1) Do you think tea should be included in a paleo diet? How much do you believe is acceptable?
2) If you drink tea, how much do you drink? What types? Real (green,black,etc)or herbal?
Boiling leaves in water? How much more Paleo can you get?
Anyway, most of you Americans descended from us Brits, so tea must be part of your ancestral diet.
Yes. Tea. I drink it hot or cold. Caffeinated and herbal. I combine with seltzer and ice. Make into popsicles and add to ice cream. In cocktails and toddies for cold days - iced on hot. Infuse liquids, add to a marinade. If I'm sick and stuffed up will spoon leaves into a bowl of hot water and steam my sinuses. It's a wonderous cozy delicious thing dry or liquid.
I don't go crazy and guzzle it up - maybe 2 cups a day, some days less - some days more. Mostly herbal and green.
Wiki has a 2012 update for everything you wanted to know about tea but were afraid to ask
From a Harvard paper:
Tea's health benefits are largely due to its high content of flavonoids — plant-derived compounds that are antioxidants. Green tea is the best food source of a group called catechins. In test tubes, catechins are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting oxidative damage to cells and appear to have other disease-fighting properties. Studies have found an association between consuming green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers, including, skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder.
Additional benefits for regular consumers of green and black teas include a reduced risk for heart disease. The antioxidants in green, black, and oolong teas can help block the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good) cholesterol and improve artery function. A Chinese study published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed a 46%-65% reduction in hypertension risk in regular consumers of oolong or green tea, compared to non-consumers of tea.
Drinking a cup of tea a few times a day to absorb antioxidants and other healthful plant compounds. In green-tea drinking cultures, the usual amount is three cups per day. Allow tea to steep for three to five minutes to bring out its catechins. The best way to get the catechins and other flavonoids in tea is to drink it freshly brewed. Decaffeinated, bottled ready-to-drink tea preparations, and instant teas have less of these compounds. Tea can impede the absorption of iron from fruits and vegetables. Adding lemon or milk or drinking tea between meals will counteract this problem.
Tea is definitely included in my diet. Herbals, green and fermented black are my staples. When it's hot out, I make tea jello. I ferment my own kombucha from black and honeybush teas year round. I personally think the flavored teas are repulsive (and I avoid anything that says "flavoring" on the package) but I don't think a drink made from straight up twigs, leaves and/or roots is particularly harmful or non-Paleo as long as it works for you, doesn't trigger allergic or other bad reactions and it makes you happy. Others around here may chime in against the chemically decaffeinated varieties but I've never had a problem with them myself.
I drink tea - lots and often. Nearly always black. It's the best vehicle on earth for consuming heavy cream (short of just drinking it straight). Seems to me that early Man would certainly have consumed tannin-infused water just from daily life - a sip out of a standing pool where leaves had fallen - voila, tea!
I drink tea everyday. I either have a pitcher of mint or orange spice tea (Numi brand organic) in the fridge at home. I drink iced orange pekoe at work. It's my preferred beverage and help me stave off the munchies, which I am still VERY prone to, especially when I am bored or stressed.
Tea is included in my diet - I think it's part of the category that isn't necessarily "paleo" in the strictest sense, but has potential health benefits and isn't particularly harmful. I probably drink around 16-24 oz a day, depending on what I've been doing (outside in cold calls for a hot cup, and it's quite nice to sit around on a patio with a pitcher of iced tea when it's hot outside). A thermos will also get me through a long day at the hospital when I don't have a lunch break - adding some grassfed cream keeps me from starving.
I try to switch around between black, white, and green varieties, and will occasionally drink herbal teas. I buy both higher quality unflavored teas and "flavored" black teas, but I only use loose leaf. It doesn't take that much more effort to brew, and I think you get better flavor. Some of my favorite flavored black and white teas for icing involve fruit (white blueberry, tropical black), and I adore teas with hazelnut, vanilla, a couple of dark chocolate chips in the winter with cream. I mostly buy from Adagio (check out their "white blueberry," "almost nutella," and "birthday cake") - they carry some great pricier teas I love, too - a few different grades of jasmine green tea, which are just amazing iced. I like to buy gunpowder green, too, and brew with spearmint for a "Moroccan Mint" blend. I've also purchased from Upton and have been very satisfied with their teas, especially their black teas. I think Harney is good, but a bit overpriced for the quality (their "wedding tea" is a lovely rose-lemon-vanilla white tea blend). I would encourage exploration...I find that sometimes I want flavored tea for a dessert-y feel, and other days I want to explore the nuance of a plain black tea from the Yunnan province.
