Get your party hats ready because it’s time to celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month! That’s right, June serves to remind us of the importance of healthy eating and how this can greatly benefit – or negatively affect – our dental health.
Fruits and veggies provide a wide variety of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber while remaining low in calories, fat, and sodium. They can even lower your risk of developing certain chronic diseases and also help you maintain a healthy weight.
Whether you shop at a local market or grow your own foods at home, remember to join your McAllen dentists at WhiteWing Dental in celebrating National Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Month.
The Importance of Eating Fruits and Veggies
During the summertime, we tend to relax a little bit on our diets. Vacations, barbecues, activities, and just a general sense of leisure often results in an increase in eating junk food. But a summer full of sweets, candies, and sodas is only going to lead to some big problems.
Fruits and veggies are the way to go when it comes to summer snacking. For one, they’re absolutely excellent for our little ones. Chock-full of vitamins and nutrients, veggies and fruits are just what your child needs to grow strong all summer long.
But they aren’t just for the kids. Adults can benefit plenty from eating fruits and vegetables as well. The right foods can help reduce the risk of many diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, and even certain cancers. Since fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals, they also help you feel lively and energized.
From toppings to side dishes they provide a healthy element to your meals. Some of the best fruits and veggies to eat include:
- Watermelons can help to keep you hydrated during those steamy summer days as they are 92% water.
- Apples give you more energy than coffee. High in carbohydrates, vitamins, and mineral content, apples can help you stay energized all day.
- Strawberries contain vitamin C which effectively acts as a tooth whitener.
- Celery works as a shield against bacteria inside our mouths, and it also contains vitamin C, which helps to naturally clean our teeth. Since it also becomes threadlike as we chew, it helps pick up plaque in between our teeth, keeping them germ-free.
- Carrots are packed with a healthy dose of vitamin A and act as a natural toothbrush. Chewing carrots after a meal can actually help reduce discoloration.
Of course, there are plenty of other fruits and veggies to enjoy, just be careful with dried fruit as they tend to have unhealthy amounts of sugar and can easily stick to your teeth.
Adding Fruits and Veggies to Your Meals
It’s really quite easy to add fruits and vegetables to your meal plan. Consider the following:
- Add frozen peas or broccoli to rice when it’s almost done cooking.
- Veggie kabobs are great for those family barbecues.
- Don’t forget to add plenty of veggies to your burgers.
- Top yogurt with oatmeal, cereal, berries or sliced fruit.
- Make fruit popsicles; freeze 100% juice or pureed fruit in an ice tray/popsicle mold.
- Add spinach, peppers, or mushrooms into your morning scrambled eggs.
- Keep a bowl of whole fruit handy on the desk, table, or countertop.
- When eating out, ask for a side of fruit or a salad rather than less-healthy sides.