5 Reasons To Consider Professional Teeth Whitening


Have you ever looked in the mirror, smiled, and then thought to yourself, “Hmm, my teeth are looking a little yellow?”

This is probably followed by some whitening toothpaste, maybe some Crest whitening strips, maybe even going so far as spending some money on a pricey whitening kit.

And although this may yield some good results, it always feels like just a couple months later you are looking in the mirror thinking the same thing as before.

So, what’s the solution?

As is true for most cosmetic procedures, leaving it to the professionals is probably your best bet in having great, long-lasting results.

Here are five reasons you should consider professional teeth whitening, so next time all you will want to do when you look in the mirror is flash your beautiful smile.


A professional is doing it


One of the best reasons to consider cosmetic dentistry, specifically professional teeth whitening, is that you will have a professional who is trained in these procedures doing the work.

The dentist will not only be able to perform the procedure safely and effectively but with the latest techniques and ensuring your teeth are safe in the process.


Teeth are protected


One of the biggest complaints of at-home whitening kits is that after frequent use, most people experience overly sensitive teeth.

This is probably because these kits can accidentally strip the important enamel off of your teeth which protects them from reacting to hot or cold foods and drinks.

A cosmetic dentist will whiten teeth, but still protect them in the process, and they can prevent things like teeth sensitivity.


Faster and better results


As nice as it is to be able to whiten teeth at home, most of the time it can take days, even weeks, to see the whitening results you want to see.

Having your dentist perform the procedure ensures that you will get instant results, most of the time within the hour it takes to do the procedure.

After all, if someone has to choose between waiting and getting results right away, we all know we will choose instant results.


Long-lasting whiteness


One of the best reasons to go to your dentist instead of whitening your teeth at home is that your dentist can deliver results that will last so much longer.

According to The Oral Health Foundation, professional teeth whitening results can last up to three years, especially if you make sure to take care of your teeth.


Not all stains are equal


One of the biggest reasons to consider visiting your dentist rather than attempting to whiten your teeth at home is that your teeth may have stains that only a professional can remove.

Your dentist will be able to assess what type of whitening treatment you need, and the level of whiteness as well, according to the Oral Health Foundation.

You could say that your smile is the most important aspect of your face, especially considering people can see your smile from up to 300 feet away.

This is why cosmetic dentistry and teeth whitening is probably the best solution for that mega-watt smile.

10 reasons potatoes are actually super healthy for you


Although potatoes seem to be a controversial vegetable, they are in fact a superfood that could benefit your health greatly.

“Po-ta-to, mash em’, boil em, put em’ in a stew.” Samwise Gamgee wasn’t lying when he said there are many ways to prepare and enjoy a potato. But their versatility does not end there.

From French fries to chips, people sometimes think that there is no such thing as healthy potatoes, but in reality, there are so many reasons why they are really good for you.

From their edible skin to their soft and tasty inside, every part of this food has something to offer and to keep you healthy and strong.

Here are 10 reasons why potatoes are actually super healthy for you.


  • They are a great source of vitamin C.


In fact, according to encyclopedia.com, one potato can provide almost 50 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C. It’s important to note that much of that is contained in the skin.


  • They are completely fat-free.


The potato is like most vegetables in the fact that when eaten alone it is completely fat-free, and the body actually burns calories when it is eaten. It is only when additives like butter and salt are added that it becomes as unhealthy as we perceive it to be.


  • They are very low in calories.


Most diets nowadays call for foods that are low-calorie, and a potato can definitely be included among them. A large, plain potato is only about 100 calories.


  • They are known to help in healing.


In the Incan empire, potatoes were used not only as a source of food but as a way to heal certain ailments.  Nowadays they are a common food to eat for those with sensitive stomachs or if you have a stomach ache.


  • They are a wallet-friendly healthy food.


Sometimes it can seem like a healthy diet can cost an arm and a leg, especially when it comes to branching out and trying different types of healthy fruits and veggies that might not be found at the common grocery store. But good, old, healthy potatoes are very affordable. In most places, a whole bag is only a couple dollars.


  • They can actually help prevent cancer.


Potatoes contain anthoxanthins, which are pigments that produce the white color and act as antioxidants, believed to have some cancer-preventing activity, according to encyclopedia.com. When un-fried, they are among the veggies that contain the highest levels of this antioxidant. Among bell peppers, carrots, and onions, potatoes have the greatest overall antioxidant levels, and only broccoli is higher.


