Just as there are certain foods that promote good oral health, there are foods that do not. These foods and drinks are best limited or avoided altogether. Some of the most harmful foods include:
Sugary foods. When you eat sugary foods, acids are produced in your mouth that cause tooth decay. Cakes, pies, and candies all include sugars that can harm your teeth.
Sticky sweets. Chewy sticky foods cling to your teeth, even after rinsing with water. Sugary gum and toffee are two to watch out for but even dried fruit can damage tooth enamel.
Acids. Foods high in acid, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and fruit juices, increase the acid levels in your mouth. There are even cereals and breads classified as acidic.
Junk Food. When you replace healthy foods with junk food, you do not get the vitamins and minerals your body needs to fight off infection. It may even make you more vulnerable to tooth decay.
Hard Candies. When you suck on mints, cough drops, and hard candies, it can have a demineralization effect on your teeth. They cause a concentrated build-up of acid.
Sports Drinks. Sweet, viscous liquids like sports drinks are acidic. In addition, they are thick liquids that can stick to your teeth for long periods of time.
Tips for Healthy Eating
With the holidays approaching it will become more difficult to avoid foods that are unhealthy because they will appear to be everywhere you look. Instead of depriving yourself, consider these tips:
When it comes to dessert, portion size is important. For example, go ahead and have a slice of cake. However, make it a small slice.
If you have a sticky dessert, try to eat it with your regular meal. That will balance out the potential damage to your tooth enamel.
Drink lots of water when you have a snack because it will help remove food and debris from your teeth. Also brush your teeth after eating a sugary dessert.
If you need a mint to freshen your breath after a meal, choose a sugar-free version. Gum that contains xylitol is another healthy option.
A Healthier Pumpkin Pie
One way to ensure that you don’t overdo it with unhealthy foods this holiday season is to bring a dessert you baked yourself. Here is a healthy take on pumpkin pie that won’t leave you feeling guilty.
1 1/2 cups almond flour
3/4 cup pecans (crushed)
1/4 cup raisins
3 tbsps coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
1/4 tsp all-spice
1/4 tsp ginger
2 cups pureed pumpkin
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
12 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp lime zest
1/4 cup pecans (crushed)
1/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsps raisins (chopped)
1 tbsp honey
First prepare the crust.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In food processor, combine all ingredients until well-processed. Pour into a greased, deep, removable-bottom pie dish. Spread evenly with rubber spatula to form crust. Bake 10 minutes and remove from oven. Reshape if needed and set to the side.
Next prepare the filling.
Add all ingredients to food processor and mix until smooth creamy, about 60 to 90 seconds. Pour into pie crust. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until filling is set. Remove from oven and cool for at least two hours. Then refrigerate overnight.
Finally, prepare the crumble topping.
Combine shredded coconut, raisins, pecans, salt, and cinnamon in food processor. Pulse several times until it resembles raw oatmeal. Add to small non-stick pan and toast 45-60 seconds over medium heat. Add honey and stir until melted. Place on a plate until cooled. Sprinkle on top of pie.
Image Source: www.flickr.com/photos/rickmccharles/361268469