According to the American Diabetes Association, there are 1.5 million American who are diagnosed with diabetes annually.
As of 2015, people with diabetes in the United States have reached 30.3 million which is 9.4 percent of the country’s total population. It is also the seventh leading causes of death among Americans.
Also referred to as diabetes mellitus, diabetes is considered a metabolic disorder which is typified by overly high blood sugar or blood glucose. Diabetes can be either be Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes.
How does Diabetes Affect the Oral health?
The metabolic disorder can affect the nerves, heart, kidney, eyes, and other parts of the body including the oral cavity. People with diabetes are at special risk for gum disease because they are more prone to bacterial infection and have decreased the ability to fight bacteria.
Aside from periodontal diseases, people with diabetes can have dry mouth where saliva production is insufficient. Thrush, a fungal infection, can also appear on people with diabetes because of dry mouth and high glucose level in the saliva. Oral wounds can also heal slowly as the blood has limited mobility, especially in uncontrolled diabetes.
Since people with diabetes can suffer complications due to the disorder, a strict diet and limited sugar consumption are advised to keep blood sugar under control.
Still, there are good foods people with diabetes can eat without worrying about consuming too much sugar. These foods are also healthy and can provide additional nutrition to strengthen the body’s immunity.
- Apple. Research suggests that people who eat five or more apples a week can lower the development of Type 2 diabetes by 23 percent. Apple is also beneficial in keeping the teeth healthy as it stimulates saliva production and contains vitamins A and C which contribute to gum health.
- Asparagus. Low in carbs, calories, and rich in dietary fiber, asparagus is a healthy vegetable to accompany your lunch or dinner. It contains glutathione which is an antioxidant that aids in easing aging and disease like diabetes.
- Avocado. The high monounsaturated fat content of avocado can improve cholesterol levels, decrease the likelihood of heart disease, and lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
- Beans. According to a study, a cup of legumes every day can improve blood sugar control and decrease blood pressure level.
- Blueberries. Blueberries have high fiber content which can reduce the likelihood of diabetes and aid in keeping the blood sugar stable.
- Broccoli. This non-starchy green vegetable is filled with vitamin C, folate, fiber, and antioxidant beta-carotene. It also has iron which creates an acid-resistant layer on the teeth.
- Carrot. Aside from being high in vitamin A, carrots also reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes especially among people who have a genetic susceptibility to developing the metabolic disorder. Carrots, like apple, also stimulate saliva production.
- Cranberries. Cranberries are rich in phytonutrients like anthocyanins.
- Fish. Fill your plate with seafood like fish as an alternative to other meats like beef or pork as it has lower unhealthy saturated fat and cholesterol. Plus, fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Flaxseed. Including flaxseed in your diet can lower blood glucose levels, triglycerides, cholesterol, and LDL. It also reduced the hemoglobin A1C in people with Type 2 diabetes.