Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health (NOAH) and Delta Dental of Arizona recently announced the release of the “Mouth-Healthy Cookbook,” a free family friendly cookbook made in collaboration with nutritionists and oral health experts featuring nearly two dozen easy-to-make recipes that promote whole-person health for the entire family. The book, which includes kid-friendly instructions for many of the recipes to encourage time in the kitchen together, is available to download for free at noahhelps.org/mouth-healthy-eating.
“There is a direct connection between the foods you eat and your oral health, as well as between oral health and overall health,” says Dr. Connie Tucker, chief medical officer of NOAH. “A diet rich in lean protein, calcium, fiber, and antioxidants paired with low sugar and low acidity is not only the perfect recipe for healthy teeth and gums, but it promotes overall wellness in individuals of all ages.”
The book, which is divided into five sections – breakfast, main dishes, snacks, desserts, and beverages – not only has an ingredient list for every recipe for ease of grocery shopping and step-by-step instructions, but also infographics under each recipe that denote which combination of six wellness categories that each dish falls.
The categories include:
- Lower in Sugar: Consuming sugary foods too often can lead to tooth decay. Opt for low sugar choices as often as possible.
- Good Source of Protein: Protein is a good source of phosphorus which helps build strong tooth enamel.
- Lower in Acid: Highly acidic foods can damage tooth enamel.
- Good Source of Fiber: These foods require more chewing, which cleans the surface of the teeth and removes food particles while stimulating saliva production.
- Good Source of Calcium: Calcium keeps your teeth strong, especially tooth enamel, defending your teeth against erosion and cavities.
- Good Source of Antioxidants: Antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, E, and K help prevent plaque buildup, fight gum disease, and heal and repair soft tissue.
NOAH and Delta Dental also filmed a series of video tutorials to accompany the cookbook. The videos, available in both English and Spanish, are posted on NOAH’s website (noahhelps.org/mouth-healthy) and on Delta Dental’s You Tube Channel (youtube.com/user/DeltaDentalAZ).
“As part of our mission to improve lives by promoting optimal oral health, we are always looking for ways to broaden our reach to the community,” says Michael Jones, president and chief executive officer of Delta Dental of Arizona and chair of the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation. “When the concept of the cookbook came up organically, we jumped at the chance to co-create something to connect oral health to overall health in a very important and personal way, through food.”
Delta Dental’s support of NOAH dates back more than a decade when in 2011 NOAH made the decision to expand from a program and service of a hospital system to its own 501(c)3 non-profit organization. “Our comprehensive dental services supported by Delta Dental allow us to truly provide the integrated care our patients need and deserve,” says Armendariz.