Green tea is a healthy beverage trend because it has the potential to fight cancer, prevent heart disease and also aid dental health through having small amounts of fluoride. The drink has proven useful in preventing bladder, esophageal, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. However, green tea can also be slightly detrimental to dental health and cause side effects like anemia from causing reduction in iron absorption, sleep problems, and ringing in the ears.
Tea is not recommended for those people who have heart conditions because the caffeine in green tea might cause an irregular heartbeat. Doctors do not advise green for women in risk groups for osteoporosis, such as women who fit my profile of being white and thin, because green tea leaches calcium from the body. I have had all these symptoms and risk factors with experiencing facial tics due to low iron, insomnia, and tinnitus but I was reluctant to give up my morning “cuppa” of decaf tea that I regularly had to start my day.
Furthermore, I was risking heart problems since green tea is not for those who have heart conditions because tea has caffeine that can cause an irregular heartbeat. I have a mild genetic heart condition called paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) that causes abnormal electric conduction in the atrium and ventricles of the heart with symptoms of a rapidly beating and irregular heartbeat that occurs sporadically and without warning. One potential trigger for PSVT is caffeine in coffee and in tea.
While I was aware of all these strikes against tea, I did not have the impetus to quit drinking it until I visited a dentist and the hygienist observed the tea stains on my teeth during the dental exam and in the cleaning of my teeth. She made the point that tea stains can lead to tartar buildup that in turn can cause tooth and gum decay. The hygienist counseled me that I could use baking soda on my toothbrush to take off some of the stain, but her initial advice was another reminder that I should scale back or drop my morning cup for the benefit of my complete health. Yes, there was a little bit of vanity involved in my not wanting stained teeth or tooth decay but the dental visit focused the other and more important health concerns into perspective. I went “cold turkey” on tea immediately and have not touched tea since that time.
Giving up tea for my health has not always been easy. I have not yet found a sufficient warm “cuppa” substitute in drinking peppermint (herbal and without caffeine) tisane, miso soup or vegetable broth. None of these have the sweet grassy taste of Camellia sinensis but my health is better. I do not have the facial tics, the insomnia, or frequent tinnitus that I had when I drank green tea. The greatest advantage is that the caffeine in green tea will not trigger my PSVT. Some day in the future, I may try green tea again but for now I celebrate life being free from the worry of its side effects.