Autumn is definitely the season for pumpkins. We love to carve them or use them as flavoring in our coffees and desserts. However, some people are unaware that pumpkins have several health benefits. Read on to see how pumpkins can help improve both your oral health and overall health.
Pumpkin and Oral Health
Zinc is a nutrient used in your body to improve your health. The nutrient is found in many human cells throughout the body. Most importantly, zinc helps strengthen the immune system to combat viruses and bacteria.
However, a little-known fact about zinc is that it also supports a healthy smile. Toothpaste makers often add zinc to toothpaste because it is an anti-plaque agent that helps prevent plaque build-up. Fighting plaque buildup is great for your smile because plaque buildup can break down the enamel on your teeth. Defective enamel leads to decayed teeth and can eventually cause tooth loss.
Two other benefits of zinc are that it supports healthy gums and strong teeth. Healthy gums and teeth are the best defenses against periodontal disease.
Another benefit of eating pumpkins is that they contain high levels of magnesium, a vital mineral found in your body. Magnesium is responsible for many bodily functions. Most importantly, magnesium supports both nerve and muscle functioning.
However, magnesium is also a mineral that helps to support a healthy smile. Along with calcium, magnesium creates strong tooth enamel, which prevents decay. If your body were magnesium deficient, you’d be much more susceptible to tooth decay caused by bacteria.
Vitamin A and Vitamin C are two important vitamins found in pumpkins. Vitamin C supports a healthy immune system. A healthy immune system fights diseases, and a healthy immune system also helps your body fight oral infections. Vitamin A helps your mouth create saliva. This moisture cleans teeth, which protects them from decay.
How to Consume Pumpkin
While eating pumpkins can certainly improve your smile, it’s best to focus on getting pumpkin from the right sources. For instance, you don’t want to overdo it with sugary pumpkin sweets. Some people will eat pumpkin flavored cookies, iced coffees and other desserts. This is definitely not the best way to consume your pumpkin intake. Such treats are desserts and must be eaten in moderation. Desserts obviously have a high sugar content and will do more harm to your teeth than good.
So how do you get more pumpkin for your smile? If you want to eat pumpkin for your smile, you should slice the pumpkin and roast it in the oven. Some people season it with light butter and some salt and pepper. You could also puree the pumpkin and use it as stock in a healthy pumpkin or vegetable soup.
This fall, cut back on the sugary desserts. Instead choose pumpkin and oral health benefits that come from it. In addition to good dental hygiene habits, a few servings of pumpkin per week can help keep your tooth enamel strong. Minerals and vitamins found in pumpkin can also clean your teeth and help prevent decay.