Some things I learned I can honestly say I KNEW that, but had chosen to ignore my instincts. Other things, were truly revolutionary to me.
Since we are at the stage of attempting to remineralize teeth, we first have to understand what is happening. Essentially, the teeth are not receiving the minerals they need to stay strong and healthy. The body is leaching minerals from the bones. Why? The simple answer is that their diet is lacking necessary nutrients. A more complex answer would be that their body is not able to process the nutrients in the foods they are eating. Even if I gave them all the right foods, they may not be able to properly absorb them due to nutrient blocking foods they are getting in combination with the good foods. I mentioned in my last post about how it was more important to keep the bad out than getting the good in because of this very concept. I can give them all the vitamin supplements in the world (which aren't recommended anyway) but if the absorption is being blocked by other high phytic acid foods, then it's not going to work. Maximizing nutrient absorption is key to remineralizing teeth.
Key nutrients needed for strong healthy bones and teeth are Vitamin A, D, C, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, zinc, iodine, as well as a few others. You can't just take a pill. It HAS to come from your foods! Even more important, those nutrients can't be BLOCKED by other foods and the nutrients need to be easily available for your body to absorb.
I know, it almost seems overwhelming, doesn't it? But what I've learned is that traditional ways of preparing foods, are time consuming, because they work. Pretty much anything that's quick or easy, is not worth the time or effort. Let alone the money to buy it. They are essentially junk foods.
A quick run down of some of our common day, American foods, and the yay or nays of them:
Major factor and Key Player right here - - - - > Blood sugar stability - When blood sugar fluctuates, the calcium and phosphorus in the blood fluctuate with it. White sugar can cause a fluctuation that lasts as long as five hours! *5* hours! Fruit sugar produces fewer fluctuations, but the blood sugar may still remain unbalanced for the same length of time. Honey causes even few fluctuations, and will come back into balance in approximately 3 hours. When the blood sugar becomes unbalanced, so are the blood calcium levels because the body is pulling calcium from your bones (teeth). Calcium and phosphorus ratios are negatively affected over time by blood sugar fluctuations. A combination of blood sugar stability and proper calcium/phosphorus rations in the blood result in tooth decay immunity. The longer your blood sugar is out of balance, the higher the possibility of tooth decay. It doesn't matter if this imbalance is occurring due to eating cakes, or fruit. Sugar imbalance is sugar imbalance. All sweet foods cause fluctuations. However, the intensity of sweetness will directly affect how much of a fluctuation. For instance, dried fruit will cause a much greater fluctuation than a non sweet fruit like a raspberry.
Pasteurized milk - In order to absorb the calcium found in milk, you need the phosphatase. It is naturally found in raw milk, but the pasteurization process destroys it. As well as Vitamin C. Most pasteurized milk has Vitamins A & D added to try to make it more nutritious. However, your body treats synthetic vitamins as a toxin and will not absorb them.
Homogenized milk - The homogenization process forces the milk through extremely small holes at high pressure to break apart the fat molecule. It leaves the milk, basically, unusable by the body by breaking the milk's cellular structure. Most store bought ice creams are made with pasteurized and homogenized milk, plus lots of sugar and sometimes even high fructose corn syrup, which means, nada to the bought ice cream.
Raw milk - Yes! This is a GOOD thing! Drink away!
Butter - only if it's from raw milk from grass fed, pastured cows. This butter will have a deep yellow color to it and not the almost off white that is typical of most store bought butters.
Fruit - Many fruits can add to your health. but there is also the possibility of too much of a good thing. I was allowing my kids to eat lots of fruit. Often. I encouraged it! Thinking it was healthy for them. Unaware of the blood sugar fluctuations it was causing that was allowing the opportunity to tooth decay. Fruit is best balanced with a protein rich fat. For instance, strawberries and cream. Peaches and cream. Apples and cheese, etc. The sugar burst can help calm hunger quickly, while the fats from the healthy proteins will have a longer staying power and energy source for your body. Avoid sweet fruits when trying to heal cavities. Particularly oranges, bananas, grapes, peaches, dates, dried fruits. Having cavities is a sign telling you that your blood sugar is fluctuating TOO much! Once cavities are healed, some sweet fruits, within reason, is ok.
