Category Archives: Organic Education
- Low Blood Sugar Related to Willpower and Violence? (theafterburnsg.wordpress.com)
- Science Says Sugar Is Toxic; Are ‘Natural’ Sweeteners Better? (blisstree.com)
- Top 5 herbs and spices that help lower blood sugar (blogginghounds.wordpress.com)
- *Ten Foods that fight fat (islamicchamper.wordpress.com)
- Health Benefits Of Chlorella (refreshingnews99.blogspot.com)
- Juice Benefits, Smoothie Benefits & Juice Or Blend (williams-sonoma.com)
Written by Courtney, Contributing Writer
Several years ago, I started to question some of the ingredients in commercial toothpastes as well as the approach of modern dentistry in general. I view some modern dentistry practices as appropriate and beneficial. Yet, the foundation of today’s dental philosophy is similar to the mainstream medical model in that it focuses on treatment and not prevention.
This begins in utero (even pre-conception), when the teeth and jaw structure are formed, is well established through breastfeeding, and must be adhered to for one’s lifetime. Avoiding dental decay and disease through diet is challenging, as it means one must stray far from the standard American diet.
When most dentists detect a cavity, they suggest filling it, usually without thinking twice. However, what if teeth could be remineralized through a proper diet and oral hygiene routine? I believe they can.
Once drilled and filled, teeth are weakened and susceptible to further decay, but I believe that if we focus on prevention, we can avoid most cavities and subsequent oral health decline as a result of filling cavities.
Most of my teeth were drilled and filled in childhood and young adulthood, but I don’t want my children to go down the same path and struggle with susceptibility to decay for a lifetime because of it. I’m trying to learn more about prevention and re-mineralization so that my children can reap the benefits of a healthy mouth, which contributes to overall health.
Image by makelessnoise
There are several factors involved in tooth remineralization, mainly diet, Ph of saliva, and oral hygiene practices. Diet and saliva are inter-related and quite complex, I encourage you to dig deeply into the link between nutrition and oral health and possibly re-examine your own assumptions there. I hope you will take a closer look at your own oral hygiene routine as well, as what I’m sharing with you today is based solely on my research and conclusions as a mom. I am not a dentist!
Toothpaste cleans teeth and remove plaque, which is beneficial, but if your goal is to maintain healthy teeth through a proper diet, mainstream toothpastes will work against your efforts. Furthermore, they contain questionable ingredients that may do more harm than good.
Glycerin – Certainly not bad in and of itself if properly sourced, but its use in toothpaste may not be ideal. Some suggest it may leave a layer of film on the teeth that prevents remineralization. It can also be dangerous to our health if processed with dangerous chemicals, and I assume most toothpastes contain the cheapest possible source.
Saccharin – This was the first ingredient I questioned when I started to re-think my approach to dental health and toothpaste several years ago. I avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague, as most of them are proven carcinogens, several contribute to obesity and other health problems, and some are excitotoxins, meaning they cause rapid firing and death of brain cells. And yet, we see the artificial sweetener, saccharin, in our toothpaste.
Fluoride – You knew I’d get to this one. I don’t claim to be an expert on fluoride, but from my basic understanding, fluoride is highly toxic in the form found in toothpaste and never found in nature in this state. If you’re trying to rebuild tooth enamel, just like with glycerin, a “protective” layer of fluoride is not ideal. It is also suggested that the layer it forms on teeth is much thinner than originally thought and is useless against protecting teeth from decay anyway.
A Safer Alternative
If you’re looking for a safe alternative to the common toothpastes, there are many options, from the more expensive natural toothpastes (be careful– some contain some of these questionable ingredients) to simple recipes you can make at home.
I’ve been experimenting with my own homemade toothpaste recipe for a while now, after I realized how easy it is to make on my own and that I don’t need to spend a fortune on store-bought brands.
The most basic toothpaste alternative is a simple tooth powder. You can use baking soda alone or combine it with salt for a gentle yet abrasive clean, or you can use a mineral powder such as calcium and/or magnesium. I use Natural Calm brand. Some prefer to add hydrogen peroxide to their tooth powder right before use. I rinse with hydrogen peroxide, so I don’t add it to my powder or paste.
