antioxidants

Not All Chocolate Is Created Equal: The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

October 29th, 2015

dark-chocolateAlthough people usually associate chocolate with trips to the dentist's, eating certain types of chocolate in moderation may actually be beneficial for your health. If you want to indulge on candy this Halloween, dark chocolate is one of the better options. Here are some reasons why:

1. It's nutritious.

Dark chocolate with high cacao content is packed with nutrients. One 100 gram bar (although we recommend consuming dark chocolate in moderation) high in cacao content contains a wealth of fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese. Despite the sugar and calories, there is also plenty of potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and selenium that is beneficial for your health. The fats in dark chocolate include mostly saturated fats, which are recommended over unsaturated fats, and some polyunsaturated fats, which help lower your chances of developing heart disease, stroke, and high cholesterol. Dark chocolate is also a great choice if you want an energy boost without having to worrying about not being able to sleep at night - its caffeine level is minimal compared to that of coffee.

2. It has tons of antioxidants.

Dark chocolate holds the ranking of the sixth top antioxidant food. This is due to the fact that it is packed with biologically active organic compounds (polyphenols, flavonols, catechins, etc.) which act as antioxidants. In addition, cacao has greater antioxidant activity than many other fruits such as blueberries and Acai berries. Antioxidants help prevent or delay cell damage caused by free radicals, which can effectively help lower risks of cancer and other diseases.

3. It has great benefits for your blood (and your brain)!

According to a study from JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), cacao and dark chocolate can at least mildly improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure. High-flavonol cacao also improves blood flow in the brain and cognitive function, especially for elders with mild mental impairment. Because it contains stimulants such as caffeine, dark chocolate is especially helpful for improving short-term brain function.

4. It's great for your skin!

Flavonols enhance blood flow to the skin, increase hydration , and prevent skin damage from the sun. According to one study, the amount of UV radiation required to produce sunburn or redness within 24 hour of exposure increased significantly after eating high-flavonol dark chocolate for 12 weeks.

5. It can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The substances in dark chocolate prevent cholesterol from accumulating in the arteries and protect against the reaction of unhealthy cholesterol with free radicals. One study published in Clinical Nutrition in 2012 observed that eating chocolate more than 5 times per week reduced cardiovascular disease risks by 57%!

After saving some dark chocolate for yourself, feel free to donate the rest of your candy to our Annual Candy Drive! This November 1st through 5th, we will be collecting candy and handwritten notes for our troops at our office in Wellesley. We are particularly excited about our new grand prize of $1,000 that will be awarded to the school’s PTO who donates the most candy. We hope that you have a happy Halloween, and are looking forward to seeing you at the Candy Drive Nov 5th, 10AM at our office!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

Resources:

http://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/

http://www.trustedhealthproducts.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/dark-chocolate.jpg

Fall in Love with These Healthy Fall Foods!

October 15th, 2015

fall-foodFall is finally here! From the beautiful leaves to the abundance of pumpkin spice products, there are so many reasons to love fall. And here’s another one: your favorite fall foods can also be super beneficial for your oral health!

Here are some delicious foods that may lead to better results at your next dental appointment!

  1. Apples

You’ve probably heard the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This saying is so well-known for a reason: this delicious fruit that comes in so many varieties has many health benefits. They have antioxidants, which can help prevent slow aging and chronic illnesses.  Furthermore, quercetin, a compound that is found in the skin of apples, can reduce risks of cancer, heart attacks, and asthma attacks. Apples have plenty of water in them, which does wonders for your teeth because water stimulates production of saliva. They also help wash food and neutralize acids from the surfaces of your teeth. The crunch in apples even helps remove dental plaque by loosening particles of food between teeth.

 

  1. Bone Broth

Everybody loves a good soup full of vegetables, broth, herbs, and spices. Bone broth is great for your immune system and digestive system. It’s also packed with calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium, which all do wonders for your teeth.

 

  1. Fish

If you love eating fish, you’re in luck. According to the Journal of Dietetic Association, fish oil can help fight gum disease. Salmon is especially beneficial for your teeth, because it can treat and prevent periodontitis.

 

  1. Cranberries

Best enjoyed October through November, cranberries not only ward off urinary tract infections, but they also restrain cancer growth and prevent oral diseases. 

 

  1. Pumpkins and Squash

Nutritionists at the National Institute of Health claim that foods rich in carotenoids, such as pumpkins and squash, can lower the risk of certain types of cancer. Pumpkins can also lead to healthy vision and cell growth, because they are great sources of alpha- and beta-carotene . Their seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid, which controls heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

If you’re craving dessert, try pumpkin pie (without the crust, which is high in fat and cholesterol). This classic fall treat contains a ton of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and iron. The boost of iron will keep you away from tooth decay and tongue inflammation. Pumpkin spice, a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves, is also especially beneficial for your health. These spices all have phytonutrients, which are anti-inflammatory plant compounds that promote healing in cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Cloves fight cancer and blood clots, but they are also used for oral health. They have anaesthetic and antibacterial properties, which can relieve toothache and infections.

 

  1. Raw Dairy

Raw dairy (raw milk, cheese, butter, yogurt) that isn’t pasteurized or homogenized is a great source of calcium, which prevents tooth decay and gum disease.

 

  1. Green Tea

Containing natural catechins, green tea reduces plaque and by destroying plaque-causing bacteria. Enjoy a cup, but don’t forget to chew sugar-free gum afterwards to avoid teeth staining.

