Did You Realise Your Gut Health Could Affect Your Memory?


The exact mix of bacteria in your gut varies from person to person and is utterly unique. Your diet and environment influence it, as do any infections you may have had, even during childhood and whether you have been prescribed antibiotics.

Now it looks as if your gut health, called microbiome, is also linked to memory. A recent American study assessed the memory of mice injected with a bacterium called Lactobacillus compared to mice that hadn’t received this bacterium. The metabolic changes caused by Lactobacillus in these mice somehow helped to improve their memory. Lactobacillus is a bacterium that helps protect against pathogens and is a common probiotic found in foods such as yoghurt.

So, does this mean we should all be taking more probiotic supplements to help improve our gut health? Not necessarily because your gut health is so complicated. The recent study on mice does show memory and the bacteria in your gut are somehow linked. For example, it’s so individual that some people may thrive on ice cream while others would need to stick to somewhat healthier and considerably less indulgent ingredients like kale. Other factors influencing your microbiome include the amount of sleep you receive, the variety of vegetables consumed and even your weight. Until we discover more about the microbiome, perhaps the best advice is to eat a healthy and varied diet.

Pumpkin Pancakes


These pancakes help to satisfy a craving for something sweet and are packed with protein. Best of all, they are quick and easy to make.

Ingredients

90g pumpkin puree

40g oatmeal

6 egg whites

2tsp baking powder

1/2tsp pumpkin spice

2 packets of zero-calorie sweetener

Splash of vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Grind the oatmeal in a blender and add the rest of the ingredients before blending again.
  2. Heat a nonstick pan over a medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Ladle approximately one quarter of the mixture into the pan and cook each side for about a minute. Serve and enjoy!

The Benefits of Green Tea


Green tea is a refreshing beverage enjoyed by many worldwide but are you aware of its potential health benefits? In Okinawa, Japan, an area of the world synonymous with a long lifespan, drinking green tea is an everyday activity for its inhabitants. Studies have linked its consumption with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s because the catechins in green tea can reduce the damage caused by free radicals. The antioxidants in green tea are thought to be beneficial for cardiovascular and metabolic health, reducing the risk factors for heart disease. Some studies have found that green tea can help to improve glycaemic control, normalising blood sugar levels and preventing insulin resistance. Its consumption could be helpful for people at risk of Type II diabetes. Then, of course, there are the potential benefits to your dental health.

A recent study discovered that the dental health of men who regularly consumed green tea was better compared with those who didn’t. During this study, researchers assessed nearly 1000 men for three different indicators of gum disease, a common condition that can cause tooth loss. They discovered that for every cup of green tea consumed each day, the three signs of gum disease were reduced.

Is a daily cup of green tea part of your routine? There are loads of different varieties to enjoy.

Achieving a Straighter Smile


A straighter smile can be more attractive and may even be healthier because straighter teeth are easier to clean and to keep free from disease and infection. The traditional idea of orthodontics conjures up images of unsightly metal brackets and heavy wires, or even external headgear, all of which is highly visible although extremely effective. Nowadays, the reality of modern orthodontic treatment is far more discreet, especially for adults. Although fixed braces are still widely used, there are other and more modern options, including removable braces, which can be a far more desirable treatment choice for older teens or adults who would feel too self-conscious to wear fixed braces. One popular orthodontic system is Invisalign.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign uses a series of custom-made clear plastic aligners that have been precision designed using advanced 3-D imaging. The aligners are nearly invisible and fit tightly over the teeth, gradually moving them into predetermined positions until your teeth are beautifully straight. Unlike fixed braces, Invisalign aligners are easy to care for and are removed whenever you want to eat or brush or floss. Invisalign is minimally disruptive to everyday life and is extremely discreet, providing high-quality, predictable treatment outcomes.

To discover whether Invisalign is the right solution for you, why not book an appointment with our certified Invisalign provider here at Apple Dental? Contact us to schedule your consultation.

Superfoods


Superfoods are foods that are brimming with nutrients and which often help to fight disease. Including at least some of these foods in your diet will help to protect your health.

Some of the best superfoods are native to the Australian bush and have been growing here for more than 50,000 years. These include the Kakadu plum, which has the highest level of natural vitamin C of any plant in the world. Quandongs contain approximately six times the amount of vitamin C found in an orange. Lemon myrtle is a powerful antiseptic and anti-viral agent, which is useful in fighting colds and sore throats, infections and gastric problems. Wattleseed is amazingly high in protein and contains, calcium, iron, potassium and zinc.

Other great foods include berries such as blueberries and raspberries, which are full of antioxidants. Eggs are a high-quality source of protein and contain antioxidants, which help eye health. Nuts are tasty and great for heart health because they contain magnesium and healthy polyunsaturated fats. Sweet potatoes get their orange colour because they are packed with alpha and beta-carotene which the body can convert into vitamin A, helping to protect your immune system, your eyes and your bones. Even the humble cup of tea contains antioxidants called flavonoids and which could reduce the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s and some cancers.

