It’s mid-January and we’re smack dab in the middle of New Year’s Resolution season.
Adhering to a healthy diet is important any day of the year, not just because a well-balanced diet helps us keep our bodies and minds in tip-top shape, but also because what we eat has a direct impact on the health of our teeth and gums.
Maintaining a healthy diet has a significant impact on the health of our teeth and gums.
Our diet – however healthy or unhealthy – not only has affects our waistlines and dental health, but also our cholesterol numbers, energy levels, sleeping patterns, blood pressure, and risk for heart disease, among other overall health issues.
Let’s looks at some smile-friendly foods to add to your diet in 2015 – or anytime:
– Fresh Whole Fruits: (not juices or dried fruits so much): like apples, pears, strawberries, or kiwis. Just like the cruciferous vegetables, these foods can scrub away at our chompers while we munch.
– Fresh Vegetables: think celery, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower – these are like nature’s toothbrush. The fibrous makeup actually gives our teeth a scrubbing while we nosh away at these cruciferous treats.
Fresh fruits and vegetables also have a high water content which helps stimulate saliva flow in our internal defense against that sticky-icky cavity creep causing bacteria known as plaque.
According to WebMD, acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and lemons, should be eaten as part of a larger meal to minimize the acid from them.
– Dairy Products: milk, yogurt, and cheese all contain calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals which actually help us protect our tooth enamel.
It’s been studied by the Academy of General Dentistry, that consuming cheese and other dairy products may help protect teeth against cavities. The bonus is by having dairy as part of our diets, we’re also building strong bones and a healthier immune system.
– Chicken and Turkey: both are rich in nutrients like phosphorous and high in protein, which helps us build stronger teeth and muscles.
Lean protein helps us build muscle too, good for those of us on a New Year’s resolutions workout binge…or slight increase in physical activity. Gobbling down some chicken or turkey helps give our muscles a jolt just in time for that New Year’s resolution shock to the system, but the lean protein also gives our teeth the strength to fend off decay when the cavity creeps come a calling.
– Fish & Nuts: a 2010 study suggests eating foods rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as salmon and nuts, may help prevent gum disease or periodontitis.
Think Wild Salmon, Trout, Arctic Char, Cod, even Sardines and Anchovies if you fancy them. The key is they are all high in Omega-3 fatty acids – good for our hearts and our teeth.
Nuts and seeds are a great source of plant-based protein, and they pack in powerful teeth-healthy micronutrients such as phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and most importantly, calcium!
Add some nuts to your diet for a healthy snack – particularly almonds or brazil buts as they are highest in tooth strengthening calcium.
– Water: maintaining a healthy diet can be difficult for some of us, whether it’s a hectic travel schedule or a gaggle of little ‘uns to corral, but drinking plenty of water is one of the best things we can do for our diet and our teeth – and it’s usually always available!
How lucky are we to say that?
Water helps keep our teeth and gums in tip-top shape by increasing the flow of saliva and rinsing away food particles that may be hiding out in the gaps between our teeth.
When it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, we can do our dentists a favor – and save ourselves some money in the long run – by eating more of these smile-friendly foods and drinking more water.
Leave us a comment and keep the conversation going on Facebook – and be sure to share some of these Healthy Smile Recipes…