We’re all smiles over here! Whether it is a polite response to a greeting or a pose in the eyes of a camera lense, many people perceive smiling as a response to feeling a positive emotion. That might not be the case. In fact, the actual act of smiling triggers feelings of happiness in your mind. That grin is the instigator of your joy and has been your entire existence. 3D ultrasound technology has shown that developing babies are smiling while in the womb. Smiling can improve your quality of life, marriage, success in work and life expectancy.
We need all the help we can get when it comes to relieving stress and this happy expression can do just that. When an individual smiles the body releases endorphins which is a chemical response that triggers a positive feeling in the body, similar to morphine. We can release endorphins through exercise, laughter, sex and even eating chocolate. But that’s not the best part, research has found that smiling one time, just one smile, can stimulate your brain on the same level as eating 2,000 bars of chocolate. So next time, instead of reaching for that pleasure inducing chocolate, find a reason to smile. Save time, money and calories.
Smiling also improves relationships and builds connections with other people. Why is it that when you see someone smiling you cannot help but smile back? Research has shown that smiling is a natural evolutionary response that causes you to actually lose your normal control over your facial muscles. It’s biological to smile. By smiling at people you are not only improving your own health but improving the health of those around you. It’s a win win situation for everyone.
There are many health reasons to smile, so why is it as a society we have stopped smiling? Adults only smile 40 to 50 times a day, whereas on average children smile 400 times a day. Is it as simple as more responsibilities more problems? Besides increased stress, feeling self conscious about our teeth or our mouths can stop us from smiling. People who struggle with dental care and teeth maintenance are less likely to smile. Other than good personal hygiene, add happiness to the list of reasons why it is important to brush your teeth, have check ups and stay on top of your oral health. Smiling is an easy way to bring contagious positive energy in your life, so start showing them pearly white.
Calcium is your new best friend. And let me tell you why. First off, without a stable consumption of calcium, living would be impossible. True friend, am I right? Calcium builds bones and keeps them healthy, it helps our blood to clot, our muscles to contract and even our hearts to beat. If you never gave a thought to calcium then you might want to think again because calcium seems to play a role in just about every function of the body. (It’s one of those overly involved friends.) Interestingly enough, 99% of the calcium in our bodies can actually be found in our bones and teeth.
We are constantly losing calcium throughout the day which is why it is so important that we make an effort to get enough calcium. Your body can’t be turned onto autopilot to figure this out for itself because the body cannot produce calcium. That is why it is so important that you know where to find it and make sure that you are getting enough calcium in the day. Spend some quality time with calcium because if you don’t then your body has to tap into the reserves of calcium in your bones. This can lead to bone loss, low bone density and even broken bones.
There are many ways that you can monitor the amount of calcium you are consuming and knowing where to find it. The best option is always through your food. Certain foods such as dairy products and certain green vegetables are high in calcium. In addition, read the labels of other foods you are eating such as cereals, snacks and breads and look to see how much of your daily value of calcium can be found in those food items. I think you will be surprised to see that majority of the food you consume has a surplus of calcium.
However, if you are struggling to consume enough calcium there are supplements that can bridge the gap for you. Of course, when you are deciding to choose your supplement be wise because there are many options. Consult your doctor and do your research. Just remember to keep your good friend calcium close because a balanced and happy relationship with calcium makes for a healthy and happy life.
Just a friendly life hack to keep you ahead of the game and crushing it in the fresh breath department. There is nothing that makes you and the people around you feel better than a whiff of some fresh breath. There is a reason that people are constantly reaching for gum and mints throughout the day; fresh breath is important. And with that, fresh breath just got a little easier. You no longer have to depend on gum because there is food that naturally freshens your breath. No surprise that food, once again, has all the right answers. Just add these ingredients to your meals or eat them separately and you’ll be fresh and happy.
Lemon is the clear first answer. Is there anything that smells better than lemon? Research has even shown that the smell of lemon leaves a positive impression on others. So add some lemon to your next meal. If you’re feeling brave then go all in and suck on a lemon wedge but if you want a slightly tamer approach just add some to your water. The vitamin C from the lemon helps eliminate bad breath.
