Snack for Your Smile: Top 6 Super Foods for Great Oral Health
You eat with your teeth, but is time you eat FOR your teeth! A gorgeous smile speaks to more than just aesthetics, a healthy body begins with a healthy mouth. Munch on these six super foods to increase overall health and improve your oral health by balancing the mouth’s pH levels, fortifying tooth enamel, combating harmful bacteria and providing the proper vitamins and minerals for strengthening oral health functions. Now these are super foods to smile about!
Sweet Potatoes: These potatoes are fortified with Vitamin A, which supports the health of the soft tissue of the gums and is also vital in maintaining the protein keratin, an agent that promotes formation of tooth enamel. Don’t let the name fool you, the sweet potato is super versatile and can be substituted for white or red potatoes in soup, roast and stew recipes.
Cheese: Snack on parmesan cheese or crumble goat cheese on to your salad; these two cheeses have the highest levels of phosphate. Phosphate helps balance the pH level in the mouth to support preservation of tooth enamel, aiding with cavity prevention and warding off gum disease. Cheese is also high in calcium, which is important for maintaining bone density.
Shiitake Mushrooms: Eat shiitake mushrooms raw in salads, grill, steam, sauté or stir fry mushrooms with a combination of herbs, spices, veggies and meats. These bold-flavored mushrooms boast grand anti-microbial properties that fight tooth decay and contain a poly-saccharide called Lentinan, which prevents the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Lentinan is also routinely used as a treatment for cancer.
Green Tea: A cup a day may actually keep the doctor away! Green tea has a notable reputation for having numerous health benefits, so is no surprise that your mouth can benefit too. Catechins, which are a type of antioxidant found in the tea, help stave off bacteria that can cause plaque, cavities and gum disease. Think outside the teacup if you’re not a fan of hot drinks, try green tea iced lattes, slushes and even green tea ice-cream!
Raw Onion: Onions are notable for their antibacterial properties. Consuming raw onions is a great way to benefit from the bacteria fighting properties, and add a bite to any dish. It is also said that chewing or rubbing a bit of raw onion on a sore tooth can temporarily alleviate toothache. For a flavor boost try making Pico de Gallo or salsa using diced onions.
Kiwis: This tiny, bright fruit is the most super of super fruits! Kiwis contain the most Vitamin C of any fruit, which is vital for the health of the gums. Vitamin C works to strengthen the collagen in the gum tissue, which in turn protects from periodontal disease caused by the breakdown of gum tissue. Avoid the furry outer skin of the fruit by cutting the fruit in half and indulging in your snack with a spoon.