Don’t we all want to get more for our money? We like value and quantity, hoping not to compromise on quality as well. If you love tea, like me, you probably buy lots of it. You are looking for it to be tasty, maybe exotic, but not too expensive. And yes, the more tea bags in a package, the better. This would be an ideal situation. However, the reality is quite different. Quality tea comes with a higher price tag, and with fewer bags. So we just end up buying the generic big box of green tea. At least it says “green”, so it should be healthy, right? Well, not so much.
Most cheap teas contain really high levels of fluoride. We are not talking about calcium fluoride which is a natural element, but about the synthetic fluoride which is a toxic by product. These levels are dangerously high to the point of being considered unsafe. So drinking cheap tea can be as bad as eating junk food.
Cheap Tea Contains Fluoride
A new study published in the journal of, Food Research International, found that cheaper blends contain enough fluoride to put people under the risk of many illnesses such as bone tooth, kidney problems and even cancer.
In fact, some brands of cheap tea contain nearly 7 parts per million (ppm) and the allowed level of fluoride is 4 ppm. This is quite scary since fluoride gets into your bones and accumulates in your body. It stays there for years.
So how did fluoride get into tea?
The tea plant accumulates fluoride as it grows. This means that old leaves contain the most fluoride. Cheaper quality teas are often made from old leaves that contain more fluoride than young tea leaves (here is an example) . Additionally, these cheaper brands use smaller leaves which contain more fluoride.
And what about decaffeinated tea?
Well, decaffeinated tea showed higher fluoride levels than caffeinated tea.
So what is the solution? Should you stop drinking tea all together? Of course not!
- First of all, make sure to buy loose leaf tea and brew your tea from scratch. Bagged tea which might seem convenient and ready to go, is often made from low quality leaves which surely contain more fluoride.
- Stick to white tea (here). It has the least amount of fluoride.
- Buy organic tea because the methods for cultivation are more sophisticated and conscious. They might even use purified water for the soil.
So, as we can see as Fast Food chains are to real food so is cheap tea to more expensive quality tea. You compromise your health when you want it cheap and fast!
My personal favorite tea is Organic Tulsi.
Did you know fluoride is used as a pesticide? Maybe organic tea would be lower in fluoride for this reason as well.