If you’re trying to score top marks at your next dental appointment, in addition to your brushing and flossing regimen, the food you put in your mouth plays a crucial role for overall oral health.
We know that there are many foods that sneak into the diet that can damage teeth. Sugar is the main culprit, especially added, refined sugar. Any food that increases your intake of refined sugar can feed harmful bacteria to cause tooth decay. Other harmful foods include acidic beverages like sodas and sports drinks.
However, if you’re really trying to stay on top of your dental health, you want to make sure that you’re eating the right types of foods that assist your body in balancing and managing the oral environment. Here are five to add to your diet:
Not only for warding off vampires, garlic is known for its antibacterial properties. Rich in the compound allicin, garlic prevents the activity of a wide range of bacteria that can cause imbalance in the oral environment. Adding some chopped garlic to your stir-fries or even raw garlic to your salads is a great way to ensure your mouth bacteria stay in check. Watch out, though! Garlic is notorious for causing bad breath.
Widely cultivated in the traditional Spice Islands like Indonesia, cloves have been known for their antimicrobial properties for centuries. Their remarkable properties can be attributed to the rich source of eugenol and oleic acid.A powerful spice with a sweet kick, cloves can be used in a range of cooking, such as curries and soups. However, cloves are also particularly useful as a sugar replacement for desserts like spice cakes and muffins.
For many years, this rich, yellow-colored plant has been used in India, where it has been consumed in spice form for thousands of years. Long believed to be a remedy for problems in the mouth, we now know turmeric to have its antimicrobial activity because of its primary active component curcumin. Turmeric is an excellent addition to curries and cooked meats. It’s also great in your morning smoothie – simply add a teaspoon.
While we were long told that butter is bad for our heart and arteries, we now know that it’s one of the most nutrient-rich foods that humans can eat. Packed with fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2 (if raised from grass-fed cows), it’s also rich in calcium and conjugated linoleic acid, which is a booster of the immune system. You can add butter to nearly any meal; however, it’s important to limit the amount of heating during cooking as the smoke point may cause it to burn.
Steeped with a rich history in Chinese medicine where it was known for its wide-ranging health benefits, today there’s not much that green tea can’t do. Rich in the antioxidant EGCG, green tea has powerful antibacterial properties.