Apple picking. Pumpkin pie. With the new season of fall comes a menu of fresh foods that we start to crave. No more days at the beach with a cooler full of watermelon and cold soda. We stop hunting for ice cream in the evening and start looking for recipes heavy in apples and green tea. Yet what are some scrumptious fall foods that are also good for your teeth? Here are a few that go hand and in with the cooler air, and will make your dentist proud.
Let's start with the obvious:
This nutritious fruit has long been known to keep the doctor away, especially during its harvest season. A compound in the skin of apples called quercetin is responsible for fighting an array of diseases, from reducing cancer risks, lowering chances of heart attack and controlling asthma. The high water content in apples is also good for your teeth. It stimulates saliva production and helps to dilute sugars in the food, washing down other food particles and buffering acid. Beyond that, there are a number of delicious apple recipes you can make. The crunch in them even wards away dental plaque, as it dislodges food particles between teeth.
This steaming bowl of soup warms the soul. As a literal melting pot of vegetables, herbs and spices, grandma's famous broth is a superb source of minerals that help boost the immune system (chicken soup when you are sick) and eases digestive functions. It is also high in calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, each of which are great for tooth health. No wonder you always smiled so much when Grams was around.
Fish oil is great for your diet. Eating fish and other sources of polyunsaturated fat may help combat gum disease, according to the Journal of Dietetic Association. Keep your teeth and gums healthy with a tasty salmon dinner, which is especially good for treating and prevent periodontitis.
As a fall fave, a half cup of pumpkin pie gives you almost a quarter of your daily recommended fiber and contains a heap of vitamin A, vitamin C and iron, leaving your body recharged and keeping you far away from iron deficiency, which can result in tooth decay and an inflamed tongue. According to Nutritionists at the National Institute of Health, eating foods high in carotenoids, which includes orange and yellow vegetables like pumpkins and squash, may help lower the risk of some cancers. If you can you help it, however, don't eat the pie crust - it holds up to 188 grams of fat and a quarter of your daily cholesterol.
At the store, pick out the raw milk, cheese, butter and yogurt for healthy bones and teeth. Avoid pasteurized or homogenized varieties, and try to purchase brands who allow the cows to graze on pasture. As you know, milk's a good source of calcium, which can protect against dental caries and gum disease.
When it's cold outside and you don't got the month of May, but rather September through November, make yourself some green tea. This after-dinner heart-warmer provides natural catechins which reduce dental plaque and destroy bacteria, such as Streptococcus mutans, that cause plaque to develop. For optimal benefits, chew a piece of sugar-free gum afterward to stop the tea from staining your teeth.
Which leads us to our next fall food: Sugarless gum that contains xylitol.
Xylitol is a natural alcohol found in many fruits and vegetables that works to reduce nasty bacteria and decay. Chewing for five minutes after each meal will give you the best results.
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