Why You Should Stop Drinking Dry Tea
WRITTEN BY OUR OFFICIAL SCIENCE STEEPER: ALLISON TANNIS, MSC RHN.
Research suggests drinking dried tea might not be the best idea for your health.
Dried tea leaves may not be as healthy as originally thought, making some wonder if there’s a better way to consume tea. Science suggests you may want to stop drinking dry tea and start eating fresh tea leaves instead. Here’s why…
5 Reasons You Should Stop Drinking Dry Tea
- Less Nutritional Value
- Fewer Antioxidants
What is Dry Tea?
All dried tea (black, oolong, green, white) is made from drying and fermenting leaves from the plant Camellia sinesis. Matcha is another example of a dried tea – one that’s been finely ground.
How Do You Make Dry Tea?
After being harvested from the plant Camellia sinesis, the tea leaves are processed in various ways to make different dried teas. Processing fresh leaves cause them to lose a lot of valuable nutrients.
Why Make Dry Tea?
Originally, this was helpful as dry tea leaves can be stored for long periods of time, such as when needed to travel on boats from one continent to another. But, nowadays, we don’t need to dry tea – we can eat fresh tea leaves!
Is Dry Tea Harmful?
There are pros and cons to drinking a cup of tea made from dried tea leaves. It can offer some nutritional value (some minerals and antioxidants) according to studies, but a lot is lost: the process of drying and processing food has been shown by scientists to significantly affect nutritional value. That’s a terrible loss of potential nutrition – fresh tea leaves are super nutritious!
TEA-rific Fact: Tea Leaves Offer Immune Boost
The antioxidant in tea leaves called EGCG is 100x more effective than vitamin C and 25x more effective than vitamin E at strengthening the immune system and protecting cells from damage and disease, according to a University of Kansas study.
Should I Stop Drinking Tea?
Be wary says McGill researchers: one cup of tea brewed using a single tea bag contained 11.6 billion microplastic and 3.1 billion nano plastic particles. It’s best to ditch that dried tea in a bag and use a reusable metal strainer to make your tea. Better yet, eat fresh tea leaves.
Should I Eat Tea Leaves?
Adding fresh tea leaves into your smoothie offers impressive antioxidant values (ORAC 69,800), while a cup of steeped dried tea offers significantly less (ORAC 1,253). Eat your tea – it might just be one of the healthiest greens you can eat! Discover more about how nutritious tea leaves are here.
Are Frozen Foods Healthy?
Yes. Research shows freezing fresh fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to preserve their nutritious elements. Tea leaves are the same: a Canadian laboratory tested fresh tea leaves, frozen in this manner, and found they are highly nutritious. By freezing fresh tea leaves, more of the plant-based protein, fibre, and antioxidants are maintained unlike processes used to create dried tea.
7 Ways to Eat Tea
Boost your smoothie with fresh tea leaves! Let your culinary creativity go wild: a mild-flavoured superfood, fresh tea leaves can be added to:
- Pasta Sauces
- Salad Dressings
- …and, more!
Pesticide residue transfer rates (percent) from dried tea leaves to brewed tea. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2013, Dec; 62(4).
Study of nutritional value of dried tea leaves and infusions of black, green and white teas from Chinese plantations. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig 2017;68(3):237-245.
Antioxidant and functional properties of tea protein as affected by the different tea processin methods. J Food Sci Technol 2015 Feb; 52(2): 742-752.
Effect of drying methods and parameters on the antioxidant properties of tea (Camellia sinensis) leaves. Food Production, Processing and Nutrition 2020;2(8).