A handful of dark-coloured berries may lower the risk of tooth decay. Scientists have found that nutrients in cranberries and blueberries can be highly effective in protecting our teeth against a strand of bacteria responsible for accelerating tooth decay.
These natural compounds, known as polyphenols, help fend off harmful bacteria in the mouth.
The study supports previous research by suggesting these are good for oral health by preventing ‘bad bacteria’ from sticking to the teeth and gums. This could help reduce tooth decay, plaque and gum disease.
Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, believes polyphenols could eventually lead to new oral care products too.
Dr Carter says: “The nutrients and fibre in fruit are vital for our health and wellbeing. They help protect us against heart disease and cancer, as well as a range of other diseases.
“Cranberries seem especially good for our oral health, as their polyphenols stick around in our saliva and will continue to help our mouth, even after we’ve swallowed them.”
Dark-coloured berries are among the best dietary source of antioxidants. They provide a good supply of water and fibre, as well as other nutrients. However, along with other fruit, they may also contain natural sugar.
The recommended daily allowance of sugar for an adult is 90 grams or 22.5 teaspoons per day. One portion of cranberries contains 4g of natural sugar, while a serving of blueberries is nearly 10g.