I began to add coconut oil to my recipe to form a paste (and for its beneficial antibacterial properties) and essential oils for flavor. For a while, my recipe included coconut oil, baking soda, a dash of salt, and essential oil.
I’ve since been searching for a solution to the salty taste of the baking soda and salt, which my children aren’t crazy about, and have recently decided to add xylitol to help combat the saltiness. I’m new to the use of xylitol, but it does appear to be safe and even looks promising for cavity prevention. I also recently added trace mineral drops to my paste. I use these to add minerals back into our reverse osmosis filtered water when making water kefir and I thought it would be a great addition to our toothpaste as well.
Homemade Toothpaste2 Tbsp. coconut oil 2 Tbps. baking soda 2 Tbsp. calcium magnesium powder 2 Tbps. xylitol or green stevia powder 2 tsp. real sea salt 20 drops essential oil (I use peppermint.) 10 drops trace minerals
My style recipe would simply read: equal parts coconut oil, baking soda, calcium/magnesium powder, xylitol with a dash of salt, a few drops trace minerals, and essential oils to taste.
This toothpaste is a great follow up to oil pulling. Have you looked into oil pulling? Both oil pulling and a natural toothpaste like this one, in addition to flossing, can keep your teeth clean and healthy. With a proper diet that supports the necessary minerals for re-mineralization of teeth, I believe teeth can be healthier and whiter.
From what I understand, yellow teeth can be the result of reduced/demineralized enamel that allows the dentin beneath to show through. By strengthening that enamel through re-mineralization, teeth are not only healthier and free of cavities but also naturally whiter.
Stephanie’s note: For more on the importance of diet for both preventing and reversing tooth decay, and the process of remineralizing teeth, I would highly recommend the book Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel. I’m currently reading it and even though I had learned some of these things previously (through Weston Price, etc.) I wish that I had looked more specifically into this topic long ago!
An article found at http://www.keeperofthehome.org
- Rethinking Oral Health Care: (nalonmit.wordpress.com)
- Toothpaste: What’s In It (And What To Avoid) (blisstree.com)
- How I Remineralized my Tooth Cavities Without Dentistry (arealfoodlover.wordpress.com)
The benefits of coconut oil and a new warning about olive oil
by Doctor Joseph Mercola
A common question that many people have is whether food should be eaten uncooked. I personally believe that consuming a majority of your food uncooked is a cornerstone of optimal health.
Typically, the less processed and heat-treated the food is, the more nutritious and healthier it is going to be.
Nevertheless, most people prefer to cook their food, at least occasionally. When you do, you’re going to cook with some form of oil.
The question is, what’s the best, healthiest type of oil to use when cooking?
Dr. Rudi Moerck has studied oils for a long time, and offers some intriguing insights in this interview.
Cooking with Tropical Oils – Your
I have, for many years now, recommended coconut oil on the basis and the supposition that it doesn’t contain much unsaturated fat. As a result, it’s not going to be damaged by heat and create trans fats like some other oils. (Another tropical oil that is very similar is palm oil.)
Dr. Moerck agrees, saying:
“I would say that coconut oil is okay to cook with. It’s a saturated fat. Your body will burn it as fuel or it will get rid of it some other way. It won’t store it in your body.. So from that point of view, if you’re going to use oil then that’s a good one to use.”
Interestingly, unlike carbohydrates, which can also deliver quick energy to your body, coconut oil does this without producing an insulin spike. Yes, it acts like a carbohydrate, but without any of the debilitating insulin-related effects associated with long-term high carbohydrate consumption.
But that’s merely the beginning.
Earlier this week I published an entire special report on the health benefits of coconut oil, which include:
•Promoting heart health
•Promoting weight loss, when needed
•Supporting your immune system health
•Supporting a healthy metabolism
•Providing you with an immediate energy source
•Keeping your skin healthy and youthful looking
•Supporting the proper functioning of your thyroid gland
Part of what makes coconut oil such a healthful oil for cooking is that 50 percent of the fat content in coconut oil is a fat rarely found in nature called lauric acid. This is also one of the features that distinguishes coconut oil from other saturated fats.
Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties.
In addition, coconut oil is about 2/3 medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. These types of fatty acids also produce a host of health benefits.
Best of all, coconut oil is stable enough to resist heat-induced damage, which you cannot say for other oils. In fact, it’s so stable you can even use if for frying (although I don’t recommend frying your food for a number of health reasons).
I recommend using coconut oil in lieu of every other oil, whether your recipe calls for butter, olive oil, vegetable oil or margarine.
Important, New Information about Olive Oil
is a good monounsaturated fat that is also well-known for its health benefits. It’s a staple in healthful diets such as Mediterranean-style diets.
However, it’s important to realize it is NOT good for cooking. It should really only be used cold, typically drizzled on salads and other food.
Due to its chemical structure and a large amount of unsaturated fats, cooking makes extra-virgin olive oil very susceptible to oxidative damage. However, during this interview I learned that extra-virgin olive oil has a significant draw-back even when used cold – it’s still extremely perishable!
As it turns out, extra-virgin olive oil has chlorophyll that accelerates decomposition and makes the oil go rancid rather quickly.
In fact, Dr. Moerck actually prefers using almost tasteless, semi-refined olive oil rather than extra-virgin olive oil for this reason.
If you’re like most people, you’re probably leaving your bottle of olive oil right on the counter, opening and closing it multiple times a week. Remember, any time the oil is exposed to air and/or light, it oxidizes, and as it turns out, the chlorophyll in extra virgin olive oil accelerates the oxidation of the unsaturated fats.
Clearly, consuming spoiled oil (of any kind) will likely do more harm than good.
To protect the oil, Dr. Moerck recommends treating it with the same care as you would other sensitive omega-3 oils:
•Keep in a cool, dark place
•Purchase smaller bottles and not larger to ensure freshness
•Immediately replace the cap after each pour
To help protect extra virgin olive oil from oxidation, Dr. Moerck suggests putting one drop of astaxanthin into the bottle. You can buy astaxanthin, which is an extremely potent antioxidant, in soft gel capsules. Just prick it with a pin and squeeze the capsule into the oil.
The beautiful thing about using astaxanthin instead of another antioxidant such as vitamin E, is that it is naturally red, since vitamin E is colorless, so you can tell the oil still has astaxanthin in it by its color.
As the olive oil starts to pale in color, you know it’s time to throw it away.
You can also use one drop of lutein in your olive oil. Lutein imparts an orange color and will also protect against oxidation. Again, once the orange color fades, your oil is no longer protected against rancidity and should be tossed.
This method is yet another reason for buying SMALL bottles. If you have a large bottle, you may be tempted to keep it even though it has begun to oxidize.
The Worst Cooking Oils of All
Polyunsaturated fats are the absolute WORST oils to use when cooking because these omega-6-rich oils are highly susceptible to heat damage.
This category includes common vegetable oils such as:
Damaged omega-6 fats are disastrous to your health, and are responsible for far more health problems than saturated fats ever were.
Trans fat is the artery-clogging, highly damaged omega-6 polyunsaturated fat that is formed when vegetable oils are hardened into margarine or shortening.
I strongly recommend never using margarine or shortening when cooking. I guarantee you you’re already getting far too much of this damaging fat if you consume any kind of processed foods, whether it be potato chips, pre-made cookies, or microwave dinners…
Trans fat is the most consumed type of fat in the US, despite the fact that there is no safe level of trans fat consumption, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine.
Trans fat raises your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels while lowering your HDL (good cholesterol) levels, which of course is the complete opposite of what you want. In fact, trans fats — as opposed to saturated fats — have been repeatedly linked to heart disease. They can also cause major clogging of your arteries, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.
Personally I don’t cook very much but when I do I use our Pure Virgin Coconut Oil as it is the most resistant to heating damage, but also a great source of medium chained triglycerides and lauric acid.
So, cleaning these oils out of your kitchen cupboard is definitely recommended if you value your health.
Water is the essence of life. All water that we drink is the same from chemical perspective; H2O. Yet, there are so many different types of water and water purification/filtrations systems on the market. So what is the best type of water to drink?
