June 11, 2012
We all know that fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet – they are low in calories and dense in nutrients, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
Many of us, however, struggle to consume the recommended daily minimums of fruits and vegetables. Here is a quick reminder of how fruits and vegetables are important to our bodies and our smiles.
Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C are particularly helpful in keeping teeth and gums strong and healthy. Excellent sources of vitamin C include red and green peppers, kiwi, strawberries, sweet potatoes, kale, cantaloupe, broccoli, pineapple, Brussels sprouts, oranges, mangoes, tomatoes and cauliflower. Hard, crunchy foods such as apples, carrots and celery sticks are also healthy for your smile because eating them helps stimulate your gums.
Doctors recommend that most people eat at least four-and-a-half cups of fruits and veggies every day – but each person is different. Web sites like www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov, hosted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention can help you figure out how many cups of fruits and vegetables you need and understand what counts as a cup. The site also features a fruit or vegetable of the month, recipes and budget tips.