary guidelines of maintaining healthy teeth while maintaining healthy levels of nutrients and minerals in our bodies. Now we all know that eating this way will not just benefit your teeth health – but it will benefit your overall health. And who doesn’t want to be healthy not just today, but twenty and thirty years from now? I know, I sure do. And I also know that its a lot easier to take care of ourselves while we still have our health than it could be when you don’t. Although still possible, never lose hope, everything is possible.
Make sure to check back in next week for part two of this three-part series on teeth health.
If you do not have time to read these tips now, pin the below image and come back to it later!
Below you will find a few resources to learn more about some of the topics covered in the above post. You can also further your education on the subject by reading the below listed books.
Weston A. Price – Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
Sally Fallon – Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and Diet Dictocrats
Catherine Shanahan M.D. – Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food
Ramiel Nagel – Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition & Cure Gum Disease Naturally: Heal and Prevent Periodontal Disease and Gingivitis with Whole Foods
Nadine Artemis – Holistic Dental Care: The Complete Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums
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