The recent times have rendered us vulnerable to every kind of health-based advice coming to us from all kinds of sources, right from misinforming WhatsApp forwards to deceiving YouTube videos. Even newspapers and news channels have not been reliable, much to our dismay! We understand that all of this can seem overwhelming, which is why we bring to you two healthcare specialists – renowned Dentist Dr. Megha Parikh Mahade, along with celebrated Nutritionist Ankita Vaidya to tell you all about making the most of day-to-day food items for maintaining a healthy body as well as strong teeth!
1. Dark Chocolate (70% Cocoa)
Dr. Megha suggests that the plant based antioxidants called flavonoids found in dark chocolate ensure that the body stays in the pink of health at the cellular level, thereby slowing down the process of tooth decay. When the high concentration of antioxidants in dark chocolate is mixed with the saliva during ingestion, it helps fight periodontal/gum diseases. Yet another component of dark chocolate, called Tannins prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth. Besides, they neutralize the microorganisms that cause bad breath. That said, excess consumption of dark chocolate must be avoided, as it can result in staining the teeth.
Ankita on the other hand recounts that the high concentration of theobromine in dark chocolate can help lower one’s blood pressure, thereby alleviating several risk factors that may otherwise lead to heart ailments.
2. Fruits & Vegetables
When it comes to healthy teeth, Dr. Megha lists the many benefits of various fruits and vegetables, As you may have guessed, our Nutritionist Ankita also believes in the vital role that fruits and vegetables play in ensuring a hale and hearty body. Here’s their take.
3. Cheese, Milk, Yogurt & Other Dairy Products
Dr. Megha emphasizes on the role of calcium and phosphate content in dairy products in rebuilding tooth enamel. She also enlists the benefits of cheese, especially in the prevention of cavities thanks to the casein and whey protein that it contains. Cheese is also known to stimulate saliva production which further helps wash away sugar and harmful bacteria.
Ankita also acknowledges the many benefits of dairy products. She reports yogurt to be one of the best probiotics, and verifies cheese as a great source of calcium, fat and protein. She also mentions the abundance of Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, zinc, phosphorus and riboflavin in dairy products help maintain optimal cellular health.
4. Green & Black Tea
Dr Megha suggests that the polyphenols and antioxidants found in these teas prevent bacterial growth.
Ankita on the other hand, enlists the importance of green tea in increasing metabolism and aiding fat loss.
5. Sesame Seeds & Nuts
Dr. Megha enumerates the role of sesame seeds in scrubbing the plaque off the teeth. She suggests raisins comprise of phytochemicals like oleanolic acid which help in killing cavity-causing bacteria. When it comes to nuts, she believes Brazilian nuts & cashews comprise of arginine that disrupts plaque formation and prevents cavity formation.
Ankita asserts the importance of sesame seeds as a part of a healthy diet, thanks to the high concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids, which boost hair growth. The calcium content of these seeds promotes bone health, thereby reducing the risk of osteoporosis. According to her, black raisins help reduce acidity and aid the treatment of anemia, while cashew nuts help achieve healthy and shiny hair.
Dr. Megha emphasizes on the benefits of water, especially fluoridated water for oral health as it aids the washing out of acids thereby maintaining an ideal pH. Besides, the fluoride content in water helps prevent cavities.
When it comes to the overall health of the body, Ankita asserts the importance of water as well as fibrous foods with high fibre content as they aid in blood purification as well as digestion.
In addition to the above-mentioned foods, Dr.Megha mentions the role of sugarless gums in maintaining ideal oral hygiene. Such gums increase the salivary flow, thus balancing the pH within the mouth by neutralizing the acids produced due to various foods. Moreover, sugarless gums also prevent food particles from sticking to the teeth.
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Dr Megha Parikh Mahade
BDS , MDS (Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics)
Certified in Invisalign, Flash & Clear Aligner Treatments
Nutritionist, Post-Graduation in FOOD SCIENCE and DIETETICS