In our previous blog, we talked about some of the great outdoor events around Williams Lake. Another aspect that makes Williams Lake an amazing place to live and visit is our access to fresh produce.
Cariboo Growers Farmers Co-op works hard to bring our town sustainable, clean, and fresh food throughout the entire year. Cariboo Growers not only has seasonal fruits and vegetables, but they also have locally raised meat.
Right now, they have sugar snap peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, kale, garlic, turnips, and beans in-stock. They also have an array of fresh and succulent fruit to keep your pantry well-rounded.
Cariboo Growers only buys from sustainable and environmentally friendly sources, ensuring that you’re purchasing crops and livestock that aren’t harming the ecosystem. They buy all of their inventory from farms that are committed to the health of the soil, water, and diversity of the surrounding area.
By shopping at Cariboo Growers, you’re not only helping the sustainability of our community, but you’re also eating healthy produce that’s good for your oral health.
Today, we’re going to talk about some produce that will brighten your smile and defend against tooth decay and gum disease.
5 Fruits and Vegetables For Your Oral Health
In most cases, if a certain food is good for your body, it’s also good for your dental health. When it comes to choosing the right food for your oral health, try and avoid foods that are high in sugars and starch.
Fruits and vegetables are the best snacks for your oral health. For one, they don’t have added sugar, and they usually have a high concentration of water. Keeping your mouth hydrated is an important way to rinse away cavity causing bacteria. Keep a lookout for these fruits and vegetables for a healthier smile:
1. Dark Leafy Greens for gum health. Leafy greens and microgreens usually come in season in the colder months. So, keep an eye out for spinach, kale, arugula, and even collard greens. Leafy greens are chock full of vitamins and minerals, and they’re also low calorie. Kale and spinach have a lot of calcium, a vital mineral for strong bones and teeth. Dark greens are also high in B vitamins, which are renowned for strengthening your immune system and fighting off gum disease. If you don’t like the flavor of leafy greens, you can try masking them by putting them on pizza, making a vinaigrette, or cooking them down in a stew. We’ll talk more about ways to sneak vegetables into your meals later.
2. Apples for plaque control.Apples are another produce that will be coming into season soon. While the sugar in apples isn’t great for your enamel, their hard fibrous skin is great for your gum health. When you bite into an apple, it stimulates your gums and scrubs away bacteria that’s lurking in between your teeth. The sugar in the apples also stimulates saliva production, rinsing away bacteria and excess food. While it’s not as good for your teeth as brushing and flossing, it’s a good snack to have after a meal.
3. Strawberries for a whiter smile. Strawberries are going out of season now, but you can still find them at some markets. This tasty fruit has an astringent effect and helps remove surface stains. They also have malic acid in them, which helps remove tooth discoloration.
4. Carrots to remove plaque. Similar to apples, carrots protect your teeth, because they’re chock full of fiber. Raw carrots are better than apples, because they don’t have any sugar. Raw carrots increase your saliva production, and the fiber scrapes away bacteria and food particles. They are also a good source of vitamin A, which is good for your cardiovascular system and gum health.
5. Celery for gum health. Celery is a beloved vegetable for being watery, crunchy, and not having any calories. Its stringy nature helps it scrape away food and stimulate your gums, simulating a floss-like effect. However, like apples, celery isn’t a replacement for floss. Eat it as a midday snack with hummus to help satiate your appetite and keep your teeth clean.
Ways to Incorporate More Vegetables Into Your Meals
With the busy nature of modern life and 9 to 5 work habits, eating a balanced diet can be difficult.
Most Westerners don’t get their daily recommended portions of vegetables. This is largely due to the fact that vegetables aren’t that tasty.
Eating celery just doesn’t sound as appetizing as eating a bag of Doritos. The fact of the matter is that eating a lot of vegetables is one of the best ways to get the nutrients, fiber, and water intake to promote your oral health. Here are some ways you can hide vegetables in your meals:
1. Get a Veggie Spiralizer. Make vegetable noodles out of a veggie spiralizer and use them instead of pasta. You can spiralize carrots, zucchini, and squash into tasty thin noodles, and incorporate pasta sauce, seafood, or meatballs. Veggie noodles are just as fulfilling as regular spaghetti, only you’ll also get the added health benefits without the carbs.
2. Make a cauliflower substitute.Do you ever make homemade pizza at your house? It’s easy to make a cauliflower dough for your pizza. All you need to make cauliflower dough is a food processor or grater and an egg. Here’s a great cauliflower dough recipe.
3. Substitute red meat for squash. Are you a fan of grilling out on the weekend? Most westerners consume too much red meat. Instead of throwing a steak on the grill, you can try roasting butternut squash as a substitute on tacos or in chilis.
4. Say “no” to burger patties, and “yes” to mushrooms. Mushrooms are a good source of protein, and you can season them to perfection, because they absorb liquid easily. Portobello mushrooms are the best burger patty substitute, because they fit nicely on a hamburger bun. You can dress your portobello burger up with other toppings, cheeses, and sauces.
5. Make Zucchini Muffins. Muffins are an easy, portable, and filling snack. Squash and zucchini are a great way to add moisture and vitamin C to your bread and muffins. Zucchini muffins are a great way to start your day, while also getting a small serving of vegetables. These muffins also pair well with v8 tomato juice. Just be careful with tomato juice, because it has a lot of citric acid, which isn’t the best for your enamel. Rinsing with water after consuming an acidic drink will help against erosion.
Beyond eating enough vegetables, you can try eating a piece of fruit when you get a sweet tooth. Food with added sugar is directly linked to tooth decay.
Already Suffering from Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
If you’re already suffering from tooth decay and gum disease, changing your diet will help a little bit. However, your best bet is to get to the dentist, so we can assess the damage and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Call Williams Lake Smiles today at 250-398-8411 for a routine dental exam. Don’t forget to checkout Cariboo Growers for healthy seasonal produce, snacks, cheeses, and meat.