Sweet breath = better health
When you’re going in for a holiday hug, you want your breath to smell fresh. These all-natural cures not only sweeten your breath, they’re packed with other benefits proven to help you live a longer, healthier life
Start with cinnamon tea
On groggy mornings, enjoy your breakfast with a breath-freshening, energy-boosting cup of Ceylon cinnamon tea. “A dry mouth is linked to bad breath,” says Maya Feller, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., founder of Maya Feller Nutrition. “Cinnamon tea is a sweetsmelling way to rehydrate, plus the spice has potent antibacterial benefits.” Not only that, its plant compounds have been shown to reduce blood-sugar swings by 29%, which Feller notes improves energy throughout the day, limiting dizziness, fatigue and lethargy.
Nibble on cardamom
For centuries, women around the world have snacked on the delectable seeds after a meal to freshen their breath. And research now suggests oils in cardamom might help you live longer too, by quashing up to 54% of harmful bacteria lurking in the mouth. “When bacteria build up and cause gum disease, inflammation spreads and causes diseases elsewhere,” explains Sharona Dayan, D.D.S., DMSC, founder of Aurora Periodontal Care. “Antioxidant compounds in cardamom play a role in calming inflammation.” And Cleveland Clinic scientists say that eliminating gum disease might add six full years to your life. Another bonus: Its scent is proven to enhance focus fast.
Upgrade H2O with mint
Mint’s ability to block odor-causing biofilm from forming along the gumline makes it a natural toothpaste ingredient, and peppermint also cuts belly bloat by as much as 57%, according to Canadian research. “Mint has antibacterial, antiviral and antiinflammatory properties,” explains Feller. Infuse fresh peppermint or three peppermint tea bags in a 64-oz. pitcher of water for two hours and drink daily.