The sun is shining and the carefree spirit of summer is calling! From backyard BBQ sodas to sweet summer treats, the indulgences of the season can be hard on your teeth.
But they don’t have to be.
There are so many summer foods out there that are actually good for your teeth. So we put together a fun list of fresh summer vegan foods that play a special role in nurturing your oral health....in other words, ones that work with your favorite vegan toothpaste, not against it.
Just when you think you know all about which foods are good for your oral health, you find out that kale contains more calcium than milk, and raw onions have the power to fight the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Trust us, there are plenty of surprises on this list.
When comparing 100g of kale to 100g of milk, kale has twice the amount of calcium....and only a quarter of the sugar! Now, what does this mean for your oral health? You may have heard this before, but calcium works to strengthen your enamel, defending against decay and sensitivity caused just like our vegan toothpaste!
Kale is also high in the following essential nutrients, no wonder they call it a superfood!
- vitamin B6: an excellent anti-inflammatory vitamin
- vitamin A: helps your body produce saliva and absorb calcium
- vitamin C: plays a key role in cell growth, regeneration, and repair, which are all essential for gum health!
- vitamin K: this less-famous vitamin helps your body build a strong bone structure, working with vitamin D to deliver calcium to your bones
- potassium: potassium works with magnesium to regulate your blood acidity levels, helping your teeth and bones retain and use calcium more efficiently
- phosphorous: this natural teeth protectant is important for strong enamel, supporting calcium as it builds strong bones and teeth
- folate: supports blood cell health and tissue health, keeping your gums healthy while fighting off disease and inflammation
Like many of the other fruits and vegetables on this list, kale is high in fiber. Getting adequate fiber in your diet can help with digestion, blood sugar regulation, managing cholesterol, and beyond. Fibrous fruits and veggies are also known to “exfoliate” your teeth due to their rough nature (kinda like the nature-derived micro abrasives in our vegan toothpaste). This can help fight off bad bacteria throughout the day!
Just like kale, apples are high in fiber and work as a “natural toothbrush.” While research shows that crunching on an apple doesn’t really reduce plaque, it does reduce the effects of bacteria in your saliva. In fact, eating an apple immediately reduces bacteria in your saliva in a similar manner as brushing with your favorite vegan toothpaste.
You may have heard that carrots are good for your vision, but do you know how good they are for your teeth? They contain a nutrient that transforms into vitamin A in the body, which helps your body produce saliva, absorb calcium, and repair your mucous membranes. They also contain high levels of keratin, which helps to break down plaque and tartar and strengthen your enamel.
On a separate note, carrots also contain a very specific fiber that “pulls” excess estrogen from your system, helping you detox estrogen in a healthy way (for both men and women). This contributes to a better overall hormone balance, which is very important for your gut, liver, metabolic function, and holistic health.
If you’re going to indulge in a sugary snack this summer, make it an orange!
Oranges are high in vitamin C, a nourishing antioxidant that can help your gums fight infection and disease. Research shows that low levels of vitamin C in the body can increase your risk for gum bleeding (an early sign of gingivitis). One medium-sized navel orange contains just about enough vitamin C to meet your recommended daily amount!
Remember, just like other citrus fruits, the acidity of an orange can be damaging to your enamel. While we don’t recommend eating an orange every single day, make it an “every once in a while” sweet treat. To be extra safe on your enamel, you can always brush with our plant based toothpaste directly after eating an orange.
5: raw onions
Okay, maybe raw onions aren’t the best for your breath, so be sure to keep Davids travel-sized natural toothpaste on you for this one. Research shows that the juice from a raw onion can fight four species of bacteria related to tooth decay and gum disease!
Be sure to add this flavorful, bacteria-fighting veggie to your summer salads!
Many melons are high in vitamin C, which we know is great for your oral health. But they also contain high concentrations of water! While it may seem silly to “eat” your water, this approach can help to increase your water intake in the hot summer months.
The water content from melons can stimulate saliva production and prevent dry mouth, which is essential when it comes to preventing plaque buildup, enamel wear, and gum disease.
7: parsley and cilantro
Just like kale, herbs like parsley and cilantro are high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, and folate. These flavorful herbs are also known for their antibacterial properties, fighting bad breath and plaque buildup throughout the day.
8: sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are a summer classic! This delicious snack is high in arginine, an amino acid that’s known to help you maintain a healthy pH in your mouth, relieve sensitivity, and provide a small dose of calcium to your body.
Just like melons, cucumbers are packed full of water! Did you know that they’re 96% water? Their crunchy, watery composition is great for your teeth and gums. As the water stimulates saliva flow and flushes out bad bacteria, the crunchy texture exfoliates your teeth and gums to break down plaque and protect your enamel.
Another vitamin-C-rich food, strawberries can help defend against infection. In addition to providing antioxidants to your body and reducing inflammation, vitamin C can also stimulate collagen production in your body, which can promote “thicker” and healthier gums to help prevent periodontal disease.
don’t forget Davids, the best vegan toothpaste
While these foods have some surprising oral health benefits, they don’t replace vegan toothpaste. Our vegan toothpaste is formulated with intentional ingredients that work together to fight bacteria, break down plaque, strengthen your enamel, freshen your breath, and whiten your smile....with no animal by products!
Give it a try, and you’ll see why so many people consider it the best vegan toothpaste.