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10 Toxic Types of Tea You Need to Avoid (and Why)

10 Toxic Types of Tea You Need to Avoid (and Why)

You may be drinking tea only for its health benefits, particularly its cancer-fighting and anti-aging antioxidants. But you’ll be shocked to find out that many teas contain toxic heavy metals.

10 Toxic Types of Tea You Need to Avoid (and Why)© healthsfitness.com

For instance, lead can be absorbed by tea leaves. But how on earth can lead ever get into your tea? Well, the active roadways and industrial areas can create high-lead environments which are inhaled by the tea plants.

Read on to find out the other toxic heavy metals that find their way into tea and which are the types of tea that are contaminated the most.

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1. Green Tea

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Green TeaYouTube

Green tea is regarded as a miracle beverage by many people thanks to its high levels of polyphenols and other antioxidants. Multiple studies have found that drinking 2 to 3 cups of green tea per day can decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. Also, it’s widely promoted as a weight loss aid.

Not everyone would feel comfortable to find fault with this popular delicious drink, but recent research revealed that some green teas are contaminated with heavy metals.

According to a recent study from ConsumerLab.com, the lead was found in a number of popular green tea brands, especially those coming from China.

However, most of the lead remains in the leaves and doesn’t necessarily get into the tea itself. You should never chew the tea’s leaves if you don’t know the country of origin of your tea, or at least make sure to use a tea bag or filter.

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2. Pu-erh Tea

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Pu-erh TeaSerious Eats

Pu-erh, also called red tea, has been becoming more popular recently for its claimed ability to promote weight loss and heart health.

This kind of tea is grown and fermented under high humidity and it typically comes from the Yunnan province in China. Furthermore, according to a study from the Beijing Normal University, there has been found alarming levels of arsenic specifically in Pu-erh tea from China.

Arsenic, an element that acts like a heavy metal, is toxic to various organs in the human body. Therefore, consumers are recommended to avoid Pu-erh tea that comes from this specific part of the planet.

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3. Black Tea

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Black TeaServing Joy

Black tea is one of the most common teas consumed around the world. It is actually more oxidized than white, green, and oolong teas. Unfortunately, studies have found all of lead, arsenic, and cadmium in brewed black tea. This is mainly due to the use of coal-fired power plants in China. In fact, these coal plants provide 70% of China’s energy.

Sadly, the pollutants from the coal plants have been negatively affecting the development of the Chinese kids. You sure wouldn’t drink a tea which was grown in an environment filled with deadly pollutants. So make sure to know the origin of your tea before purchasing it.

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4. White Tea

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White TeawikiHow

White tea is made from the young leaves and new growth buds of a plant called Camellia sinensis. This tea is less likely contaminated by aluminum since buds are picked early.

Regular consumption of aluminum can lead to many health problems, including skeletal, neurological, and pulmonary disorders. However, it’s still predisposed to contamination by other kinds of heavy metals, especially if it originates in China. Industrial regions and highways create a corrupted environment around tea plants, and this is particularly common in China.

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5. Oolong Tea

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Oolong TeaThe Dr. Oz Show

This delicate and fragrant tea has a pleasant flavor, and many individuals consider it a perfect compromise between black and green teas because its leaves are partially oxidized. Oolong tea is made by withering the plant under the sun heat and then oxidizing it. This process also helps keep it a little bit more resistant to contamination.

However, as another derivation of the camellia sinensis plant, it is not immune to heavy metals entirely. According to a recent Canadian study, the Chinese oolong was found to contain some of the highest levels of lead, arsenic, and cadmium compared to the other teas in the study, notably regular and organic black tea, regular and organic green tea, and organic white tea.

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6. Organic Tea

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Organic TeaRunSociety

Choosing organic tea will eliminate your risk of imbibing heavy metals, right? Wrong! Many people would often choose Organic tea over regular tea, yet, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s devoid of heavy metals. Even if the tea plants weren’t sprayed with pesticides, they could still be contaminated by heavy metals in the soil and water.

Organic tea coming from China and India is particularly vulnerable to heavy metals contamination. According to Canadian researchers, the organic teas were no less exposed to heavy metals than other teas, even when they came from the same company. Opting for organic is a nice step to a healthier life, but it’s not the essence of it.

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7. Chinese Tea

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Chinese TeaUdemy

Many people would relate Chinese tea to Chinese medicine, while they actually have nothing in common. According to Canadian researchers, tea bags from China had higher chances to be contaminated with heavy metals than other types of tea. As we mentioned before, pollutants from the environment are the major source of heavy metals in Chinese tea.

When the environment is polluted, so are the food sources. It is recommended that young children and pregnant women should carefully verify the tea origin before consumption because of the heavy metals contamination.

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8. Chai Tea

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Chai Teathoughtzzcurry.blogspot.com

Chai tea is actually black tea in disguise. The Chai variety is brewed with spices and aromatic Indian herbs. Although it’s tasty and good-smelling, the additional flavor doesn’t compensate for the toxins in this tea.

According to a study involving almost 50 different types of tea from India, 94% of these teas included at least one pesticide. In fact, over half the teas contained pesticides that exceeded safety limits and weren’t approved for tea cultivation.

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9. Rooibos Tea

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Rooibos Teawww.rooibostea.org

Rooibos tea is polyphenol-rich and caffeine-free. It is used to treat everything from aging to allergies. Unlike most other types of tea, rooibos doesn’t come from the traditional tea but rather from the South African red bush. It’s a hearty and robust plant that naturally flourishes in the jungle, which means that pesticides are rarely needed.

Rooibos tea from South Africa is typically a safe option, but you should be cautious about consuming rooibos from India due to the proliferation of heavy metals in all the type of tea cultivated in this country.

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10. Hibiscus

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HibiscusSimplyLeaner.com

People have turned to hibiscus tea for its soothing health benefits since the time of the pharaohs. Yet, according to a study from the Czech University Life Sciences Prague, hibiscus contained so much aluminum that they warned pregnant women, babies, and individuals with kidney disorders to completely avoid drinking this tea.

Of course, you can still enjoy your favorite tea, but you need to be aware of what you’re consuming. Besides avoiding certain teas, there are many ways to get the most out of your tea.

Make sure to brew the tea with a tea bag or filter. Try putting the boiling water after the tea and not before.

Also, brew tea for just three or four minutes because boiling it longer can increase contaminants levels. With this in mind, you can drink your tea safely without worrying about heavy metals.
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