October is primetime pumpkin season. For those that think pumpkins are just a blank orange orb waiting to be carved into a jack-o-lantern pretty face, think again.
Likewise for those weekend warriors that believe “punkin chunkin” should be an X-Games fall sport or halftime entertainment at football games. On the contrary, pumpkins offer a cornucopia of health benefits, including benefits for our teeth.
Zounds – They’ve Got Zinc! Pumpkins and pumpkin seeds contain teeth-friendly zinc. Zinc is essential to a healthy diet and help teeth stay strong. Many toothpaste manufacturers add zinc citrate to their formulas which help prevent the buildup of tartar. Left untreated tartar buildup can lead to gum disease, but eating pumpkin and pumpkin seeds is an excellent preventive tool that just happens to taste good!
Round Mound of Magnesium Don’t be fooled by the glowing, devil-may-care smiles of a carved pumpkin. Pumpkins are a serious source of magnesium. Magnesium works with calcium and phosphorous to provide enamel growth in teeth. Bone and mineral metabolism rely on magnesium, and magnesium also helps prevent the leaching of calcium from bones.
Pumpkin Earns a Vitamin A+ Here’s your sign that pumpkins are good for you: they’re orange! Flavonoids are the natural pigments that give pumpkin its color. Unless the pumpkins are dyed to make them more attractive to shoppers, the brighter the color, the more antioxidants they contain. Orange and yellow vegetables are rich in carotenoids. Our bodies convert carotenoids to vitamin A that helps our vision, teeth, skin, bones, heart and immune systems.
Seeds Are a Great Source of Omega-3 Raw nuts and seeds are an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 fats, and pumpkin seeds are no exception. Omega-3 is an essential fat that offers several health benefits, including lowering the triglyceride levels that increase the risk of heart disease. It has also been shown to help memory skills in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and some research suggests omega-3 may help protect against dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Tastes Great, More Filling Dynamite comes in small packages, and pumpkin seeds are like fiber dynamite. Pumpkin seeds treat us to 1.7 grams of dietary fiber per ounce, and mashed pumpkin includes 3 grams of fiber per cup at only 50 calories! Fiber keeps us fuller longer, making it less likely we’ll raid the kids’ trick-or-treat candy.
At Dental Insurance Store we don’t offer pumpkins, but we do provide quality dental plans that will help protect your smile from resembling those orange tooth-gapped ones destined for punkin chunkin. For available plans in your area, click here.
Sources: huffingtonpost.com, bghdental.com, WebMD.com, articles.mercola.com, healtheating.sfgate.com
Photo sources: angrytrainerfitness.com, kksblog.com
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