Oral Health Benefits of Pumpkin

September. 13. 2016

Back Away From the Spiced Latte! But the Pumpkin Can Stay!

Fall is coming and it comes as no surprise that the Pumpkin Spice Latte, the most popular seasonal drink of all time, is already here. Everything about the pumpkin screams fall and pumpkin enthusiasts eagerly awaits the release of this highly anticipated beverage every year.  

But the Pumpkin Spice Latte isn’t your average cup o’ joe. Recently, the beloved libation has come under fire for the large amount of calories and sugar it contains. While most health professionals are worried about the damage the Pumpkin Spice Latte can do to people’s waistlines, dentists are more concerned with the impact it could have on their patients’ teeth. The amount of sugar in Pumpkin Spice Latte, along with the length of time you spend sipping it down, is a recipe for tooth decay.  

However, you can still satisfy your autumnal craving for pumpkin goodness by preparing and consuming it in different, delicious, healthier ways — and actually improve your dental and overall health while doing it. Health benefits related to consuming pumpkin are plentiful. This vitamin-packed fruit can please both your nutrition/fitness professional and your dentist by protecting your teeth and whole health. Pumpkin provides:

  • Zinc:  It plays a key role in healing wounds, which does wonders for damaged soft tissues inside your mouth, or gums that are healing from gingivitis-induced bleeding. Zinc is also considered an anti-plaque agent and is added to toothpaste to prevent buildup.
  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A aids in the flow of saliva, which is key for washing bacteria from the mouth. It also plays a key role in healing soft tissues.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is key for maintaining a healthy immune system and fighting off infections. 
  • Magnesium: Magnesium and calcium work together to create strong, protective enamel that can resist decay. 
  • Fiber: Pumpkins are packed with fiber, which is important for maintaining excellent overall health. Fiber helps with weight control, and fiber-rich foods help stimulate the flow of saliva, which is the best natural defense against tooth decay. 

If you are looking for a way to get your pumpkin fix this season while keeping your teeth and physique fit, minimize or eliminate the sugar. Consider replacing your daily spiced latte with these healthy pumpkin preparations such as pumpkin seeds, pumpkin smoothies, baked pumpkin and pumpkin seed oil.