• Why Your San Mateo Dentist Recommends Pumpkin

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    Welcome to pumpkin season, or autumn, from your San Mateo Dentist team! You’ve likely noticed the addition of pumpkins to menus, grocery store entrances, and wide-open spaces near you. There is an abundance of ways to add pumpkin to your diet this season. We highly suggest incorporating this superfood, as it’s great for your oral and overall health! Here are some of our favorite reasons why your San Mateo dentist recommends pumpkin in your diet:

    Readily Available

    Pumpkins have been around for ages! Since at least 5500 BC, they’ve been used as a food staple by Aztec and Mayan peoples. Eventually, these Cucurbitaceae fruits made their way to Europe, where they have been used in recipes for sweet and savory pies since the 1500s. During the first meals shared with the Wampanoag tribe and early colonists, pumpkins were definitely present and depicted in many pieces of art, poetry, and prose. This is widely referred to as The First Thanksgiving. President Lincoln declared this a national holiday in the 1800s. One year when a molasses shortage threatened the supply of pumpkin pies, a town in Connecticut postponed their Thanksgiving to accommodate the demand. Pumpkins are also in high demand, and therefore supply, for Halloween. One clever company brought canned pumpkins to the market in the 1900s and has since remained available on market shelves near you.

    Vitamin ABCs

    Pumpkins are an abundant source of vitamins and minerals. When you see the bright orange color in fruits and veggies, think Beta-carotene. This is a precursor to Vitamin A and will help strengthen your immune system and fight infection. Vitamin B-complex supports healthy gums and provides you with a clean source of energy. Collagen protein from Vitamin C protects your skin like natural sunblock from the inside, protecting you from harmful UV rays. Vitamins C and E neutralize free radicals (prevent cancer) and supply you with antioxidants (prevent aging). Vitamin E pairs well with iron and folate to support your immune system, which prevents gingivitis and gum disease.

    Mineral Richness

    Those with an active lifestyle lose electrolytes more quickly than sedentary humans and should replace their water and minerals more quickly. Pumpkin contains far more potassium than bananas, which get all the credit for potassium supply. potassium will help support your digestion, blood pressure, muscle contraction, blood pressure, and water balance. Together with calcium, they support strong teeth.

    Highly Recommended

    As if the density in vitamins and minerals weren’t enough, these superfoods provide all of the above benefits at an astounding 50 calories per cup, making them a fantastic option for those looking to maintain a low caloric intake for a healthy weight. They also contain about 94% water, similar in water composition to the human body. By adding a consistent flow of water to your system, you help to flush toxins out and keep your body hydrated, which is vital for all your bodily systems. This also helps your body improve glucose tolerance, reduce blood glucose levels, increase insulin, and manage food cravings to maintain a healthy weight.

    Choices Galore

    Your San Mateo dentist recommends pumpkin and other healthy choices for a diet that supports your oral health, and health overall. The choices you pick to go into your body are just as important as remembering to brush and floss. Although menus this season will be ripe with options for adding pumpkin flavor to your drinks, remember that these syrups don’t provide your body with the vitamins, minerals, or water that eating the fruit or seeds of the pumpkin would. Instead, artificial pumpkin flavoring will likely add sugar. We understand that the fall and winter holidays give you a permission slip to indulge. Go ahead and order that latte… in moderation. Remember to brush and floss more often if you choose the sweet pumpkin options. Consider roasted pumpkin for the flavor and health benefits that it offers. Try topping it with seeds for a powerful nutrient-dense punch and texture. From a can or from the vine… enjoy your pumpkin pie while its supply is high. Remember to brush after your sweet treats and you should have your bases covered.

    Ask your San Mateo dentist during your next dental visit about other holiday foods to add or avoid. Until then, our Facebook page will offer some great tips on how to stay on top of your smile game. Happy Pumpkin-hunting!