Tea has been a part of our human experience since time immemorial. From a glass of sun tea in the summer to the elegance of a Japanese tea ceremony, it is a drink enjoyed around the globe and across cultures.
But it is not just for enjoyment or warmth, tea has powerful benefit for your health, both overall and for your oral health specifically.
So, make yourself a cup of tea and read on for some of best teas for your health.
Black tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. The reason it is dark, and green tea is not, is simply that black tea is allowed to oxidize and so turns dark.
Black tea is often blended with other plants and flavors to make such varieties as as Earl Grey, English Breakfast or chai. Compared to green tea, black tea contains the highest levels of caffeine, but it still has far less than a coffee.
Black tea is is relatively simple to make, and has a host of health benefits, some of which are:
One of its great oral health benefits comes from how Black tea affects the bacterial enzyme, glucosyltransferase. This enzyme is responsible for converting sugars into the sticky material that plaque uses to cling to teeth. It follows that disrupting this process hinders the development of plaque.
And as a beverage, black tea is non-erosive so it does not damage or demineralize teeth the way sodas would.
Talk about your SUPERFOODS, green tea is quite possibly the “motherload” of healthy things to drink for overall health.
Packed with antioxidants that, among other things, help lower your risk of cancer, green tea can improve your health in a number of ways such as:
Green tea contains quite a few natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and provide other benefits. These include catechins, which help increase your resistance to bacterial and viral infection.
Catechins also reduce the risk of periodontal disease. They actually inhibit the growth of Streptococcus mutans, a type of bacteria found in the mouth primarily responsible for causing cavities and tooth decay.
And to top it all off, green tea consumption also helps prevent the growth of oral bacteria responsible for bad breath. As such, drinking green tea can actually lead to better smelling breath!
Like black and green tea, white tea also comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. A important difference is that because it is the least processed of the three, white tea retains a high amount of its antioxidants–so important to help prevent or slow damage to our cells!
White tea also has many health benefits such as:
Additionally, the polyphenols (micronutrients that we get through certain plant-based foods) in white tea also protect you from degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Like black and green tea, there are other attributes of white tea that contribute towards inhibiting the growth of plaque-forming bacteria, as well as protect your teeth from developing cavities.
Chamomile is another tea that made this list of teas with health benefits. Chamomile contains flavonoids, a substance found in plants that is largely responsible for this tea’s beneficial properties. Some of chamomile’s more notable health benefits are:
Drinking chamomile tea is also quite relaxing, as such it can help people fall asleep more easily. Chamomile tea also aids in proper digestion, and has antibacterial properties that help fight oral bacteria.
Lemongrass tea might be a tea that you did not expect! You are probably a lot more familiar with lemongrass, or citronella, as an aromatic plant used to garnish exotic dishes on cooking shows like Iron Chef or whose essential oil is used in aromatherapy and repel bugs.
But drinking lemongrass tea can yield quite a few health benefits such as:
In addition, lemongrass tea has citral and geraniol which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies also suggest that drinking lemongrass tea for a month can increase hemoglobin concentration, and overall cell count in red blood cells.
When it comes to oral health, lemongrass tea has demonstrated the ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria, such as Streptococcus sanguinis, that are part of the process of cavity formation. Another oral benefit is that the antimicrobial properties of lemongrass tea can also lowers the risk of thrush, and fungal infection in people that are particularly susceptible.
Whether you prefer the strong, bold flavors of black tea, the aromatic allure of lemongrass and chamomile or the simple elegance of green or white tea, drinking tea is more than just a trendy affectation.
Quite the contrary! Making tea part of your daily drinking habit will beneficially impact your general and oral health in the years to come. And while tea bags are certainly convenient, if you have the choice go for loose leaf preparation for maximal health benefits.
So, the only question you need to think about now is: “What’s your flavor?”