Even though tea is widely considered to be a healthier alternative to coffee, many conventional tea brands have been found to contain high levels of toxic substances such as fluoride and different pesticides. The levels found in these products are so high that the teas are considered unsafe for consumption. Just like with other products, all tea is not created equal, so opting to save a few bucks on cheaper tea can cost you much more when it comes to your health. Read on.
Conventional Teas May Contain Fluoride and Pesticides
The biggest reason why these toxic substances can be found in tea is because most tea isn’t washed before it is distributed into bags. Therefore, if the tea was sprayed with pesticides, the same will end up directly into your cup. Plenty of non-organic tea brands have been found to contain pesticides that are known carcinogens.
According to a study published in Food Research International, a significant percentage of the United Kingdom population greatly exceeds the recommended dietary intake for fluoride, which can lead to harmful health effects. The study also found that the overexposure was occurring specifically from the consumption of tea. As you might already know, overexposure to fluoride can cause serious problems with the bones and teeth, as well as kidney problems.
How Does Fluoride End Up In Teas?
Tea plants absorb fluoride from the soil, but they also accumulate it as they grow. This means that older leaves contain the most fluoride. Since cheaper quality teas are often made from older tea leaves, they contain more fluoride. They also contain the least amount of anti-oxidants, which lessens the heath benefits associated with drinking tea.
List of Brands That Contain The Most Toxins
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation even conducted a research on several popular tea companies, including:
4. No Name
5. Uncle Lee’s Legends of China
6. King Cole
Shockingly, the CBC found that half of the investigated tea brands contained an illegal level of toxins. The worst offenders were:
- King Cole – Found to contain monocrotophos, a chemical that is in the process of being banned because it causes irregular heartbeat and even coma.
- Uncle Lee’s Legends of China – Found to contain more than 20 types of pesticides, one of which was endosulfan – an insecticide that causes nervous system damage.
- No Name – Found to contain more than 10 types of pesticides.
However, this doesn’t mean that the other tea brands were completely safe. In fact, the only tea that was found to contain no pesticides at all was Red Rose.
How To Avoid Toxic Chemicals in Tea
This doesn’t mean that you need to stop drinking tea altogether. After all, tea is a source of some incredible health benefits. Here are some tips that might help you:
- Try switching to white tea. Since it’s made from young leaves, white tea has the least amount of fluoride.
- Make sure you buy loose leaf tea or brew your own tea from scratch.
- Go Organic! Always choose a non-GMO certified brand of tea.
- Look at the ingredient list and make sure there are no added flavors or GMO ingredients to the tea leaves.
- Know the correct brewing times for different types of tea. For example, black tea should be steeped for 3-5 minutes; green or white teas should be steeped for 2-3 minutes; Oolong teas should be steeped for 4-7 minutes; and herbal teas should be steeped for 5 minutes at minimum, or longer for a stronger tea.
Here is a list of bagged teas that are safe:
- Red Rose
- Numi Tea
- Rishi Tea
- EDEN Organic
- Organic Stash
- Choice Organic Teas
- Two leaves
- Organic Tazo
- Organic Traditional Medicinals
Check out the video below for a breakdown of different tea brands and how they do in terms of health: