Tea is revered for its multitude of health benefits and is the second most consumed beverage in the world, after water. However, not all tea is created equal. Some tea brands contain harmful pesticides, including the widely used glyphosate. Tea lovers need to be aware of these hidden dangers and choose healthier alternatives.
In this article, we’ll dive into the world of tea and explore the top 5 tea brands that tested outside the legal limits of pesticides, especially glyphosate. We’ll also look at a 2014 study by CBC and other important research on the topic.
We’ll also share a list of safer tea options, free from pesticides or within legal limits. And to top it off, we’ll talk about 7 amazing teas with health benefits, and why drinking tea can be a fantastic choice for your well-being. So, grab a cup of tea, and let’s get started!
Top 5 Pesticide-Ridden Tea Brands You Need to Avoid
- Celestial Seasonings
According to a 2014 study conducted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), several popular tea brands contained alarming levels of pesticides, including glyphosate. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has been linked to cancer and other health issues. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
The CBC’s investigation found that some tea samples exceeded the acceptable pesticide limits set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The top 5 pesticide-ridden tea brands identified in this study were Tetley, Lipton, Twinings, Celestial Seasonings, and Tazo.
Other studies have also raised concerns about pesticide levels in tea. A 2018 study published in the journal Food Control discovered multiple pesticide residues in 34 tea samples from China, including glyphosate.
Impact of Pesticides on Gut and Overall Health
Pesticides, including glyphosate, can have significant effects on our gut and overall health. The human gut is home to trillions of microorganisms, collectively known as the gut microbiota, which plays a crucial role in maintaining our overall health. A balanced gut microbiota is essential for digestion, immunity, and even mental health. However, pesticide exposure can disrupt this balance by altering the composition of gut bacteria, leading to a range of health problems.
A 2018 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives showed that exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides can negatively affect the gut microbiota in rats, leading to a decrease in beneficial bacteria and an increase in harmful bacteria. As a result, this imbalance in gut microbiota can contribute to various health issues, such as inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, and even neurological disorders.
Apart from affecting gut health, pesticides can also have broader implications for overall health. Pesticide exposure has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, endocrine disruption, and developmental and reproductive issues. Long-term exposure to pesticides can also lead to chronic health problems, such as respiratory issues, neurological disorders, and hormonal imbalances.
It’s crucial to consider the potential impact of pesticide-laden teas on gut and overall health and opt for safer, organic alternatives that promote a healthy gut microbiome and reduce the risk of health problems associated with pesticide exposure.
Safer Tea Brand Alternatives
Thankfully, there are tea brands that have significantly lower pesticide levels or are free from harmful chemicals. The following teas either have no detectable pesticide residues or fall within the legal limits:
- Numi Organic Tea
- Rishi Tea
- Traditional Medicinals
- Mighty Leaf Tea
- Choice Organic Teas
- Yogi Tea
- David’s Tea
- Pukka Herbs
- The Republic of Tea
Organic tea brands, such as Numi Organic Tea and Rishi Tea, are considered safer options as they follow strict guidelines that prohibit the use of synthetic pesticides.
Top 7 Teas with Health Benefits
Drinking tea has many health benefits. Some of the best teas for promoting health and wellness include:
- Green tea: Rich in antioxidants, green tea can improve brain function, fat loss, and a reduced risk of cancer.
- Black tea: Contains antioxidants called flavonoids that help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease.
- White tea: Known for its delicate flavor, white tea has high levels of antioxidants and can help improve skin health and protect against cancer.
- Oolong tea: Helps improve brain function, promotes heart health, and aids in weight loss.
- Rooibos tea: Caffeine-free and rich in antioxidants, rooibos tea can help reduce inflammation and support heart health.
- Peppermint tea: Known for its ability to soothe digestive issues, peppermint tea can also help relieve headaches and improve mental focus.
- Chamomile tea: With its calming and sleep-promoting properties, chamomile tea is an excellent choice for reducing stress and anxiety while improving sleep quality.
Overall Benefits of Drinking Tea
Tea offers a multitude of health benefits, making it a popular choice for individuals seeking a healthy and enjoyable beverage. Some of the key advantages of drinking tea include:
- Rich in antioxidants: Tea contains powerful antioxidants like polyphenols and catechins, which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- Improves heart health: Tea has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, as it helps lower blood pressure, improve blood vessel function, and reduce cholesterol levels.
- Enhanced brain function: Tea contains compounds that can improve brain function, boost cognitive performance, and protect against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- Weight management: Some teas, especially green tea, can help increase metabolism and promote fat burning, which can aid in weight loss and weight maintenance.
- Immune system support: Tea contains compounds that can help strengthen the immune system and protect against infections.
- Better digestion: Certain herbal teas, such as peppermint and ginger, can help soothe the digestive system, and ease symptoms like bloating, gas, and indigestion.
- Stress reduction and relaxation: Drinking tea, particularly herbal teas like chamomile and lavender, can help calm the mind and reduce stress levels.
While some popular tea brands may contain high levels of pesticides, including glyphosate, there are safer alternatives available. By choosing organic or pesticide-free teas, consumers can enjoy the numerous health benefits of tea without compromising their well-being. Besides promoting heart health, brain function, and weight management, tea also provides immune system support and stress reduction, making it a wholesome and enjoyable beverage choice.
