Its apple picking season in South Jersey so I thought it might be a good time to talk about how apples can be a healthy part of your overall health.
Because of their thick skin and fibrous flesh, apples have long been considered “nature’s toothbrush.” The fiber and skin are just the right texture to act like a scrubbing brush to rid your teeth of plaque and build-up.
However, today’s popular apples have been bred to contain more sugar by content weight than generations past. Gala, Fuji and Pink Lady varieties contain about 15% sugar. In the past, sugar content for these varieties were 10% or less. An average size apple with 15% sugar content equals about 4 teaspoons of sugar!
So are apples really a healthy option? Considering the majority of tooth decay in adult teeth is from excessive consumption of fruit and fruit juices, you might think the answer is no. But like everything else, moderation is key!
Apples are excellent for your teeth, gums and overall health. They’re packed with nutrients, vitamins and fiber giving you energy and helping to keep your teeth clean with their teeth-brushing texture. But they do contain sugar and acid, which can be harmful to your teeth.
Follow these steps to keep apples part of your healthy diet:
- Eat your apple in one sitting. By grazing throughout the day, you’re leaving more acid and sugar on your teeth for a longer period of time.
- Eat your apple with other foods. Eating your apple with a piece of cheese or slice of bread will help to neutralize the acids.
- Rinse with water. Drink a glass of water after you eat your apple, to wash away the acid and sugar.
- Wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. By brushing your teeth immediately after eating your apple, you risk brushing away some of the enamel.