Tea has plethora of mental and physical health benefits and yes, I will say it time and again that tea is fantastic and everyone must drink it. But sadly, your cup of tea has a dark side too. Many tea brands are operating under the guise of providing health benefits and promoting clean living, but are actually laden with pesticides, toxins, artificial ingredients, added flavors and GMOs. Global research sheds light on serious risks that may come with sipping tea. Keep reading to find out how these toxins find their way into your cup.
1. Added Artificial/Natural Flavoring – Flavored teas like jasmine, lemon, mint and rose tea are made with artificial flavoring, often disguised as ‘natural flavoring’. Natural oils are very expensive and most companies use cheaper substitutes – customarily manipulations of chemicals such as crude oil and coal tar, which are a massive toxic overload on the human system. Many famous brands (including Teavana) have been tested positive for toxins. So, just think about your regular retailers in the market.
2. High Levels of Pesticides, Metals and Toxins – Tea can contain or absorb various toxic compounds depending on factors like soil, environment, harvesting, storage and even brewing methods. Many global investigations and case studies have reported high levels of pesticides and toxic chemicals in many tea brands (including Twinings), which can even cause serious health problems like kidney and liver damage. A 2015 study discovered that teas with added citric acid had elevated aluminium, cadmium and lead levels, and lemon tea bags had 10-70 times higher levels.
3. Excessive Fluoride Levels – The tea plant accumulates fluoride as it grows, with mature leaves containing the most fluoride. When tea is harvested, the older leaves are used to produce lower quality, stronger teas such as economy teas. The bud and newer top leaves are used in the higher grade and speciality tea products. Excessive intake of fluoride can cause a variety of health problems including joint pain, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, brittle teeth, kidney problems and has even been linked to cancer.
4. Insects and Worms – Companies do not ensure quality and proper storage of tea. This leads to a lot of concerns – like contamination of tea with insects and worms. Recently, this video surfaced showing worms in Lipton’s Lemon flavored tea which created a major turmoil among consumers and tea bag drinkers. It’s hard to trust a product when you cannot see it. Why compromise on health?
Things are going out of control and definitely look scary. A modern tea drinker is confused, we understand. But some simple pointers, if kept in mind, can ensure that your cup of tea is healthy. Here’s LoveforTea’s four solutions for a Ninja Tea Drinker:
1.Trust Your Senses – The modern tea movement allows you to see, smell and taste your tea in it’s purest form. Tea that appeals to your senses in it’s purest glory. So, quit tea bags and switch to loose leaf tea experience.
2.Read the Ingredients List – Make sure you carefully examine and check the list of ingredients before you buy your tea. Try to skip products with artificial/natural flavoring.
3.Rinse your Tea before you Brew – A simple practice also followed by the ancient Chinese tea drinkers. A quick hot water rinse can provide the first line of defence.
4.Check for Certifications/Approvals – Information like certifications, approvals and nutritional chart of the tea should be very important to the consumer. Lot of companies bypass these procedures. Check them and connect the dots.
People should try to drink tea in it’s purest form. Your tea must not be tampered and manipulated. And yes, quality comes at a price. Mostly economy teas are reported to contain maximum number of pesticides, metals, toxins and artifical flavoring, which are harmful to health. So, choose wisely before you order your tea next time.