Thursday, August 19, 2010

Eat your fruits and veggies...for your gums?

We've talked about the benefits of including fruits and vegetables into your diet as healthy snacks before.  Eating fresh fruit, such as an apple, stimulates the gums, increases saliva flow and reduces the build-up of cavity-causing bacteria that harms your teeth.

But did you know that a lack of Vitamin C can promote Gingivitis? 
Yep, that's right, a diet deficient in Vitamin C can promote bleeding gums which can lead to gingivitis if left untreated. You can read more about it here.

Most of us think of citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit, as being the best source of vitamin C. A serving of orange juice, 3/4 cup, provides you with 60 mg/day. Although citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C, other not so obvious and sometimes surprising foods contain vitamin C as well. In addition to that morning glass of OJ, here are some ways to put vitamin C on your table:

  • Eat more broccoli. A 1/2-cup serving provides 45 mg of vitamin C.
  • Add a slice of tomato to your sandwiches. A small tomato provides 25 mg of vitamin C.
  • Slice up a papaya or mango for dessert. Half a medium papaya or mango provides 95 mg of vitamin C.
  • Think peppers! Red, yellow, and orange peppers have about twice the vitamin C of green peppers.
  • More obscure vegetables, like kohlrabi and jicama, provide about 45 mg of vitamin C per half cup. Just grate each into a green salad.
  • Believe it or not, potatoes contain vitamin C, too! A small baked potato has 25 mg.
  • Kiwi fruit, the fuzzy little brown fruit with the deep green interior, has about 55 mg of vitamin C. 
So remember to eat your fruits and veggies and you'll be doing your body, teeth AND gums a favor.

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