When it comes to your health and well-being, you are what you eat. We may eat with our eyes first, but according to the American Dental Association, your teeth and gums are much more than simply tools for eating. Excellent oral hygiene plays a key role in regards to your overall physical health. To maintain proper nutrition, you need to eat a well-balanced diet rich in fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Diets high in refined sugar and carbohydrates can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. As a matter of fact, if your diet is missing vital nutrients, you may have a difficult time warding off infections. Below is a list of healthy foods to keep your body and teeth in top condition.
Individual nutritional needs will vary depending on your age, gender and level of physical fitness, but in general, everyone’s diet should include the following:
- Adequate servings of fruits and vegetables. If you crave sugar, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with a piece of fruit. Sugar found in fruit is very different than refined sugar found in cakes or cookies. At mealtime, aim to cover at least half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
- Whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal and whole wheat bread should also be part of your daily intake.
- If you love dairy, then we have good news for you. Cheese and yogurt are excellent choices when it comes to proper nutrition. Cheese is rich in calcium and protein, while yogurt is high in probiotics, all of which help to strengthen your teeth and crowd out bad bacteria in your mouth.
In addition to following a heart-healthy diet, getting enough physical exercise is a must. Strive for at least 30 minutes a day of moderate physical exercise each day.