The Healthy Truth: Fit and detox teas

By: Emily Lunardo | Healthy Eating | Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 08:00 AM

Healthy TruthDear Friend,

Ask anyone who knows me, and they will tell you I’m obsessed with tea (I’m drinking some right now as I write this). I have a tea for just about anything. Sore throat? I have a tea. Feel a cold coming up? I have a tea for that, too. People are honestly amazed at my tea collection and at the fact that I could essentially “treat” anything with some sort of tea.

Tea’s been around for thousands of years, and it’s now as popular as ever. In some areas, tea is more popular than coffee, and with the rise of specialty teashops you can get a hot steeped tea just about anywhere.

Well, a new tea trend promises to help you get fit and detox your body. Every website, every social media outlet has some sort of advertising for a fit or detox tea. Celebrities are endorsing them left, right, and center, but do we buy into another celebrity endorsement for the sake of health? Let’s dig a bit deeper…

Images of half-dressed women with killer abs holding a mug and some loose leaf tea are everywhere you look. The tea promises to help you debloat, speed up your metabolism, promote weight loss, and provide other health benefits, too. Sounds like a miracle, huh? With claims like that, of course you would want to sign yourself up.

To look for evidence behind the claims fit and detox tea producers make, take a look at the list of ingredients. The following ingredients are what I found in a tea blend from a leading fit tea company. Their tonic includes: green tea, ginger, rooibos, stevia, citric acid, honey, lemon juice, pomegranate, sea salt, and matcha green tea. Seems simple enough, don’t you think? We know that there have been numerous studies on green tea and its health benefits, this one definitely makes sense. And ginger and pomegranate, of course, are great for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. So from the looks of it, fit teas seem pretty okay.

Here is the major problem with detox and fit teas: They are considered dietary supplements, and for this reason they do not need evidence to support their claims. In layman’s terms, this means they can tell you whatever they want about the wonderful effects of their tea without any hard evidence to back up their statements.

Many fit and detox teas promise weight loss, but according to the National Institutes of Health, there’s insufficient evidence to support the claim that products that contain Senna (a laxative herb) can aid in weight loss. Rather, Senna has been found to cause stomach troubles, cramps, and even diarrhea. Furthermore, use of Senna for over two weeks can lead to abnormal bowel function and cause changes to electrolytes, which help heart function. Now that’s pretty scary if you ask me.

Another issue I have with products marketed as a weight loss aid and “cure-all” is that people take these products all the while eating the same junk and not exercising, because they feel these products will just magically eliminate all the bad that has been done up to this point. Reality check: Unfortunately, a bad lifestyle eraser is yet to be made, meaning a cup of tea isn’t going to give you the result you desire without diet changes and exercise.

Furthermore, what’s the deal with the detox craze? Why have we tricked ourselves into believing that we need some special products to help us detox? That is what our liver is for! A detox should be the decision to start eating better, eliminating processed foods, and allowing your liver to work to its full potential. You’d be amazed at how much better you begin to feel when you’re not bogging your body down with junk. Worse yet, so many people actually eliminate food when they embark on these detox cleanses, which make them feel lethargic, starving, and basically unwell. Now that doesn’t sound fun, does it?

Our body has the mechanisms to keep us healthy and “detoxed,” but unfortunately, we don’t treat it well enough to let it perform its job properly. Instead we embark on these latest trends and put ourselves in danger, because our favorite celebrity is holding up some tea leave.

Instead of once again buying into some new found fad, which makes claims nobody can hold on to, why don’t you opt for an overall healthier lifestyle? Enjoy some tea – tea is actually great – but don’t rush out to buy into the detox tale backed up by some false claims.

If you want the truth on tea, I suggest you take a look at some of Bel Marra Health’s posts about tea and its benefits. Let me suggest a few good reads:

Drinking tea daily boosts heart health

Herbal teas for a cup of good medicine

7 hidden healing powers in your tea bag

Fend off illness with a cup of tea

These are just some of the research-based articles you’ll find on the website regarding tea and its health benefits.

Overall, in my opinion, fit and detox teas are a definite no-no. I frankly don’t believe in them, and you won’t see me steeping them either. I’ll stick to the teas I have now in the meantime.

Are you an avid tea-drinker, too? Have you tried detox teas? Leave me a comment below!

Until next week,


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