  • They are gluten free.


Attention to all who are gluten-intolerant; they are gluten-free! A nice, healthy potato will always be a great food to try out if you are ever in a bind and need to eat something you know will be OK.


  • They keep you fuller, longer.


One of the reasons they are so healthy is that they can keep you from filling up on not-so-good for you foods because they can keep you fuller for longer, according to Journal of the American College of Nutrition.


  • They are good for the gut.


Potatoes not only taste good in your stomach, but they are healthy for it as well. According to the World Journal of Gastroenterology, the digested potato has butyrate which is a molecule that can help to keep your colon healthy by creating a good lining in the intestines as well as keeping toxins out of the bloodstream.  


  • They contain other super healthy minerals.


Healthy potatoes contain potassium, magnesium, copper, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and iron, all minerals that are super important in order for the body to function properly.

So the next time someone tries to tell you that this type of food isn’t that great for you, just remember these ten reasons.

Then you can tell them healthy potatoes are the vegetable you never want to give up.

20 Fitness Tips To Get You Moving


Working out isn’t always as glamorous and fun as models and videos make it out to be, but it is important.

We’ve joined forces with Quality Home Fitness, a fitness equipment seller, to bring you this list of tips to help you on your journey to better health.

Don’t try to remember all of these tips (or do if you can!) but pick a few to keep with you through the week to incorporate into your life.


  • Make sure you move every day. Even if you can’t fit that 30-minute workout in every day, make sure you at least get moving – walking and stretching are great!
  • Schedule exercise. Sometimes, if we don’t schedule something, it doesn’t happen. You get busy, that’s okay! But make sure to schedule time in to improve your health too.
  • Incorporate muscle building into workouts. Some people are really into their cardio and love to run. But that’s all they do. Make sure to get some strength training in every now and then.
  • Find exercise you enjoy! Exercise doesn’t have to be dreadful. Find some fun activities that you enjoy doing to make your work out that much easier to accomplish.
  • Use one day each week for active recovery. Take a day to rest, but not the kind of rest where you sit on your couch all day. Make sure you move a little, go for a walk or do some yoga.
  • Don’t go more than two days in a row without exercise. Even on vacations, try to keep up the routine.
  • Increase intensity slowly. If you’re just starting out, take it slow. Schedule your exercise time for 20 minutes and keep the workouts simple, like walking. Work your way up to more intense and longer workouts.
  • Train with intervals. Instead of doing a nice steady paced workout for 30 minutes, do some intervals. Go easy for 2-3 minutes, and then work really hard for 1 minute. Repeat this 5-6 times for a great calorie-burning workout!
  • Get a buddy. You need someone to hold you accountable for your workouts.
  • Work out in the morning. When your workout is the first thing that happens when you wake up, you’re less likely to skip it.
  • Try yoga. Yoga is great for flexibility and strength.
  • Train for a 5k. If you can commit to running a 5k, you’ll need to train to make it happen!
  • Diet and exercise have to take place together. They’re married, plain and simple. You can’t be healthy with one and not the other.
  • Step off the scale. You don’t need to measure your weight every day to know if you are progressing. If you are working out and eating healthy, the weight will come off. Pay more attention to how you feel as you increase healthy habits.
  • Work hard, but be nice to yourself. We get down on ourselves too easily. Pamper your self-image and give all the pushing to your body. You are beautiful!
  • Switch it up. Don’t do the same thing for every workout. You. Will. Get. Bored.
  • Challenge yourself. If you don’t feel the need to chug a gallon of water or don’t even break a sweat, you might not be pushing yourself hard enough.
  • Set small, attainable goals. Achieve little goals along the way to a healthier you. Have one goal each week or every two weeks to help hold yourself accountable.


Have one large goal. Along with the small goals, have one overarching goal that you are always working towards.

Low Sugar Snacks To Pack On The Go

healthy food

When you’re on the go a lot, whether you travel for work, run errands, or are chasing after kids all day, you burn a lot of energy and often need to replenish this with food. Many of us take the convenient route of fast food or sugary snacks at convenience stores, and often times the energy we cling to is in the form of a caffeinated (and probably sugar-filled) beverage.

You Deserve Better

If you want your body to retain the energy that you put into it, then you need to fill it with good energy. Washington Periodontics, a periodontist in Fairfax, VA, helped us put together this list of low sugar snacks that you can grab or prep for when you’re on the go.

