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Chewing Gum: An Ally Against Tooth Decay

chewing gum
Image by athree23 from Pixabay

Chewing gum after meals might be the unlikely ally for stopping tooth decay, according to a review of 12 studies. The caveat? The gum must be sugar-free. 

This review of 12 studies published over the past five decades was carried out by researchers at King’s College, London. Chewing gum, the sugar-free variety, can potentially reduce the growth and also the incidence of dental cavities by up to 28 percent. Which is quite a lot, isn’t it?

“There is a considerable degree of variability in the effect from the published data and the trials included were generally of moderate quality,” said lead researcher Professor Avijit Banerjee about the review. “However, we felt there was a definite need to update and refresh existing knowledge about sugar-free gum and its effect on dental caries and oral health. We are planning further research to determine the acceptability and feasibility of using this method in public health.”

Chewing gum works with flossing and brushing

So yeah, chewing gum can work together with tooth brushing and flossing as a way to keep your teeth healthier. Until now, the evidence was flimsy at best.

“Both the stimulation of saliva which can act as a natural barrier to protect teeth, and the mechanical plaque control that results from the act of chewing, can contribute to the prevention of dental caries,” said Prof Banerjee. “Sugar-free gum can also act as a carrier for antibacterial ingredients including xylitol and sorbitol. No recent conclusive evidence existed prior to this review that showed the relationship between slowing the development of caries and chewing sugar-free gum.”

If you’re having issues with your breath, then check out these things you could do to help!

And obviously, stay clear of sugar, because it is the most dangerous thing for your teeth!

Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

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Starbucks Just Released a New Holiday Drink for 2019

Starbucks Irish Cream Cold Brew
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Starbucks just released the Irish Cream Cold Brew, a new holiday drink for the end of 2019.

It is a mixture of cold brew coffee and Irish cream syrup served over ice, topped with vanilla sweet cream cold foam and cocoa powder. The flavors of vanilla and cocoa perfectly complement the smooth cold brew to create a deliciously festive beverage.

“It pairs so well with cold brew because of the chocolate flavor in the Irish cream and the cocoa notes from the coffee. I think about that customer who’s in the middle of work or shopping, and this will help get them into the holiday spirit for the rest of the day.” – Erin Marinan, product developer for Starbucks R&D, creator of the new beverage

The cold drink is available for a limited time and ranges from $4.45 to $4.75 for a grande.

As for the idea of launching a cold coffee in the middle of the winter, did you know that the cold beverage lineup now makes up more than half of U.S. Starbucks beverage sales? Yep, we were amazed to discover that, too. Still, the Canadian customers can also try a hot version with the Irish Cream Americano. Maybe the winters up North are too harsh for frozen coffees.

Article by So Delicious. View the original article here.

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Flour Recalled Due to Potential E.coli Contamination

Packages of Flour Recalled

Hodgson Mill, and United Natural Foods issued voluntary recalls on November 27 for five-pound bags of their all-purpose flour products. This recall was issued after random routine sample testing by the FDA led to the discovery of E.coli in both products.

Hodgson Mill of Effingham recalled its Unbleached All-Purpose White Wheat Flour (5 lb.) UPC 0-71518-05009-2, best by date 10-01-2020 and 10-02-2020 with lot codes listed Lot# 001042 & 005517, while UNFI was concerned by its Wild Harvest Organic All-Purpose Flour, Unbleached, with a Code of AA BEST IF USED BY 010820 CC 15:58 and UPC Code 711535509158.

Maybe it’s worth mentioning that E. coli is killed by heat through baking, frying, sautéing, or boiling products made with flour. Nevertheless, raw flour is used in the cooking process, and people can get sick. Symptoms of E. coli contamination include acute, often bloody diarrheal illness and abdominal cramps. The children, the elderly, and immunosuppressed individuals are especially at risk of severe complications, including kidney failure.

FDA advises consumers to wash their hands, work surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after contact with raw dough products or flour, and never to eat raw dough or batter.

So, dear US visitors, please check your pantries and dispose of the products affected by this recalls. Anyone who bought the affected product should return it for a full refund. Better safe than sorry.

Article by So Delicious. View the original article here.

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The Reality of Holiday Weight Gain and How to Keep the Pounds Away

Holiday weight gain is something very real and it starts every October, according to a new study. The same research concluded that it takes an average of five months to drop the extra holiday pounds.

