Summer is the time to get outside, enjoy the sunshine, and explore what your town offers. One of the most popular summer activities is going to the local farmers market and trying something new or picking up some fresh groceries for the week.
If you’re unsure what to get the next time you’re perusing the farmers market, try some of our favorite tooth-friendly finds!
Tooth-friendly food at the farmer’s market
Although the farmer’s market is a great place to get sweet treats, it also offers an opportunity to stock up on food that’s good for your oral and overall health. Here are a few items to look for:
Freshly picked carrots from a local farm are not only great for your eyes and vision, they also help keep your teeth clean. When you munch on a carrot, chewing stimulates saliva production in your mouth. Saliva helps rinse food particles and bacteria from the mouth. Additionally, carrots are packed full of vitamin C, calcium, and keratins that are good for your overall health.
Apples, celery, and other crunchy fruits and vegetables are excellent options for cleaning teeth and adding nutrients to your diet as well.
Whether you need some romaine, kale, or spinach, the local farmers market is the place to go shopping.
Leafy greens benefit the health of your teeth in a couple of ways. Most are full of calcium, a mineral that helps keep teeth and bones strong; folic acid, a vitamin that can help protect against open sores in the mouth and on the tongue; and other nutrients that keep your teeth and body healthy. If you dislike salads, add leafy greens to your sandwiches for an extra crunch.
Nuts and Seeds
Sugar and cinnamon-covered nuts are a favorite treat at farmers’ markets. Unfortunately, they aren’t great for your oral health. However, raw nuts and seeds can be very beneficial for your teeth and body!
Many nuts and seeds contain vitamins and minerals that help strengthen and protect your teeth. For example, cashews are a good source of phosphorus, a mineral in bones and teeth. Like calcium, phosphorus helps build strong teeth and bone structures. Peanuts and almonds are good sources of calcium, and the latter also contains vitamin E, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the effects of gum disease.
The farmers market is a great place to find red meat, which is full of nutrients like iron, zinc, and B vitamins. Iron is a mineral that supports the production of red blood cells. People with an iron deficiency can develop anemia, which puts them at an increased risk for oral health issues like periodontal disease. Red meat is also a good source of vitamin B12. People with a vitamin B12 deficiency can exhibit mouth and tongue soreness, among other symptoms.
Keep moderation in mind when consuming red meat, as eating too much can increase health risks.
Healthy finds at farmers’ markets go beyond oral health
Buying fresh and nutritious food isn’t the only benefit of going to the farmers market. Purchasing locally grown food helps support small businesses and the community. Keep an eye out for tooth-friendly foods the next time you visit your local farmer’s market, and remember that small businesses appreciate your support.
Looking for more healthy alternatives this summer? Check out this blog: Healthy Snack Swaps for July 4th – and All Summer Long.