Oral Health Benefits of Vitamin C and Calcium, and foods to add to your diet for eathier teeth
A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for healthy teeth and gums and Vitamin C and calcium are particularly important.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps the body to produce collagen which is an important building block for healthy gums. It maintains and repairs gum tissues and has antioxidant properties. If your diet contains insufficient Vitamin C your gums will begin to bleed more easily which is one of the first signs of gum disease. You can find Vitamin C in dark green vegetables, peppers and tomatoes, and in strawberries and citrus fruits.
- Calcium: Calcium is important for babies and young children as it helps to ensure their teeth develop properly. Adults also need plenty of calcium as this mineral is essential for keeping the bone and surrounding teeth healthy and strong. The bone surrounding your teeth (alveolar bone) is constantly renewing and having a calcium-rich diet helps this process. Additionally, calcium helps blood vessels and nerves to work properly which aids gum health. You can find calcium in soy and dairy products, almonds, and in leafy greens.
Excellent sources of vitamin C
Broccoli is a nutrient dense food that is low in calories and here is why you should include it in your diet.
- Just 1 cup of broccoli has all the vitamin C you need for the day.
- Protect your bone health as broccoli has high levels of calcium and vitamin K, both of which are essential for healthy bones and for the prevention of osteoporosis.
- Broccoli contains potassium, calcium and magnesium and can help regulate your blood pressure.
- Boost your immune system with broccoli as it contains beta-carotene and trace minerals including zinc and selenium.
- Protect your nervous system. Potassium in broccoli helps maintain optimal brain function and a healthy nervous system.
- Reduce your risk of cancer as broccoli contains glucoraphanin which is processed by the body into sulforaphane, a compound that helps rid the body of a bacterium that can increase the risk of gastric cancer. Broccoli also contains antioxidants and anti-carcinogens to fight the growth of cervical, breast and prostate cancers.
- Broccoli contains vitamin B6 and folate which can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, stroke and heart attacks.
Artichokes were considered by the ancients to be useful as a diuretic, as a breath freshener and even as an aphrodisiac. While we are not sure about these claims there are quite a few reasons why you should include this tasty superfood in your diet.
- Contain Antioxidants: Artichokes are packed with antioxidants which could help prevent heart disease and cancer. Two of the antioxidants found in artichokes can also help improve liver health which has led to them being promoted as a hangover cure!
- Could Lower Your Cholesterol Levels: Certain ingredients in artichoke leaves can lower bad cholesterol levels while helping to increase levels of good cholesterol.
- A Good Source of Potassium: Artichokes contain lots of potassium which is essential for helping the body deal with excess sodium and can help with hypertension.
- Contain Lots of Vitamins, Minerals and Fibre: Artichokes contain plenty of vitamins C and K and this vegetable is a good source of folate and dietary fibre. You’ll also find calcium, iron, zinc, sodium, phosphorus, zinc and manganese in your artichoke.
Zucchini is a summer squash originating from South America and it has been cultivated for over 7,000 years. Technically a fruit, zucchini makes a tasty and healthy addition to your diet. We’ve listed five reasons why you should include zucchini in your next meal.
- Zucchini is great for your immune system as it contains high levels of vitamin C and high levels of anti-oxidants.
- Enhance your cardiovascular health as zucchini contains a special fibre called pectin. This has also been linked to a reduced risk of diabetes and lower cholesterol levels.
- The pectin in zucchini has anti-inflammatory properties, helping you to maintain a healthy gut, and pectin fibre is good for your digestion.
- Zucchini contains vitamin A, as well as potassium and folate, all of which your body needs to stay healthy.
- This is a great food for dieters, as zucchini has high water content and it is very versatile. Enjoy it steamed, raw, boiled, baked or grilled.
A Delicious Source of Calcium
Cheese is a tasty and versatile food that can be enjoyed on its own or added to numerous recipes. It is especially good for your teeth and bones, but it’s best to stick to traditional hard cheeses and to avoid more heavily processed cheese products to gain maximum benefits for your dental health.
Cheese contains calcium and phosphorus which help to strengthen your bones. It also has casein and whey protein which strengthens tooth enamel, reducing your risk of cavities. Chewing a piece of cheese will stimulate saliva flow, washing away excess food particles and bacteria, and reducing acidity levels.
It’s a great idea to choose cheese for a tooth-friendly snack, or why not finish a meal with a small piece of your favourite cheese.
Almonds are a popular and tasty nut and although quite high in fats, almonds are extremely healthy. Here are five reasons why you should add them to your diet.
- Almonds are loaded with nutrients, especially calcium which is great for your teeth, as well as magnesium, vitamin E and manganese.
- Almonds contain antioxidants. These are mainly found in the brown layer of skin on an almond so ideally snack on almonds that haven’t been blanched.
- Almonds help to regulate blood sugar levels, largely due to their high magnesium content.
- Almonds are beneficial for blood pressure levels, which is again due to magnesium, a mineral in which many people are deficient.
- Almonds can help to reduce cholesterol levels, lowering levels of bad LDL cholesterol.
Other tasty additions to include in your diet
Flax seeds are a superfood as these tiny nutrient-dense seeds are packed with lots of good things and it is worth adding them to your diet every day.
- Flax seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids which help prevent depression and memory loss and are important for overall brain health.
- They are rich in fibre, as just three tablespoons contains half the daily requirement.
- Flax seeds are any easy way to add more protein to your diet. A three tablespoon serving contains 10g of protein.
- Flax seeds contain 800 times more lignans than any other food and this may help fight osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
- Eating flax seeds could have a protective effect against certain cancers, including prostrate, colon and breast cancer.
- Eating flax seeds helps to stabilise blood sugar levels and may help reduce the effects of diabetes.
- Consuming flax seeds can help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels by between 25% and 65%.
- Supplementing your diet with flax seeds could help manage blood pressure levels.
Avocados are a tasty addition to any meal, but just in case you need any more convincing, we’ve listed eight reasons why you should include them in your diet.
- Avocados contain more potassium than bananas.
- Avocados contain monounsaturated fatty acids that are great for heart health.
- They have lots of fibre that is beneficial for weight loss and for metabolic health, and for healthy gut bacteria.
- Eating avocados can help cholesterol levels, lowering bad or LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL or good cholesterol.
- The fat in avocados can help you absorb important nutrients from plant foods, as many of these nutrients are fat soluble.
- The antioxidants in avocados can protect your eyes as they contain nutrients called Zeaxanthin and Lutein, both of which are important for eye health.
- Avocados can be good for dieters, increasing satiety and making it easier to stick to a healthy diet.
- Avocados are easy to use and can be added to salads or simply eaten plain. They blend well with other ingredients so why not add them to your next meal?
Staying healthy is important for your physical as well as oral health. Eating well is a great way to ensure that you maintain your health. Did you know that corn:
- is a good source of soluble and insoluble fibre and will aid your digestion
- contains phytonutrients that can reduce the risk of certain digestive cancers,
- is high in folate and may reduce your risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular illnesses,
- contains vitamin C and bioflavonoids and carotenoids that can be useful in controlling cholesterol levels (sweet corn),
- contains folic acid and some B vitamins which can help prevent anemia (sweet corn),
- can help to manage non-insulin dependent diabetes,
- is a great source of beta carotene which forms vitamin A which is essential for healthy eyes.
If you would like more advice about your diet, please just call our friendly dental team here at Apple Dental.