Get rid of bad breath in a flash!

“I am so glad to know these easy practical tips to prevent halitosis.” Bill Chesnut, MD

From the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Letter, January 2016.

Get rid of bad breath in a flash with one of these fresh foods.

Brushing and flossing daily are the best ways to keep your mouth and teeth healthy and your breath fresh. But some foods, like that cheesy garlic toast (oh-so-tasty when the holiday bash began!), can leave you with an unpleasant aftertaste — and dragon breath. If the sour taste in your mouth has you mumbling behind your hand, and there is no convenient place to brush your teeth, here are some ways to clean your breath and party on with confidence.

  • Bite into a wedge of lemon, or sip ice water with lemon. The acid in lemon juice neutralizes the enzyme in crushed garlic that causes bad breath.
  • Eat a piece of raw apple. Apple has antibacterial properties that help reduce foul smells in the mouth.
  • Sip some green tea. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that can stop plaque from sticking to your teeth.
  • Ask the bartender for a mint leaf or two, and put them in a glass of ice water. There’s a reason mint is one of the most common elements in toothpaste and mouthwash, but the ice water is key too.

 

Hitting the slopes? Just “beet” altitude sickness!

“Beet juice is handy to know about if you live in Albuquerque, Santa Fe or even higher than 5000 or 7200 feet.  Help protect your low attitude guests so they enjoy their visit.” Bill Chesnut, MD
January 12, 2016
Hitting the slopes? Just “beet” altitude sickness!
Hitting the ski slopes or another high-altitude terrain this winter? Channel your inner mountain goat all you like, but you may want to pack some beet juice for good measure. Altitude sickness — which affects about half of all travelers to elevations above 8,000 feet, regardless of fitness level — can seriously cramp your vacation style with several days of light-headedness, nausea, and other unpleasant symptoms. Your blood vessels, which deliver oxygen throughout your body, depend on the oxygen in the air to do their job. It normally takes several days for your blood vessels to adjust to the decreased oxygen levels — a process called acclimatization — but researchers have found that drinking beet juice can speed up the process. The magic ingredient in this jewel-colored root vegetable? Nitrate. Your body converts this compound to nitric oxide, which helps to normalize blood vessel function. (That same mechanism may explain why beet juice has been shown to benefit athletes and people with heart failure.) More time enjoying the mountains? This idea just can’t be “beet”!

 

That coffee habit? It may protect you from type 2 diabetes.

I enjoy the Cleveland Clinic Newsletter.  Today they address the possible benefit to type II diabetes of consuming coffee. February 2, 2016. Bill Chesnut, MD

That coffee habit? It might just be protecting you from type 2 diabetes.
Can’t start your day without a cup or two of joe? Bottoms up! People who drink three to four cups of coffee a day are less likely to have developed type 2 diabetes than those who don’t drink coffee at all, and now researchers have a better understanding about why. Two compounds found in coffee — cafestol and caffeic acid — increase insulin production, which helps keep your blood sugar under control. Controlling blood sugar is crucial for diabetes prevention, since high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, can lead to the signs and symptoms of the disease. Research also shows that coffee may help prevent diseases like stroke and certain cancers’ reduce the risk of Parkinson’s, dementia, and multiple sclerosis; and even boost concentration and memory. With so many benefits, you want to avoid adding anything unhealthy to your morning cuppa, right? That means skipping the nondairy creamers (corn syrup and trans fat alert!) and flavor shots (can you say sugar, sugar, sugar?), and limiting your use of artificial sweeteners. Instead, try unsweetened almond milk with cinnamon.