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Health Monster

Improve Your Teeth and Oral Health With These Plant-Based Foods

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We all know the importance of brushing and flossing for healthy teeth. But we don’t often think about the role that different foods play in this area. Food makes a huge difference in this dimension, as it can deteriorate your teeth or drastically improve them.

It’s common knowledge that that excess sugars contribute to decay, but the knowledge doesn’t stop here. There are certain plant-based foods can assist with cleaning the surface of your teeth, as well as reducing bacteria. If you’re looking to make some easy switches to foods that can improve your oral health or just want this knowledge in your arsenal, check these out.

Strawberries

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As sweet and delicious as strawberries are, they can also do your teeth some serious favors. The malic acid in this fruit acts as a subtle whitener, breaking down stains and making your smile even brighter. It still helps to give your teeth a brush after eating these, though. This is due to the natural sugars and tiny seeds which may get stuck in those nooks and crannies.

You’re probably already aware of how to eat and cook with strawberries. But if the priority is to benefit your teeth, aim for something with the lowest amount of sugar possible. For a delicious dessert without added sugars, try some Cashew Cream-Stuffed Strawberries instead. These Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal Muffins are also a satisfying yet simple option to satiate without guilt.

Parsley

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Here’s another reason to eat your greens! Although often used as a garnish, parsley in specific deserves center stage on your plate. This healthy green is antimicrobial and contains eugenol, which provides antiseptic qualities and contributes to better breath as well.

Try integrating parsley into your diet in a way that involves more than a light sprinkle. For example, makes yourself a Pear and Parsley Smoothie for a tasty way to get parsley. Or, enjoy as a side pairing in some Autumn Vegetable Soup With Parsley Pesto on those chillier days.

Cucumber

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Eating more of this crunchy veggie can do your dental health some favors. The dietary fiber in cucumber helps to clean off teeth and gums. Cucumber is also full of natural water content which enhances saliva production.

The low sugar of cucumber makes it great for healthy recipes. A wonderful way to maintain its crunch is in these Cucumber Pinwheels With Sun-Dried Tomato Avocado Pesto, which are perfect for an appetizer or snack. You can also make some easy Spicy Cucumber Radish Bites for the ideal heat and texture. Or for a healthier analog to pasta, make these Cucumber Noodles With Spicy Tahini Sauce as a fresh and satisfying twist.

Shiitake Mushrooms

MUSHROOMS

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Mushroom lovers are in luck, since shiitakes can benefit your mouth too! This is because they contain lentinan, which helps limit bacteria growth inside the mouth as well as prevent gingivitis.

The possibilities with shiitake mushrooms are amazingly broad. Add them to this simple Bok Choy With Shiitake Mushrooms for a flavorful Asian-inspired meal. If you want a warming dish Another useful option is to make these Grilled Maple-Tamari Shiitakes to add alongside your favorite meals. Or, switch up the usual taco night with some Shiitake Mushroom Soft Tacos which will add a welcome flavor addition.

Raisins

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Although their flavor is quite sweet, raisins can actually be helpful for your teeth as well! A phytochemical called oleanolic acid provides bacterial reduction, slowing down the rise of cavities.

Instead of just snacking on raisins directly, try injecting them into some delicious recipes. For more savory meals, test out this Golden Raisin and Beluga Lentil Salad With Cumin Caramelized Vegetables for a touch of their added sweetness. Or, treat yourself to this simple Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Coconut Bread. You can also avoid refined sugars while maintaining that desirable sweet flavor with some No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Balls. Give some of these a try — you’ll be raisin’ the roof (get it?) with delight.

Carrots

carrots

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Carrots aren’t just good for eyesight! The keratin in carrots reinforces strength and helps prevent tooth decay. In addition, carrots are high fiber and assist with saliva production, both of which contribute to a healthier mouth.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your carrots. Amp up the flavors with these Miso Braised Carrots and Leeks With Cilantro Cardamom Basmati for a satisfyingly light meal. For a bright and aesthetically pleasing dish, make this Carrot and Radish Salad with Lime Ginger Dressing. If you’re feeling experimental, break out your fermenting skills in this Fermented Carrots With Turmeric and Mustard recipe.

Onion

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Though they’re often thought of as causing bad breath, onions are actually a solid tool to use for preventing tooth decay. This comes from their natural sulfur chemicals, which are also to thank for onions’ distinctive smell.

To get the full benefits, try using some raw onion in recipes for its distinctive taste and crunch. This isn’t always easy, but luckily there are plenty of available options to get your going. Start off with these Raw Mushroom Burgers, which will provide the perfect vehicle for its flavor. Onions are also perfect in fresh dishes like this Spicy Cucumber Avocado Onion Salad. You can also use them in a tangy side dish for these Seitan Kebabs With Sangria Tomato Salad.

Now that you have these helpful hints in mind, it’s easy to make some simple swaps which can certainly give you some positive results.

For even more delicious food-spiration, be sure to download the Food Monster App, which you can find on both Android and iPhone, as well as Instagram and Facebook! The app houses over 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes to help supply you with new healthy recipes each day.

Lead Image Source: Shutterstock

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