One of the simplest approaches to eating a well-balanced and healthy diet is to eat real food. As a family dentist and wellness advocate in Hollywood, Florida, we truly believe health and wellness starts in the mouth. We are very fortunate to live in Florida where an abundance of fresh produce is grown in our state and throughout the year. Eating fresh locally-sourced food not only benefits your body, but also the environment. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, don’t eat it. In honor of National Nutrition Month at Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuvenation and Wellness, we want to inspire you to eat more Florida fruits and vegetables!
You might be surprised to learn how many different fruits and vegetables are grown in Florida soil. Here’s a list of the most common ones:
Avocados, bell peppers, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, grapefruit, guava, Key limes, lettuce, mangoes, mushrooms, oranges, papayas, passionfruit, potatoes, radishes, spinach, squash, strawberries, corn, tomatoes, and watermelon.
The food choices that we make every day play a major role in the quality of our health. It is far easier to maintain our health than it is to recover it. Diet is one of the components of our life that we have the most control over. We have total control over what we eat. What we eat affects every single part of our bodies, on the inside and on the outside. All of the fruits and vegetables that are grown in Florida have incredible health benefits and are easily accessible and affordable to everyone who lives here. Healthcare is expensive; healthy eating doesn’t have to be.
If you need a bit more convincing, check out the nutrients and benefits some of Florida’s favorite fruits and vegetables can offer you.
Avocados are high in vitamins and nutrients B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, K, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, and oleic acid (helps reduce inflammation). Avocados actually help your body absorb nutrients from other plant-based foods. They are also loaded with antioxidants, which support your immune system and anti-aging defenses.
Carrots can help prevent heart disease, lower blood pressure, boost immunity, aid in digestion, prevent cancer, improve eyesight, improve oral health, and control diabetes.
Oranges, Florida’s most famous fruit, is jam packed with vitamin C. Like carrots, oranges can help strengthen your immune system, promote heart health, prevent certain types of cancer, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and even make your skin glow.
Tomatoes are one of the main exports in Florida. This juicy fruit helps fight early signs of aging, aids your liver and kidneys in detoxifying your body, stimulates circulation, improves digestion, and even lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease.
You can probably imagine how amazing all of the other fruits and vegetables on the above list are for you based on how nutrient-packed and powerful these four fruits and vegetables are. Your diet and health are directly linked. The better you eat, the better you will feel. Try checking out a local farmer’s market in your area and load up on Florida’s finest bounty; your body will thank you.
The theme of 2018’s National Nutrition Month is “go further with food.” As a family dental practice in Hollywood, Florida, we want to help inspire and facilitate not only healthy gums and teeth, but overall health and wellness. Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuvenation and Wellness is more than just teeth; we are a family dental business that believes that all of our patients and staff are part of our extended family. For this reason, we truly care about your overall wellness.
All of our bodily systems and organs are interconnected. The health of one helps promote the health of another. We know that eating certain types of foods can help prevent diseases or reverse the symptoms of preexisting maladies, but did you know that a positive diet also has a positive effect on nearly everything that we do, voluntarily and involuntarily?
The decision we make relating to our health and wellness are life changing decisions. One of the best things that you can do for your health and happiness is realize that what you put in your body everyday has an immediate and future effect on your wellbeing. Food isn’t just food. Food is fuel. Food is medicine. Food is at the fundamental core of our existence. What we eat is who we become. Who do you want to be today? Tomorrow? Next year?
The idea of going further with food is to have this realization that eating isn’t a mindless activity that everyone has to do several times a day. Conscious and positive eating directly correlates to a more conscious and positive life. Your diet affects your heart health, your sleep patterns, your energy levels, your mental and emotional state, your immune system, and your brain function, just to a name a few key players. The food choices that we make can either positively or negatively affect these components of our health and wellness.
For this upcoming week, try and keep a food diary, even if just for a couple of days. Write down everything that you eat and drink throughout the day. Physically seeing and holding yourself accountable for the things that you put into your body will help shift your mindset from less mindful eating to more mindful eating.
How many things on your list are real food? How many things on your list are fresh verses preserved. How many things on your list would go bad in a week verses would keep well for years to come? How many glasses of water did you drink? How many foods on your list actually gave your energy? Made me you feel truly satisfied? These are the things we need to start thinking about before we take a bite or a sip. This is the month to start the rest of your months to come!
March is National Nutrition Month. To celebrate this important facet of our lives, we thought it was valuable to share this month a wealth of information about how diet and nutrition play a major role in your present and future health, how your diet affects your teeth and oral health, how small changes in diet can make monumental differences in your overall wellbeing, and what are some superfoods that you should be consuming on the regular. We want this month to inspire a movement toward eating “real food.”
The saying “you are what you eat” couldn’t be any truer. The way we treat and fuel our bodies is a determining factor as to how our bodies will treat us back. There are certain foods that promote anti-inflammation (remember, chronic inflammation is the main cause of most chronic maladies), help strengthen your bones, heart, and other bodily systems, improve your immune system, boost your energy level, and even make your skin glow, your hair shine, and your teeth sparkle.