Snacks That You Can Prep

Sometimes, all it takes is a few minutes of preparation on a Sunday night to have healthy snacks ready for the entire week. Here are some great snack ideas that you can prep during the weekend.

Celery and Cheese – Buy celery in stalks, wash it, and slice it up into manageable snack sizes. Get a brick of your favorite cheese and cube it up. Place into snack-size food storage containers or into Ziploc bags.

Veggies and Hummus – Slice up some of your favorite veggies – carrots, peppers, cucumbers, celery. Pack them up with a small container of your favorite hummus (make your own so you know exactly what is going into it, or buy a kind you are familiar with for convenience).

Trail Mix – Make your own trail mix with a variety of nuts, like pistachios, peanuts, cashews, and almonds. You can add sunflower seeds, raisins, and semi-sweet chocolate chips for more variety. The protein in this snack is great to keep you up and running all day.

Cucumber Sandwiches – Peel your cucumbers, cut them in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Fill with your favorite deli meat – turkey is a good lean meat with great protein – and add light mayo or cream cheese for a little more flavor.

Finger Salad – These are just what they sound like – salad that you eat with your fingers! Pack a small snack size container with all of your favorite chopped veggies – broccoli, peppers, onions, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers. Add seasonings like oregano, salt, or garlic powder to add some more flavor.

Hard-boiled Eggs – Hard boil a carton of eggs at the beginning of the week. Peel a couple the night before you plan to eat them, salt them, and place them in a food storage container. Give yourself a great protein boost and a yummy snack all in one.

These are all great options for snacks that you can prep in your home. But what happens if you forget to prep snacks? There are still healthy options for you.

Snacks That You Can Buy

Healthy options exist everywhere, it’s just a matter of overcoming the initial temptation to get that chocolate bar or muffin. Here are some healthy snacks that you can find in most convenience stores and grocery stores.

  • Cheese sticks
  • Yogurt
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Pistachios
  • Sweet potato chips
  • Pretzel and hummus snacks
  • Cheese, meat and fruit packs
  • Fresh fruit cups
  • Apple sauce
  • Babybel cheese wheels
  • Luna bar
  • KIND bars

There are many more than just the few that we’ve listed. You just need to know what you’re looking for and you’ll find it. Convenience stores often have a small refrigerated section with string cheese, yogurt, and fresh fruit. Most of the healthy options will be close by.

12 Things To Declutter Your Busy Mind


How many of you have a busy mind? You’ve constantly got something that you are thinking about, there’s always something to do – an errand to run or a child to take care of.

Sometimes this busy mind can get in the way of achieving anything at all. It causes you to stress about everything that you have to do that you spend too much time worrying and not enough time doing.

Maybe if you spend some time decluttering those busy, distracting, and often stressful thoughts, you’ll find that you are able to get more done, breathe easier, and enjoy life a little more.

Try a couple of these things to lift that burden from your busy mind.



Get those busy thoughts out of your head and down on paper. Write down your stresses and worries – and then let them go. Writing can be a good method of therapy that allows us to visualize all of our thoughts in one place.


Another tactic is to instead focus on writing positive things – things you are grateful for, happy experiences. Use this tool to reflect upon the things that make you happy in your life. This will help you to cultivate a more positive outlook.



Go for a walk! Clear your mind as you walk outside or do some physical activity. Our bodies release endorphins when we exercise, which physically make us happier. If you’re doing a difficult workout, you tend to focus more on the workout than the daily stressors that clutter your mind.



Are you getting enough sleep? Sometimes a change in sleeping habits is all you need to get you back into the right mind-frame that you need to function each day. Make sure you get the amount of sleep that your body and mind require.



Do you have a stockpile of stuff in your home that is always on the back of your mind? Get rid of it! Take some time to go through the things in your home – donate old clothing and items to Goodwill, recycle old car batteries sitting in the garage, whatever you have lying around that you don’t use, eliminate it.



Physically decluttering can help declutter your mind as much as any of these other methods. Take the time to organize your desk at work or your counters, table, and shelves at home.



Instead of stressing yourself out while trying to multi-task and doing two things at a mediocre level, try focusing on one task at a time and excelling at it.



Pick one or two of the most important things you need to get done that day and focus on them. Prioritize the bigs things and let those drive your motivation rather than stressing about all the little things.

Let Go


Let go of the little things. Make a list of everything you need to do that is stressing you out – and cross half of the list off. Not everything needs to get done in one day. Get one or two things done and be proud of that, knowing that you accomplished something good that day.



