A Plethora of Benefits
Tea is rich in many nutrients, including a number that are good for the teeth and gums. Dentists now support The Tea Council’s bid to get the nation drinking tea.
The tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) extracts fluoride from the soil, which then accumulates in its leaves. For this reason tea is a very rich source of fluoride and Fluoride helps to prevent dental decay.
Just one cup of tea will contain between 0.3mg and 0.5mg of fluoride. You might be surprised to know that Tea contains more Fluoride than our tap water. In the UK tea provides 70% of our daily intake.
The tannins in tea can inhibit the enzyme that converts starch to sugar (salivary amylase) thereby reducing tooth decaying potential of starch-containing foods. A number of studies have also demonstrated that tannic acid inhibits the growth of the bacteria that causes plaque.
What’s more, the flavonoids, mainly catechins, in Green Tea have been shown to stop this plaque making bacteria from sticking to the surface of the tooth.
- Acid erosion
In addition to its beneficial effect on plaque, tannin, along with other components of tea such as catechin, caffeine and tocopherol, or Vitamin E, have been shown to be effective in increasing the acid resistance of tooth enamel. Their effects increased dramatically when they were used in combination with fluoride.
Digestion & The Liver
Tea not only tastes wonderful with food, but the polyphenols aid digestion by increasing the flow of digestive juices. Drinking tea during or after a high-cholesterol meal has been shown to lessen the increase in the fat content of the blood.
Most recent research has shown that the Catechin ECGC found in Green Tea helps to prevent the build up of fat in the Liver. Although not a life threatening condition a Fatty Liver can lead to serious problem.
A healthy Liver means a healthy body, free from toxins that run us down and drain our energy. Drinking Green Tea throughout the day will ensure the Liver and other vital organs are given the nutrient they need to function properly.
With Obesity continuing to rise, both here and in the US the number of Fatty Livers continues to rise also. This is having an effect on the number of livers suitable for transplant as a Fatty Liver is more susceptible to ‘injury’ than a lean Liver, more failed transplants are occurring.
Some studies indicate that tea acts as a mild germicide. In the digestive tract it helps fight food poisoning and diseases like cholera, typhoid, and dysentery. Tea is used in China to disinfect cuts and abrasions and to cure skin disease.
Research funded by The Arthritis Research Campaign, has shown that regular consumption of Green Tea will help protect against the onset on Arthritis. Two compounds, EGCG (epigallocatchin gallate) and ECG (epicatechin gallate) can help prevent osteoarthritis by blocking the enzyme that destroys cartilage as well as reducing swelling and pain.
More research is needed into this area, however suffice to say that by drinking a good quality Green Tea we are not only enjoying the pleasures a tea can bring but we are doing our bodies a lot of good.
Combating Anxiety and Stress
Tea contains a unique amino acid, L-theanine. Studies show that L-theanine may promote relaxation and calmness by influencing particular chemicals in the brain. Researchers discovered that L-theanine is derivative of glutamic acid, a neurotransmitter located in the brain. Absorbed by the brain, it influences chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, which are mood affecting.
Studies show that this amino acid enhances overall concentration and focus. The effect of L-theanine in combination with caffeine, depending on the type of tea, may contribute to the feeling of increased energy and overall associated with tea drinking.