Sweeteners - Obviously, most sweeteners are no nos. They raise the blood sugar. Avoid evaporated cane juice, high fructose corn syrup, agave nector, glycerin, brown rice syrup, fake sweeteners, etc.
Protein - I learned in pregnancy that protein helps balance blood sugar. Eating a high protein diet with adequate amounts of healthy fats, is very important. Factory farmed meat, eggs, dairy, and even lunchmeats. Avoid them! Always use meats that have lived their life the way God intended them to, eating the foods they were designed to eat. Only then can they provide us with the fullest of nutrients they were meant to give us.
Protein Powders - Consuming the real thing, is always better. For instance, if whey protein is being used for health and boosting protein intake, simply use real whey. Not only is it a safer protein source, but it also has probiotic benefits. Better protein sources for upping protein consumption are eggs, meat, or fish. Avoid soy as it block iron absorption.
Vegetables - Raw vegetables are difficult to digest, with the exception of lettuce or cucumbers. Unless you have digestive super powers, eating raw vegetables should be limited. Raw vegetables also have plant toxins that prevent the body from being able to properly digest them and extract the nutrients. Prepare them in a way that is easiest to digest.
Grains/Whole Grains - This one was huge for me. And one I had been doing all wrong. I was all about whole grains, whole wheat, wheat germ, everything. And I stayed far, far away from white flour. Well, turns out that white, unbleached, unenriched white flour may not be so bad after all, but surely, my relationship with whole wheat has contributed to our current dilemma. Whole grains - Has the same effect on teeth and the body as consuming large quantities of fructose syrup as they contain grain sugars, as well as phytic acid, which again, binds with other minerals preventing the body from being able to absorb them. The worst of these are oats, bran, and wheat germ. Avoid sprouted grain breads. (oops!) Avoid gluten free grain products. Avoid breakfast cereals. Avoid health food bars. (sad face) Limit popcorn. (We love stove top with lots of butter and salt.) There IS a safe way of eating breads and grains, but it's more than I can get into here, and unless you grind, sift, and sour your own grain, it's honestly just easiest to avoid it altogether. It is recommended in the book (on page 79) to allow a 2-3 week grain detoxification to let the body recover and find balance. This requires removing ALL grains, even quinoa and buckwheat, nuts, seeds, and beans. (yikes!)
White flour - of all the grains, white flour interferes the LEAST with mineral absorption, therefore tooth remineralization. IF you choose to use white flour, always use unbleached, unenriched, white flour. And always consume it with a high fat, protein rich side, like raw milk cheese, or butter. Soaked and soured in a natural sour dough starter is acceptable.
Beans - This one, I honestly already knew. I really truly did. But, I got lazy. Those darned cans of beans in the store were just so much easier than buying dried beans, soaking them and sprouting them myself. Beans are extremely high in phytic acid, which in turn, binds with minerals preventing our body from being able to absorb them. Simply cooking beans only removes a very small portion of the phytic acid. Soaking is better. Soaking and then sprouting, is excellent! Not only does it remove some of the phytic acid, it also turns that dried bean into a living food! Making our bodies much more capable of digesting the nutrients being offered from it. This is exactly what we're looking for in our foods. Easy digestibility and highly nutritious. Something new to me in the book however, was souring them. Not a clue what that's all about. Will have to learn more about it. Ideally, eat beans with cheese, vitamin D rich foods, or vitamin C rich vegetables or berries.
Breakfast cereals and granola - Grains. Already mentioned above. Laced with sugar, "enriched" with vitamins that the body can't absorb. They are a wasteland. Avoid them. They raise blood sugar levels, promoting tooth decay.
Nuts and Nut Butters - Iron absorption blockers, contain the same amount of phytic acid as grains. Unless you can buy raw nuts and soak and sprout them yourself, avoid them. You can not buy commercially soaked and sprouted nuts or nut butters. As well as nut flours. They too have the same amount of phytic acid (mineral binding). Consuming them regularly can affect calcium/phosphorus absorption, as well as Vitamin A, D, and C.
