16 Nov Thanksgiving Foods Your Teeth Will Love
Thanksgiving is a national holiday that spans cultures. Originated as a time to reflect on life with gratitude, we gather with loved ones and celebrate with a feast. It’s a meal we think about and savor throughout the year. And while you may be tempted to throw nutrition to the wayside, it is possible to enjoy Thanksgiving with foods that are good for you and easy on your teeth.
Eat as Much as You Want
Turkey – often the centerpiece of Thanksgiving, turkey is rich in protein, B-complex, niacin, and selenium, an essential nutrient that helps strengthen the immune system. Turkey is also loaded with phosphorous, essential for bone health and new developing teeth.
Sweet Potatoes – any orange vegetable is a great choice for a side dish. Rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A, these hardy vegetables protect against infection and some types of cancer. Other orange vegetables include yams, winter squash and carrots.
Green Beans – packed with folate, a B vitamin, it is essential for pregnant women but may also help ease depression. Vitamin K contributes to bone health. Making a casserole? Consider adding onions which fight the bacteria that causes bad breath.
Mashed Potatoes – potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and electrolytes which contribute to heart health and the nervous system. Potatoes are also high in starch which convert to simple sugar, so enjoy your mash but in smaller quantities.
Cranberries – known as a ‘superfood’ for its high nutrient and antioxidant content, cranberries can play a role in bladder health, low blood pressure, and strengthened immune system. Choose recipes that use natural alternative sweeteners like monk fruit or stevia for a sweet taste without added sugar.
Pumpkin Pie – this delicious dessert packs the same nutrients as other orange vegetables. Opt for a low-sugar recipe, use sugar-free whipped topping, and watch portion size.
All of these delicious dishes will make your mouth water while providing a range of essential nutrients for good health. And while there are many good-for-you food options this season, there are also some favorites that are not so good.
It’s the Sugar
A little bit a sweetness is nice to during the holidays, and we are the first ones to admit we enjoy a slice (or two) of pie. Sugar is the main ingredient that puts these recipes on the no-eat hit-list:
- Pecan and Fruit Pies – these delightful desserts contain loads of sugar and syrup. Consider fresh fruit served with a dollop of sugar-free whipped topping or low-sugar ice cream.
- Candied Anything – this includes yams and sweet potatoes. Sticky and sweet, the candied coating sticks to teeth feeding bacteria that causes cavities. Eat your yams without the candied topping.
- Stuffing – made of bread this heavy carbohydrate food is converted to sugar. Part of the trifecta of turkey and mashed potatoes, choose to eat stuffing in smaller quantities.
The General Rule
Holidays are meant to be a time of carefree enjoyment, and if that includes eating some of the sugar-rich foods, simply do so in moderation. Adhere to a daily dental routine with twice daily brushing and flossing in the evening.
At Imperial Dental Center, we are grateful for you, our patients. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving. Throughout this holiday season, we are here to assist with any dental needs. Contact us today at (281) 265-3567 or schedule an online appointment.
Dr. Dragana Angelova
Imperial Dental Center
“We love to see you smile”