Are You Drinking Toxins in Your Coffee and Tea?
If you know me you know that I friggin’ love tea. Actually, I just love hot beverages in general, even in the summertime. There’s just something about the ritual of holding up a warm beverage to my lips, taking in the aroma, and feeling the warming liquid enter my body. Some of my favorites include:
- Organic coffee (that we grind at home) and add about 1 tablespoon organic heavy cream
- A homemade oat milk latte with decaf or regular espresso – I use this frother so often!
- A homemade decaf green tea latte made in the same frother, just using decaf green tea powder and a touch of vanilla extract
- Herbal teas of any kind, especially after dinner with a piece of dark chocolate!
- and Four Sigmatic coffees and non-caffeine elixirs for the immune and brain-boosting benefits of mushrooms. Use this link to get 10% off with code LETSGETREAL.
Just like it’s important to pay attention to what foods and medications you put into your body, and what beauty and skincare products you put onto your body (which is why I recommend Beautycounter) it’s also important to think about the beverages you are sipping on. Unfortunately, when we cook and drink out of plastic containers, and put toxic chemicals on our skin, we get exposed to xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are chemical byproducts that block the functioning of normal hormones in the body leading to hormone imbalances, PMS, infertility, heavy menstrual bleeding, and possibly cancer. Fortunately, there are easy steps we can take to limit these xenoestrogens in our environment to negate the harmful impacts and choosing better teas and coffees is one of those!
Limiting these hormone disrupting chemicals is something that I help all women do in my Functional Fertility courses. Some of the major xenoestrogens that are always addressed include this highly customized, one-on-one program are BPA, phthalates, herbicides, and glyphosate.
In 2011, a group of leading researches and fertility specialists evaluated the link between BPA and IVF outcomes in 58 women undergoing an IVF cycle at the University of California, San Francisco Center for Reproductive Health. They found that eggs retreived from women with higher BPA levels were less likely to fertilize (1). This finding strongly suggests that BPA exposure reduced egg quality, which has implications for any women trying to conceive whether through IVF, IUI, or natural conception. The best way to limit BPA exposure is to not heat plastics – this means no cooking, microwaving, or drinking hot beverages from plastic water bottles or containers.
Just like BPA, phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) can compromise the activity of hormones that are critical for fertility. Phthalates are often found in plastic, vinyl, cleaning products, nail polish, make up, lotions, and fragrances. By reducing a few of the worst offenders, you can dramatically decrease your exposure: make the majority of your meals at home to avoid DEHP (a phthalate associated strongly with miscarriage), avoid hairsprays, perfume, nail polish, air fresheners, and fabric softeners. Anytime you see “fragrance” on a product that means it has phthalates. Instead, use wool dryer balls and switch your beauty products (starting with body lotion as it covers the most surface area) to a cleaner brand like Beautycounter.
Herbicides and Glyphosate
To limit glyphosate (Roundup) and herbicides I highly recommend to avoid the highest sprayed crops and food by referring to the Environmental Working Group’s Clean 15 list. This outlines the top foods to buy organic as they contain the highest pesticide load, and what foods you can save some $$ on any buy conventional. Unfortunately, coffee and tea are some of the highest sprayed crops out there but the Clean 15 List only cover produce. Buy organic tea and coffee when possible. Choosing organic is the very first step to decrease the number of toxins that you are ingesting, which decreases the amount that your body has to detoxify and eliminate. Another easy step to implement to decrease other toxins from our beverages is to switch to loose-leaf teas over choosing tea bags on a daily basis. Why? Paper tea bags can be coated with dioxin, epichlorohydrin or bleached in chlorine. Both can become active when exposed to hot water. Plastic tea bags, even though they may look better, they contain plastics like PVC or nylon that also exposes chemicals when steaped.
The Benefits of Loose Leaf Tea
When you buy organic, loose leaf tea there is no worry about high herbicide levels or the other chemicals leached out from the tea bag itself. In fact, I once read somewhere – forgive me, I don’t remember where – that when hot water is poured over non-organic tea or coffee it’s basically like giving those chemicals a wake-up call and leading them right into your cup! Not what you want to be consuming on an everyday basis.
Powerful and Effective Herbal Blend
This Nourish Your Womb tea is made of four powerful herbs that make it rich in magnesium, Vitamin C and other nutrients: red raspberry leaf, peppermint, nettles, and rose hips. Here is a quick rundown of their benefits:
Red Raspberry Leaf
This is a powerful tea for toning the uterus in pregnancy to prepare for an easier birth but also beneficial for all women with a uterus.
Peppermint is especially powerful for women with PCOS as it lowers inflammation and androgens (male hormones). It is a wonderful hormone balancer for all women and helps to relieve menstrual cramps.
Great for heavy or crampy periods, nettle has traditionally been combined with raspberry leaf for nutrition and is a great source of iron, vitamin C, and other nourishing nutrients, so women would use it to strengthen their systems. Nettle was particularly prized by women who wanted to restore and replenish themselves after giving birth.
Rosehips also have B Complex Vitamins, Vitamin E, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, polyphenols and dozens of other vitamins, nutrients and beneficial compounds. Studies have shown that rosehip tea can reduce inflammation, promote heart health, help our bodies regulate blood pressure, improve circulation, strengthen our bones, boost digestion, regulate blood sugar levels, help wounds heal faster and relieve pain.
How to Make At Home
The best thing about loose-leaf teas is that they are super easy to incorporate into your beverage consuming habits at home and you can make multiple blends! In just four easy steps you have a special blend of powerful and effective teas that can benefit many systems in the body. Of course, for this recipe we are combining red raspberry leaf, nettles, peppermint, and rose hips for a Nourish Your Womb blend.
Simply mix ¼ oz. of each of these organic dried herbs and store them in an airtight jar as your tea stash. Steep 2 tablespoons of dried herb mix in 1 quart of boiling water and steep for 15 minutes. Strain. Enjoy 1 to 2 cups daily, plain or iced. In warm weather, place the herbs in 1 quart of cold water and steep in the sun for an hour to make ‘sun tea.’
This tea is rich in magnesium, vitamin C, and other nutrients. Enjoy as a beverage anytime, or during the week before your period. Featuring red raspberry leaf for toning the uterus in pregnancy to prepare for an easier birth, and nettles, especially if you tend to have heavy or crampy periods.
Purchase the following loose leaf teas in bulk. I got my from Amazon as seen in the links below.
Mix ¼ oz. of each of these organic dried herbs and store them in an airtight jar as your tea stash. Steep 2 tablespoons of dried herb mix in 1 quart of boiling water and steep for 15 minutes. Strain. Enjoy 1 to 2 cups daily, plain or iced.
In warm weather, place the herbs in 1 quart of cold water and steep in the sun for an hour to make ‘sun tea.’ Recipe from Aviva Romm.
- Category: Beverages
- Method: Stovetop
- Fujimoto VY, Kim D, vom Saal FS, Lamb JD, Taylor JA, Bloom MS. Serum unconjugated bisphenol A concentrations in women may adversely incfluence oocyte quality during in virto fertilization. Fertil Steril. 2011 Apr;95 (5): 1816-9
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.