If you fill your car with bad gasoline – maybe some that has somehow been mixed with a bit of water, dirt, or other foreign matter – you’ll probably have a good deal of trouble getting your car to travel down the road. The same is true of food that fuels your body. What you eat has a significant impact on your attitude, health, and well-being.
Eating healthy not only helps you maintain a healthy weight – which is essential in fighting off numerous serious diseases – it also makes you feel better every day. A balanced diet will give your body the fuel it needs to keep your energy level high. And that fuel also plays a vital role in the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. The sooner you start eating healthy, the better chance you will have of maintaining a healthy weight, high energy, and good oral health. The good news is, it’s easy to starty eating healthier today!
Water: The First Beverage Choice
Choosing a healthy beveage is the first step to getting healthy. With all of the soda pop, juice, and coffee choices marketed today, it’s tempting to choose an unhealthy choice. Block out all of the advertisements and go for the simple, no frills choice: water. Drinking half your weight in ounces of water each day is a perfect start on the journey to better health. Your body is made up of mostly water and needs a significant amount of rehydration every day to function at its best.
If you feel the need to drink of a glass of soda pop every day, keep in mind that it can contain heaps of sugar, not to mention the acid and artifical preservatives. Drinking one 12 oz. can of Coke, for example, is like dumping about 10 teaspoons of sugar in your drink. And, while juice may seem like a healthier choice, the same amount of 100% applie juice contains 12 teaspoons of sugar. At least the apple juice sugars are natural sugars, instead of calorie-laden man-made sugars in soda.
Beverages are super important when it comes to good oral health. It’s usually the last thing that goes in your mouth when you eat – wash down your last bit of food with whatever you’re drinking. It’s also common to drink things when you’re not eating throughout the day. That means whatever you drink is going to be coating your teeth until brushing time. Not only does the sugar in these drinks cause decay, the acid in soft drinks can eat away at your enamel and make it easier for the tooth to decay.
Choose Nutritious Foods
ChooseMyPlate.gov is a great resource for dietary guidelines as well as healthy menus and more. They even have a state selector so you can find out the best types of foods that are most available in your area. In general, they suggest choosing fruits and vegetables to fill half your plate in a meal and making half of your grains whole grains. Moving to low-fat and fat-free milk or yogurt is suggested and trying to eat less soduium, saturated fat and added sugars. Lastly, eating a variety of protein is a great idea – from peanut butter, to lean steak.
Choosing healthy foods can also assist in great oral health. If you drink that low-fat milk or other dairy products like yogurt and cheese, you’ll not only get your fill of teeth-building calcium and protein, you’ll be eating less sugary foods. Foods that contain phosphorus can strengthen your teeth and some are also great protein sources like lean meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs. You can avoid the acid-producing bacteria that causes tooth decay by choosing healthier snacks like nuts, which are also low in carbohydrates.
Grab Fresh Fruits and Veggies In Season
In the Kansas City area, there’s a limited time to take advantage of the fresh fruits and vegetables of the season. These fresh foods are the staple of any healthy-eating endeavor. Of course, they are available in most stores year-round, but eating healthy tastes even better with in-season fare.
Fruits and veggies are an important part of any balanced diet, and they are also good for your teeth. Since they are high in water and fiber, they help to balance the sugars they contain and help to clean your teeth. Chewing also helps to stimulate saliva production, which washes harmful acids and food particles away from your teeth.
Here is a sampling of the best times to look for various healthy choices at your store:
- April and June. Asparagus
- May through October. Spinach, Lettuce, Arugula, Beets, Various Herbs, Carrots
- June and July. Strawberries, Raspberries, Peas and pea pods, Plums, Apricots, Cherries
- July and August. Peaches, Blackberries, Blueberries
- July through October. Zucchini, Tomatoes, Squash (summer), Apples, Peppers (sweet), Melons, Green Onions/Scallions, Green beans, Broccoli
- August through October. Watermelons, Grapes, Cantaloupes , Pears, Onions, Potatoes, Celery,
- August through November. Squash (winter), Cauliflower
- September through December. Sweet potatoes
This is a perfect time to make a few of these healthy eating changes on your way to a healthier you – both for your body and your oral health. Another great way to maintain good oral health, is to visit your dentist every six months for a regular check-up. Kavanaugh Orthodontics specializes in providing the highest quality orthodontic care for families in the Kansas City and Sedalia areas. They care about your oral health and that means caring about eating healthy as well. Give them a call for more information at 816) 420-8100.