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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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chocolate better than fluoride Why You Can Toss the Fluoride and Eat Chocolate Instead

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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