Turing over a new leaf
I once heard a saying that if you can’t drink tea, life is not worth living. So how do I feel about this 2 weeks on from giving up my daily cup of Earl Grey tea?
One cup of Earl Grey tea contains anywhere from 30mg to 100mg of caffeine with the average being around 30mg. In comparison a long black and/or espresso can contain in excess of 200mg of caffeine per cup. So why am I giving up my daily brew?
Actually, it has nothing to do with the caffeine content and everything to do with vanity. Tea contains tannins and I believe it is these tannins that are causing my teeth to stain and for this reason, I have imposed a self-inflicted ban on drinking any type of tea for 1 month.
After visiting my hygienist for a deep tooth clean, yes, the one that requires numbing of the gums so they can basically brutalise your gum region for half an hour or so, I decided as a ‘exercise’ I would see if tea was causing me to visit the hygienist every month for the invasive clean.
My daily tea consumption wasn’t excessive. Upon waking I would enjoy a pot loose leaf Earl Grey tea and before bed a pot of loose leaf camomile tea. Definitely nothing outrageous in comparison to what some people drink. I have always sipped tea and only ever had one coffee in my 43 years; this was around 6 months ago (I ordered a chai latte but ended up with a regular coffee latte instead). Was cutting out my black tea really going to make much of a difference to the colour of my teeth? Time would help answer that.
Tea whether it black, green, white or any other colour is a warming and comforting beverage that contains numerous health benefits however tea also contains tannins and these tannins are not always beneficial to everyone.
What are tannins?
Tannins are polyphenols, compounds present in plant foods and they are core reason for the colours of many flavours and the astringent flavour of foods such as unripe fruit and tart red wine. The exact amount of tannins found in teas in particular various depending on the type and colour of the tea and how long it was steeped for.
It seems not only are some tannins responsible for the staining of your teeth, tannins in small doses can also interfere with digestion and can inhibit the normal absorption of certain nutrients such as iron. It seems me cutting out my daily cup of tea could provide more benefits that just leaving my teeth stain free.
Vanity vs Health
How am I feeling and what is my vanity scale sitting at 2 weeks sans brewing a pot of tea? In all honestly, I have never felt more awake and proud to smile! In all seriousness, I have not as yet noticed any staining on my teeth but the most noticeable change is how I feel. Since retiring the teapot I have replaced my morning brew with a cup of warm lemon water; simply using nature to provide me with her warmth and comfort each morning and night.
It wasn’t until I sat down and reflected on the past 2 weeks did I notice that I generally feel I have more clarity, more awareness and an overall sense of greater wellbeing. Could 2 maybe 3 cups of warm lemon water really provide such a feeling?
Benefits of drinking warm lemon water
According to the team at Food Matters the 16 health benefits of drinking warm lemon water are:
- Lemon is an excellent and rich source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient that protects the body against immune system deficiencies
- Lemons contain pectin fibre which is very beneficial for colon health and also serves as a powerful antibacterial
- It balances to maintain the pH levels in the body
- Having warm lemon juice early in the morning helps flush out toxins
- It aids digestion and encourages the production of bile
- It is also a great source citric acid, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium
- It helps prevent the growth and multiplication of pathogenic bacteria that cause infections and diseases
- It helps reducing pain and inflammation in joints and knees as it dissolves uric acid
- It helps cure the common cold
- The potassium content in lemon helps nourish brain and nerve cells
- It strengthens the liver by providing energy to the liver enzymes when they are too dilute
- It helps balance the calcium and oxygen levels in the liver In case of a heartburn, taking a glass of concentrated lemon juice can give relief
- It is of immense benefit to the skin and it prevents the formation of wrinkles and acne
- It helps maintain the health of the eyes and helps fight against eye problems
- Aids in the production of digestive juices
- Lemon juice helps replenish body salts especially after a strenuous workout session
Although drinking warm lemon water does come with a warning; direct contact can ruin the enamel of the teeth! Oh no could I be visiting the dentist for another reason other than stained teeth? It’s all OK to help combat this it is recommended to consume lemon juice diluted. Lucky for me I dilute it daily by drinking it with warm water. Phew maybe I don’t need to visit the dentist as much after all, thanks to my tea replacement; lemons.
Lemons are a rich source of nutrients; calcium, potassium and vitamin C. It is known to help maintain your immune system, purify your blood and has both medicinal and antibacterial properties.
I am nothing but an advocate for the consumption of nature, after all I follow a 100% plant-based lifestyle diet but even I am surprised at the benefits I am experiencing from my decision to cut tea from my diet and replace with warm lemon water.
The conversation regarding the caffeine content and reducing it from my diet to basically zero is for another day but I highly recommend looking at the alternative to your coffee and tea even for a short time and see how you feel. Like me, you might just surprise yourself.