Take a minute to breathe. Physically stop yourself from doing anything and literally just sit and breathe for a few minutes. Focus on your breathing and allow your thoughts to drift away for those few precious moments. Also known as meditating, this allows us to bring our thoughts to the present moment and refocus on what is truly important.

Limit Media


How much time do you spend on your phone, watching TV, on the computer? Cut some of that time out of your day. Not only will it free up your time to do something more productive, but it will help limit your intake of information. Media is consumption of information, and not all of it is useful and only takes up space in our already busy minds.

Go Slow


Literally slow down. We’re often in a hurry to make it to our next destination – work, home, the grocery store. When we’re in a hurry, we tend to get it in our heads that something really bad will happen if we don’t make it to our destination by a certain time. But when you slow down and take a second to breathe and think, that stress often goes away.

Take a Break


Sometimes we just need a break. Take a nap. Take a vacation. Do whatever you need to do to relax and recover.

Why Do I Have Nasal Blockage?


Nasal blockage or congestion is more commonly referred to as a stuffy nose. Although many people think nasal blockage is caused by excessive build-up of mucus in the nasal passages, this problem is actually the result of inflamed blood vessels. Nasal congestion is often a symptom of the common cold, the flu, a sinus infection, allergies, or any other health issue that can trigger the irritation and consequent inflammation of blood vessels in the sinuses.

Nasal blockage is marked by:

  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Mucus build-up
  • Inflamed nasal tissue
  • Sinus pain

Causes of nasal blockage

Nasal congestion is when a patient’s nasal passages become stuffed-up and inflamed. Minor health conditions like the flu, cold, and an infection of the sinus are the most common causes of a stuffy nose, but illness-related blockage will almost certainly abate within a week. Any nasal congestion that lasts for more than a week might be indicative of an underlying health problem. There are many possible explanations for long-term nasal blockage, including:

  • Exposure to environmental irritants
  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Allergies
  • Development of benign tumors or noncancerous growths known as nasal polyps on the lining of nasal passages
  • Hay fever
  • A deviated septum
  • A long-lasting sinus infection called chronic sinusitis

Increase in blood supply and hormonal fluctuations, both commonly associated with pregnancy, can also cause long-term nasal congestion. These changes can have a drying and irritating effect on the nasal membranes, causing inflammation and bleeding. As such, expectant mothers are likely to experience nasal blockage, especially towards the end of the first trimester.

Regardless of the cause, there are a number of ways to relieve nasal congestion.

Home remedies for a stuffy nose

Natural home remedies can help alleviate nasal blockage, especially if it is not chronic. Here are a few things that can help you feel and breathe better.

Use a humidifier: Humidifiers can help relieve a stuffy nose. By adding moisture to your indoor air, these devices offer a quick and easy solution. Besides thinning and breaking up the mucus in your sinuses, moist air can help soothe inflamed nasal tissues and blood vessels, reducing sinus pain and restoring your breathing to normal.

Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated can help thin the mucus congesting your nasal passages, allowing you to push these fluids out. This will, in turn, decrease the amount of pressure exerted on your sinuses, meaning less irritation and inflammation.

Use a nasal saline spray: Saline is a saltwater solution that can help increase the amount of moisture in your nostrils, which will, in turn, break up the mucus congesting your nasal passages and soothe inflamed blood vessels. Saline sprays are also safe for all ages. When it comes to babies, however, the use of a nasal bulb or aspirator is necessary to clean any remaining mucus from their noses. Also, some saline sprays contain decongestant medication and can worsen the congestion if used for more than a few days. So, consult your doctor before you use this type of saline spray.

Drain your sinuses: Although it might not be an alluring task, you can use a neti pot to flush clogged nostrils. This container is ideally designed for the purpose of flushing fluids out of nasal passages. The FDA advocates the use of sterile or distilled water, and not tap water.

Take a hot shower: The steam from a hot shower can help relieve a stuffy nose and restore your breathing to normal by thinning the mucus clogging your nose and reducing inflammation. This is, however, a short-term solution.

Use a warm compress: Warm compresses can help unclog your nose by opening your nasal passages from the outside. Soak a towel in slightly hot water, squeeze out the water, fold the towel, and then place it over your face, specifically over the nose and forehead. Repeat as often as necessary. The warmth can help relieve inflammation and provide comfort from any pain.

When should you see a doctor?

