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10 Hacks to Save You From Morning Breath Fast

10 Hacks to Save You From Morning Breath Fast

If there’s one thing on this Earth that, on the face of it, makes no sense whatsoever, it’s morning breath. How could the simple act of breathing in and out for eight hours during sleep cause such a momentous shift in oral aroma?

Well, the simple answer to that is ‘Reduced Saliva Function’, which is a fancy term I’ve decided to coin that basically means when we sleep, our mouth produces a lot less saliva than when we’re awake. Saliva is responsible for getting rid of the bacteria we naturally produce in our mouth, so when it’s in short supply, that bacteria builds up and causes the bad breath we wake up to each day.

Perhaps you’re not that bothered about the secrets to fresh morning breath but for the sake of everyone you have to speak to after having just woken up, read on anyway.

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1. Don’t Eat Garlic or Onions

Yes, it’s annoying if you enjoy eating any kind of food because garlic and/or onions can be found in the vast majority of savoury dishes. But if you value fresh breath, you should at least try to avoid them, because the potent sulphur compounds in both foods are absorbed into the bloodstream and released when you exhale. Because of this, no amount of brushing or chewing gum can rid you of the odour, just mask it to an extent.

2. Don’t Skip a Brushing Session Before Bed

Your dentist told you to brush twice daily, right? We know the morning brush is to lather our mouths with minty freshness for the day ahead, but the evening brush is also for more than just your teeth. Without getting rid of the excess food in your mouth before you sleep, the bacteria that causes bad breath during the night has a major head start, and will turn your breath into a noxious gas come sunrise.

3. Don’t Drink Coffee or Alcohol

I know, having good breath is really starting to drag down all that’s fun in life, isn’t it? Both coffee and alcohol create a drying effect in the mouth, reducing saliva production and creating the perfect setting for fragrant bacteria to linger and multiply. A Friday night alcohol binge has the ability to repel anyone and everyone with its resultant morning breath, so maybe it isbetter to leave that one-night-stand at 4 am before you wake up next to them in the early afternoon.

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4. Don’t Use Mouthwash After Every Brush

Mouthwash is a double-edged sword in the arsenal of oral hygiene. Sure, it makes your breath smell like mint, but it also dries out your mouth (especially the ones that contain alcohol) and as we already know, that’s no good for keeping bad-smelling bacteria at bay. Using it in the morning is fine as our saliva can omit that dryness relatively quickly, but using it at night will keep your breath fresh for an hour and then serve to increase the rate at which the bacteria multiplies.

5. Don’t Sleep With Your Mouth Open

So this one’s slightly more difficult to fix yourself because we all have our preferred way of sleeping but it will really help. The fast moving air that goes in and out of your mouth (otherwise known as breathing) whilst you’re asleep causes dryness – like a hair dryer – and once again encourages bacteria to settle. Breathing through your nose means that the air skips your mouth and what little saliva there is has a better chance of moving the bacteria away.

6. Try Oil Pulling

Now, I say ‘try’ oil pulling because it might not be the best option for the impatient ones amongst you. This fresh breath method originated in India around 3,000 years ago but the art is simple enough. Take a teaspoon of oil (coconut is recommended but sesame and sunflower work as well) and swish it around your mouth for 20 minutes – yes, that’s 20 minutes. Studies have shown that when the microorganisms in your mouth come into contact with oil, they adhere to it, and so get disposed of when you eventually spit the oil out.

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7. Brush Your Tongue

Yup, turns out this little idea wasn’t just created for toothbrush manufacturers to flog us brand new gimmicks. Just like your teeth (and in fact your whole mouth) the tongue is a breeding ground of bacteria that causes bad breath, so if you don’t brush it, they will multiply throughout the day and night. The good news is that a regular old toothbrush is more than capable of getting the job done although brushing too vigorously could damage your taste buds, so be careful!

8. Smell Your Floss

Ok, I know – gross, right? But smelling your floss (after you’ve used it obviously) is a wonderful solution to that age old problem of telling whether you yourself have bad breath. This technique, brought to you by dentist John Woodall, DDS, dictates that if your floss smells bad or there is blood on it, there are foul odours in your mouth. If that is the case, then go through this list until that floss is smelling as fresh as a person with beautifully minty breath.

9. Drink Lots of Water

Water is the perfect on-the-go cleaning agent for your mouth. Either drinking it straight down or swirling it around in your mouth and spitting it out (not recommended in most public and social situations) flushes away the bacteria we’ve learned to hate so mercilessly on this list. Drinking water also encourages the production of saliva, which of course we all know is your most powerful natural cleaning agent that dissolves the bad smelling substances in food and drink.

