Each September is recognized as Whole Grains Month and serves to raise awareness of the multitude of health benefits that come along with eating foods made from whole grains. The most discussed health benefits of whole grains are usually related to heart health, but as our dental office in Sacramento knows, the benefits of eating a well-balanced diet rich in whole grains goes beyond the heart.
Whole Grains Protect Teeth, Too
Whole grains can be great for our hearts and may even help reduce the risk of obesity and cancer. But recent research shows that eating the recommended daily dose of whole grains can protect oral health, too. Foods rich with whole grains are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that work to keep mouths healthy.
- Magnesium – Magnesium works with calcium to build strong teeth and strengthen enamel to protect them against bacteria and decay
- Vitamin E – One of the main functions of vitamin E is to reduce inflammation. This is important in the fight against gum disease. Research shows a positive correlation between high inflammation levels and the risk for developing gum disease, a vitamin E can help keep inflammation levels low.
- B Vitamins – A variety of B vitamins found in whole grains are beneficial to oral health by lowering the risk of developing mouth sores or canker sores and fighting off bad breath. Some studies also show a positive correlation that certain B vitamins can protect against cavities.
Recommended Daily Whole Grain Servings
The table below shows the recommended daily servings by age range and gender according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Best Sources of Whole Grain
Eating enough whole grains doesn’t need to be difficult, and you don’t need to give up delicious foods like some people think. In fact, making small changes can go a long way in helping you and your family get your daily dose of whole grains.
- Swap your morning cereal for a whole grain option
- Use whole grain bread or wraps for sandwiches
- Try a dinner loaded with whole grains by buying whole grain pasta
- Instead of a side of potatoes, eat brown rice
- Choose whole wheat hamburger or hot dog buns instead of white bread
When shopping for foods high in whole grains look for the gold and black Whole Grain Stamp.
Eat Well, See Your Dentist
What we choose to eat has an effect on not only our overall health, but our oral health too. Your dentist in Sacramento urges you to follow a well-balanced diet rich in whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and plenty of water.