Home remedies are not always enough to relieve nasal congestion, especially if it is not associated with a minor health issue. Medical treatment might be necessary for chronic or long-term congestion. You should also seek medical attention if you are in pain or can no longer perform your day-to-day activities as you should. See your doctor right away if any of the following applies to your case:

  • Nasal blockage lasting more than 10 days
  • Blockage along with high fever for more than three days
  • Bloody nasal discharge
  • Green nasal discharge accompanied by sinus pain and fever
  • Constant clear discharge
  • A weakened immune system, asthma, or emphysema

Also, it’s imperative that you seek immediate medical attention if you’ve suffered any recent head injury.

Nasal congestion in infants and older children

Nasal blockage can be more of a health risk to infants than it is to older children and adults. Apart from interfering with infant feedings, a stuffed-up nose can lead to breathing problems that might be fatal. Nasal congestion may also inhibit the development of normal speech and hearing in children. For these reasons, it’s imperative that you contact your pediatrician the soonest possible if your child has a stuffy nose. In this way, your doctor can work together with you to determine the most appropriate treatment option for your baby.

Medical treatment

If you are suffering from chronic nasal blockage, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan once he/she has established the cause. Treatment plans will in most cases include prescription medications to help alleviate or resolve the symptoms.

The following are some of the medications used to treat long-lasting nasal congestion.

  • Nasal sprays that contain antihistamines
  • Oral antihistamines for treating allergies
  • Nasal steroids
  • Antibiotics
  • Prescription or over-the-counter strength decongestants

Surgery might be the recommended form of treatment for patients who have nasal polyps or benign tumors in their nasal passages, or sinuses that keep mucus from draining out.


Nasal blockage is not likely to cause major health issues. With proper treatment, the symptoms don’t usually take long to improve.

Becker Ear Nose and Throat Center strives to provide specialized and personalize care to all patients. You deserve the best treatment and care that is tailored to your individual needs. With their internationally recognized doctors, you are assured of quality health care.

Flu season is well underway in most of the United States. Ensure you are diagnosing your illness correctly when comparing nasal blockage to the common cold or flu. Consider some of the remedies mentioned above to ensure you are staying ahead of the season and taking care of yourself!

Smartphones Affecting Psychological Well-being

Let’s face it, many people of the world can be described as being addicted to their iPhone or Android device and as unhealthy as it sounds, you’re probably reading this on your device as we speak. Smartphones have become our gateway to the world, but recent studies are indicating that it could be detrimental to your health, mentally.

About a year ago, the University of Illinois conducted a study that found high interaction with mobile technology is associated to mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. In this study, more than 300 university students were surveyed. The goal was to seek out whether their engagement with their mobile devices affects their psychological wellness and turns out that students who identified as having addictive behaviors with their smartphones scored higher on the anxiety and depression spectrum, according to psychology professor Alejandro Llearas and honors student Tyana Panova.

There are many benefits to utilizing your mobile device. Many of us use it for connecting with others, placing orders, or passing time; however, too often users turn their device into something that barricades them from the rest of the world; which can hinder a healthy face-to-face interaction. With this being said, here are a few suggestions to help break the negative habit and strive for a healthier mental state of mind:

Take a Trip

Social media has made it easier than ever to share memories that last a lifetime and we often tend to like other’s post about an exotic trip or adventure. Instead of scrolling through your feed take advantage of the new year by saving for an affordable vacation. Consider asking a few friends to join in order to reconnect and even split the cost.

This is a great opportunity to break free from the cold and enjoy some warm weather somewhere else. It may even benefit you to consider taking a road trip instead of flying in order to spend more quality time with the people you care about. Again, if you decide to take a road trip, be sure to go unplugged. Countless people are hurt and even killed on the roadways due to distracted driving. Be sure to navigate your route before getting on the highway.

Go Unplugged

If your finances won’t allow you to take a trip, consider something more financially affordable. Consider turning your phone off for a few hours after work or if needed, leave your phone at home for the day and spend time with friends and family. Social interaction can be a healthy activity and gives you the opportunity to reconnect. Perhaps you could venture out into your own community and give back by volunteering or experience a new local attraction with your friends or family.

Reconnect with Yourself

Putting the phone down can also allow for the opportunity to connect with yourself. Over time we experience new things about ourselves that can elude to great discoveries. Perhaps you might find something that you really enjoy that sparks a new passion within you. Taking up a new hobby is a great way to reconnect with yourself. If you enjoy our alone time, this is a perfect opportunity to reconnect with activities that you’ve always been passionate about or discovering something you never knew you would like.