Note - I believe I've read that the tannins in tea and some other compounds may interfere with absorption of certain nutrients in meals, so you might want to keep the tea drinking around meals rather than with meals. I don't always follow this rule, but then I think that's not a problem if your meals are all high-quality and nutrient-dense.
Too much tea may be carcinogenic, especially to the unborns of pregnant mothers.
Theres a flavanoid called kaempferol which is a proven genotoxic causing leukemia to unborns, when tea is drunk to excess. (This is no causation study, they have done genotoxicity studies, its direct cause and effect). The same flavanoid is also high in brocolli.
A moderate amount of polyphenols (such as flavanoids), is considered health promoting.
Polyphenols do not act as anti-oxidants in vivo however, despite the fact they are referred to often as "anti-oxidants", in vivo studies show no such action. I am not sure when the assumption was made that polyphenols reduce oxiditive stress (perhaps in vitro studies), but in vivo studies do not bear it out.
At minumum polyphenols are paradoxically both cancer preventing and cancer forming.
Hormesis may explain this. This makes sense when you consider 95% of polyphenols are immediately flushed by the liver immediately, like a standard toxin. A regular moderate consumption is like your bodies fire drill, in case of emergency. Or this is my working theory anyway.
The caffiene of course is another issue.
I myself have a cup of black tea every second day or so. I tend to rely more heavily on herbal teas like chamomile (which thankfully are lower in polyphenols).
Heres a random study linking polyphenols to genotoxicity, though back when I was researcing flavanols and flavanoids I found some much better ones....theres quite alot out there from my research but when you search "flavanol"/polyphenol cancer/genotoxic, of course the pro-cancer effects go to the top of google.
Polyphenols are also anti-nutrients, much like oxalates and phytic acid.
Wikipedia takes a more middle road line, basically saying that generally theres no strong proof these "anti-oxidant" substances are anti-oxidant in vivo, or that they mitigate cancer, and they may be harmful in high doses according to some studies, although it claims mostly in vulnerable populations.
It's probably true that excess of a mild genotoxic substance is most likely to effect infants or the elderly, as the leukemia thing only happens in unborns from their mothers drinking too much tea, and the stronger genotoxic effects of ciggerettes arent usually seen until later in life.
But the effect of genotoxins like polyphenols or ciggerettes is a bit nebulous due to the fact our DNA has redundancy and bodily defenses. Its not like any genotoxic substance apart from high doses of super cancer promoter safrole is going to make you sick semi-immediately.
This paper discusses fairly even handedly the potential risks of polyphenols: http://www.ajcn.org/content/81/1/326S.full
Basically: Carcinogenicity/genotoxicity Thyroid toxicity Estrogenic activity of isoflavones Antinutritional effects Interactions with pharmaceuticals
What data there is, suggests that there probably is an upper limit of excess consumption that is harmful, at least when your older, or infant. Certainly it seems like a downright stupid idea to take refined and extracted "anti-oxidants" like reversetrol or grape seed extract.
But then the level of excess consumption of tea that is harmful is probably well above a moderate one or two cups a day, and in a non-pregnant adult, would take many many years to potentially manifest.
Tea is horrible for people with hypothyroidism - it can even CAUSE hypothyroidism!
Tea is the highest fluoride containing food known. Even the smallest amount of fluoride can induce hypothyroidism. Altered thyroid function is associated with fluoride intakes as low as 0.05-0.1 mg fluoride per kilogram body weight per day (mg/kg/day), or 0.03 mg/kg/day with iodine deficiency. Doctors even used to prescribe fluoride for hyperthyroidism!
I love tea! I drink a bit almost every day, usually in the form of kombucha. I also really like oolong for the real tea, and chamomile, hibiscus, and lavender for the herbals.
I think it's definitely Paleo-friendly, so long as you don't go wild in putting refined sugars in it. I don't think there is any set upper limit; just watch your body and don't over-caffeinate yourself. I know I'm a little caffeine sensitive, so if it is past 2pm or so I stick to the herbal stuff, and I generally don't have more than 2 cups/glasses per day of the real stuff.
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