Trying a different diet in 2014? Changing the way you eat can sometimes mean cutting back on foods such as red meat, or even going vegetarian entirely. What you eat (or don’t eat) has an impact on your oral health. If you’re eliminating certain foods, you’ll need to get the nutrients they provided from other sources. For alternative methods of getting essential nutrients, try some of these options.
Calcium. You already know that calcium helps build strong teeth and bones, and you’re no doubt aware that milk and other dairy products are the best sources. If you’re thinking about going vegan, though, you still have plenty of other ways to get the bone-building substance. Eating dark, leafy greens, broccoli, and tofu are great ways to boost your calcium intake.
Vitamin D. Calcium doesn’t do you much good if your body can’t process it – which is why you need to consume vitamin D. Vitamin D also strengthens bones by boosting bone mineral density and promoting the healthy growth and remodeling of bone. You can find the mineral in some types of fortified milk and cereal or in fatty fish. Spending a short amount of time in the sun every day can also help your body produce vitamin D naturally.
Potassium. Having an adequate amount of potassium also helps boost your bone mineral density. Many people tend to get potassium from bananas, so if you’re on a diet that eliminates sugars – even the natural ones found in fruits – be sure to incorporate other potassium-rich foods, such as spinach, winter squash, and mushrooms, into meals and snacks.
Before you start a new diet, consult your physician to make sure you’ll be able to get all of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that you need to stay healthy. If needed, he or she may recommend some supplements.