Visit national parks and stay healthy
SUMMARY: Families across the U.S. are planning vacations to one of the national parks, and you can rest assured your body and mouth will stay healthy this year.
Posted: June 5, 2013
Kids across the country are getting ready to enjoy summer vacation, and families are planning to hit the roads to see some of America's greatest attractions. If you and your family plan to visit one of America's national parks, you may be pleasantly surprised to be offered healthier fare at on-site restaurants, snack bars and stores.
When you are traveling, it can be hard to maintain a balanced diet, so the National Park Service announced a nationwide plan called the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program. Not only does eating food lacking in nutritional value create problems in the entire body, it can leave you and your family with bad breath. Sure, it may be an American pastime to chow down on a hot dog, but this unhealthy meal will linger on your breath long after Old Faithful puts on a show.
Depending on the national park you are planning on visiting this summer, you'll find a different menu chock-full of local and tasty treats so you don't head home with a couple extra pounds packed on. Bad breath foods like French fries, burgers and sausages contain high levels of sodium and fat, which linger around for hours after you've consumed them. Plus, these items are hard for the body to digest, causing gas. Don't put a damper on your family trip by stinking up the car this summer.
"Going outside to visit a national park has a lot of benefits. You can spend time with your family. You can get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You can learn about nature and American history," Jonathan Jarvis, director of the National Park Service told USA Today. "You're taking a walk to get a little exercise. You're breathing fresh air, hearing the birds. It has physical and mental benefits. If you want to maximize that health benefit, we need to provide you an opportunity to eat healthy food."
New foods offered in the parks
You'll find different menu items available at each national park. For example, fresh tomato soup, lentil soup, vegetable wraps, salads and fruit are a few options you'll have while seeing great American landmarks like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park or the Statue of Liberty.
However, these parks will still serve up American mainstays like burgers and hot dogs, but with much healthier ingredients. You'll find local grass-fed beef, bison hot dogs, and even vegetarian options like black bean sliders. There's no need to worry about price either, because Jarvis told USA Today that these healthier options will have a price tag that is affordable for everyone coming to the parks.
Include in these items for fresh breath
Apples are great to have on hand when you are on a family road trip to one of the nation's parks. This fruit can naturally "scrub" dental plaque from the teeth, and it contains loads of vitamins to help the entire family stay healthy on vacation. In addition, the water content of apples helps to wash away bad breath-causing bacteria for a clean and healthy mouth. Keeping apples around will also help you get rid of dry mouth.
Don't forget about staying hydrated on your trip! When we are pulled out of our routine, we sometimes leave out the simplest things that keep us healthy. Make sure you are drinking water regularly, which is actually a simple remedy for dry mouth. Since bacteria in the mouth thrive when there isn't saliva or liquid to rinse them away, not drinking enough water has a lasting effect on your bad breath.