Potatoes - We love potatoes. Especially since we grow them ourselves and store them over winter. I was disappointed to see them on the limited list, but happy to see that sweet potatoes were the best of the potato family. White potatoes contain a moderate amount of phytic acid. They CAN be incorporated in a decay healing diet, in small quantities. Sweet potatoes contain only small amounts of phytic acid and can be balanced with fats and proteins to off set and block the phytic acid mineral binding.
Tomatoes - As well as goji berries, eggplant, and peppers, contain calcitrol, which can leach calcium from your body. These foods CAN be eaten in small quantities and only if you are making sure to balance them with high calcium foods. An imbalance can lead to tooth decay. If you are struggling with getting the decay under control, this might be a missing link to remove from the diet for an added oomph to your program.
Multi vitamins - I am as guilty as they come at pushing this one. I have, however, encouraged food based vitamins. And those are the only ones suggested to be used if ANY are used at all. Synthetic vitamins are seen as toxins in the body and rushed out as fast as possible. Evidenced by the strange color or odor of urine after taking a multivitamin. However, if in extreme deficiency, it's better than nothing.
Soy - Most soy is high in phytic acid, stripping away our calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and even zinc.... and should be avoided. Soy protein powders, soy isolate, soy milk etc. Small condiment amounts of fermented soy is ok. For instance, soy sauce, tempeh, or miso.
Rice - This one surprised me. Even though brown rice contains more nutrients than white rice, your body is not able to actually absorb more nutrients from it, because of the higher phytic acid levels in brown rice. Therefore, unbleached, white rice like a white basmati or white jasmine are fine in small quantities on rare occasions. Be sure to rinse before cooking.
Corn - it's a grain. Lump it up there with not a good one to eat unless it can be properly prepared. Modern corn tortillas, chips and meals are high in phytic acid.
So, what does that leave? Well, let's keep in mind that we are focusing solely on HEALING at this point. Some of these restrictions can be lightened once healing is no longer the goal, and maintaining is the focus. But for now, we are healing. Weston A Price's tooth decay prevention protocol has shown a 90% success rate. But it is work. And as a mom, it's My JOB to do these things for my children. I take my job very seriously. Can't ya tell? ;)
Direct quotes from Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel are as follows:
- Tooth decay is caused by environmental forces such as food; you have complete control over your diet.
- "Dangerous" bacteria are not the cause of cavities and do not randomly attack innocent victims.
- Our modern diet is deficient in fat-soluble vitamins and minerals needed for healthy teeth and bones.
- Tooth decay occurs when your body chemistry falls out of balance and your body sends hormonal signals that tell your teeth to stop remineralizing. The imbalance is caused by blood sugar spikes and a disruption in your calcium and phosphorous metabolism. Eating plenty of vegetables, limiting your sugar intake, eating enough proteins and a diet that includes plenty of fat soluble vitamins usually resolves this imbalance.
- Dentists are surgeons who treat the symptoms of dental disease with surgery. Dental treatments usually provide only short term results. Dentistry has never promised to remineralize cavities or to prevent future cavities.
Balanced Tooth Decay Remineralizing Program - Food Intake Suggestions
1/2 teaspoon 2-3 x's a day of Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil by Green Pasture's Products
quality rich bone broths
raw milk, kefir, whey
high quality animal protein
lots of cooked veggies such as broccoli, zucchini, celery, chard, string beans.
healthy fats with each meal in the form of raw milk, butter, cream
liver twice per week (MAYBE once for us)
Shellfish or other organ meats twice per week (um, yeah, probably not)
We've also been having lots of fresh salads. Lots of eggs and venison for breakfast.
It's only been 2 weeks, but the kids are much more acceptable of the changes at this point. The 4 year old even reminds be every day that she need to take her fermented cod liver oil/butter oil. I mix the two in a small syringe and she chases it with a small amount of raw milk. And of course they line up with hands out to get their hylands cell salts. They call them "little marshmallow things". :) They are small white tabs just like the other hylands products.
The biggest challenge is finding enough of the good foods to keep them happy and interested. But as we are coming into summer, it will get easier with all of our fresh garden goodies soon to grace our table.