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Follow the Rainbow to the Golden Power of Antioxidants

What are antioxidants and what exactly do they do?What do beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium, vitamin A, C, and E all have in common? They are all antioxidants. Antioxidants play an important role in helping your body fight diseases and infections. They stop or reduce the damage to your cells caused by free radicals. Unfortunately, the oxygen that we need to survive also causes oxidation, which alters our body chemicals and in turn free radicals are produced. Free radicals also come from environmental factors such as pollution and cigarette smoke, among many other things. Our best bet is to ensure that our bodies are receiving a sufficient amount of antioxidants. This can be done through our diet and supplements, which I will discuss a little bit later.

How do antioxidants relate to oral health? Your mouth is a delicate place and a major gateway to the rest of your internal systems. Your saliva contains a great deal of antioxidants, which help fight bacteria and other noxious substances. The antioxidants found in your saliva also help reduce inflammation-causing proteins and aid in the healing process.

What are some possible oral health consequences of an antioxidant deficiency? Studies have shown that an insufficient level of salivary antioxidants can be linked to periodontal disease, oral cancer and oral cavities.

*For more in-depth and research-based information on antioxidants in the saliva and oral health, visit this informative dental website that I came across: www.dentalantioxidants.com

Where are antioxidants found, and how can we make sure we get enough of them?A primary player in our general health and overall wellbeing relates to diet. Antioxidants are found in quite a few fruits and vegetables, as well as some other foods, including nuts, legumes, and animal products. An easy way to ensure that you are consuming an antioxidant-rich diet on a daily basis is to simply eat your way over the rainbow. Let’s take a look at some rainbow-colored options!

RED: strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, pomegranates, cranberries, apples, watermelon, and grapefruit

ORANGE: carrots, cantaloupe, peaches, sweet potatoes, apricots, oranges, pumpkins, and papayas

YELLOW: mango, bell peppers, corn, squash, peanuts, eggs, and avocado

GREEN: kale, kiwi, spinach, peas, soybean, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and green tea

BLUE: Blueberries and blackberries

PURPLE: Grapes, eggplant, purple cabbage, and red wine

WHITE-ish: whole grains, almonds, sesame seeds, cauliflower, bran, barley, sunflower seeds, onion, and garlic

What are some other great benefits to eating an antioxidant sufficient diet?Antioxidants are our body’s super defenders! Not only do they help us maintain our oral health, but they also strengthen our immune system, slow down the aging process, and decrease the risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, and neurological disorders.

Are you having a hard time eating the rainbow?Let’s face it, not everyone is a vegetable and fruit addict, or maybe you just feel like you aren’t getting enough of a variety of antioxidant-rich foods. Juice Plus is a product that Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuvenation and Wellness completely endorses! In short, Juice Plus is a whole food based nutrition, composed of 30 different fruits, vegetables, and grains. Honi Parker is a Juice Plus representative and can share an abundance of valuable information with you pertaining to this incredible and life changing product. Just ask her!

Thanks for sharing a smile with us this week!

Check out Facebook for our first question of the month. Remember the reward is a $20 certificate to use toward Zoom Quick Pro, Sonicare, Zoom whitening products, or a Hydrafacial. You can either email your response to parkerdentistrywellness@gmail.com or just tell Honi at your next appointment.

Stay turned next week for a more in-depth look at Juice Plus and a great recipe that is loaded with powerhouse antioxidants. 

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