Hey There Healthy Friend,
Last week, I was interviewed and published in a national publication, Parade. I loved the topic in which I was asked about, you may have read about or watched the trending controversy surrounding a pregnant celebrity advertising a detox tea for belly bloat. This celebrity, Amber Rose, is clearly a paid advertiser for the brand Flat Tummy Co. and was blasted for the social media post. I understand the uproar, it seems like any influencer will advertise any product these days for a pay check.
I always appreciate a soapbox to stand on to preach about nutrition, health and wellness. Parade.com receives over 800,000 visitors per month, so this huge platform is an especially exciting opportunity!
Keep reading below to get the full interview and click here to read the actual publication!
Parade: First of all, why would someone be interested in drinking detox tea?
Krystal: Great question! To understand detox tea, we must first understand the need to detox. Our bodies are daily bombarded with a crazy amount of toxins; we are constantly exposed to environmental pollutants, heavy metals, preservatives, pesticides and synthetic chemicals. When we inhale and ingest these toxins, they get stored in our tissues and cells all throughout the body and deteriorate our health. The modern-day toxic burden is becoming too much for our bodies to handle, so the act of "detoxing" is a conscience effort to assist to our liver, gallbladder, kidneys and lymphatic system, so that they may eliminate these toxins according to plan.
Parade: What is detox tea exactly? Would you advise drinking it even if you are not pregnant? Why or why not?
Krystal: Detox teas date back to ancient Chinese medicine, they were made of natural and organic herbs and spices that aim to cleanse your body from harmful toxins. They can be used medicinally as a liver detox, as a laxative or even therapeutically to resolve food poisoning and alcohol or drug withdraw. The detox teas of today generally fall short in quality to those of our ancestors; many contain an excessive amount of caffeine or senna leaf, which is a natural laxative used to move waste through your digestive tract very quickly. The majority of these teas contain poor quality ingredients that primarily work as a dangerous laxative and diuretic. This can result in dehydration, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort. While there are reputable practitioners and tea brands that still exist, most are simply a marketing ploy that boast about quick weight loss to make a quick buck. For this reason, I would not advise drinking detox teas, pregnant or not, without consulting a qualified medical or nutrition professional.
Parade: Flat Tummy Co advertises on instagram "organic pregnancy tea' - what are your thoughts on this? Is it safe to drink while pregnant and breastfeeding as a celebrity claims?
Krystal: As a Certified Nutritionist, I was trained to be cautious when it comes to recommending herbs to pregnant woman, breastfeeding moms and children. So, a detox tea would not be my recommendation if a pregnant mamma came to me complaining of constipation, poor digestion and nausea. This is where diet and the concept of "food is medicine" comes into play! It is important to take a look at what mom is consuming, assess her nutrient intake (or lack thereof) and recommend a high-quality multi-vitamin and other whole food solutions. If constipation is an issue, I would likely recommend a safe probiotic and magnesium citrate. If mom is dealing with heart burn, she may want to consider digestive enzymes and for nausea, some fresh ginger in filtered water could be a life saver! Filtered water with lemon and other organic veggie, fruit or herbal infusions is the best natural detox drink to consume!
Parade: Is that product FDA approved? Are detox teas approved by FDA?
Krystal: Truth be told, the active ingredients in Flat Tummy Co Organic Pregnancy Tea do not set off major red flags for me, however, this product, like all other teas and dietary supplements, are not regulated by the FDA. So, what does this mean to the consumer? Well, what is on the label may not really be what is actually in the package. We don't know about the added ingredients, the exact quantity of each of the active ingredients. For example, the package does not disclose if the tea bags have been bleached with chlorine, if the dried tea contains mold, and even if the tea leaves are really tea leaves at all. Recently, some teas and other "detoxifying" weight loss products have been found to contain chemicals and even drugs that are not advertised on the package. I am not at all saying that the FDA is the end all be all when it comes to regulating what we consume, they allow some pretty scary stuff in our food such as legal amounts of arsenic and heavy metals in our water and countless amounts of synthetic chemicals such as food coloring and GMO's that wreak havoc on our health. Thankfully there are certified third party testing companies such as GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) that test to ensure what in on the label is actually in the product and allow you to obtain a CoA (Certificate of Analysis) to prove it!
Parade: If these products aren't safe or approved, how can they be sold and targeted to pregnant women?
Krystal: My advice to you is to not be sold by the boastful marketing or celebrity endorsements and keep it safe by keeping it simple. Eat a clean diet, full of organic produce, lean protein and healthy fats. Drink your yummy DIY detox water infused with something like pineapple ginger and basil and take a high-quality multi-vitamin so ensure you and your little one are getting the micro nutrients needed to thrive!
I hope you enjoyed the interview! I want to add that all of the high- quality nutraceuticals that I recommend and sell on my website are all GMP certified and backed by science. My promise to you is that I will continue to research and obsess over quality and always only recommend and endorse the best of the best!