Fruit is Your Friend: Create a Tasty Fruit Salad

By: Emilie Sennebogen

Yum! Let's dig in.
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The next time you're trying to satisfy a sweet tooth, why not choose a sugary snack that's actually good for you? Fruits are full of sugar and they're so much better for your body than foods containing refined sugar. And very much unlike refined sugar, fruits are naturally rich in many different vitamins and minerals. A great way to get your family to eat more fruit is to create a tasty fruit salad. Make this decadent dish with a medley of different fruits and you're sure to get at least some of it down the hatch of even your largest fruity-phobe.

So, what to put in this delicious salad? Of course, the really sugary fruits like pineapple, bananas and grapes are delicious in a fruit salad, but you should try to add some other healthful options, too, like berries and melons. Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, are delicious additions to any fruit mélange, and they're a bonus because they're low in natural sugars and high in antioxidants. Watermelon is full of lycopene and cantaloupe is loaded with beta carotene, both of which are also powerful antioxidants. Citrus fruits, like oranges and grapefruits, will give you your vitamin C fix, while crispy apples lend a nice texture to a fruit salad. Plus, they're high in fiber, and studies have shown that fiber increases your lifespan, which explains the old adage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away."

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Citrus Fruits and Teeth

Even though they contain sugar, many fruits are great for your teeth. Apples have been referred to as "nature's toothbrush," because the fibrous texture leaves your teeth feeling squeaky clean. Also, chewing an apple stimulates your gums and increases saliva flow. Saliva cuts down on the acidity in your mouth, which helps prevent tooth decay.

Citrus fruits, like oranges, grapefruits and tangerines are also important foods for oral health because they're chock full of vitamin C. If you're deficient in vitamin C, it can lead to bleeding and swollen gums, which affects the stability of your teeth. That said, citrus fruits also contain acids that can erode your teeth's enamel. Citric acid has been compared to stomach acid, whose main function is to help digest food, which explains why too much citric acid can contribute to tooth decay. This may send you running for your toothbrush after enjoying your morning grapefruit, but actually, that's exactly what you shouldn't do. Citric acid softens the enamel, so brushing on top of that will only serve to further weaken it. It's best to rinse your mouth with water after eating citrus fruits to get your saliva flow going. Saliva naturally neutralizes those acids in your mouth.

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Related Articles

  • "Cantaloupe." Whfoods.com. September 10, 2011.
  • "Dental Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables." Livestrong.com. September 10, 2011.
  • "Facts on What Citric Acid Does To Your Teeth." Livestrong.com. September 10, 2011. http://www.livestrong.com/article/484466-facts-on-what-citric-acid-does-to-your-teeth/
  • Kam, Katherine. "Tooth Enamel Erosion." Webmd.com. September 10, 2011.
  • Morgan, Sarah. "Refined Sugar vs Natural Sugar." Simplywellnutrition.com. September 10, 2011. http://www.simplywellnutrition.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70&Itemid=68
  • Prakash, Neha. "Fiber Can Help You Live Longer." Thatsfit.com. September 10, 2011.http://www.thatsfit.com/2011/02/22/fiber-can-help-you-live-longer/
  • "Strawberries." Whfoods.com. September 10, 2011.
  • "What Fruits or Vegetables Are Good for the Teeth?" Livestrong.com. September 10, 2011. http://www.livestrong.com/article/350489-what-fruits-or-vegetables-are-good-for-the-teeth/