• Pumpkins and Your Oral Health

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    Your Cumberland dentist team would like to welcome you into the new autumn season! Prepare for pumpkins to be everywhere now that fall equinox is behind us. This is great news since these superfoods are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and water. Even their seeds have a ton of great health benefits. Many mistake pumpkins as a vegetable because the gourds grow from the ground. They are actually a fruit of the pumpkin vine, due to their seeds. 

    For thousands of years, since at least 5,500 BC. There are documented uses of pumpkins in the 1500s for sweet and savory pies in England. Who hasn’t seen a photo of the early colonists sharing pumpkins with the Wampanoag tribe during what’s widely referred to as the first Thanksgiving? In the 1800s, Lincoln declared this a national holiday. Pumpkins and Thanksgiving are so intertwined in our culture that one town in Connecticut postponed the holiday to counter the molasses shortage. What would Thanksgiving be with the mandatory pumpkin pie? In the 1900s, the market introduced canned pumpkins which we still see on market shelves today. 

    Why Are Pumpkins Good For My Oral Health?

    Pumpkins are not just an adorable seasonal decoration. They provide fantastic oral health benefits. They are rich in essential vitamins and minerals without adding many calories (just under 50 calories per cup). Their high water content (94%) acts as a mild diuretic and allows for your body to eliminate waste effectively. They are commonly recommended by dieticians for their ability to reduce blood glucose levels, improve glucose tolerance, increase insulin, manage food cravings for healthy weight maintenance.

    Pumpkins are abundant in Vitamins A, C, E, and other essentials that support healthy bones and tissue. Vitamin A can strengthen the immune system and fight infections. Vitamin C produces collagen protein and acts as a natural sunblock. Vitamins C and E together can neutralize free radicals (preventing cancer) and provide antioxidants (preventing aging). If you’re active, replenish your electrolytes with pumpkin. They provide more potassium than bananas do. Potassium can increase your bone mineral density, support muscle contraction, digestion, water balance, and healthy blood pressure. Calcium and potassium will keep your bones and teeth strong. Iron, folate and Vitamin E will support a strong immune system as well. These nutrients provide great oral health benefits to your gums, teeth, and entire body. They also help to prevent gum disease and gingivitis.

    Your Cumberland dentist encourages a nutrient-rich diet as part of a great oral health regimen. Pumpkins will be a fantastic addition for the next couple of seasons. Explore your favorite way to incorporate pumpkins into your diet. Remember that pumpkin lattes and baked goods have a ton of added sugar without the health benefits that the fruit would provide. Everything is fine in moderation, but remember to brush extra if you choose these options or after having your pie.

    Talk to your Cumberland dentist during your next visit about how to stay on track with your oral health. Until then, like our Facebook page to stay updated with dental tips!