Tea is one of the most healthful things you can put in your body.
But there’s a new kind of tea that may actually damage your health.
A study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology analyzed plastic teabags. Some companies are replacing traditional paper teabags with plastic ones.
Researchers found that when tea is brewed in the new plastic teabags, tiny bits of plastic are released into the tea.
Many foods and drinks contain plastic particles because of widespread microplastic pollution. And food products can pick up plastic particles when they are processed using plastic-based equipment and containers.
But the number of particles released by plastic teabags was found to be extremely high…thousands of times more than the number of plastic particles in other foods or beverages.
Researchers found that one plastic teabag released 11.6 billion microplastic and 3.1 billion nanoplastic particles.
Nanoplastic particles are smaller than microplastic ones. A human hair is about 75,000 nanometers (nm) in diameter. The nanoplastic pieces from the teabags were much smaller—less than 100 nm.
The smaller the particles are, the more easily they can be absorbed into your body. Chemicals in plastics are linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and hormone problems.
Dr. Kenneth Spaeth is an expert on environmental medicine. He said that “based on the molecular composition of microplastics, there is reason to have real concern about the potential health effects.”
The Best Tea for Your Health
Don’t buy tea that comes in plastic teabags. Use only paper teabags or loose-leaf tea. And if you are drinking tea specifically for the health benefits, there’s one variety that is clearly more beneficial than others.
Matcha (pronounced MA-cha) tea comes from young green tea leaves grown in the shade. It packs much more antioxidant power than standard green teas. Studies have shown the potent brew lowers inflammation and even helps kill cancer cells.
Japanese scientists found that people who drink five cups of regular green tea a day are up to 25% less likely to die from heart disease.
And that’s just from regular green tea… Remember, matcha is much more concentrated. You’d need only half a cup a day of matcha to get the same powerful heart benefits.
Matcha can be found at your local tea shop or health food store. Or you can order it online. Make sure it’s free of sugar. You want pure, organic matcha powder. You’ll find that it tastes much like regular green tea, but slightly stronger.
Tea is one of nature’s most beneficial superfoods—as long as it doesn’t come with a dose of plastic.
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