20 Nov Dental Benefits of Thanksgiving Foods: A Feast for Your Smile
The season of gratitude is here, and as we gather around the table with family and friends, we eagerly dive into our favorite Thanksgiving foods. As you pile up your plate and savor the flavors of turkey, cranberries, and leafy greens, you might be surprised to learn that some of the traditional dishes you love most can contribute to oral health. Now, that’s another reason to smile.
DELICIOUS AND NUTRITIOUS THANKSGIVING FOODS
Depending on the food item, savory and sweet holiday dishes can offer specific nutritional values that benefit oral health, and that’s reason enough to ask for seconds.
Turkey and More Turkey
Did you know that the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving tables, turkey, is also a dental ally? Packed with protein, turkey supports developing and maintaining strong teeth and gums. It also contains phosphorus, a mineral crucial for tooth enamel protection and repair. So when you enjoy that succulent slice of turkey, know that you’re pleasing your taste buds and promoting your oral health.
Cranberries and Cranberry Sauce
Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and have unique properties that can benefit teeth. They also contain compounds that may help prevent the adhesion of harmful bacteria to teeth, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease. Choose fresh cranberries or enjoy a reduced-sugar cranberry sauce to maximize the benefits. Here’s a simple low-sugar cranberry sauce recipe from the cranberry masters at Ocean Spray®.
Dark Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard add color and nutrients to Thanksgiving plates. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, these greens promote overall health, including gums and teeth. The high fiber content stimulates saliva production, aiding in the natural cleansing of the mouth which helps prevent plaque buildup. Dark greens are also beneficial for bone health, including the jaw.
Carrots provide a range of benefits for our mouth. The crunchy action of carrots gives jaws a workout and acts as a natural cleaner for teeth. Rich in fiber and antioxidants, carrots also contain a high amount of Vitamin A, essential for maintaining healthy gums. Serve carrots as an appetizer with hummus or dip, cook on the stove, or roast in the ovenfor a spectacular side dish.
Classic Pumpkin Pie
This one may seem like a stretch, but it’s the holidays, and we are okay with stretching. When enjoyed in moderation, pumpkin pie can be a relatively nutritious dessert. Pumpkin is rich in vitamins A and C, which support gum health and collagen production. The high fiber content of pumpkin promotes digestive health. Cinnamon, a common ingredient in pumpkin pie, supports skin and heart health. If you want a simple dish to bring to a friend’s house, try this classic Libby’s® Pumpkin Pie recipe.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DRINKING WATER
While water is not a specific Thanksgiving food, staying hydrated is important for oral health, especially during the indulgent holiday season. Water rinses away food particles and bacteria, preventing dry mouth and reducing the risk of cavities. Make it a habit to sip water throughout the Thanksgiving meal to keep your mouth hydrated and promote saliva production.
It’s the holidays, and the team at Imperial Dental Center is as excited as you are to enjoy a table set with our favorite foods. Savor every bite, laugh hard, and brighten your smile with lasting memories.