There are so many reasons to chow down on fruits and veggies. These nutritious, healthy snacks are great for keeping your mouth healthy, too. Fruits and vegetables are a great choice to promote healthy teeth and gums due to their high water and fiber content, as well as their high concentration of essential vitamins and antioxidants. Here are just a few of the many benefits of incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet.
Aid in Saliva Production. Saliva is essential to keeping your mouth lubricated and protected. This natural secretion aids in breaking down food continuously rinses debris from teeth, and naturally protects tooth enamel. A constant, healthy saliva flow also washes away bacteria and other harmful substances from your mouth, helping keep the tissues in your mouth healthy.
Raw fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, require lots of vigorous chewing, due to their high fiber content. This means they are doubly beneficial—the fiber is essential to good digestion and the act of chewing stimulates saliva production.
Many vegetables are high in vitamin A, and like fiber, this helps to stimulate salivary glands. Winter and butternut squash, sweet potatoes, kale, and carrots are excellent sources of vitamin A. Each of these four vegetables contains over 200 percent of your daily recommended value of vitamin A in every serving.
Naturally Clean. Unlike starchy or sugary food, fruits and vegetables actually help to scrub teeth clean while you’re eating them. This is partially due to the crunch and fiber content we discussed earlier, but the high percentage of water in these foods also helps to clean bacteria and debris from the surface of teeth and around the gumline.
Apples have been called “nature’s toothbrush” due to their thick skin and fibrous flesh that effectively clears build-up and plaque off teeth, and a juicy slice of watermelon is beneficial for your mouth as well as refreshing!
Promote Gum Health. Many fruits and vegetables including berries, oranges, and cantaloupe, as well as green vegetables like broccoli and spinach, are excellent sources of vitamin C, which helps kill bacteria and strengthen gums.
Vitamin C is essential to a strong immune system, which will help fight any infections found in the mouth. This vitamin also plays a big role in your teeth’s ability to repair themselves.
Reduce Inflammation. Pineapples are a unique fruit for boosting your oral health. Like many other fruits, pineapples are high in vitamin C, but they have something else that other fruits and veggies don’t have: bromelain. Bromelain is a combination of enzymes that help reduce the inflammation of muscle and soft tissues. It is also thought to aid in the healing of wounds, which is great for keeping gums healthy. Pineapples are the only known natural source of bromelain, so don’t forget to chow down on this juicy snack.
These are only a few of the countless benefits of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables as part of your healthy, balanced diet. Fill up your plate with colorful and nutritious natural foods, and let your mouth reap the benefits!
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