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Healing Kitchen

Gum Disease
Diet may play an important role in relieving gum pain, healing gums, and preventing gum disease. Foods high in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, folate (folic acid), flavonoids, calcium, and insoluble fiber are beneficial for gum care. Vitamin C and flavonoids act synergistically in their antioxidant power and are most effective when they are consumed together. Studies have shown that eating large amounts of a variety of fruits, especially citrus fruits, is linked to less severe gum disease. Certain "cariostatic" foods that help prevent cavities also enhance gum health because they help reduce plaque build-up. These foods include cheese, nuts, popcorn, and vegetables. Fermentable carbohydrates, such as candy, cookies, pastries, pretzels, chips, fruit, and starchy foods like breads and cereals, contribute to plaque build-up and may diminish gum health. Instead of eliminating fruit and cereals, which provide a wealth of nutrients and phytochemicals, pair cariostatic foods with fermentable carbohydrates, at the same time be sure to brush and floss frequently. Snacking on crunchy, fibrous foods, such as a carrot or celery stick, stimulates the gums.

Mega-Recipes
We believe that it's possible to manage and/or improve certain conditions through what you eat. When we create "Mega-Recipes" for an ailment, we strive to include the maximum number of the nutrients that are shown to have benefit for that ailment. We also expect the Mega-Recipe to contain at least 25% of recommended intakes for those nutrients. See the list of recipes that have met our criteria for this ailment.

What You Should Eat & Why

calcium
Calcium is important for gum care because it helps maintain tooth structure.
Leading Food Sources of calcium: Broccoli, Bok choy, Milk, Amaranth, Soybeans, Tofu, Cheese, fresh, Beans, dried, Kale, Salmon, Yogurt

fiber, insoluble
Fiber helps to cleanse the teeth, similar to a dog's bone or biscuit.
Leading Food Sources of fiber, insoluble: Figs, Peas, fresh, Beans, dried, Rice, brown, Wheat, Raisins & Currants, Prunes

flavonoids
Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants and may enhance immunity, helping to keep gum-attacking bacteria in check.
Leading Food Sources of flavonoids: Broccoli, Grapefruit, white, Apples, Oranges, Pomegranates, Limes, Chocolate, Soybeans, Lemons, Tomatoes, Onions, Carrots, Blueberries

folic acid
Foods rich in folic acid may promote faster gum healing and help reduce gum inflammation and bleeding.
Leading Food Sources of folic acid: Asparagus, Broccoli, Avocados, Beans, dried, Chick-peas, Soybeans, Lentils, Oranges, Peas, fresh, Turkey, Cabbage, Savoy, Bok choy, Spinach, Brussels sprouts, Beets

vitamin C
When taken daily, vitamin C protects gum tissue against cell damage and speeds healing. Brushing with vitamin C powder can minimize gum inflammation and bleeding.
Leading Food Sources of vitamin C: Cabbage, red, Tangerines & other mandarins, Peppers, bell, red, Oranges, Strawberries, Kiwi fruit, Potatoes

vitamin E
The antioxidant properties of vitamin E may enhance healing and protect gum tissue against cell damage.
Leading Food Sources of vitamin E: Broccoli, Sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, Avocados, Almonds, Peanuts, Mangoes

Date Published: 05/03/2005
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