Lettuce Helps Fixing Your Gums

German researchers at Hohenheim and Würzburg found in a study that leafy vegetables like lettuce or spinach – which had been warned against due to high nitrate content – actually help to heal inflammation of the gums.

…via a conversion of nitrate to nitrite by bacteria living in the space between your teeth. They point out that nitrate is converted to cancer-causing nitrosamines ONLY if no vitamin C is around. BUT, as leafy vegetables contain enough of that, it is not a problem or not that big a problem when eating those.

German article

They had two control groups – one got lettuce smoothies and the other lettuce smoothies with the nitrate filtered out. They controlled for the imflammatory state of the gums of the patients after 2 weeks and found significant differences. The ones who got the Nitrates fared better.


  • This might explain why lettuce is great with lemon juice (extra Vitamin C)
  • This might explain why nitrate-heavy sausage is great with a leaf of lettuce
  • Leafy vegetables are also a source of Vitamin K – which helps your body fix bleedings. Which I experimentally proved – after some inconvenient problems with, ahem, one of my mucuous membranes I traced the problem back to a change in diet – added the lettuce that I recently went without and the problem got fixed.
  • I never was a Vegan or a very serious vegetarian yet for reasons like the above I do take care to eat a wide variety of plants. For anything that contains Vitamin A or D make sure to add enough oil – I prefer Olive Oil, dark Sesame Oil and Linseed Oil – to have a variety of fatty acids. For instance, with carrots. The oil dissolves the fat-soluble Vitamins A and D; you want that.
  • So I usually add lemon juice to the leafs in my salad and oil to the other parts… I kinda sort those parts to opposite ends of the plate. Well it gets mixed by eating anyway so it’s not that important.
  • My gums are in perfect condition for years now… even before those scientists found this out. But; a valuable finding no question!

3 thoughts on “Lettuce Helps Fixing Your Gums”

    1. I used “lettuce” as a common US term… maybe I should have said “Green salad” which is the common German expression they used for all kinds of green leafy salad varieties. If it’s green and it’s leady it’ll do.


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