With springtime (finally) blooming, gardeners are rustling through their toolsheds and breaking out their shovels. Among the cornucopia of possibilities to plant, fresh vegetables stand out as some of the best options for harvesting a healthy smile. Vegetables grow with distinct nutrients that encourage optimal oral health and contain vitamins and minerals that can help strengthen teeth. And because they are rich in fiber, veggies can help stimulate saliva flow. Increased levels of saliva can neutralize cavity-causing acids and wash away bacteria before they hide and spread in mouth crevices. If you’re planning to tend to a garden this year, consider planting the seeds for a healthy smile with these tooth-friendly veggies that taste good, too. Happy gardening!
The abundance of calcium in spinach can help protect tooth enamel, strengthen your jaw bones and the bone that supports your teeth, and help prevent tooth loss. Spinach needs about six weeks of cooler temperatures, so plant it before the last spring frost.
With a full helping of vitamin C, broccoli helps strengthen gums and other soft tissues in the mouth. It also goes a long way toward helping defend against gum disease, gingivitis and tooth loss. Plus, broccoli provides a substantial amount of calcium that helps fortify bones and teeth.
3) Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes aren’t just tasty- they also contain vitamin A, which helps keep mucous membranes healthy and encourages quick recovery from mouth problems like cuts and surgeries. Similar to broccoli, the vitamin C in sweet potatoes encourages healthy gums. Be careful not to overwater your sweet potatoes!
Kale packs a powerful punch (and a hearty crunch) of calcium, folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin K. Not only can a vitamin K deficiency negatively affect your mouth’s healing process, but a healthy dose can help block substances that break down bones.
Carrots have loads of vitamin A, which is critical for the formation of healthy tooth enamel. They also have high levels of fiber. Snacking on some crisp carrots after eating a meal can wash away food remnants, helping to prevent cavities. Make sure the soil isn’t too heavy or your carrots may end up oddly shaped.