Healthy Foods for Teeth and Gums that also Prevent Cancer!
Between flossing, brushing your teeth, using mouthwash and more, many people put a lot of effort into the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. However, both instances are still quite high around the world. Like the prevention of many types of cancer, the answer may lie in the food you eat. Similar to cancer, eating a diet high in sugar, refined carbs and processed food is not likely to have a good effect on your teeth and gums. Check out the following list of ten foods that can do double duty by helping your oral health and fight off cancer at the same time.
- Garlic is a major cancer fighter through its sulfur compounds that work to stimulate the immune system. It also contains allicin, which has strong anti-microbial properties to fight the germs in your mouth.
- Broccoli is a dark green super food that also contains high amounts of Vitamin C, which is helpful both in fighting cancer and in keeping your mouth healthy. Make sure you don’t destroy its nutrients in the microwave, however.
- Brazil nuts are a big source of phosphorous, which helps remineralize your teeth. They also contain selenium, which is a mineral that causes cancer cells to self-destruct and helps the normal cells repair damaged DNA.
- Salmon is a fatty fish that’s rich in minerals and Vitamin D, which helps your teeth, but it is also a great source of omega 3 fatty oils to fight cancer. Salmon tends to be widely available in areas that do not see a lot of sunlight during the year.
- Kiwi fruit is another high concentration of Vitamin C and E to fight both cancer and tooth decay. It also has lutein and copper along with a high amount of antioxidants. You can also use them as a meat tenderizer by rubbing a cut side on the raw meat.
- Onions have strong antibacterial properties, but the catch is that most of it is only available when they’re eaten raw or very lightly cooked. Fortunately, this benefit is found throughout the onion family so you can also get it by eating milder types like scallions, chives or shallots.
- Probiotic foods like sauerkraut, yogurt and kombucha help balance out and fight bad bacteria in your body. Sauerkraut in particular contains a range of cancer-fighting compounds that form during the fermentation process.
- Tea is rich in polyphenols, which slows the formation of the bacteria leading to gum disease. It also contains flavonoids, which are important antioxidants in fighting cancer.
- An apple a day, it turns out, is actually pretty important. Apples are full of nutrients for your teeth and natural fiber that ferments in the gut to produce cancer-fighting chemicals.
- Ginger is a potent anti-bacterial that fights inflammation and it has the pleasant side-effect of refreshing your breath.
Cancer Treatments once diagnosed
The three main cancer treatments are radiology oncology, medical oncology and surgical oncology. Radiation may be used in concert with these other two disciplines, or it may be used alone depending on the cancer and patient situation. A change in diet is often recommended for cancer patients and you can find many of these foods among them.
The saying goes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s much easier to change your diet to include cancer and tooth decay fighting foods than it is to deal with the diseases once you have them. Start mixing and matching some of these great foods today for a better tomorrow.
This post is provided by the team at The Village Dental Center. Dr. Matthew Harmon is known as the “Sun City West dentist” and specializes in cosmetic dentistry, while maintaining complete comfort for his patients.