Mobile devices are great advances in technology and help us in so many ways, but we have to keep in mind that our mental and physical heath is a priority. Maintaining a healthy mental state of mind will allow you to be your best self.

6 Excellent Stress Coping Techniques


We’re coming into a high-stress time for the majority of the U.S. population – tax season. On top of work, kids, finances, health, and any other stressors you might have, this time of the year can be really stressful. Too much stress can be detrimental to your physical and mental health, so it’s important to find ways to deal with that.

Rachelle Jones, a doctor in Rexburg, ID, has helped us compile this list of ways that you can use to help cope with your stress.

Everyone copes with stress differently. Try a few of these out and see if they help lower your stress and anxiety levels. The goal is relaxation.


This is one of the top coping mechanisms for stress. A lot of people might think of this as more of a spiritual mind and body connection and get lost in how it can actually help them. When you can learn to clear your mind and focus on the present, you can change your mindset completely and learn to relax and realize that it’s not the end of the world.

If you’re new to meditation, try doing a little research to learn what it really is and how it can help you.

If you want to try a guided meditation, Calm is a great app that you can download on most mobile devices to get started.


Stress can literally cause us physical pain. It can build up into knots in your neck, back, and shoulders. If you’re unusually overloaded with stress and find that you have aches and pains in these areas, schedule an appointment with a massage therapist. Sometimes all we need is a little physical relief to help us keep moving.

Make a List

Make a list of everything that is stressing you out – chores and errands that need to get done for example. Now, initially this might cause a little more stress, but it’s when you start checking these items off of your list that you can relax.

Our minds are funny, and sometimes just this little visual representation of getting things done can help immensely. It shows us that we are being productive, and sometimes that’s all we need.

Do Things You’ve Been Putting Off

What is it that you’ve been wanting to do forever but can never seem to get around to? Maybe you’ve been wanting to see a certain movie, try out a new recipe, or read a new book. Do it!

Take a break from the daily things that are causing stress and try doing that thing that you’ve wanted to do forever to relieve some of the stress.

Take a Bath

You know that physical stress we mentioned earlier? A nice warm bath and some essential oils can do wonders for this. Just take 20 minutes out of your day and draw yourself a bath. If possible, make sure it’s during a time when you can be completely uninterrupted, so you can reap all of the benefits of relaxation that this will offer you.


Are you one of those people who just has to keep moving? Then try exercising to relieve stress. Head to the gym or go for a run. If possible, do your stress-relieving workout away from home or wherever the majority of your stress is generating from.

Exercising releases endorphins and helps us to mentally feel better. So plug in some tunes and get moving. After your workout you might find you have the energy and motivation that you’ve been looking for.

5 Foods You Should Eat Every Day


I hope you’re all still doing great on your New Year’s resolutions. And if not, that’s alright, just continue back up again and push forward. It’s hard to implement new habits into our lives, especially when it involves diet and exercise. Maybe we can help you out a little on the diet front.

Dallas Rindfleisch, a family doctor who offers coolsculpting in Idaho Falls, knows just how important it is to eat good foods, so he helped us put together this list of superfoods that you should be eating every day!

1. Black Beans

Black beans are a great source of protein, and you should be eating them often. With iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus, black beans can be a great contributor to strong bones. Black beans are also low in sodium, making it a good option to help reduce blood pressure.

How to eat:

Try adding rinsed black beans to your salads. They are also great in most Mexican dishes – enchiladas, tacos, burritos. You can also try making black bean brownies. All you need is a box of brownie mix and a can of black beans. Mix them together and bake according to the box instructions.

2. Spinach

Spinach is the superfood we all know about. But it’s also green and not always pleasant for many people. Spinach is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. If you don’t like spinach, good replacements include kale, bok choy, and romaine lettuce.

How to eat:

There are tons of ways you can incorporate spinach into your diet – even if you don’t like the taste. Add a handful of spinach to your smoothies (apple juice drowns the flavor of the spinach out well). Add it into an omelet or scrambled eggs. Eat it in a salad. You can even blend it up and add it to sauces for meals that you make.

3. Yogurt

Were you ever told to eat yogurt as a child when you were taking antibiotics for a bad cold? That’s because yogurt is loaded with probiotics, replenishing the good bacteria that you need for your body to function properly. It’s also a good source of calcium. Greek yogurt even gives you a little boost of protein.

