A hint of fall is in the air in the Northern Hemisphere, and I love ushering in the next season with a bright, white smile. I steer clear of harsh chemical products that claim to whiten teeth. Instead, I use fluoride-free toothpaste and make sure to eat certain Foundation Foods that protect my teeth and keep my smile bright and healthy.
So today, I am going to share with you these nine foods. They are all Foundation Foods in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, so they are excellent for promoting youthful bones as well as a whiter, brighter smile.
Apples are an autumn favorite in my house. The crunchy texture of apples gives your gums a “workout” that keeps them strong. The juiciness and sweet-tart flavor stimulate the salivary glands, which helps neutralize the acid produced by bacteria in the mouth. Saliva also washes away germs and food particles before they have a chance to harbor bacteria and produce plaque.
Apples are a rich source of Vitamin C and antioxidants that protect your bones against the effects of aging. They contain healthy fiber that aids in the elimination of toxins in the gut.
Some of the specific antioxidants found in apples include:
- Polyphenols, which increase osteoblast production.1
- Phloridzin, a polyphenol that is exclusive to apples and prevents bone loss.2
- Glutathione, the Master Antioxidant that actually resides within the body’s cells.
Many important bone-rejuvenating nutrients are found in the apples’ peeling, so look for organic apples that are not waxed and enjoy the whole fruit.
Despite their bright red color, strawberries do not stain teeth. In fact, their malic acid content is a natural astringent that removes superficial staining on teeth.
These alkalizing berries are full of anti-inflammatory compounds, making them useful for the management of chronic pain. They also contain many antioxidants like flavonols and terpenoids, protecting your bones against the ravages of time.
Like apples, strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and antioxidants.
I know that onions have a reputation for producing bad breath…but that’s one of the ways they help whiten your teeth! The oniony aftertaste encourages you to brush.
Additionally, onions contain no pigment, so they do not stain teeth. Like its potent cousin garlic, onions contain allicin, an antimicrobial compound that helps keep bacteria from proliferating on your teeth.
Onions are also excellent for your bones. One of the key bone-preserving nutrients they contain is GPCS, or y-glutamyl-propenyl-cysteine sulfoxide, which has been shown to decrease the breakdown of bone in animal studies.3
In addition, onions contain polyphenols, particularly flavonoids, and they are full of Foundation Supplements:
- Vitamin C, which is crucial for the formation of collagen, the flexible protein matrix that acts like a scaffolding for bone minerals. Yellow onions are higher in Vitamin C than red or white onions.
- Vitamin B6, which lowers homocysteine levels in the body, thus decreasing inflammation. Chronic inflammation speeds up the aging process, so this vitamin is important for preserving youthful bones.
- Folate, or B9, is another homocysteine-reducer.
- Manganese actually helps hold calcium and magnesium where it belongs – in your bones. Manganese is also a component of Superoxide Dismutase, an antioxidant enzyme that protects your bones from the free radical damage associated with aging.
- Copper works in synergy with manganese, and makes up part of Superoxide Dismutase as well.
Pears are very juicy and flavorful, thus inducing saliva production and washing away bacteria and food residue. In addition, eating pears neutralizes bacteria that can contribute to staining.
As a Foundation Food, alkalizing pears are an excellent source of polyphenols and:
- Boron, a trace mineral that is involved in bone metabolism. It works with Vitamin D to reduce urinary excretion of calcium and magnesium.
5 & 6. Carrots and Celery
When my kids were little, celery and carrots were go-to vegetables – and for us adults, they are just as appropriate. This crunchy duo has high water content, helping to wash away impurities on your teeth. And the crisp, crunchy texture helps strengthen gums and dislodge food debris.
Carrots and celery share many of the same nutrients, with some exceptions. For example, carrots contain carotenoids, antioxidants that are responsible for carrots’ orange color. They also have lots of Vitamin A and bone-rejuvenating silicon.
Celery contains the ever-important calcium in addition to folate, Vitamins B2 and B5, magnesium, and manganese.
Both carrots and celery are rich in:
- Vitamin K, which works with Vitamin D and a calcium-binding protein called osteocalcin to produce osteoclasts, those essential cells that remove old bone to make room for younger, newer bone cells.
7. Nuts and Seeds
There are many foods in this category, but when it comes to whitening teeth, all nuts and seeds have an abrasive quality when chewed. This acts like a scrub brush on your teeth, removing plaque and stains.
When it comes to bone health, nuts and seeds have much to offer.
Alkalizing sesame seeds, flax seeds, and almonds are good sources of:
- Calcium, the mineral that is so crucial for bones to be renewed. But like all nutrients, calcium does not work alone.
- Magnesium works with calcium to build bone, and is found in almonds and pumpkin seeds.
- Zinc is a trace mineral found in almonds and pumpkin seeds. It helps regulate bone turnover, and is required for an enzyme called bone alkaline phosphatase (isoenzyme ALP-2) to function properly.
Munching on raw broccoli helps scrub off dental stains, and its texture prevents it from sticking to your teeth.
Savers are well aware of broccoli’s role in preserving youthful bone. Broccoli is full of calcium, Vitamins C and K, boron, and antioxidants. An exceptional cleansing vegetable, broccoli contains an important polyphenol called:
- D-glucarate, which acts as a “signal” to your body to release toxins rather than store them in various tissues. It does this by inhibiting an enzyme that tells your body to hang on to toxic substances. If you want younger bones, detoxification is crucial because it flushes out the poisons that have accumulated over the years.
Because of their acidic taste, I get many questions about the alkalizing nature of oranges and all citrus. While they do have a high acid content in their whole state, eating citrus fruits has an alkalizing effect on the body. And they whiten teeth – the citric acid actually wears away the top layer of tooth enamel, removing stains. (So as always, moderation is key!)
Oranges are the go-to fruit when we think of Vitamin C, but oranges have even more to offer besides this bone-building vitamin and antioxidant. Oranges also contain
- Boron (see above)
- Silicon (see above)
- Fiber, which helps absorb and remove toxins from the intestinal tract.
- Folate (Vitamin B9), Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), and Vitamin B1. If you have the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, you know how important B vitamins are for renewing and rejuvenating bones. They work in synergy with each other, reducing inflammation and playing a role in many enzymatic processes.
Eat Your Way To Healthy Bones And A Brighter Smile
I always advocate getting as many nutrients as possible from whole foods. This is part of the holistic approach of the Program – eating colorful, healthy foods is an enjoyable experience that makes you an active participant in renewing your bones and improving many other aspects of your health (and looks too!).
It’s the best way to infuse your bones with the minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins your bones need to turn back the clock on bone loss.
I invite you to to read more about the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, and learn how these and other Foundation Foods restore your bone health.
Till next time,
1 Balachandran, Rao, Murray. “Polyphenols in the extract of greens + herbal preparation have effects on cell proliferation and differentiation of human osteoblast cell line SaOS-2”. 26th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. 2004.
2 Puel , Quintin et al.. “Prevention of bone loss by phloridzin, an apple polyphenol, in ovariectomized rats under inflammation conditions.” Calcified Tissue International. Vol. 77, No. 5. 2005
3 Wetli HA, Brenneisen R, Tschudi I, et al. “A-glutamyl peptide isolated from onion (Allium cepa L) by bioassay-guided fractionation inhibits resorption activity of osteoclasts”. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. March 30, (2005).