It’s that time of year when you start to notice fresh produce popping up in the grocery store and farmer’s markets everywhere! Warmer weather is finally here! If you’re looking for a way to recharge your diet using all the delicious fruits and vegetables that are now in season — and improve your oral health at the same time — try making one or all of the fresh, healthy meals below.
Healthy Meals That Improve Oral Health
1. Leafy Green Salad Topped With Baked Salmon
Leafy greens like lettuce and kale are in season and contain vitamin C and calcium, two really important vitamins for oral health. Salmon isn’t just a great source of protein, it also contains phosphorus, which helps build strong teeth.
Marinate the salmon (lightly salt and pepper or adding thyme are popular seasoning choices) and bake it at 450 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes, then use it to top a big salad full of greens and other seasonal veggies like radishes, asparagus, and cabbage. Enjoy this fresh, light dish with a low-acid salad dressing to keep your enamel healthy.
2. Healthy Chickpea Pasta Primavera
Pasta primavera is a familiar warm-weather dish and is typically made with three main ingredients: pasta, fresh spring vegetables, and cheese. To give this dish a healthy spin, use vegetables rich in vitamin C like spinach, peppers, and broccoli (vitamin C promotes gum health) and a light sprinkling of parmesan cheese (dairy includes calcium, which our teeth love).
Go one step further for your oral health and substitute chickpea pasta for regular pasta, since beans are rich in teeth-strengthening phosphorus.
3. Grilled Chicken and Veggies With Low-Fat Tzatziki Sauce
Warmer weather means grilling season! Lean meat, fish, and beans contain phosphorus, and vegetables like peppers, broccoli, and potatoes are not only rich in vitamin C but are also uber tasty when grilled. Cut your chicken and vegetables into chunks, then grill them to perfection.
For some added calcium, try this healthy tzatziki dipping sauce recipe, which includes fat-free Greek yogurt, garlic, and cucumbers.
4. Veggie and Protein Bowl
If you are looking for a healthy meal but don’t have a lot of time on your hands, a veggie and protein bowl is perfect. Make some quinoa (which contains protein and phosphorus) and put it into a bowl, then add some lean protein like fish or chicken, chopped greens, and seasonal vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, and peas. Top it with sliced almonds (nuts also contain phosphorus) and a low-fat, low-acid dressing.
With all the fresh produce that this season brings, it’s super easy to create tasty, healthy meals. Just remember that even good-for-you foods like tomatoes, citrus, dried fruits, and seltzer are acidic and can do damage to your enamel. Brushing with Pronamel Intensive Enamel Repair toothpaste twice a day, every day, can help actively repair acid-weakened enamel and protect teeth from the effects of acid erosion.