Estimates suggest that four out of five Americans are unknowingly walking around with gum disease and additional research has studies that this dental problem is linked to the blood disorder known as anemia. Anemia is a condition featuring a low levels of red blood cells (RBCs) or low levels of hemoglobin in the fluid and can cause organs to function irregularly and for making a person feel sluggish and run down. Since the entire mouth system (including teeth, tongue and gums) is an organ, ensuring proper levels of nutritional iron is a must for dental health.
Typically, patients who are anemic have a couple of ways to get more of the nutritional powerhouse. Some options include taking iron supplements as recommended by a doctor, cooking in a cast iron skillet (a study released by the a Texas Tech University showed that heating acidic foods like tomatoes, apples or lemons in a cast-iron pan can help individuals absorb 2000 percent more iron) and to focus on eating the nutritious foods rich in the chemical compound.
For years red meat and liver were promoted as being some of the best natural sources of iron available for consumption. However, as more individuals are eating less animal products and switching to a vegetarian meals or are at the least following the meatless Monday trends, finding alternative, plant based iron sources is a must. Here are a few favorites courtesy of 1-800-Dentist.
Cartoon character Popeye the Sailor has been a fan of spinach for decades. Rumor has it his passion for the leafy green was actually caused by a typo, but despite the cause of the relationship it is a smart one for dental health for the corncob pipe smoking sea-faring gentleman.
Spinach is a type of leafy green an, a food source rich in minerals and vitamins. Alongside with other greens like kale and collard greens, spinach has the nutrients needed to protect eyesight, minimizing problems associated with aging and to provide vegetarians with extra calcium to boost dental health. Not only is the food essential source of re considered a rich source of phytochemicals (for protecting against oral cancer) half a cup of spinach also delivers 3.2 mg of iron to boost dental health.
Protein is an essential building block of the human body and non meat eaters often rely on foods such as legumes and grains like quinoa to get their fair share. As more meat eaters are looking to incorporate healthier protein choices, beans as a main course have grown in popularity. Lentils are not only an inexpensive way to get more of that compound and iron.
Lentils come in many colors such as yellow, black, brown and green and no matter what color is selected, a one-cup serving delivers 6.6 mg of iron for pennies. Lentils can be found in the dried bean section of any market and that option only costs only 15 cents per serving (United States Department of Agriculture). After preparing the legumes by rinsing, draining, boiling and simmering the iron dense food can be incorporated into salads, used in veggie patties, soups or dips.
For years, raisins have be called natures candy as the dried grapes are naturally sweet and tasty. Dental care experts often encourage eating on this fruit as a snack as there are phytochemicals in raisins that have been clinically proven to reduce the number of cavity-causing oral bacteria in the mouth. The food also packs 1.9 mg of iron per half a cup serving.
While snacking on raisins should be easy and enjoyable, there are other ways to increase consumption of the food. Raisins can be tossed into salads, oatmeal cookies and they can be blended to be used as a fat substitute in other baked goods.
Individuals looking to up their iron intake to stave of anemia and help protect teeth against gum disease are advised to eat the iron rich foods with other choices that delivery Vitamin C as that will help improve the absorption rate of the iron. Plenty of nature's bounties deliver healthy doses of vitamin C and citrus fruits, tomatoes, green peppers and potatoes are just a few of options for the source.
When it comes to either anemia or dental problems, individuals are encourage not to make their own diagnosis as sometimes those symptoms can be linked to bigger health issues. For those looking to find a dentist to be included on their general health team, 1-800-Dentist is an amazing resource for dental care providers and dentist information.