Summer is fast approaching--that wonderful time each year when fresh and delicious produce abounds! Although everyone loves the availability of the great foods of summer, your teeth, gums and tissues all rely on an appropriate mix of vitamins and minerals to maintain good oral health no matter what time of year. In previous studies, nutients in fruits and vegetables such as dietary fiber, potassium and antioxidants have all been associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and cancers, including oral cancer.
Four foods to enjoy this summer to ensure a healthy mouth:
- Watermelons have a high water content, which dilutes the affects of the sugars that they contain and stimulates the flow of saliva. In addition, research has shown that eating foods that are full of water, which watermelon is 92 percent water, helps to keep you satiated on fewer calories. Finally, in addition to containing skin-protecting lycopene, eating watermelon can help you stay hydrated during the hot Oklahoma summer months, which not only keeps your memory sharp and your mood stable, but also helps to keep your body cool.
- Strawberries are juicy and delicious, and they are considered a superfood. Nutrient-rich and packed with antioxidants (such as vitamin C, which can help with cancer prevention), strawberries also promote eye health, help fight bad cholesterol, and regulate blood pressure.
- Not only can apple consumption boost your immune system, reduce cholesterol and reduce the risk for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, but they can also help you attain a whiter, healthier smile! Biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, and in the process, lowers the levels of bacteria and other harmful acids, which leads to a lower likihood of tooth decay. Finally, eating an apple a day has been linked to heart health, including a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.
- Tomatoes are a delicious and healthy snack that can help to ward off cancer! The yummy red fruit contains lycopene, which helps to protect your skin from sunburn. Tomatoes can also help to fight heart disease due to the niacin, folate, and vitamin B6 nutrients that they contain. They are also high in crucial antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin A, which work to prevent DNA damage.