Your mother probably always told you to eat your vegetables, and you should listen to this solid advice on June 17 for National Eat Your Vegetables Day. Produce should be included in your daily diet for a variety of reasons, including the health and wellbeing of your mouth! Did you know that eating a proper amount of fruits and vegetables will beat your bad breath, get rid of dry mouth and help you keep dental plaque at bay? These are some powerful little foods, so eat up June 17, and take advantage of this nationwide event.
“Adequate nutrition is important in disease prevention, and nutritional counseling is becoming an increasingly important tactic in preventive dentistry,” Ken Sutherland, senior dental consultant at Delta Dental, said. “The quality and consistency of foods, their nutritional composition and the combinations in which they are eaten can affect oral health, including the likelihood of tooth decay.”
Here are just a few of the best vegetables you can consume to keep your teeth and mouth in tip-top shape:
Chomping on carrots and celery isn’t just for rabbits – but it could be why Bugs Bunny had those perfect pearly whites. Fibrous vegetables like these are great for oral care because they promote strong gums and healthy teeth. These vegetables contain beta carotene, which aids in the production of vitamin A to maintain normal function of the heart, lungs and kidneys. But they directly influence the health of your teeth as well. For instance, carrots and celery are both very crunchy, so when you eat them, it scrubs away dental plaque on the teeth. Just try it: After munching on a few pieces, you’ll notice your teeth feeling extra clean. Root vegetables are also a natural bad breath cure because they contain a high concentration of water to rinse away leftover food particles while moistening the mouth.
Go on – pile that salad filled with fresh spinach, lettuce, kale, cabbage and even asparagus onto your plate. First of all, these vegetables aid in digestion so you don’t have to worry about having stinky breath later. These leafy greens are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals that keep the entire body functioning properly, such as vitamin A and C, calcium and magnesium. Plus, vegetables like these are super beneficial for your teeth and actually act as a shield against other food and drinks. Your saliva production will generally increase when you are eating a salad as well, so you won’t be left with a dry mouth when you’re done with your meal.
While you might not want to snack on fiery jalapenos, red, green, yellow and orange peppers are great raw choices to keep your mouth looking and feeling fantastic. These colorful vegetables are great snacks because they are packed with water to get rid of dry mouth, keep bacteria at bay and avoid tooth decay. They are also a great source of vitamin C, which is a natural solution for canker sores.
Mushrooms are a versatile vegetable that can be used in salad, pasta or on its own. In fact, mushroom burgers have become a great alternative to ground beef, and they are super tasty. Research has shown that mushrooms contain properties that help to battle periodontal disease as well. Mushrooms contain selenium and vitamin D, which helps the body to absorb calcium and phosphate.
Whatever your vegetable preference may be, chances are you will be able to receive some oral health benefits from them. Vegetables can be added to virtually any meal, but raw veggies are the way to go when you are looking for the utmost beneficial properties.