One of the things you should do to maintain your oral – and overall- health is to eat well. Your body needs certain vitamins and minerals to stay healthy or to get well if you’re sick or injured. A healthy diet that includes lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and legumes has the ingredients your body needs to keep it in the best shape it can be.
Organic Foods for Your Dental and Overall Health
Fresh, organic foods are the best choice for healthy eating. They don’t have the fillers, dyes, and other chemicals that non-organic food may contain.
Basically, organic fruits and vegetables are grown without chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides. Organic meats come from animals that are raised in natural environments without using chemicals and non-essential drugs, such as growth hormones. Organic foods are minimally processed and never have GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). To be labeled organic, foods and non-food items have to go through a vigorous approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Even after a thorough washing, non-organic fruits and vegetables can have residue from pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals on their skins. Some fruits and vegetables, such as apples, peaches, cherries, strawberries, celery, potatoes, and tomatoes have been shown to contain trace levels of chemicals on the inside as well as the outside.
Snacking as Part of a Healthy Diet for Dental and Overall Health
Eating between meals isn’t always a bad thing. Having a healthy snack can help regulate your blood sugar, give you a boost of energy, and keep hunger pangs at bay. Some of the best healthy snacks, or any time foods, for your dental and overall health include:
- Almonds – These nuts are packed with nutrients including fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron, and calcium. They are also high in Vitamin E.
- Apples – A great source of pectin, a soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol and glucose levels. They’re also high in Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that protects your body’s cells from damage.
- Bananas – A great source of potassium and phytonutrients. Bananas are also a starch that helps you feel full, aid digestion, and promote your GI health.
- Blueberries – A great source of antioxidants that fight free radicals that can damage your cells and cause cancer and other diseases. They are also high in Vitamins C & K, and manganese.
These foods are also great for a quick on-the-go breakfast or as an add-on to your regular breakfast routine. Add them to oatmeal, yogurt, or your favorite cereal. Apples, bananas, and blueberries are also a tasty and healthy addition to fresh smoothies. Throw in some spinach to your smoothies for a great source of protein, iron, folate, and calcium.
Lunch and Dinner Foods for Your Dental and Overall Health
It’s easy to add foods to your lunch and dinner that can help improve your dental health. Many of the foods that are good for your oral health are versatile and can be used in soups, stews, salads, and as easy side dishes. Some of these foods include:
- Broccoli – A great source of calcium, potassium, folate, fiber, and Vitamins A & C. Broccoli has also been known to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
- Beans – Beans contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and thiamin. They’re also an excellent low-fat, low-calorie source of fiber.
- Beets – Betacyanin gives beets their rich purple-crimson color and are a powerful cancer fighting agent. They’re also a good source of Vitamins B & C, fiber, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, and potassium.
- Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes contain beta carotene, which is an antioxidant, fiber, Vitamins B6, C & E, folate, and potassium. They’re also fat-free and a low calorie food.
- Wheat germ – This is a highly concentrated source of nutrients including niacin, thiamin, Riboflavin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, iron, and zinc.
Fresh foods are always best but when fresh isn’t available frozen versions of fruits and vegetables are a good second option. Keeping frozen fruits and vegetables on hand can be used as a healthy quick add-in to recipes like soups, stews, and smoothies.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult, or time-consuming. With a little planning you can create a healthy diet that is good for you and your family.
The professional staff at Aesthetic Family Dentistry can give you more information about the best foods for your dental and overall health. Feel free to give our office a call, 480-515-0404, if you have questions about the best foods for your teeth, gums, and body.