Tea is often touted as being among the healthiest sources of caffeine, with less heath risks than coffee, soda, and energy drinks. But it’s important to remember that not all tea brands are created equal. In fact, conventional brands are ridden with high levels of toxic substances like fluoride and pesticides. So while you scour the tea section at your local market looking for a good deal, it’s important to remember quality over quantity, since the levels of these toxins found in many of the cheaper brands are believed to be dangerously high.
Tea Is Widely Popular
According to The Tea Association of the U.S.A., tea is consumed by about half of the American population. It is thought that, because more than 5,000 studies have been done on the health benefits of tea — including its ability to keep chronic illnesses and diseases at bay, thanks to its antioxidants — that the medical appraisal has increased its supermarket sales. But the irony is, while it’s being even more popularized for its health benefits, many teas contain ingredients that the health-conscious need to be aware of before making their next purchase.
How Fluoride and Pesticides Ruin Your Tea
Since most tea isn’t washed before being put into bags, if the tea was sprayed with pesticides, you will find yourself drinking them up in your cup.
Many tea brands use terms like “natural flavours” to allure consumers into buying their products, as they believe they are buying a product with cleaner ingredients than other non-organic options on the market. But numerous non-organic brands have known carcinogenic pesticides in them, and those “natural flavours” could indicate a slew of things that have nothing to do with being clean or healthy.
Greenpeace released a study exposing that numerous popular tea brands contain high levels of pesticide residues, while some also tested positive for DDT, which was banned decades ago.
Fluoride has been linked to various negative health effects, such as bone fractures, thyroid disorders, and impaired brain development and function.
One study published in Food Research International discovered that much of the UK population was significantly exceeding the recommended daily intake of fluoride, and this overexposure could largely be linked to their tea consumption.
It is believed that high levels of fluoride make their way into the tea through soil. Tea plants absorb the toxic chemical from the soil, which builds up in the leaves as they mature. The older the leaves, the more fluoride they contain. Less expensive teas on the market are made using these older tea leaves.
Avoid These Popular Tea Brands
Several international tea companies were exposed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporations to contain the most of these discussed toxins. They include:
- No Name
- Uncle Lee’s Legends of China
- King Cole
CBC also concluded that half of the tea brands had toxicity levels that surpassed the legal limit. King Cole contained the chemical monocrotophos, which has been found to cause irregular heartbeat and coma. Uncle Lee’s Legends of China has over 20 types of pesticides, including endosulfan, known to cause seizures. Of all the teas, Red Rose was the only one that didn’t contain pesticides.
This Is How You Can Avoid Toxic Chemicals in Your Tea
While these findings may turn you off from tea forever, they shouldn’t. Just be mindful of the tea you drink. Here are some things to remember:
- Switch to white tea, which has the least amount of fluoride because it’s made from young leaves.
- Buy an organic, non-GMO certified brand of tea.
- Be sure to check the ingredient list to avoid added flavours and GMO ingredients.
- Buy loose leaf tea or brew your own.
- Opt for these safe brands: Red Rose, Numi Tea, Rishi Tea, EDEN Organic, Organic Stash, Choice Organic Teas, Two Leaves, Organic Tazo, Organic Traditional Medicinals.
Below is a brief segment on the issue from CBC News.
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