CRUNCHY vegies are good for your teeth as well as your health - that's the message from the Australian Dental Association and the Dietitians Association of Australia who have joined forces to help promote National Nutrition Week (October 11-17).
They are calling on all Australians to Pick Right Feel Bright and eat five serves of vegetables every day during National Nutrition Week.
Accredited Practising Dietitian and spokesperson for the DAA said: “To start to address the dismal fact that almost 95 per cent of Australians do not eat the recommended amount of vegetables and instead only eat half the amount they need each day, we urge all Australians to take the Try For 5 challenge.
To support this challenge, Nutrition Australia is running a competition that will give prizes to Australians who take the challenge and display their commitment in social media through the hashtag #TryFor5.
“National Nutrition Week is a prompt to kick-start healthier eating habits by making small, positive changes you can keep up over time. Boosting your vegetable intake, such as by adding an extra serve of vegetables to your main meal, taking a salad or home-made vegetable soup to work for lunch, or snacking on raw vegetables between meals or while making dinner, are some easy ways to boost your intake. "
Lisa said the health benefits of eating vegetables have been known for decades, with studies showing diets that are high in vegetables, as well as legumes/beans and fruit, can help protect against chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.
Dr Peter Alldritt, Chair of the ADA’s Oral Health Committee, said: “Eating healthy food, particularly vegetables, also helps keep teeth healthy. Not only do vegetables provide our bodies with important vitamins and minerals, disease-fighting antioxidants and gut-healthy fibre we all need to function and lead healthy lives, veggies can help prevent cavities and tooth decay, fight plaque and also help your breath stay fresh”.
He said celery, carrots and other crunchy veggies are examples of vegetables that stimulate chewing action and do not contribute to tooth decay or acid erosion of teeth.
“Crunchy, firm foods like celery contain lots of water and require lots of chewing, so are good for oral health because they stimulate the flow of saliva and can actually clean tooth surfaces, and provide a natural shine to your teeth. Saliva also helps neutralise the acid present in other foods and loosens food stuck in between your teeth, reducing plaque,” said Dr Alldritt.
“These are tooth friendly snacks, much better for your dental health than snacking on sweet, sugary or acidic snacks”he said.