Fall is everyone’s favorite season and for a good reason. The few leaves we have here in the desert start to change, the weather cools off, and pumpkin makes its annual debut. With how much everyone loves pumpkin, we might as well re-name fall, “pumpkin season.” We use pumpkins for decorating, carve them for crafts, and even add them to our everyday diet. Coffee shops boast pumpkin flavored lattes, restaurants come out with pumpkin cream soups, and we find a way to add pumpkin flavor to anything and everything possible. We can’t complain; pumpkin not only tastes great, it’s good for your health, too. In fact, pumpkin is a superfood!
Pumpkin is one of the few things that are both delicious and healthy. Pumpkins are full of healthy fiber and give you a heaping dose of beta-carotene, which helps keep your skin healthy and boosts your immune system. Pumpkins are rich in antioxidants, help lower blood pressure, and can even promote weight loss. All of these are great, but the reasons we dentists love pumpkin is because it’s great for your smile.
How Can Pumpkins Enhance Your Oral Health?
Eating a healthy dose of pumpkin regularly has a number of benefits for oral health. For one, it provides you with a healthy dose of zinc. Zinc works as an anti-plaque agent; it helps prevent the buildup of harmful plaque throughout the day. Most people don’t know that zinc is commonly added to many types of toothpaste for this quality alone. Zinc also strengthens your teeth and creates healthier gums. Pumpkin can give you the zinc you need to help keep harmful plaque away.
Pumpkins are rich in vitamin A, which helps contribute to a healthy flow of saliva. This keeps your teeth clean throughout the day and protects them from expedited decay. Pumpkin also has lots of vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system and keeps you protected from oral infections.
Finally, pumpkins are high in magnesium, which works to strengthen enamel and prevent decay. Magnesium is essential in keeping our teeth strong and cavity-free.
Don’t Go Crazy Yet!
Before heading to your nearest café to pick up a pumpkin spice latte, you need to understand that not all pumpkin treats are created equal. A lot of mainstream pumpkin foods or drinks are not going to help you boost your health—many do the opposite.
Unfortunately, commercialized pumpkin products are filled with excess sugar, fat, and processed carbohydrates. These types of treats should be eaten as desserts, in moderation, and not as a healthy source of pumpkin. To receive the health-boosting properties of pumpkins, try some healthier versions of your favorite fall food.
Our favorites include baking or roasting pumpkin seeds, making delicious pumpkin smoothies, concocting a homemade pumpkin soup, or roasting pumpkin and adding it to your favorite meals.
You don’t have to throw pumpkin snacks or drinks out of the window this fall, just try to approach it in a more health-conscious way! As you enjoy your pumpkin, remember all of the health benefits it gives you, including boosted oral health, and give yourself another serving.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.