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Dean George is the Marketing Specialist and Content Creator for Dental Insurance
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Gobble up These Healthy Thanksgiving Eats

Nov 18, 2014

By Dean George

For decades American families have gathered on the fourth Thursday of November to celebrate a successful harvest with a day of feasting.

Never mind that the “harvest” most of us reap these days is at a local supermarket, and the turkey and dressing, cranberries and pumpkin pie are mere appetizers for gorging on televised football, parades and full-contact Black Friday shopping.

healthy Thanksgiving foods

Still, there are puritans among us, those ‘whose joy is at its zenith’ when a plump, well-dressed turkey is the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving table. Take Old Man Parker, for instance. His taste in interior decorating notwithstanding, here is a guy who could have made the case for the turkey as our national bird.

Speaking of bird, let’s talk turkey about four Thanksgiving foods that are good for your smiles. The first entrée in our blog buffet should be obvious: that’s right, cranberries!

Cranberries are a great source of antioxidants called flavonoids that inhibit the growth of S.mutans bacteria. This is the bacteria that sticks to your teeth, forms plaque and can cause bad breath. Left untreated S. mutans causes tooth decay.

Not only do these flavonoids help combat harmful oral bacteria, but some research has identified molecules in cranberries known as A-type proanthocyanidins. These powerful molecules have been shown to reduce S. mutans by up to 70%.

Of course, adding sugar to cranberry sides like cranberry salad can negate the fruit’s natural benefits, so you may consider using a natural sweetener like stevia or Xylitol.

If cranberries weren’t your first guess as to Thanksgiving foods that are good for you, it’s probably because you were thinking of…

Sweet Potatoes This little spud is like a vegetable Oreo because it looks like a potato on the outside but a pumpkin on the inside! Whatever it looks like, it’s loaded with healthy nutrients like Vitamins A, C, D and B6.  Other nutritional ingredients these sweet spud studs provide are iron, magnesium and potassium.

All those vitamins are great for maintaining healthy teeth, and as a bonus sweet potatoes digest easier than their fairer skin cousins, white potatoes.

Have you noticed the popularity of sweet potato products this year? Sweet potato fries, sweet potato chips, sweet potato pancake mix, sweet potato tortilla chips – even sweet potato dog treats! Because the natural sugars in sweet potatoes are released slowly into the blood stream, they provide a balanced source of energy without the common blood sugar spikes found in other sweet tasting foods. Sweet, huh?!

Speaking of tasty foods, who doesn’t crave this particular food at Thanksgiving? That’s right, I’m talking…pumpkins!

Pumpkins In Dental Wire last month we shared some of the oral health benefits of pumpkins. One of the lesser known benefits of pumpkins and pumpkin seeds is that they contain zinc. Zinc is the same nutrient toothpaste manufacturers add to prevent tartar buildup. Pumpkins are also good sources of Vitamin A, magnesium, and omega-3 fats.

Remember every Thanksgiving dinner where you promise yourself not to overeat so you can enjoy a slice of grandma’s pumpkin pie? Pumpkin is like an orange cookie jar of fiber, which keeps you feeling full longer. Probably why they serve pumpkin at the end of every Thanksgiving meal, after the…

Turkey Are you ready to talk turkey? Is there anyone reading this (besides the NSA), old enough to remember the 1987 advertising campaign: “Pork – The Other White Meat?”  Well, I’d nominate turkey as the other white meat and pork would have to settle for the other, other white meat.

Turkey not only tastes great and has lots of healthy protein, but it’s also stuffed full of other serious nutrients that are nothing to gobble at. For example, turkey is served up with a healthy side of phosphorous that is great for developing and rebuilding teeth.  

A true original Native of America,” turkey also comes with a heaping platter of nutrients like B vitamins, potassium, iron and zinc.  Want a third helping? Okay, it’s also rich in selenium, a mineral with antioxidant properties.

Add all that together, and deciding what to serve as a main course Thanksgiving Day should be a real turkey shoot!

Thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk, and if you haven’t reviewed the flock of dental plans we have available in your area, ‘wattle’ you waiting for? Click here. And if you want to soar with the eagles rather than strut with the turkeys, follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Sources:,,,, WebMD
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Copyright 2014, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC      

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