Beat TMJ One Bite at a Time

Many of my patients suffer from TMJ – Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. Although there are a wide range of causes, stress is a frequent culprit. As we begin 2017, I want to spotlight how some easy nutritional changes can help control stress and favorably impact your TMJ symptoms. Yes, we are what we eat – so here are some simple additions to your diet that can make a difference.

IT’S THE TOP BANANA: We all know bananas have potassium. But, we just might be a little fuzzy on exactly what potassium does. Foods like bananas and avocados are potassium-rich, and naturally help to lower blood pressure.

LOOKING GOOD IN GREENS: Spinach and other leafy greens are rich in magnesium, a great way to help prevent anxiety. Magnesium is actually essential in more than 300 chemical reactions in the body. (So, you see, Popeye had it right all those years ago.)

WHOLE GRAINS: A KEY PART OF THE WHOLE STORY: The carbs in brown rice, whole grain breads, and oatmeal trigger the brain to produce serotonin – that feel-good hormone that helps balance your mood and offers stress relief.

NOTHING FISHY ABOUT THIS: The Omega 3 in fish such as wild salmon, sardines and tuna manage adrenaline and help prevent stress hormones from rising.

SQUEEZED SUNSHINE: We all know about oranges and vitamin C. But, we may not know that vitamin C lowers cortisol – the body’s stress hormone. According to the specialists at the University of Maryland, large doses of vitamin C reduce both physical and mental responses to stress.

These simple additions to your daily meal plan can help you cope more effectively with stress, and help keep your TMJ discomfort to a minimum. Small changes can yield great impact. Let’s take a chunk out of healthier living…one bite at a time.