RW Emerson sure knew how to enjoy summertime—and so can you! In fact, you might actually have a little more to smile about when you make the most of those natural summertime foods! The bountiful supply of summer vegetables and fruit from Mother Earth will not only provide great nutritional benefits, but can also boost your oral health care routine—simply by adding more to your daily diet.
Fruits & Veggies–Nature’s Toothbrush
Fibrous fruits and veggies like oranges, apples, raw carrots and celery can actually help clean your teeth and increase salivation, which can neutralize the acids left behind in your mouth. And, although sugary fruit juices may contribute to tooth decay, chewing the fibrous texture of apples and other fruits actually stimulates your gums, reducing cavity-causing bacteria and increasing saliva flow. And remember, more saliva helps decrease acidity in your mouth, plus it washes away food particles that can lead to decay.
Vitamin C–Yes Please!
Don’t forget about these special summer varieties—strawberries, pineapples, pears, tomatoes and cucumbers. They are all rich in vitamin C—a powerful antioxidant that plays an important role in collagen synthesis, thereby helping you develop and maintain healthy gums. Vitamin C, which is also known as ascorbic acid, is a water soluble white powder. Humans are among the few species that cannot manufacture vitamin C and must obtain it from food. When you think about all the delicious sources of vitamin C—especially during the summer season—it’s even easier to up your intake.
Summertime also provides a lot of green. Leafy green and dark, multi-colored vegetables such as lettuce and kale, spinach, asparagus, cabbage, chard and several others are packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain and improve oral health. Nutrients found in these dark green foods include vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. Phosphorus is stored in your teeth and bones to help your body balance and absorb calcium and magnesium.
A Berry Healthy Summer!
What about berries? There are luscious varieties of berries including cranberries, blueberries, raspberries and other plant-based foods that are rich in anthocyanin. They’re berry good for your mouth, since they can help disrupt the enzymes associated with the bacteria forming process that can lead to plaque.
Take advantage of these wholesome and natural summertime treats while you can! Eating a few raw fruits and veggies at the end of your meal can help clean your teeth and move around those food particles that can linger. Drink lots of water to wash away sugars and acids—and to keep you hydrated during those hot summer days!