First of all, water is not just a substance that we take into our body for hydration. Water is a universal solvent. This means that it can carry elements within it. Many of these elements are essential for healthy function. For example, if you put salt (NaCl) in a glass of pure water, it dissolves. The same is true when water in nature comes from springs or aquifers, percolating through the rock and earthen soil. This also occurs when precipitation falls and water flows down mountain streams and accumulates in lakes, or flow into rivers and finally to the ocean. This water carries essential elements that it moves through and/or over that dissolve within it.
While our municipal water systems do their best to keep our drinking water clean, they can sometimes over treat the water with elements like chlorine and fluorine, both of which are considered toxic to our bodies in high doses. So while tap water may not be bad for you, it certainly is not my first choice when I recommend water for my patients to consume.
I recommend drinking spring water or artesian/well water that is from a clean source and not stored in thin plastic containers that can leach the plastic into the water. I make sure that people know that drinking water is not really the best choice either. For the most part, this is dead water that has been treated by removing most or all of the essential elements that make water a good conductor for electricity. We are electric beings by the nature of charged particles that we are made of.
If you are going to drink tap water, make sure it is filtered with a carbon filtration system. If you are questioning the quality of your tap water, have it tested both at the intake into the house and at the faucet. Sometimes old piping can deteriorate and leach into your water supply in the house.
If you were to ask someone 50 years ago to buy a bottle of water, they would have laughed at you. The reality is, our world has changed and so has our water supply. Be conscious and aware of what you are drinking when it comes to water.
The Sweet Scent of Phthalates
Our indoor air quality has been severely compromised by the onslaught of mass media advertising to “cleanse the air,” “reduce airborne bacteria,” “eliminate smoke and odors,” “trap particles such as dust, pollen and smoke” and to “reduce pet odors” with the latest greatest air freshener. According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), recent independent testing of 14 different air fresheners showed 12 out of 14 contained phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates), a hazardous hormone-disrupting chemical. Phthalates are commonly used to dissolve and carry fragrances, to soften plastics and as sealants and adhesives. This very potent chemical, at high exposures, has been associated with cancer, developmental and sex-hormone abnormalities (decreased testosterone and sperm levels and malformed sex organs) in infants, infertility, allergic symptoms and asthma. Once phthalates are in the air, dispensed through air fresheners, they can be inhaled or absorbed through our skin. Once in the bloodstream, they can wreak havoc on our health.
According to the NRDC, phthalates pose the greatest risk over long-term repeated exposure. This doesn’t seem too difficult to accomplish with the advent of plug-in fragrance-infused gel cartridges, candles and even flameless candles that according to manufacturer Glade “continuously fragrances, all day, every day.” You can’t even visit a public bathroom without an automatic air freshener “cleansing” the air every fifteen minutes.
An estimated 75% of households use air fresheners, making an even stronger case against the EPA for not regulating air fresheners. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also has no regulations against the use of phthalates. Manufacturers are not required to indicate that their products contain phthalates. Again, the U.S. lags behind other countries in consumer safety issues. The European Union, plus 14 other countries, banned two types of phthalates in cosmetics and completely banned the chemical in children’s toys. Wait – we have California. Thank you governor Schwarzenegger for signing the first state bill to ban phthalates in toys made for children under three years of age. It’s a step in the right direction but clearly we need more transparency so consumers can make informed purchases. We also need more stringent guidelines in product formulation and manufacturing so we can prevent these chemicals from even entering the environment.
No amount of “Tropical Moments” or “Garden Bliss” is going to entice me into polluting my home with potentially cancer-causing substances. We actually gave up indoor air fresheners several years ago and opted for essential oil mists or the good old-fashioned technique of just opening a window. Cleaning more often works wonders too. Just like in the pharmaceutical world, it is never a good idea to hide the symptoms and not treat the underlying cause.
Try some of the following more natural ways to freshen your air:
- essential oils diffused through a cold-air diffuser
- essential oils mixed with spring water in an amber glass mister
- beeswax candles from The Global Exchange
- Just’a Drop toilet bowl odor neutralizer (thanks to the Green Promise reader who submitted this tip)