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10. Chew Sugarless Gum

Gum is good for the mouth in two ways: it helps loosen excess food and dead cells from the teeth, gums and tongue, and most of the time it’s laced with some sort of delightful flavour that makes your breath smell terrific (mint being the most effective). Sugarless gum eradicates the downside of having sugar erode your teeth and chewing it even after it’s lost its flavour promotes your mouth’s manufacture of saliva.

Featured photo credit: Joshua Hoffman via photopin.com

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8 Things to Watch for If You’re Considering Being Vegetarian

8 Things to Watch for If You’re Considering Being Vegetarian

Vegetarianism has been around for a long time, finding favor with many people, including Pythagoras clear back around 580 B.C. It’s been presented as one of the most healthy diets around, including being touted by the Egyptians to the point of abstaining from meat and animal clothing due to karmic beliefs. The vegetarian society (vegsoc.org) defines vegetarianism as:

“Someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish* or by-products of slaughter.”

While it’s pretty obvious that there are multiple benefits to following a vegetarian diet, it’s always good to be informed about the cons of this dietary choice as well.

Outlined below are several things you might want to be aware of before you say good-bye to meat forever. Whether you are a current vegetarian, or contemplating making a shift, keep in mind these 8 things to keep yourself healthy.

1. You could suffer from B12 vitamin deficiency

The B vitamins are especially important for stress management, adrenal health, and brain function. Vegetarians in particularly are at risk for B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is attached to the protein in animal products and without enough B12 you can suffer from depression, fatigue, and an inability to concentrate.

Due to its attachment to animal proteins, B12 is the hardest for vegetarians to obtain when they don’t eat dairy or eggs in their diet. This essential little vitamin can be found in some algae and has been added to some yeast, but research doesn’t currently provide enough information to say whether or not these forms of B12 are of good quality and can provide adequate supplementation.

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The body is unable to make this vitamin, meaning it has to be taken in through food or supplementation. Essential for making red blood cells, DNA, nerves and various other function in the body, a Harvard Health Medical report in January of 2013 found symptoms of a B12 deficiency can present in sneaky ways including depression, paranoia, delusion, and loss of taste and smell.

2.  You could suffer from higher states of anxiety/depression, lower sense of well-being

According to a CBS Atlanta report, vegetarians suffered from a higher rate of anxiety and depression than their counterparts. Read the full report here. Depression and/or anxiety can be a result of many possible deficiencies including essential vitamins and amino acids you can find only in meat products, including Omega-3s from wild caught salmon.

Without the correct supplementation and proper understanding of diet, including the importance of micro and macro nutrients, depression and anxiety can become a serious problem, bringing down the overall health and well-being of vegetarians.

Even though reports on health and lifestyle show vegetarians have a lower BMI and lower consumption of alcohol and drugs, it also shows they suffer from more chronic illnesses and more visits to the doctor than their meat eating counterparts.

3. You could suffer from excess weight

When you go vegetarian it opens up a lot of food, but just because there isn’t any meat in front of you, it doesn’t mean it’s necessary healthy. Though pizza and beer technically fall under the vegetarian diet, it’s not a healthy choice for your waist line.

Just because being a vegetarian is associated with a healthier lifestyle in many cases, doesn’t mean it’s always true. Making bread and pasta your staples and not understanding where your protein sources should be coming from, can pack on body fat, which increases your chances of health issues such as diabetes and chronic inflammation.

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If the choice to go vegetarian happens on a whim without the proper understanding of food control, portion, and nutritionally dense alternatives you can find yourself reaching for vegetarian foods, which could cause serious problems down the road. Nuts are a good example, but just because something is touted as healthy, it doesn’t mean, your should eat it in excess.

Eating too many calories in fat will still cause you to gain weight. Eating too many calories in carbs will cause you to gain weight. Eating too many calories in protein will cause you to gain weight. See a pattern here? Not to mention you’ll miss out on important nutrients the body needs by over-eating in one area and under-eating in another. Re-read number 2.

4. You could have a higher risk of heart disease

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables should be a goal we all strive for, but when you cut out meat, you also cut out what is known as complete protein, which you find in animal by-products. Complete means more than just the essential amino acids, it means those amino acids contain dietary sulfur. Without enough dietary sulfur, which is found almost exclusively in fish and pasture feed grass beef, the body will struggle with the biological activities of both protein and enzymes.

