When you think of foods that are good for your teeth, images of cheese and milk probably come to mind. Surely, these foods are good sources of both calcium and vitamin D, which your teeth need to resist decay and maintain hard enamel. But what if you're following a vegan diet? How can you get your calcium and vitamin D? Here's a look at five foods to include in your diet in order to satisfy your calcium and vitamin D needs.
Soy-milk nutrient content varies between brands, since much of the calcium and D soy milk contains is added to the product when it's manufactured. One common brand, Silk, contains 45% of the daily value of calcium and 30% of the daily value of vitamin D in one cup. Pour some over your cereal, and you're well on your way towards meeting your calcium and vitamin D needs for the day.
Snack on broccoli between meals, or add some steamed broccoli to your dinner. Broccoli isn't the best source of vitamin D, but it does provide 6% of your daily value of calcium per cup.
Pair your broccoli with some mushrooms for a vitamin-D boost. Content varies by variety of mushroom, but white mushrooms, chanterelles, and shiitakes are all good choices. Cook the mushrooms gently to preserve their nutrient content as much as possible.
Many brands of orange juice are fortified with calcium and vitamin D. The exact nutrient content varies by brand, so check the label before making your purchase. Enjoy orange juice in moderation. Though it's a good vegan source of calcium and vitamin D, it is acidic and quite high in sugar, which is not good news for your teeth. Rinse your mouth out with water after you drink it.
Blend kale into your smoothies or add some chopped kale to your salads. It contains about 9% of the daily value of calcium per 1-cup serving. As a bonus, it's high in vitamins C and A, which help keep your gums healthy.
Also keep in mind that your body will make its own vitamin D if you expose your skin to sunshine. So be sure to spend some quality time outside and incorporate these vegan foods into your diet to promote good dental health. Talk to your dentist to learn more about the best plant foods for your teeth and gums.
Make an appointment with your dental office so you can talk to your dentist to get more ideas.