Modern medicine often focuses predominantly on curing diseases and aliments, while nutrition can actually be used to prevent diseases from occurring in the first place or lessen the symptoms and effects of chronic issues. It’s truly amazing the power of a good diet! It is also amazing how easy eating a good diet can be. Sometimes we just need someone to show us the way though. That is what this month is for.
The combination of a clean and balanced diet, regular exercise, sufficient daily water intake, and seven to nine hours of sleep a night can make you feel like a super human! Add in Juice Plus+ to your routine and you will probably have never felt better. As we’ve discussed in previous posts, maintaining good health is about being proactive. Part of being proactive also includes diet and nutrition.
Stay tuned this month to learn all about how you can transform your diet to help you get in the best shape and health of your life. As with most things relating to health and wellness, little changes can make monumental differences.
Aside from the previously mentioned preventative actions that you can take to reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease (stop smoking, exercise more, improve your cholesterol levels, manage blood pressure and diabetes, maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress, eat a heart-healthy diet, and schedule biannual dental cleanings), there are actually a great number of unexpected ways in which you can significantly reduce your risk. Here are some of those ways.
- Indulge in dark chocolate. Chocolate contains flavonoids, which can help arteries stay more flexible and open. It is also believed that other properties in dark chocolate can help prevent clotting and the bad LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and turning into plague. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium, as well.
- Eat more legumes. Legumes like beans, lentils, and peas are great plant-based sources of protein that don’t contain a lot of unhealthy fat. Consuming legumes as a primary source of protein instead of animal protein lowers your risk of heart disease by up to 22% according to one study. They can also help control blood sugar.
- Enjoy a fish dish. Eating grilled, sautéed, baked, or roasted fish (sustainably sourced and NOT farm raised) once a week can help reduce your risk of a heart attack by 33%. Fish tacos on Tuesday anyone?
- Listen to classical music. A study from the University of Oxford found that listening to classical music can help lower blood pressure and slow down your heart beat. The study concluded that it didn’t matter what type of music the listener normally prefers, the affects were the same across the board for all different tastes.
- Drink a beer. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry discovered that those who drank one beer a day for a month lowered their cholesterol levels, increased their blood levels of heart-healthy antioxidants, and reduced their levels of a blood clot causing protein.
- Spice it up. Cardamom, thyme, cayenne, rosemary, coriander, basil, and cumin all have heart health benefits, as well as whole body benefits. Spicing up your meals is a delicious and easy way to protect and support your heart and other bodily systems.
- Incorporate ginger and turmeric into your life. Both ginger and turmeric have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. You can cook with these roots or make a hot tea with them. Inflammation is a major contributor to heart disease and other chronic aliments.
- Take a B-vitamin complex every morning. Taking a B-vitamin complex can help make your blood vessels open wider. It can also reduce your levels of homocysteine, which is a substance linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Go on a 20-minute bicycle ride every day. Sounds pretty simple, right? This heart healthy exercise can also boost your mood too. The more sedentary your life is, the higher your chances of developing cardiovascular problems is, as well as other health-related issues.
- Adopt a dog. The benefits of having a loyal furry friend are endless! Owning a dog is likely to make you more active and the unconditional love and companionship that you will receive has been scientifically linked to a reduction in the risk of having a heart attack and other cardiovascular issues.
- Go to bed earlier. Regularly sleeping less than seven hours a night can increase your chances of a heart attack, as well as contribute to higher levels of stress and blood pressure. The magic number seems to be eight hours.
Your mouth is a window into what’s going on in your body. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, 90% of systemic diseases show signs and symptoms inside of your mouth. A lot of diseases and conditions can also be tested for from your salvia, such as osteoporosis and certain types of cancer. Along with being a window into your overall health, the health of your teeth, gums, and oral cavity can greatly contribute to the health of the rest of your body.
Did you know that at any given moment there can be up to 500 different types of bacteria in your mouth? This is why it is so important that you brush and floss after each meal and come and visit us twice a year for a professional cleaning and exam. When the bacteria in your mouth gets out of control from lack of proper hygiene, plague builds up and the road to periodontal disease begins.
Numerous studies have taken place in recent years to examine the link between oral health and other deadly maladies such as cardiovascular disease. While the research is still on going, there appears to be a very strong link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. Oral inflammation caused by the build-up of plague may contribute to clogged arteries and blood clots elsewhere. Inflammation in your mouth may also cause inflammation in other parts of your body. And remember, inflammation is the root of most chronic diseases.
While there are many different factors that play into why one develops heart disease, ranging from genetics to personal lifestyle choices, taking care of your oral health is an easy preventative measure. It is far easier to prevent periodontal disease and heart disease than it is to deal with advanced stages of it. Brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal, coming in for biannual cleanings and check-ups, and drinking more water and avoiding sugary drinks and foods can help reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, which includes a heart attack or stroke.
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