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13 Foods That Can Whiten Your Teeth Naturally

13 Foods That Can Whiten Your Teeth Naturally

Products and services that promise to instantly brighten your smile can easily be found on grocery shelves or at the dentist’s office. But before reaching for that home whitening kit or enduring another hour sitting on your dentist’s chair, consider these 13 natural, sometimes unconventional (but often delicious!), tooth-whitening alternatives:

1. Oil (sesame oil or virgin coconut oil)

Oil, or more specifically, oil pulling, is when oil is used for gargling, not cooking. Sesame oil or virgin coconut oil is swished around inside the mouth and then spat out after fifteen minutes. As the substance is vigorously “pulled” back and forth between your teeth, the mucous membranes inside your mouth absorb nutrients from it.

Sesame oil has omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, and vitamins A, B and E; while virgin coconut oil has antibacterial properties that promote healthier gums and cavity-free teeth. Just make sure not to swallow any of the spittle that will form as you gargle.

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2. Strawberries

Malic acid is a natural astringent that acts as a bleaching agent, and it is present in most commercially available tooth-whitening products. Strawberries are filled with this key ingredient, which will whiten your teeth naturally, so make sure to add them to your basket on your next trip to the farmer’s market. The vitamin C in strawberries also aids in removing plaque.

3. Apples

Apples also contain high levels of malic acid. The act of biting and chewing on this crunchy fruit gently scrubs away debris, stains, and bacteria from your mouth.

4. Celery

Say goodbye to tooth stains as you snack on that piece of celery during your break! The fibrous cellulose act as a natural toothbrush, while the high water content stimulates saliva production, your natural mouth cleanser.

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5. Carrots

Chewing on these rabbit favorites raw will increase the amount of saliva in your mouth, cleaning it further. The vitamin A in carrots is good, not just for your eyesight, but helps strengthen tooth enamel as well.

6. Broccoli

When eaten raw, this vegetable gently abrades tooth surfaces, which removes unsightly stains. The iron found in broccoli protects tooth enamel by coating it with an invisible barrier that keeps cavity-causing acids away.

7. Cheese

Being devoid of color, most cheeses will not stain teeth. They also contain calcium and phosphorus, which help strengthen teeth and gums through re-mineralization. Those properties also help in insulating teeth from harmful acids in the mouth.

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8. Water

Drinking water helps you stay hydrated and prevents stains from forming on your teeth. Swish it in your mouth after eating or drinking pigment-rich foods and beverages to keep your smile white and bright. Water also reduces your mouth’s overall acidity, lessening the likelihood of damaging your tooth enamel. Just make sure you stick to flat water, as the sparkling variety increases the chances of eroding tooth surfaces.

9. Pineapple

Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is a natural stain remover that also helps separate plaque from the surface of your teeth. This prevents tooth erosion and discourages cavities from forming, resulting in healthier and whiter teeth.

10. Shiitake Mushrooms

This fungi is filled with lentinan, a type of sugar that does not promote tooth decay, but instead curbs its formation by preventing plaque-building bacteria from proliferating in your mouth.

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11. Salmon

The vitamin D found in salmon helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, nutrients that strengthen your teeth and contribute to a beautiful smile.

12. Basil

As a natural antibiotic, this herb has bacteria-inhibiting properties that prevent the formation of cavities.

13. Onions and Garlic

The key is in eating these raw. Doing so releases bacteria-reducing compounds called thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates, promoting healthier teeth by reducing the production of plaque. Being colorless, these foods will also not stain teeth.

Do you have other ideas on how to help whiten teeth naturally? Share them in the comments below!

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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