Nutrition Tips #Healthy Gums #Strong Teeth
Teeth are important! No wonder most of us take a really good care of them. Brushing, flossing, scraping our tongue, using mouth wash… we all do that. Our mouth might very well be the part of our body we take the most care of and yet tooth decay and gum disease are still some of the most prevalent diseases in the world. How come? The answer might hide in the fridge.
Surprising or not, the reason behind frequent visits to the dentist might be your diet. Even if you have a perfect oral hygiene routine it might be hard to keep your teeth healthy, if you don’t watch what you eat. Often we see food as being the villain when it comes to oral health. It is sugars and acids from food and drinks that do most of the damage to our teeth. However there are many types of food that not only don’t harm your teeth as much but can even give a big boost to your oral health.
Some of the healthy foods to improve your diet and the health of your mouth are:
Cheese and dairy products:
Milk and other milk products like cheese contain calcium and proteins, nutrients that strengthen the tooth enamel. Dairy products lower the acid level in your mouth, thereby lowering the risk of tooth decay. They increase the saliva production which washes off the bacteria in the mouth. Hard cheeses are the best options. Yogurt is high in calcium and protein too. Additionally the probiotics or beneficial bacteria also benefit your gums and help prevent cavities and fights bad breath. If you decide to add more yogurt to your diet choose a plain variety with no added sugar.
Leafy greens typically find their way onto any healthy foods list. They are full of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. Leafy greens such as spinach, broccoli, kale etc. also promote oral health that your teeth and gums love. They are high in calcium which builds your tooth’s enamel. They contain folic acid and vitamin B that has numerous health benefits for eg. treating gum disease in pregnant women. If you have trouble getting leafy greens into your diet add a handful of baby spinach to your next salad or throw same kale on a pizza. You can also try adding some greens to a smoothie.
Fruits like apples, oranges and strawberries are great for your teeth. Apples might be sweet but they are also high in fibre and water. It produces saliva in your mouth which rinses away bacteria and food particles. The fibrous texture of the fruit also stimulates the gums. Eating an apple isn’t the same as brushing your teeth with a tooth paste that contains fluoride but it can take over until you have a chance to brush. Pack either a whole apple or apple slices in your lunch to give your mouth a good scrubbing at the end of a meal. Oranges are least acidic of all citrus fruits and have all the health benefits that you can expect from fruits. If you want perfect teeth, you better love strawberries! They are packed with vitamin C, antioxidants and also maleic acid which could naturally whiten your teeth.
Carrots are crunchy and full of fibre, tasty and so full of the most important minerals and vitamins to your mouth, that they deserve a special mention. No wonder bugs bunny has perfect teeth…Eating a handful of raw carrots at the end of the meal increases saliva production in your mouth which reduces the risk of cavities. Along with being high in fibre, carrots are a great source of vitamin A. Top a salad with a few slices of raw carrots or enjoy some baby carrots on their own. Celery in many ways the perfect snack for good oral health and is the closest we have to natures floss. It might have a bad reputation for being bland, watery and full of those pesky strings, but it acts a bit like a tooth brush, scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. It is also a good source of vitamin A and C, two antioxidants that give the health of your gums a boost. Make celery even tastier by topping it with cream cheese.
Nuts are nature’s way of showing us that Good things come in small packages. These bite size nutritional powerhouses are packed with healthy fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Especially beneficial are Almonds, Brazil nuts and Cashews which help to fight bacteria that lead to tooth decay. Raisins are a source of phytochemicals which may kill bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. They are packed with tons of important elements like calcium and phosphorous. Enjoy a quarter cup of almonds with your lunch. You can also add a handful to a salad or to a stir fry dinner.