At Contemporary Dentistry, an essential part of our approach to noninvasive, holistic dentistry is that your lifestyle is as important to your oral health as your toothbrush. That’s why our holistic dentists can help you understand how much of a difference your diet makes in the amount of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems that you face.
Now, it turns out, fruits and vegetables aren’t just healthy for your smile, they’ll make you want to smile more often, as eating up to eight portions of fruits and vegetables every day will make you happier.
Every Fruit Makes You Happier
According to the upcoming study in the American Journal of Public Health, eating more fruits and vegetables is associated with improved mood. The research, which is a collaborative effort between the University of Warwick in the UK and the University of Queensland, Australia, looked at the food diaries of nearly 12,400 randomly sampled Australian adults in 2007, 2009, and 2013.
They looked at how many fruits people consumed, and how it correlated with their psychological wellbeing.
They found that for every additional serving of fruits and vegetables a person consumed, they experienced a statistically significant benefit in their happiness, up until eight portions a day, when the benefits petered out. These health and happiness benefits persisted even when corrected for the socioeconomic circumstances of the diarists.
How big was the effect? It was comparable to the happiness boost an unemployed person finds when they get a job, so a pretty big boost.
The improvement occurred within 24 months, and it persisted for a long time. The amount of fruits and vegetables consumed were predictive of happiness benefits over the length of the study.
Getting More People to Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Researchers are hoping that this new data can help improve the impact of campaigns to get people to eat more fruits and vegetables. They point out that people do not necessarily respond to messages that fruit today can lead to health benefits decades later, such as a reduction in cancer risk. Perhaps, researchers say, people will be more eager to eat vegetables if they know they will see some benefit over the relative short term.
And this benefit has a different quality than other benefits. While preventing cancer is a significant reduction of harm, people are less likely to act on reductions of harm than on a perceived positive addition, such as an increase in happiness.
Fruits and Vegetables Also Improve Oral Health
But we can’t deny that eating more fruits and vegetables can definitely have a benefit when we’re talking about your oral health. In particular, here are some fruits and vegetables you can add to your diet to help improve your oral health.
- Green, leafy vegetables these can be high in folic acid and they’re also high in calcium, an essential building block for your teeth.
- Apples are not only high in vitamin C, they’ve got a fibrous texture that helps them clean your teeth at the end of a meal. The mild acid and the high water content help to whiten your teeth, too.
- Carrots are also good for cleaning your teeth at the end of a meal, but they have vitamin A, which helps promote the health of your salivary glands so you can keep producing more of your body’s natural antibacterial solution.
These are a few good suggestions, but during your consultation, we can talk about many of the other healthy fruits and vegetables to choose from so you can find ones that you want to eat and that are good for your oral health.