It is that time of year again for pumpkin everything. As lovers of pumpkin, we are thrilled to say that pumpkin is good for your teeth! However, it is important to note that many pumpkin-flavored things may be loaded with sugar, and as you know, sugar is not great for our teeth. Therefore, we need to be aware of what is in all those pumpkin goodies.
Why Pumpkin is Dentist Approved
Pumpkin is a natural food loaded with vitamins and minerals that are good for your smile and overall health. Nutrients include (this is not a comprehensive list):
- Zinc –helps heal and repair our bodies
- Vitamin A – aids in saliva production
- Vitamin C – helps fight infections
- Vitamin K – helps build strong bones
- Vitamin E – an antioxidant that helps with immune support and cellular signaling in the body
- Copper – which can help form collagen that makes up your bones and tissues
- Magnesium – works with calcium to build strong tooth enamel and prevent cavities
- Fiber – scrubs the teeth while you chew and can help with saliva production
So, now that you know pumpkin is packed with many things that can keep us healthy, let’s talk about choosing the right pumpkin foods.
Watching Ingredient Labels
The best way to choose pumpkin treats that are good for our smiles is to watch the ingredient label. Here are a few things to look for:
This can be found on the ingredient label below the total grams of sugar. In general, it is recommended to keep your added sugar to 25 grams per day. If that pumpkin cookie has 14 grams of added sugar, you may want to reconsider.
List of Ingredients
If pumpkin is not the first ingredient, there may be better choices. Specifically, look at the first three ingredients, as these will be the primary ingredients of the food. If sugar is the first ingredient, it’s probably not the best choice.
Make Your Own
Making it yourself is the best way to know what you are eating. There are tons of healthy pumpkin recipes you can find on Pinterest or just by doing a basic search online for “healthy pumpkin recipes.”
Go for Pumpkin Seeds
Roasted and lightly salted pumpkin seeds are a great option loaded with nutrients. You can buy them in-store or make your own after carving your pumpkins. This is an excellent option if you are not a pumpkin flavor fan.
Choosing the Right Pumpkin Goodies
When in doubt, make sure you opt for the real thing. While that pumpkin spiced latte at your local coffee shop may be delicious, it is not loaded with the health benefits we described above. In fact, sugar options like lattes may harm your smile.
So go ahead, have your pumpkin and eat it too!