As we have talked about in two previous posts (here and here!) there is a strong connection between nutrition and oral health. Of course you know that some foods high in sugar and grains are more likely to get stuck in your teeth leaving harmful bacteria that can lead to decay, but it’s important to nourish your teeth from the inside out with proper nutrition. What we want to discuss now is supplementing your diet to get all the nutrients you need for great health. A good diet for your teeth will be:
- bio available (meaning not containing lots of phytic acid)
- rich in minerals
- rich in fat-soluble vitamins
Since we have already talked about adding healthy fats to your diet and decreasing the amount of foods that contain phytic acid or decreasing the content of phytic acid in foods, now we need to discuss how to increase the vitamin and mineral content of your food. First what is the difference between a vitamin and a mineral?
Vitamins Vs. Minerals
Vitamins are organic compounds that our body needs in order to carry out necessary functions. “Organic” means they contain carbon, an element found in all living things and “compounds” means they are made up of atoms of one or more elements. Vitamins come in two different forms:
- water soluble—meaning the need water for absorption. This includes nine vitamins: vitamin C and eight B vitamins
- fat soluble—meaning the need fat in the body to be stored and absorbed. These include vitamins A, D, E, and K. This is part of the reason fat is good for you .
Minerals are needed in much smaller amounts and not all minerals are essential to our bodily health. This is because minerals are composed of atoms of a single element: zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, etc. Mineral loss isn’t as susceptible during the cooking or preparation of food because minerals aren’t compounds (like vitamins) that can be broken down. We loose mineral absorptions when they are bound to other food particles like phytates that our body cannot absorb.
How To Get More Vitamins and Minerals In Your Diet
The best answer is to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables that involved little to no preparation because this is going to ensure that organic compounds (vitamins) still have their value for the body. This doesn’t mean you should make the conversion to veganism and have the power of broccoli, beets, radishes, carrots, and cauliflower compel you, but it does mean that increasing the ratio of vegetables to meats and fatty food is important. Eating more salads, fermented foods, and even foods high in healthy fat can increase your mineral and vitamin absorption.
All of this, although it seems far from the subject, will increase your total bodily health and maintain your oral health. Mineralizing and maintaining your teeth is a bodily function. Hence it’s not just about keeping food from getting stuck in your teeth, but ensuring that the food is vitalizing your physiological processes like tooth development. We seem to think that after a certain age nutrition is meant to keep our body from decaying, but actually it’s possible to continually vitalize and develop you body’s health.
Supplements For Nutrition and Oral Health
Perhaps you live a fast-paced lifestyle like so many Americans and time to spend cooking a good meal or studying nutrition seems too far out of reach. This is a choice you’ll have to make personally, but consider it an investment in your future lifestyle. The more you invest today, the longer you will enjoy yourself. However, to help with our fast paced lifestyles, adding supplements to your diet can greatly increase its nutritional content. Here are some supplements to consider.
Back in the day, before we could grow foods all year long and used preservative or freezers to keep produce fresh, people used fermenting processes to store vegetables and fruits during the winter. Fermenting is a process of cultivating live enzymes in our food that keep it from decomposing by bringing it to life.
These “gut-bacteria,” as they are called, attach to receptors in our gut and send our body signals about digestion. They say, “hey everything is alright. Just keep on digesting and getting nutrients out of all this delicious food.” Probiotics are a necessary addition to our diet for a healthy gut that has been forgotten in modern times. Prime sources are:
- lacto-fermented vegetables
- kombucha (fermented tea)
- probiotic supplements
If you are going to use a supplement, be sure and research how they have worked for other people and how to maximize the benefits. A simple Google search will help you do this. More and more we research is showing that synthetic vitamins and mineral supplements aren’t helping our body’s as much as we assumed they would. New products are actually using fermented vegetables in their supplements.
Adding some healthy fat supplements to your diet is also important. Dr. Price, who studied diets all over the world in isolated cultures, found that people who ate healthy fats containing lots of fat soluble vitamins had immaculate teeth that were straight, white, and decay free. One of the main sources they used for health was fish-oil. Here are some supplements you might want to try to add more healthy fat to your diet.
- Cod Liver Oil/High Vitamin Butter Oil
- Coconut oil
- Grass-fed butter
Other Supplements To Consider
Here are some other supplements vital to tooth mineralizations and bodily function. Remember: research any product you try to use and talk to your doctor or a medical professional before regimenting a new diet into your life.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Gelatin (high in protein and good for joints)
Diversity and consistent research regarding what is working best for other people is important to any nutritional plan. So experiment and be aware of how what you eat makes you feel. Schedule an appointment with us and see how your teeth are doing and test how your nutrition is helping your teeth stay healthy. Good luck!