Yogurt is option number two. Not only is it incredibly good for you because of the bacteria cultivations it contains but it also freshens your breath. Double win in my book. Research has shown that a daily intake of yogurt can reduce your levels of hydrogen sulfide which is tied to bad breath. Just make sure that your spoonful of yogurt is plain and unsweetened.
Drum roll for option number three. Apples. If you’re on the go or packing a lunch it’s always a smart idea to include a good ole apple. Those apples seem to be unstoppable problem solvers so we’ll just add fresh breath to the list. Now this is because eating apples requires your mouth to produce more saliva, this helps clean your mouth.
Last and certainly unexpected is red bell peppers. Surprising, right? Well, red bell peppers and even broccoli are rich in vitamin-C. This help to keep bad breath in check because vitamin-C reduces the bacteria population that causes bad breath. So make sure to include any foods that are high in vitamin-C.
If you still think “being healthy” is based on a number, think again. Long gone are the days of people desperately fighting against their scale. We are welcoming in a new dawn of truly understanding what healthy means and how it is expressed differently for everyone. Because believe it or not healthy is not based on how you look; it’s based on how you feel.
Being healthy is not just about being physically fit but being emotionally strong and mentally free. That being said, targeting health is going to be different from past solutions that focused solely on physical appearance. That does not mean we throw exercising out the window. Movement is still important in physical as well as mental health. In fact, studies have shown that people who exercise regularly are 25% less likely to develop depression or any anxiety disorder over the course of five years. However, it’s important to recognize that movement can be accomplished in many different ways. If you love to run, then book your half marathon. If you love to rock climb or swim, do that instead. Personalize your movement.
Along with physical activity, the food we eat plays a significant role in our health. Stick to the foods that your grandma knows. Science and society constantly tell us about new dietary changes. Over time we have villainized just about every single food group including the ones we once swore by. Fruits, fats, potatoes, eggs, you name it we’ve blamed it! It can be challenging if we hitch our bandwagon to every new healthy-eating whim that comes along. Keep it simple and stick to the basics. On average, American diets exceed the recommended limits of calories from added sugars, refined sugar, refined grains, sodium and saturated fat. Limit your processed food consumption and choose things that are natural.
Another aspect of health is realistic goal setting. Although nobody does this perfectly and many people don’t tie it to health, setting goals is important for your mental and emotional wellbeing. People who set goals are 42% more likely to achieve them. If goal setting is difficult for you, set small easy ones and build off of them. Set a goal to read one page from a book each day. That’s easy enough to reach and most likely you will end up reading more than just the one page. In the end, it doesn’t matter that it was small; it matters that it was achieved.
Treatment related dry mouth is common and can making eating your once favorite foods a burden. A true shame because eating should always be a pleasant experience. If this is the case, don’t give up hope just yet. There is still a world of food out there that can be the perfect solution for dry mouth. One top of that you won’t have to give up any of the flavors that you love.
Soups galore. Oh the world we have entered. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside, soup is always a good idea and there are so many choices. Chicken noodle, pumpkin spice, lentil, the list goes on. So add soup to the menu because you won’t feel restricted one bit after a good bowl of soup. Just make sure that your soup is not too hot. Instead error on the side of baby bear’s porridge, a little cooled off and lukewarm.
Fruit in all of its goodness and glory. That’s right, fruit whether its fresh or canned, blended or whole. The options are endless. If it is hard to eat a solid apple or other favorite fruits then break out that blender. No matter what you mix together a fruit smoothie is always a good and healthy choice. Also, this will help you to get the nutrients and calories that you need without forcing yourself to painfully eat anything.
Now if a liquid diet seems unappetizing, know that you’ve got other options. With dry mouth it can be hard to eat solid foods. If this is your case, the best way to approach the food you want to eat is through temperature. Foods such as soft-cooked chicken and fish can be eaten easier at room temperature. Or try eating oatmeal with a heaping dose of milk and that has been left to cool.
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