The Truth about Healthy Snack Bars


Those seemingly nutritious snack bars can look like a pretty good option for topping up your energy levels. But beware because even though they might look healthy, a granola bar can contain as much sugar as a chocolate bar. Unfortunately, snack bars often use large amounts of sugar to hold together the ingredients. What’s worse is that they can contain loads of saturated fat. Lots of these snack bars are marketed as being ‘organic,’ ‘natural’ or ‘dairy-free’ which implies they will automatically be good for you, but which doesn’t reveal anything about the nutritious value of these foods.

Key things to be aware of when choosing a snack bar are the salt, fat and sugar content, and the number of calories. Ideally, a snack should contain between 100 to 150 calories or at the very most 200 calories. It’s also worth thinking about whether you will have anything in addition to your snack bar, to make sure you eat the proper portion size. Also, pay attention to the fibre content and as a rule look for something that has more than 3g per serving. To improve satiety, choose snack bars that are higher in protein. Alternatively, choose another snack such as eggs or bananas, or fresh fruits and veggies with hummus.

Childhood Tooth Decay from Sugary Lunches


Childhood tooth decay is unfortunately a huge problem. In NSW approximately one-third of children aged 5 to 10 have decay in their baby teeth while one fifth of children aged 6 to 14 already have cavities in their permanent teeth. This problem also affects children who brush their teeth properly because it’s largely due to excess sugar consumption. Children’s packed lunches are particularly concerning, as it’s often easier to pack processed and high sugar items including muesli bars and orange juice. Although these items are often cleverly labelled as being “natural” or “fat-free” they tend to contain high levels of hidden sugars.

When children’s teeth become decayed, it’s often necessary to remove them, which can be upsetting for the child and their parents. By the time teeth are removed, a child will generally have experienced sleepless nights and dental pain. This can affect their general development, making it difficult for them to eat properly and to concentrate at school.

Here at Apple Dental, we prefer to take a preventative approach and if we notice your child has problems with tooth decay, despite a good oral hygiene routine, we can investigate why this is happening. If needed, we can analyse their diet and will offer advice, as to which foods are healthier for teeth.

Baked Salmon with Lemon, Dill & Asparagus


Salmon is nutrient dense, tasty and quick to cook so we think you’ll enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients

2 salmon fillets with skin removed

2tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 bunches asparagus

Thinly sliced lemon

Dill

Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C and place half the asparagus on baking paper with a piece of salmon on top. Drizzle with olive oil and season with lemon, Dill and salt & pepper.
  2. Carefully fold the baking paper into a parcel, sealing the edges by overlapping the paper. To create a really good seal, tuck the final crease under the pouch. Repeat with the second piece of salmon and asparagus.
  3. Bake salmon parcels in oven for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before opening and enjoying. This recipe also works very well with green beans.

Protect Your Mouth While Playing Sports


Every year, dentists see thousands of sports-related accidents that have caused damage to teeth or even worse have completely knocked them out. The financial, psychological and social costs of dental injuries can be considerable. One study discovered that 75% of dental injuries amongst high school students happened while they weren’t wearing a mouthguard. When correctly fitted, a mouthguard can prevent shock and impact injuries to the teeth and jaws, reducing the risk of broken teeth and cut lips and jaw fractures. By choosing a custom-made mouthguard, your risk of suffering dental injuries is minimised.

Why Have a Custom-Made Mouthguard?

Custom-made mouthguards provide the very best level of protection and most importantly they are comfortable to wear and will not hinder breathing, so you will actually want to wear your mouthguard. Each mouthguard is specifically designed to provide maximum protection and is thickened in critical areas, according to your preference for particular sports. Custom-made mouthguards are fabricated using a model of your teeth, ensuring they fit the teeth exactly and if necessary they can be adapted to accommodate orthodontic appliances and braces. Our mouthguards are available in a wide range of colours and are made from a tough thermoplastic material that is odour-free and taste-free.

Seven Small Changes that will Make 2018 Your Healthiest Yet


Some of your New Year’s resolutions may have fallen by the wayside, so instead make a few small practical changes that are easy to keep.

  1. Make breakfast your biggest meal of the day because your metabolism is faster in the mornings.
  2. Eat more plants and going meat-free for even a day a week can have major health benefits.
  3. Start lifting weights to boost metabolism and muscle mass. You will still be burning extra calories hours after working out.
  4. Try skipping to improve coordination, strengthen your core and calm the mind. Still not convinced? Just 10 minutes of skipping provides similar health benefits to a 45-minute run.
  5. Eat your dinner 2 to 3 hours before going to sleep. Going to bed immediately after eating affects your diaphragm, impacting the position of your colon, gallbladder and heart.
  6. Take a short walk after every meal. Walking for less than two hours a week is associated with a third lower risk for respiratory disease and lowers your risk of dying from heart disease or cancer.
  7. Aim to get eight hours rest each night and the optimum time to go to bed is 10:39 PM!