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4 Foods Good for Your Entire Health—Including Your Teeth

Monday, August 11th, 2014

When we talk about what you can eat to keep your teeth for a lifetime, a more accurate description might be it’s what we don’t eat that can save our teeth!

What will also determine our level of oral hygiene, and whether or not we “keep our teeth,” is our routine behavior after we eat or drink. Take for example foods with a high sugar and/or starch make-up, such as a hard candy, a cookie, a piece of cake or even a slice of bread. (You could even put dried fruits or a banana on that list!, in some cases) When sugar or starches are left on our teeth, bacteria thrive. The acid that results will destroy our tooth enamel, and we are left with tooth decay.

It actually only takes 20 minutes for that acid to start damaging our teeth. Knowing this, we set out to find foods that are beneficial for our teeth.

Here are 4 foods that can help us improve our entire health, including our teeth.

Total health Hagen

1.Kale, spinach, collard greens, cabbage, romaine, and turnip greens.

Number one on the list is what can certainly be classified as the leafy greens category! These greens are one of the top ways we can eat to fuel our bodies and to protect our teeth. They have fiber, minerals, and are packed with vitamins.

Take Popeye’s favorite leafy green, spinach, for example: it is low calorie, but has vitamin A and C. If we don’t have enough Vitamin C In our diet, it’s possible that we can further promote gum issues such as bleeding gums. Look at it this way: Vitamin C can at least help us further support our bones, teeth and cartilage. If you haven’t been including them in your diet, look to include them in existing recipes you are eating, such as casseroles, in your next tortilla wrap or sandwich, or on top of your turkey burger as a bun.

2. Broccoli.

Noticing a trend with green vegetables being good for your total health?

Another low calorie food with 25 calories per serving, broccoli is great for our entire health because it is packed with Vitamin C, and once again, has fiber which can aid in our digestion process. It also has potassium, folate and Vitamin A.

Other benefits of broccoli is that it can support our eye health. If you don’t like to eat this superstar vegetable raw, look up some new recipes with cooked broccoli and get creative. If you want, try out other veggies in broccoli’s family: cauliflower, cabbage, or brussel sprouts. You won’t be disappointed.

3. A handful of your favorite nuts and seeds.

Again, looking at the nutrient profile of most nuts, we find iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, Vitamin E, and more. We’re talking about a phenomenal source of plant-based protein, which can also be beneficial to some with specialty diets. Not to be forgotten in many nuts and seeds is calcium, which is of course important for strong bones and teeth…

Another benefit of nuts and seeds is they can be a great on-the-go, convenient snack. Just don’t crack the nuts with your teeth!

4. Onions.

That’s right, onions! We wanted to give you a food you may have not have seen coming on the list.

Onions actually have compounds that can benefit our health, specifically, recent research has even given us evidence that onions help combat bacteria known to cause gum disease and cavities…

If that isn’t enough to convince you, they also have a high polyphenol content, which is a category of phytonutrient that can help us prevent disease. In fact, the polyphenol content in an onion is greater than that in garlic, leeks, (which onions are closely related to), and even bell peppers, for comparison. If that isn’t convincing you to add more to your diet, they also have been shown to risk of certain cancers, lower risk of cataract formation, reduce certain symptoms associated with diabetes, help our gut flora, and they reduce symptoms associated with osteoporosis.

While some people don’t like raw onions, you can always cook them. Once again, try to get creative by adding them in to recipes you are already eating.

There are yellow, red and white onion varieties, and don’t forget grilled or sautéed onions are a great way to add more flavor to almost any dish.

What else can we look to include in our diet? Good old water!

Water helps aid digestion, it keeps our skin moisturized, it boosts our immune system naturally, and it can also serve to increase our energy and relieve fatigue in general.

Take note of how much you are really drinking each day.

When we get enough water each day, it also “rinses out” our mouth after consuming sweets or anything that is starch-heavy. In this way, it naturally cleanses our mouths and helps combat decay.

Another benefit, besides avoiding “empty” calories for those looking to do so, is that by substituting water in for other beverages, we usually also help keep the acid exposure we are getting in check.