The research published by Cornell University was conducted on 3,000 people from the United States, Germany, and Japan. This led them to believe that holiday weight gain doesn’t only affect Americans. Also, it can be very tough to shed the extra pounds you accumulate on Halloween and Christmas/New Year – according to the scientists it takes about five months. So what can you do in order to preserve your weight and keep those extra inches off? Observe the way your eating patterns change starting in October.

The new study was led by Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab and supported by scientists in Finland and France. The data they analyzed consisted of daily weigh-ins of costumers who bought a certain wireless scale. All of the participants agreed to have their measurements collected and analyzed by scientists.

What’s the prime time for holiday weight gain?

This is what researchers found out when it came to a timetable for the holiday weight gain. Participants began to gain weight in October and November, and their weight peaked about 10 days after Christmas. On average people gained about 1.3 pounds during the holiday season.

Interestingly, about half of that weight was burnt off pretty quickly after the holidays, but the last of it wasn’t so easy: it stayed on for about five months, more specifically until Easter.

People in Germany also had the most pounds around New Year’s Eve and Easter. While people in Japan had their biggest weight during New Year’s but also their other big holiday – Golden Week – in April.

The Reality of Holiday Weight Gain and How to Keep the Pounds Away

The data for the study was collected with the help of a wireless scale.

“Different countries celebrate different holidays, but many such celebration periods have one thing in common: an increased intake of favorite foods,” the authors wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Brian Wansink, a co-author of the study, said that collected real-life weight measurements for a whole year lead to accuracy in the study conclusions. And that while the weight gain might be subtle, it actually exists.

“In past studies, results have been self-reported, or people would come into a facility to be weighed,” says Wansink, director of Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab. “That means people could fib or change their behavior because they know they’re being monitored.”

But this time participants knew they would be monitored, but not when or for how long. That means that behaviors were much more natural, especially considering that the participants would weigh themselves, as they had done outside of the study anyway.

How do you avoid the 5-month struggle?

It’s better to keep an eye on your weight now than to try to get rid of the extra pounds after New Year’s Eve. So try and keep a balanced meal plan. And don’t give in to the holiday season aspect! This means: keep your treat-yourself eating restricted to the actual holidays and don’t keep doing it from Halloween candy, Thanksgiving leftovers to the last New Year’s cookies.

Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

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How Much Fiber Is Good For You and Why?

Whole grain bread, rich in fiber
Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

Every diet is a delicate balance between proteins, fibers, carbs and fats, along with a dash of minerals, vitamins and other micro-nutrients with potential health benefits. But how much of each?

World Health Organization (WHO) commissioned a new meta-analysis in order to find out the ideal amount of fiber that we should consume to prevent a vast range of chronic diseases. The impressive study encompasses 40 years’ worth of research, and apart from developing new guidelines for dietary fiber consumption, it was meant to discover which carbs protect the most against noncommunicable diseases and can stave off weight gain. Overall, the researchers examined the data included in 185 observational studies — amounting to 135 million person-years — and 58 clinical trials which recruited a total of 4,635 people.

The results were recently published in Lancet, and they are pretty clear. People who consume the most fiber in their diet are 15–30 percent less likely to die prematurely from any cause or a cardiovascular condition, compared with those who eat the least fiber. Consuming foods rich in fiber also correlated with a 16–24 percent lower incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer. The clinical trials included in the study also suggest that consuming more fiber correlates strongly with lower weight and lower cholesterol levels.

So, how much fiber?

A daily intake of 25–29 grams of fiber is ideal. But dose-response curves suggested that higher intakes of dietary fiber could confer even greater benefit to protect against cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal and breast cancer.

Fiber-rich foods include whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and pulses, such as peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas.

Article by So Delicious. View the original article here.

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Vegan Burgers Are Legal Again

Non-meat burger
Tofurky’s Stout-Glazed Burger with Mushrooms and Onions

As some of you might know, an Arkansas law makes it illegal for companies to use words like “burger,” “sausage,” and “roast” to describe products that are not made from meat.

As a result, veggie burgers – even modified by qualifiers such as “vegan,” “veggie,” or “plant-based” – are deemed illegal. Well, not anymore. A federal court today blocked the state of Arkansas from enforcing its meat label censorship law against The Tofurky Company.

The Arkansas lawmakers considered that labeling a non-meat product with a title such as “sausage” or “burger” was misleading to consumers and caused confusion. The law is called “An Act to Require Truth in Labeling of Agricultural Products That Are Edible by Humans,” and it also covers all dairy, horticultural, viticultural, and even bee-related, products. In theory, it could also render illegal the labeling of products such as soy milk and cauliflower rice.