How to Detox from Pesticides
Detoxification is the process of cleansing your body by eliminating toxins, impurities, and other harmful substances. Although the body has its natural detoxification system, incorporating specific foods and practices into your routine can help support and enhance this process.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to detox using food and alternative practices:
Note: It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any detox program, especially if you have existing health conditions.
- Start your day with a glass of warm water with lemon to kick-start your metabolism and support digestion.
- Drink at least 2-3 liters of water throughout the day, including herbal teas or water infused with fruits for added flavor and nutrients.
- Clean eating:
- Consume whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
- Include detoxifying foods such as leafy greens, beets, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and green tea.
- Avoid processed foods, refined sugars, alcohol, caffeine, and excessive salt.
- Increase your fiber intake to aid digestion and help eliminate toxins through the digestive tract.
- Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
- Consume probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, or kombucha to support a healthy gut flora and improve digestion.
- Exercise and sweat:
- Engage in regular physical activity to help improve circulation, support the lymphatic system, and encourage sweating to eliminate toxins.
- Try yoga, walking, swimming, or any other moderate-intensity exercises that you enjoy.
- Dry brushing:
- Practice dry brushing before showering to stimulate circulation and promote lymphatic drainage.
- Use a natural-bristle brush, starting at your feet and working your way up towards the heart in circular motions.
- Deep breathing exercises:
- Practice deep breathing exercises or meditation to help reduce stress, which can contribute to toxin buildup in the body.
- Try techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing, alternate nostril breathing, or guided meditation.
- Epsom salt baths:
- Take an Epsom salt bath once or twice a week to help relax muscles and encourage detoxification through the skin.
- Add 1-2 cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for 15-20 minutes.
- Adequate sleep:
- Prioritize sleep, aiming for 7-9 hours per night to help the body naturally detoxify and repair itself.
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle:
- Once the detox period is over, continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle by incorporating clean eating, regular exercise, and stress management techniques.
In addition to the above it is important to consider your liver health during the detox process. Incorporating herbs and foods that support liver cleansing can enhance your detoxification process. The liver plays a crucial role in detoxifying the body by breaking down harmful substances and eliminating them. Here are some herbs and foods that can aid liver cleansing:
- Milk thistle:
- Milk thistle is a well-known herb for liver health, containing the active compound silymarin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- You can take milk thistle in capsule, tincture, or tea form.
- Dandelion root:
- Dandelion root is often used to support liver function and stimulate the production of bile.
- It can be consumed as a tea, tincture, or in capsule form.
- Turmeric contains the active compound curcumin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help protect the liver.
- Add turmeric to your meals or consume it as a supplement or tea.
- Artichokes can help protect the liver and support bile production, which is essential for detoxification.
- You can steam or grill artichokes and enjoy them as a side dish or add them to salads.
- Beets contain betalains, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help support liver function.
- Consume beets in salads, smoothies, or roasted as a side dish.
- Cruciferous vegetables:
- Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts contain compounds that help the liver eliminate toxins.
- Incorporate these vegetables into your meals by steaming, roasting, or adding them to salads.
- Garlic contains sulfur compounds that help activate liver enzymes responsible for eliminating toxins.
- Add garlic to your meals or consume it as a supplement.
- Green tea:
- Green tea is rich in catechins, which have antioxidant properties that can help protect the liver.
- Drink 2-3 cups of green tea daily for optimal benefits.
- Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids and glutathione, which support the liver’s detoxification process.
- Consume a handful of walnuts as a snack or add them to salads or oatmeal.
- Grapefruit contains vitamin C and antioxidants that help support the liver’s natural detoxification processes.
- Enjoy grapefruit as a snack, in smoothies, or as part of a healthy breakfast.
In addition to steps above I have developed a unique supplement protocol for detoxification that I recommend to all my patients:
Dr. Nandi’s RX:
1. Facilitate the detox process with my Detox Bundle
2. Replenish with my Super Greens
3. Read my “Protocol for Optimizing Your Health and Wellbeing” It’s a free 50 page guide with step-by-step instructions to changing your life.
Always remember to research the tea brands you consume and opt for those with safer, healthier practices.
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- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). (2014). Pesticides in some tea exceed allowable limits. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/pesticides-in-some-tea-exceed-allowable-limits-1.2564624
- National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). (2021). The Health Benefits of Tea. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4055352/
- World Health Organization (WHO). (2015). IARC Monographs Volume 112: Evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides. Retrieved from https://www.iarc.who.int/featured-news/media-centre-iarc-news-glyphosate/
- Khan, N., & Mukhtar, H. (2013). Tea and health: studies in humans. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 19(34), 6141-6147. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23448443/
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (2021). Tea: A cup of good health? Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/tea/
- Cabrera, C., Artacho, R., & Giménez, R. (2006). Beneficial effects of green tea—a review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 25(2), 79-99. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16582024/
- Steptoe, A., Gibson, E. L., Vuononvirta, R., Williams, E. D., Hamer, M., Rycroft, J. A., … & Wardle, J. (2007). The effects of tea on psychophysiological stress responsivity and post-stress recovery: a randomized double-blind trial. Psychopharmacology, 190(1), 81-89. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17013636/