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Why You Can Toss the Fluoride and Eat Chocolate Instead

Why You Can Toss the Fluoride and Eat Chocolate Instead

A dentist recommending chocolate? Yes, you read correctly.

Properties in dark chocolate have been proven to strengthen enamel, ward off tooth decay, and may actually help prevent cavities!

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Here’s where the gauntlet really gets thrown down: chocolate may be more effective than fluoride at these teeth strengthening activities.

Studies in England and Japan have shown that chocolate is effective at fighting cavities and dental plaque in the mouth. According to the research, chocolate is better at this than fluoride — and, of course, a much safer alternative.

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How can this be possible? Isn’t chocolate full of sugar and sugar is bad for your teeth?

The mechanism actually resides within the coca bean husk, which contains a compound called CBH. CBH is a white crystalline powder that has a chemical makeup similar to caffeine, which helps harden tooth enamel, making it less susceptible to decay. CBH can both bolster enamel and deter the bacteria that cause decay.

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Another compound in chocolate, theobromine, was found to be more effective at remineralizing teeth than fluoride in a University of Texas study. Theobromine, fluoride, and saliva were all tested to see what their effects were on tooth enamel. The enamel treated with theobromine showed a faster rate of remineralization than the enamel treated with fluoride. Theobromine does this by making the teeth less vulnerable to bacterial acid erosion that can eventually lead to cavities.

While fluoride is effective at strengthening tooth enamel, it also poses many risks that chocolate does not, including toxicity and fluorosis. Considering chocolate isn’t dangerous if swallowed in the same way that fluoride is, and that it is more effective at doing what fluoride’s supposed role is in strengthening teeth, this is fantastic news.

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Unfortunately, none of these health benefits of chocolate come in sugary milk chocolate or white chocolate. To get the benefits, you need to go with a low-sugar dark chocolate that contains ideally 70 to 80% cacao.

Hopefully, this research will mean that chocolate can leave behind its bad name as a cavity-causing treat and begin to make its way into toothpastes. (That said, don’t be fooled by chocolate flavored toothpastes that don’t contain any chocolate compounds that strengthen teeth.) It should also encourage us to reexamine the sugary milk chocolate we eat and replace it with the good stuff that strengthens teeth and comes along with a whole host of other health benefits.

How to Reap the Benefits?

  • Choose dark chocolate with less than 6-8 grams of sugar per serving.
  • Choose a dark chocolate that is at least 70% cacao content. Work your way up to 80% or higher cacao content — once you get used to it, you won’t believe you ever enjoyed sugary milk chocolate!
  • Be aware that chocolate is a calorie-rich food, so modify your calorie intake accordingly.
  • Choose raw chocolate if possible, as it is less processed, and more of the antioxidants are left intact.
  • Eat 3-4 oz of chocolate a day to lower your chance of getting cavities. Don’t brush right after you eat the chocolate to let it sit on your teeth.
  • Don’t forget basic oral hygiene and regular dentist check-ups. Studies have indicated that chocolate has “powerful anti-cavity potential” but nothing replaces proper flossing technique, strong brushing habits, and seeing your dentist regularly to prevent disease in the mouth.
  • Consider tossing your fluoride toothpaste. There is no doubt that fluoride remineralizes tooth structure and I do recommend it for certain people in certain circumstances, however, with so much fluoride in our environment and with issues like fluorosis on the rise, it’s certainly worth reconsidering.

Do all of this for your teeth, but enjoy the other benefits of mood elevation and better blood flow as well!

Featured photo credit: AlexanderStein via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

8 Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle That Get You to Live With Less

8 Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle That Get You to Live With Less

Minimalism is a way to put a stop to the gluttony of the world around us. It’s the opposite of every advertisement we see plastered on the radio and TV. We live in a society that prides itself on the accumulation of stuff; we eat up consumerism, material possessions, clutter, debt, distractions and noise.

What we don’t seem to have is any meaning left in our world.

By adopting a minimalist lifestyle, you can throw out what you don’t need in order to focus on what you do need.

I know first hand how little we actually need to survive. I was fortunate enough to live in a van for four months while traveling throughout Australia. This experience taught me valuable lessons about what really matters and how little we really need all this stuff we surround ourselves with.

Less is more.

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Living a minimalist lifestyle is reducing.There are a few obvious benefits of minimalism such as less cleaning and stress, a more organized household and more money to be found, but there are also a few deep, life-changing benefits.

What we don’t usually realize is that when we reduce, we reduce a lot more than just stuff.

Consider just some of the benefits of living with fewer possessions:

1. Create Room for What’s Important

When we purge our junk drawers and closets we create space and peace. We lose that claustrophobic feeling and we can actually breathe again. Create the room to fill up our lives with meaning instead of stuff.

2. More Freedom

The accumulation of stuff is like an anchor, it ties us down. We are always terrified of losing all our ‘stuff’. Let it go and you will experience a freedom like never before: a freedom from greed, debt, obsession and overworking.

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3. Focus on Health and Hobbies

When you spend less time at Home Depot trying unsuccessfully to keep up with the Joneses, you create an opening to do the things you love, things that you never seem to have time for.

Everyone is always saying they don’t have enough time, but how many people really stop and look at what they are spending their time doing?

You could be enjoying a day with your kids, hitting up the gym, practicing yoga, reading a good book or traveling. Whatever it is that you love you could be doing, but instead you are stuck at Sears shopping for more stuff.

4. Less Focus on Material Possessions

All the stuff we surround ourselves with is merely a distraction, we are filling a void. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy comfort. After the initial comfort is satisfied, that’s where our obsession with money should end.

We are bombarded by the media presenting promises of happiness through materialistic measures. It’s no wonder we struggle everyday. Resist those urges. It’s an empty path, it won’t make you happy.

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It’s hard not to get roped into the consumerism trap. I need constant reminders that it’s a false sense of happiness. I enjoy stuff, but I also recognize that I don’t need it.

5. More Peace of Mind

When we cling onto material possessions we create stress because we are always afraid of losing these things. By simplifying your life you can lose your attachment to these things and ultimately create a calm, peaceful mind.

The less things you have to worry about, the more peace you have, and it’s as simple as that.

6. More Happiness

When de-cluttering your life, happiness naturally comes because you gravitate towards the things that matter most. You see clearly the false promises in all the clutter, it’s like a broken shield against life’s true essence.

You will also find happiness in being more efficient, you will find concentration by having refocused your priorities, you will find joy by enjoying slowing down.

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7. Less Fear of Failure

When you look at Buddhist monks, they have no fear, and they have no fear because they don’t have anything to lose.

In whatever you wish to pursue doing you can excel, if you aren’t plagued with the fear of losing all your worldly possessions. Obviously you need to take the appropriate steps to put a roof over your head, but also know that you have little to fear except fear itself.

8. More Confidence

The entire minimalist lifestyle promotes individuality and self reliance. This will make you more confident in your pursuit of happiness.

What’s Next? Go Minimalism.

If you’re ready to start living a minimalist lifestyle, these articles can help you to kickstart:

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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