It’s the season for some of our favorite foods – and cranberries definitely make the list. Refreshing and tart, cranberries make an appearance in several dishes and beverages this time of year, including sauces, baked goods and even cocktails.
In addition to being tasty, cranberries may also be good for your smile. Studies have shown that unsweetened cranberry juice has properties that prevent cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to teeth.
Be careful how you incorporate cranberries into your menu – many cranberry juices are loaded with sugar to balance the tartness of the berries.
Serving fresh cranberries or a homemade cranberry sauce made with a sugar substitute is a good way to get a serving of the berries onto your table. Whether you make cranberry sauce yourself (see below) or buy the canned version, avoid sauces loaded with sugar.
There are a few other foods on your Thanksgiving dinner table that could boost your oral health. Turkey is a good source of lean protein, which contains phosphorus to strengthen your teeth and jaw. And sweet potatoes contain vitamin E, vitamin C and folic acid, all of which are good for your gums and supporting soft tissues. Just be sure to go easy on the marshmallow and brown sugar toppings!
Need a quick and easy recipe for homemade cranberry sauce that skips the sugar? Here’s one of our favorites that’s low-carb too!
RECIPE: Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce
• 1 12-ounce bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
• Sugar substitute equal to 1 cup of sugar
• 1 cup water
• ¼ teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir often. When the cranberries “pop,” the sauce will thicken. Cook until it reaches your preferred consistency, about 5 to 10 minutes.