The Autoimmune Protocol Diet + Drinking Tea:
What You Need to Know…
It’s fairly well known that coffee is a big no-no on the Autoimmune Protocol diet, which automatically begins the search for equally as delicious beverage options. Tea seems to be the next best thing but what isn’t well known about most mainstream tea brands could really disrupt the whole point of AIP and actually send healing in backwards motion.
Let’s dig into each of the 4 issue separately then I’ll reveal the 4 ideal brands.
Most mainstream tea brands use tea leaves that aren’t washed before packaging! (1) So what does that mean to the consumer? Well, if the tea was sprayed with pesticides… that means it’s being ingested. Woah!
91% of Celestial Seasonings teas were found to contain pesticide levels over U.S. federal limits. (2) Also, 100% of Teavana’s teas tested positive for pesticides despite their claim that all their teas were free of them. (3) Now the findings on these two well known brands are from 5+ years ago so the issues may have since been resolved, but why risk it?
To reduce the chance of being tricked by a money game or by brands with poor quality standards, be sure to shop exclusively for ORGANIC teas. That is the only true way to avoid the accidental consumption of pesticides. (4)(5)
2. Added Flavors
Most mainstream tea brands contain added flavors as an ingredient! Please don’t be tricked by this. While the term ‘natural flavors’ can leave one with a warm fuzzy feeling and the satisfying thought of buying something healthy, it’s anything but healthy. (6)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines natural ingredients as, “…The essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.” (7)
What the heck does that even mean?
The reality is, “It’s an essential oil, or an essence, or a product of fermentation, or one of 3,000 chemical additives, or actually 100 different things vaguely related to food all conveniently (and anonymously) lumped together to form a cohesive taste reminiscent of a single real world flavor. Or, to put it another way, mostly just a lot of marketing speak.” (8)
Natural flavors can, and do, contain: sodium benzoate, glycerin, potassium sorbate, and propylene glycol, among many other yuck ingredients. (9)]
Many tea brands sneak sugar into their products so always read the label! This is incredibly frustrating because many of these teas are marketed as natural and healthy – they may even be stocked near the organic teas at the grocery store!
Yet they have no business being sold next to each other.
For example, the Teavana variety pictured above has both sugar and natural flavors listed in the ingredients. Brands like this do not promote healing and autoimmune disease remission so stay far away from them.
Some tea brands package tea leaves in silken sachet bags or tea pouches. Those bags, said to be made for easy brewing, are made of plastic… which is made from corn (polylactic acid is a corn-based tea bag material)! (10)(11)
So not only are these tea bags giving off harmful chemicals when heated, they’re causing significant inflammation to those with major corn sensitivities – not to mention a big step backward when it comes to healing!
The paper tea bags may not be safe either. According to Dr. Mercola, “Paper tea bags are frequently treated with epichlorophydrin, which hydrolyzes to 3-MCPD when contact with water occurs. 3-MCPD is a carcinogen associated with food processing that has also been implicated in infertility and suppressed immune function” (12)
This all begs the question..
…what teas should I drink?
Four (4) AIP Compliant Tea Brands:
With keeping Autoimmune Protocol compliant ingredients in mind (13), and with the understanding the caffeine needs to be consumed in moderation, acceptable tea brands while on the AIP diet are…
These four brands do not contain pesticides due to their organic labeling, they do not contain any natural or artificial flavoring, they do not contain sugar, GMO’s or questionable packaging standards. 😀
What a relief to have options!
With the positives about these brands now highlighted for you, check the labels anyway.
Because YOU are in charge of your health, not for-profit companies. Get in the habit, get to the bottom of it, learn, understand and know ingredients because your health matters. Healing matters. ♥
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