Tea: Facts vs. Myths

by in Healthy Tips, February 7, 2013

herbal tea
I’ve heard it all when it comes to tea and oftentimes what’s said just isn’t true. Here’s the real truth when it comes to one of the most popular drinks in the world.

Myth: Herbal teas are true teas
True teas including black, green, white and oolong come from the camellia sinesis plant. Herbal teas are made by steeping fresh or dried flowers, herb, seeds, roots or plant barks in hot water. The so-called “teas” are really called tisanes.

Fact: Green tea has caffeine
Green tea has about 35 milligrams per cup. Iced green tea also contains caffeine — about 15 milligrams per 16 fluid ounces. If you’re an avid green tea consumer, be careful—the caffeine can add up quickly.

Myth: Decaffeinated tea is caffeine free
Decaffeinated teas do contain some caffeine, about 2 to 10 milligrams per cup. If you’re looking to go caffeine free, herbal teas are your best bet. If you do go for the caffeinated stuff, keep in mind that the amount of caffeine differs from tea to tea: Black tea has around 60 milligrams of caffeine per 8 ounces, about double that of green tea.

Fact: Tea can help you meet your daily fluid needs
Many folks believe that tea doesn’t contribute to your daily fluid needs. Studies show that caffeinated drinks don’t have a negative effect on your hydration status. However, caffeinated beverages can cause you to lose some fluid so consume them in moderation.

Myth: Herbal tea is safe during pregnancy
Many women avoid regular tea during pregnancy and turn to herbal teas instead — but they aren’t all necessarily safe. Some herbal teas contain ingredients that either haven’t been fully researched or may have a negative effect on the fetus. Speak to a registered dietitian or doctor before consuming herbal tea when you’re expecting.

Fact: Adding a spritz of citrus to tea is healthy
Tea contains natural plant compounds called flavonoids, which have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease. To maximize the power of flavonoids, it’s best to drink freshly brewed tea. Brew a fresh batch and add a spritz of lemon or orange juice in order to help preserve the flavonoids.

Myth: Drinking green tea will burn fat
Unfortunately, green tea has been hyped up as a magic weight loss solution. This myth’s comes from the fact that green tea contains a stimulant which does speed up metabolism—but only a small amount. If you think sipping on cups of green tea or popping supplements is the answer, be careful. Green tea does contain caffeine, which can be dangerous if you have a heart condition. In addition, green tea supplements can react with other medications.

Fact: Tea is more than for sipping
Cooking with tea has become very trendy. Besides making a fantastic green tea smoothie, tea can be used to poach fish and to cook grains like bulgur and wheat berries.

Myth: Tea doesn’t have an expiration date
If you’ve got bags of tea sitting around for years, it’s time to toss them. The shelf life of tea is about 6 months. Over time, the powerful flavonoids found in tea are reduced. To get the most out of your tea, store it in a cool, dark place.

TELL US: What other tea myths are you curious about?

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Comments (475)

  1. bacmai says:

    sweet potatoes and greens are my favorite winter veg.sweetwaterboat@yahoo.com

  2. john says:

    As people will look deep they will only find good things about, as the is very precious thing, also designer thing to buy, the range has a host of Mario Batali kitchenware set, and they provide adequate choices for customers to come, and see for themselves.

  3. The_Cuz says:

    Fact or Myth? Tea contains Tannic acid which can be harmful if you have a stomach ulcer? Perhaps small amount of tea are okay, but if you have an ulcer drinking really strong teas (2 to 3 bags in a mug) can be dangerous for your stomach lining?

    • dan says:

      tannic acid is more prevelant in bagged teas than in loose leaf teas. if you have stomach ulcers making a smoothie with fresh aloe vera will help with that.

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  6. Since ancient times, Herbal tea is way of getting various health benefits naturally but we should have to take doctor's advice before drinking any herbal tea as sometimes it can react as a poison which effects negatively on health.

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