 

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.therabreath.com/articles/oral-care-tips-and-advice/best-nutritious-fall-foods-20798/

http://greatist.com/health/healthiest-fruits-and-vegetables-fall

http://www.myprimetimenews.com/spice-it-up-for-fall/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17296290

http://naturallysavvy.com/care/dental-care-the-benefits-of-cloves

http://realfoodreallocalinstitute.org/huntington-wva/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2013/10/fall-food.jpg

Summertime in the City: What's Healthy and What's Not

June 2nd, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 12.31.25 PM

June is finally here and it will be hard for many of us to resist a cold drink on a hot summer day. With the many family barbecues and outings, you're sure to be in for a treat this summer. During the warmer months, there are many tasty foods and drinks at our convenience. However, some of these items aren’t so tooth-friendly. As we all know, it is important to limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks we intake to ensure a healthy smile. For the health of your mouth, which links to your overall health, try adding these healthy options to your plate and glass this summer:

Drink, Drink, and Drink more water:

A nice glass of water can be a refreshing drink as you relax by the poolside. Water is important for staying hydrated, especially when your active and the sun is shining. Your smile will also thank you if you rinse your mouth with water after meals. Water, particularly tap water, even has the benefit of containing fluoride.

Watermelon:

Watermelon, made of 92% water, is another tasty  and healthy snack that will keep you hydrated this summer. It contains  lycopene, which helps keep skin protected. Also, many foods that are mainly composed of water have fewer calories. Your kids may even enjoy making watermelon popsicles!

Milk:

Milk is a great alternative to sugary drinks because it has been found to reduce levels of acid produced by plaque bacteria. Milk helps remineralize teeth by providing calcium to keep your teeth strong.

Sugar-Free Gum:

Chewing sugar-free gum can help to stimulate saliva flow and ultimately help to wash away left behind foods. However, it is not clear whether or not xylitol, commonly found in sugar-free gum, actually lowers the risk of developing dental cavities.

Strawberries:

Strawberries are in season and packed with healthy ingredients. Strawberries contain malic acid, which is known to whiten enamel. They also contain many antioxidants and vitamin C, which can help to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol, and promote eye health.

Cheese:

Cheese is full of calcium, the protein casein, and vitamin D, all good for the health of your teeth. Researchers have discovered that cheese helps increases the pH levels of dental plaque, helping to reduce tooth decay.

Pears:

Pears contain a wealth of fiber that will benefit your teeth. They help to produce saliva and lower plaque levels in the mouth.

Apples:

Crispy apples are full of vitamins and nutrients. Full of water and lots of fiber, apples help to scrub and clean the surface of your teeth.

Vegetables:

Veggies ranging from carrots rich in Vitamin A to dark leafy greens rich in iron, can make a great snack to chew on. Including vegetables in your diet is essential for the health of your teeth and body.

Cranberries:

Research has suggested that cranberries help lower the risk of cavities by helping to keep plaque from sticking to teeth. But, you may want to pay attention to the labels on cranberry products, as many of them can contain added sugars to compensate for their naturally tart flavor.

 

Some foods and drinks that are hard-to-resist, but should be avoided to keep strong and healthy teeth, include:

 

Soft Drinks, Sports Drinks, Sweet Tea, and Juice: Drinking a cold soda may sound refreshing, but it is damaging to tooth enamel. It can also dehydrate your body and make you feel more thirsty. Even sports drinks, artificially sweetened drinks, and concentrated fruit juice contain sugars for the bacteria in dental plaque to feed on and produce harmful acids. The acid then tears away at tooth enamel and can eventually lead to tooth decay. Highly acidic drinks can even cause heartburn and stomach pain. Sipping on these drinks throughout the day rather than at meal times should also be avoided because saliva production is not at its peak. Saliva is important for washing away bacteria and food particles.

Ice Cream:

The many flavors of ice cream are delicious, but unfortunately is full of sugar. Some individuals may also experience tooth sensitivity. Sensitive teeth results when the dentin underneath tooth enamel becomes exposed. This can cause pain, but can be treated. If you do have a taste for ice cream, try and select ice cream with less sugar.

Citrus Fruits:

As we all know, limes, lemons, oranges, and grapefruits are very acidic. These fruits contain citric acid and can be damaging to teeth if consumed frequently.

Vinegar:

A common practice, but an unhealthy one, is to mix vegetables with vinegar. This acidic combination can erode tooth enamel. Pickles are also very acidic.

Granola and Energy Bars:

These items may appear to be good for teeth, but often the dried fruit and other ingredients can be sticky, chewy, and hard to get off of teeth.

Candy: 

We all know that candy contains a lot of sugar, and should be avoided for the protection of your smile.

 

It is important to remember that if you do choose some of the not-so-healthy foods and beverages, consume them in moderation. Also, avoid snacking between meals, as acids can stick around for up to 20 minutes after eating. Not to mention, be mindful of the dyes used in many foods and beverages that can cause tooth discoloration. Practice good oral health habits and lean more towards a tooth-friendly diet.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.therabreath.com/articles/blog/fresh-breath-happenings/teeth-friendly-summer-food-ideas-34659.asp

http://greatist.com/health/healthy-teeth-foods

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-watermelon-popsicles-10713

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dwBqWs6_udQ/UBYvQhjW5TI/AAAAAAAACBY/YdNg1weBEVk/s1600/watermelon+popsicles.JPG

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