These days it seems like health risks are everywhere, from the air we breathe to the foods we eat. We’re bombarded by cautionary tales, some of which are legitimate and others that are passed along as fact by would-be “experts” on the Internet.
At the Sudbury, MA dentist office of Dr. Janice Spada, we want only the best for our patients and their families.
When raising a family in this hectic world, the ability to multitask is an absolute must. Even your meals should multitask! Consider your diet. Can you imagine what it would be like if vitamin D was only found in dairy, or if eating oranges was the only way to get your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C?
Fortunately, this isn’t the case. Enter nutrient-rich, natural superfoods, which benefit multiple aspects of your health.
Today, let’s focus on foods that benefit both your oral and cardiovascular health. Why these two?
For starters, heart disease claims the lives of more than 600,000 Americans every year, the number one killer. Gum disease, though rarely fatal, has serious implications for your overall health, including severe infection, tooth loss, and bone deterioration.
Studies have also determined that a patient who has gum disease has an elevated risk of developing heart disease.
Nuts: Magnesium and Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Dental Benefits: The satisfying crunch of nuts comes with a gentle, slightly abrasive texture that removes plaque from the tooth surface without damaging the enamel. Chewing stimulates production of saliva, which rinses away bits of leftover food and neutralizes acids created by bacteria in the mouth.
Magnesium, which fortifies tooth enamel, is particularly concentrated in walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and peanuts.
Heart Benefits: The FDA advises that eating a few servings of nuts throughout the week will make you less susceptible to cardiovascular disease. For this, you can thank the plant fiber, arginine, and healthy fats.
For best results, avoid eating heavily salted or glazed nuts, which can raise your blood pressure.
Yogurt and Low-fat Dairy Products: Calcium
Dental Benefits: Eating or drinking dairy products, including kefir, is an excellent way to fuel your body. Bacteria found in these products has been shown to decrease the levels of smelly hydrogen sulfide in your mouth, and research suggests that these bacteria may afford some protection against various oral diseases.
Heart Benefits: Limited research is available on the benefits of eating yogurt for cardiovascular health. However, a recent study found that consuming yogurt on a regular basis may have a positive impact on the health of your carotid artery walls.
The study, which focused primarily on older women, appears very promising, especially given the prevalence of atherosclerosis, a condition marked by thick artery walls and a high risk of stroke.
Beware products with artificial sweeteners or added sugar, as this could promote tooth decay.
Strawberries: Vitamin C and Protection Against Free Radicals
Dental Benefits: Sweet, succulent berries are loaded with malic acid, a natural substance with the power to brighten teeth by removing stains.
Because the juicy morsels provide vitamin C, they offer another layer of protection against inflammation linked to periodontal disease.
Heart Benefits: There has been renewed interest in strawberries’ ability to control blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol levels, and protect your heart from intrusive free radicals.
Studies attribute these benefits to a strawberry’s generous amounts of vitamin C, potassium, antioxidant, and folate.
Go for fresh strawberries instead of those packed in syrup or hidden in sugary foods.
When was your family’s last dental checkup? To schedule an appointment with Dr. Janice Spada, your Sudbury, MA family dentist, contact our office at (978) 443-3111. We are proud to serve families living in Framingham, Worcester, Marlborough, Sudbury, and neighboring Boston suburbs.