From healthy teeth to a good night’s sleep, our diet plays a huge role in how we live. Read the latest nutrition articles and studies here in this week’s Nutrition News.

The nutrients that keep your mouth healthy

The mouth is incredibly important and can be a useful indicator of overall health, therefore it is vital to know the nutrients needed to maintain optimum oral health. This article by Nature World News lists some of the key essential nutrients for maintaining good oral health.

These nutrients include:

This helps support healthy teeth and gums and, by activating your saliva and mucous membranes, it prevents dry mouth.

This has a positive impact on the gums and other soft tissues in the mouth by helping protect them against harmful germs.

Vitamin D is vital for calcium absorption; even if you get enough calcium in your diet, it is very important to ensure you are getting enough vitamin D also to absorb the mineral and support your teeth.

This vitamin is important for depositing calcium to the right areas such as the teeth and bones.

This is another mineral, alongside calcium, that supports a healthy mouth through improving bone density in teeth.

These are just a few vitamins and minerals that support a healthy mouth, but it is just as important to visit a dentist regularly as they can spot signs of trauma or infection that might otherwise be missed.

How long for probiotics to take effect

Probiotics have had a lot of attention in the media recently but, if you were to start taking them, how long would it take before you started seeing the effects? This article by Medical News Today looks at the benefits of probiotics and what differences you might see to your health if you introduced them to your diet.

Probiotics are living bacteria and yeasts that help with certain functions in the body, such as digestion. By taking probiotics you can support a healthy gut, a healthy immune system and mitigate against the overgrowth of harmful bacteria. Some foods naturally contain probiotics, such as yoghurt, cottage cheese and fermented foods like sauerkraut.

You can also supplement with probiotics. The most common forms of probiotics are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, of which some of the most popular strains are Lactobacillus AcidophilusLactobacillus (L) salivarius, Bifidobacterium Longum and Bifidobacterium Bifidum.

According to the article, probiotics could improve digestive issues within as little as a few days and, for general immune support, it could be a few weeks or months before they take full effect, which is why many people make them apart of their ongoing daily intake.

What nutrients help you sleep?

Sleep is an important part of your routine, without enough of it, your body isn’t able to repair itself after the strain we put on it during the day and it can weaken your immune system. Particularly during periods of stress, such as the impact of COVID-19, people can find that they struggle to sleep as well as they usually do, which can have a negative knock on effect for overall health.

Another article from Medical News Today looks at the nutrients needed to support a good night’s sleep and lists the following sleep support supplements and techniques:

  • Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that helps the muscles relax and reduces stress, with some research suggesting it can aid sleep, although more research is needed.

  • Regular exercise

Ensuring you are getting enough exercise regularly not only keeps you physically fit but it also releases endorphins that make us happier, which in turn aids sleep.

  • Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone created by the body the regulates the sleep cycle. Melatonin is made from serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter, and is made when 5-Hydroxytryptophan converts L-Tryptophan into serotonin.

  • Routine

As well as ensuring you are eating and exercising correctly, having a good night-time routine is just as important for adults as it is for children. It helps the body prepare and get to sleep more easily.

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Alison Astill-Smith author Alison is Director and Founder of Metabolics who writes about Metabolics updates, events and natural healthcare. Her experience and passion for natural supplements and healthcare comes from her years of experience as a practising osteopath, having founded Metabolics in her search for high quality, natural products in her own work. Alison has been a qualified and practising Osteopath since 1981 and regularly gives seminars on a range of healthcare subjects to the wider practitioner community helping share her knowledge and experience.