The ACLU, ACLU of Arkansas, The Good Food Institute, and Animal Legal Defense Fund challenged the Arkansas law on behalf of The Tofurky Company. They claimed that the law violates the First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment, censoring truthful speech and creating consumer confusion. And they were right. United States District Judge Kristine G. Baker blocked the current Arkansas law under the assumption that a reasonable consumer will not disregard all the other words found on the label. Therefore a properly labeled “veggie burger” could not be mistaken for a meat burger, no matter what.

Legislatures that have passed or are considering similarly laws – like South Dakota, Mississippi and Louisiana – will have to take note of this ruling and take a long look at their own acts. And with the looming prospect of lab-grown meat products hitting the market in the nearby future, the policy-makers should carefully reconsider their entire approach.

Article by So Delicious. View the original article here.

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3 Common Foods That Can Be Considered Superfoods

Chili peppers as superfoods
Photo by ciboulette from Pexels

Recent studies regarding chili peppers, mushrooms, and blueberries might confirm their superfood status. Their health benefits are truly amazing.

Chili peppers as superfoods

recent paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology presents a large-scale epidemiological study on the association between chili pepper intake and mortality risk. The analysis was performed between 2005 and 2010 on 22,811 Italian men and women. Regardless of their specific diet, those who ate chili peppers at least four times per week had 23 percent lower risks of death from any cause and had 34 percent lower chances of death from cardiovascular disease.

This is not entirely new. Back in 2015, a study on 487,375 Chinese people across 10 regions found out that those who reported eating spicy foods six or seven times per week had 14 percent lower risks of death than those who ate spicy food once per week. 

Mushrooms as superfoods

Photo: Pixabay

Mushrooms as superfoods

Mushrooms are good. From pizza to soups, simply fried on a hot stove or filled with ground meat or cheese and baked in the oven, mushrooms are really good. But it’s not just the taste. Mushrooms are good for your health, too. Similar to the human skin, mushrooms are using solar energy to produce vitamin D. Add them to your regular diet for a healthy intake of vitamin D, especially during the long and dark winter months. 

They are also low in carbs and fat (with virtually no cholesterol), but high in fiber and protein. Mushrooms are also rich in B-vitamins, polyphenols, iron, and selenium. But the most important compound in mushrooms is ergothioneine, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory micro-nutrient, released in larger amounts during the cooking process.

Blueberries as superfoods

Photo by Burst from Pexels

Blueberries as superfoods

Two recent papers investigated several tens of other studies evaluating the effect of blueberry intake on children and adults. The results were unanimous: blueberries can improve overall cognitive performance and help elevate mood.

These studies appear to confirm the idea that eating flavonoid-rich foods can improve cognitive decline. If you are willing to try, most research suggests two cups of blueberries a day may be the ideal dose.

Still, remember that other sources of polyphenols have similar benefits. If you hate blueberries or you simply want more variation, you should know that orange juice, black tea, green tea, and extra-virgin olive oil are also rich in polyphenols and will to wonders in your diet.

Article by So Delicious. View the original article here.

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Eating Bananas Daily Keeps the Doctor Away. Why?

eating bananas daily
Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Eating bananas daily is definitely the new ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. A recent study proves that this and other potassium-rich foods (like avocados) are key to protecting your heart from damage and making it stronger. 

Potassium in foods like bananas and avocados is instrumental in preventing heart disease because it prevents the calcification of arteries and it keeps the blood flowing properly. So eating bananas daily could be just the thing your heart needs to keep pumping in order. The new study was done by scientists at the University of Alabama and the results make known the fact that eating bananas daily could help prevent strokes and heart attacks.

How does eating bananas daily help?

The research examined three groups of mice that received diets in 3 different potassium levels: low, normal or high. The mice who had a low potassium diet had harder arteries than the other two groups. The ones who had high potassium in their diet had significantly less artery hardening and less stiffness in their aorta.

There are other studies conducted on the health benefits of potassium and they surmise that eating bananas daily (or other potassium-rich foods) can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Another study says that high potassium lowers the chances of getting a stroke by 21 percent.

So, if eating bananas daily is not your thing, but you want to get your potassium on, what else can you eat? How about you choose from oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, apricots, grapefruit and some dried fruits, such as prunes, raisins, and dates? You can also have cooked spinach, cooked broccoli, potatoes, and mushrooms.

Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.