It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but a spoonful of cranberry sauce can really add a zesty kick to holiday turkey, ham, stuffing, potatoes, and more. There are also dried cranberries, cranberry juice, and more ways to consume this distinctive berry. Some people certainly enjoy the taste of cranberries. But do they benefit your oral health? Keep reading to find out what your dentist in Casper has to say about them.
Should I Incorporate Cranberries into My Diet Regularly?
The impact of daily use of cranberry proanthocyanidins can be substantial on a person’s quality of life and reduced healthcare costs. It is beneficial to have a cup of cranberry juice daily, even for children, but seek out unsweetened juice to avoid the troublesome added sugar content.
It is better for your health to eat a cup of raw cranberries – or however many you’d like less than that. You still get some benefits from cranberry sauce, but added sugar is an issue so enjoy it in moderation and not regularly as you can with the unsweetened juice.
Beyond being mindful of the sugar content if you consume cranberries in any manner other than unsweetened juice or pill form, also consider their potential to stain your teeth and the effect of their acidity on your tooth enamel. Wait about 30 minutes after consuming cranberries in whatever form you choose, and then brush your teeth after saliva has diluted the acids, and you can prevent staining.
How Can Cranberries Contribute to a Healthy Mouth?
Once attached to each other, bacteria form a slimy substance called biofilm, such as in dental plaque, which glues their cooperative community together. Drinking cranberry juice can reduce plaque by 95 percent. It decreases the production of sugars in the mouth and makes it more difficult for acids to generate, thus decreasing damage to tooth enamel.
Cranberries contain chemical compounds in their red pigment called proanthocyanidins that prevent bacteria from binding together on the surface of your teeth to form plaque. These compounds play a preventive role in oral infections by stopping the attachment of pathogens to host tissues.
The proanthocyanidins prohibit the adherence and biofilm formation of a particular bacterium associated with gum disease to markedly reduce its invasiveness. They neutralize enzymes that destroy gum tissue and possess anti-inflammatory properties, as well.
Regular use of proanthocyanidins serves to reduce the amount of antibiotics a person needs and helps prevent bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
Cranberries Protect You from Health-Related Problems
Cranberries contain fiber that relieves constipation and promotes healthy cholesterol levels to reduce your chances of heart disease. They are low in fat while containing vitamin C and antioxidants.
Cranberries benefit urinary tract health, particularly in women, and have shown promise in nutritional support against stomach cancer, some infectious diseases, as well as neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. They help prevent stomach ulcers and aid digestion so you can process your meals and absorb nutrients more effectively.
The vitamin C in cranberries promotes collagen and helps repair your body’s tissues and skin from damage.
Overall, consuming cranberries daily has an incredible number of benefits. Just don’t look to the cranberry sauce or sweetened juice often, and be sure not to brush too long afterward to avoid potential stains and enamel wear.
About the Author
Dr. Erin Prach has worked hard for smiles in Casper since opening her practice in 2015. She earned her dental doctorate from the University of Colorado. Dr. Prach capitalized on the opportunity to study oral surgery while she was on a mission trip in Guatemala. She’ll be happy to further discuss food items like cranberries during your next checkup and cleaning. Schedule one on her website or call (307) 337-4770.