These Plant-Based Foods Pave Way to a Brighter Smile

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.”
—Thich Nhat Hahn

by Jion Sommer, Plant-based Nutrition Certified Professional, Reiki practitioner & Meditation teacher, Owner, Living Proof Naturally

Apples are a great choice as their crunchy texture acts like a toothbrush to scrub your teeth. Plus apples contain malic acid, which boosts saliva production, helping clean your teeth and remove stains.

Strawberries not only contain the same malic acid as apples, they have the added benefit of ellagitannins, antioxidants that can help reduce stain-attracting bacteria and inflammation in your mouth. And, strawberries’ vitamin C can help prevent gum inflammation and periodontal disease. They may even protect against oral cancer.

Broccoli contains iron, which forms a wall of protection for your teeth and helps prevent stains and cavities. Eating this raw crunchy veggie can help polish your teeth. Broccoli is high in fiber, and eating lots of fiber helps reduce inflammation in your mouth (along with the rest of your body).

Pineapple is the only food that naturally contains bromelain, a compound with anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties.

Green leafy vegetables, like romaine lettuce and spinach, which contain folate can strengthen enamel, guard against gum disease and reduce gum inflammation. Other folate-rich foods include edamame, lentils, asparagus and black beans.

Green tea is packed with catechins (plant compounds with antioxidant properties) as well as naturally occurring fluoride. Green tea appears to inhibit the bacteria and acid responsible for tooth decay.

Omega 3s: When adults with periodontitis — gum inflammation that can lead to tooth loss — took a 300 mg omega 3 supplement they had less inflammation and shallower “pockets.” Omega 3 fatty acids are found in chia, flax and hemp seeds. One ounce of chia seeds provides 5,000 mg of ALA omega-3 fatty acids, or 312% to 454% of the recommended daily intake.

Smiling reduces stress and is calming, so I would like to offer this short poem on smiling meditation by Thich Nhat Hahn:

“Breathing in, I calm my body.

Breathing out, I smile.

Dwelling in the present moment

I know this is a wonderful moment.”

This is the only moment that is real. To be here and now and enjoy the present moment is our most wonderful task — a “calming, smiling, present moment, wonderful moment.” I hope you will try it.

May all beings benefit.