How to eat:

Add yogurt to smoothies or top it with berries and granola for a yummy breakfast. Yogurt also makes a great dip for fruit like melons, apples, pineapple, and berries.

4. Walnuts

Walnuts are another great source of omega-3s and protein. They also make a great post-workout recovery snack. All you need is a serving a day – that’s about seven nuts.

How to eat:

Eat them plain or make a fun little trail mix snack by adding peanuts, dried fruit, and chocolate chips. You can also add them to salads.

5. Tomatoes

Because red tomatoes have a rich source of lycopene, an antioxidant, they can help decrease the risk of different cancers and coronary artery disease. A glass of tomato juice or about eight cherry tomatoes will give you all the lycopene you need for one day.

How to eat:

Make your own soup or pasta or pizza sauce with canned or fresh tomatoes. Add tomato juice to smoothies. Use cherry tomatoes in your salad, or eat them as a snack on their own.

7 Bad Habits That Harm Your Teeth


Your teeth are pretty important. You need them to help you speak. They start the digestive process by chewing up your food. And quite often, we take that for granted because it’s not something that we really have to think about on a day-to-day basis.

But if your teeth are that important, shouldn’t you treat them like it?

A dentist in Twin Falls helped us put together this list of habits that are harming your teeth. Do you have any of these habits?

Nail Biting

You’ve been told not to bite your nails since you were a kid, but did it help? Maybe having a little more knowledge of why this is bad will help. Biting your nails can chip your teeth, even ever so slightly that it’s difficult to tell at first. This habit also places your jaw in a set position for a prolonged period of time, if you’re an excessive nail-biter, and that can cause dysfunction with your jaw too.

Some possible solutions are using a bitter nail polish and reducing your stress. Nail biting is typically a nervous habit. If you find ways to relieve your stress and calm your nerves, this can help. If you’re having trouble calming your nerves, carry something to keep your hands busy instead of biting your nails.

Brushing Too Hard

Brushing your teeth is good, brushing too hard is bad. The bristles on your toothbrush can start rubbing away at the enamel of your teeth if you brush too hard. It can also cause your gums to bleed.

Try using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and brush your teeth gently. It shouldn’t hurt or cause your gums to bleed.

Thumb Sucking

Do you have children who suck their thumbs? This can cause developmental problems in their teeth as they get older, like an excessive overbite or crooked teeth.

Thumb sucking is usually done as a soothing method. It’s a source of comfort during stressful situations and it can help reduce their anxiety. Help your child find other ways to soothe anxiety, like a blanket or stuffed animal to hold close. And help them become aware of the habit so they can make the choice to stop rather than pulling their hand out of their mouth every time you catch them doing it.

Chewing Ice

For some reason, chewing on ice is particularly satisfying for many people. But this habit is a risky one. It can cause a chipped tooth or break a filling.

To resist this temptation, order drinks without ice or use a straw.

Chewing Pen Caps

When we’re bored or working on something, it’s common for many people to start chewing on the end of their pen or pencil, their glasses, or the aglet of their sweatshirt string. When we’re concentrated on something while doing this, it’s easy to not realize how much pressure you are putting between your teeth and the object. This can cause your teeth to chip or break a filling.

Try to make yourself aware of this habit when it is occurring. Awareness in itself can help you break the habit.

Using As Tools

When you don’t have scissors, do you use your teeth to tear off a tag or open a new bag? Your teeth are not tools meant for cutting and tearing. They are meant for chewing food – which should be soft enough already that it doesn’t harm your teeth.

Keep a small pair of scissors or nail clippers in your purse, on your desk at work, and in a central area at home. Having these items close by or on hand will lessen the temptation to use your teeth.

Clenching and Grinding

It’s no secret that clenching and grinding are bad for your teeth and jaw. It can cause pain in your jaw, misaligned teeth, and tooth erosion. The problem with this one is that we can’t always control when we are doing it – especially if you do this while you sleep.

Clenching and grinding is often a result of stress. If you can find some ways to help relieve that everyday stress, you might discover that you don’t fall back to this habit as much. Another solution is to wear a mouth guard at night. This will help protect your teeth even if you start to grind them while you sleep.

If you’re concerned about how one of your habits might be affecting your teeth, talk to your dentist about it at your next appointment. They can examine your teeth and see if there is any damage and give you some advice for moving forward.