The effects cascade downward, effecting bones, joints, tissues, and even metabolic issues. In short, a low intake of sulfur associated with a vegetarian diet can result in high blood levels of homocysteine, which may lead to blood clots in your arteries, blood clots raise your risk of stroke and heart attack. To read the full report click here.

5. You could suffer from low cholesterol

I know, at first you’re thinking, wait, low cholesterol is a good thing. Yes, it is, when it’s LDL cholesterol, which you get from eating an unhealthy diet, but low HDL (good cholesterol) can cause serious health issues. HDL, according to the mayo clinic, is in every cell in our body and can help fend off heart disease, not enough of it though, and too much LDL can go the other way, will be building up plaque in the arteries and leading to heart disease.

Cholesterol, the good kind, is actually vitally important to the making of every steroid hormone in the body! There are six, and without cholesterol the body is unable to convert hormones, and it can cause damage in the endocrine system.

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A vegetarian without a balanced diet, meaning enough protein, enough veggies, and enough good fats, could disrupt his or her adrenals, which are directly connected to the endocrine system and the body’s ability to make and synthesize the hormones your body needs. The six major hormones in the body help do everything from metabolizing carbohydrates, to the electrolyte balance, to making sure if you’re a woman you can carry a healthy baby through pregnancy.

6. You could suffer from lower bone density and osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis, the disease where the bones get thinner, weaker, and fractures become a high risk with day to day movements. It’s often associated with the older generation, but your risk for osteoporosis increases with a lower bone density. Bone density can be directly related to diet and lifestyle, along with many other factors.

When it comes to eating a vegetarian diet it’s possible to miss getting enough of the right nutrients, causing the bones to begin to break down. If your vegetarian diet isn’t balanced and providing you with the correct nutrients and the means to absorb the correct nutrients, your body could begin to break down.

Recently, Professor Tuan Nguyen of Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research led a review of both Australian and Vietnamese research around the bone density of vegetarian versus their meat eating counterparts. Helping Professor Nguyen was Dr. Ho-Pham Thuc Lan from Pham Ngoc Thac University of Medicine in Vietnam. The review was designed to sort though years of research surrounded by discrepancies and inadequate clinical data.

At the end of the review, with vegetarianism rising to around 5% of the populace in the western continents, and with wide spread osteoporosis reports – 2 million in Australia and closer to 54 million in America – the decrease in bone density of vegetarians is a serious issue which needs to be addressed, if you’ve cut meat and animal by-products out of your life.

7. You could be at a higher risk for colorectal cancer

Cancer seems to be running rampant through America, and it’s within everyone’s best interest to do all they can to keep their body healthy and happy to prevent cancer from finding a place to grow. In most studies it’s been found vegetarians are at lower risk for cancer, but a European Oxford study with over 63 thousand men and women in the United Kingdom found the risk for colorectal cancer higher in vegetarians than in meat-eaters.

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Extra care needs to be taken when establishing a diet to ensure the body is receiving and able to up take all the important nutritional benefits and requirements from food.

8. You could end up eating more processed food

Depending on how deep you choose to go as a vegetarian, it could create the need to substitute a lot of food and recipe ingredients in your diet, but what happens when you cut out meat, eggs, and dairy and your recipe calls for meat, eggs, and/or dairy? You have to end up using a “healthy” vegetarian alternative which include stabilizers, thickeners, and various other ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Lauren from Empowered Substance puts it into a great perspective with her comparison of Earth Balance, a vegetarian approved butter replacement compared to butter. She points out the ingredients in Earth Balance consist of: Palm fruit oil, canola oil, safflower oil, flax oil, olive oil, salt, natural flavor, pea protein, sunflower lecithin, lactic acid, annatto color. Meanwhile, the ingredient list in butter, is much shorter. It’s butter.

That’s only one example. To appeal to the vegetarian lifestyle food manufacturers have found alternatives which fall under vegetarian, but aren’t necessarily healthy for you. Consider baked goods, which though vegetarian can be filled with more sugars and binders than regular baked goods with diary products. It’s the same with vegetarian items like mac and cheese, without using real cheese you may just be getting oil and thickeners, without even the smallest amount of nutritional value.

The reality is, most vegetarian substitutes contain the same junky alternatives which even meat eaters should be avoiding to remain happy and healthy.

On one final note, whichever lifestyle you choose to work with, remember anything in excess – including protein and animal by products – isn’t healthy for the body. It takes a wide spectrum of food and nutrients to keep the beautiful body you travel around in all day running in prime condition.

 

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