I used to be a big fan of coffee. But when I started to have palpitations after a cup or two, I decided to switch to tea. Green Tea in particular. I love to drink it hot with no additives like lemon or honey. There are a lot of green tea products in the supermarket but you have to be careful with what you are buying to make sure that you are getting safe and the healthiest products in the market.

Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when you are buying green tea:

1. Read Ingredient labels— Always read the ingredient labels to avoid genetically modified organisms or GMOs. The most popular ingredients made by GMOs are soy lecithin and corn starch. Other ingredients you want to avoid are natural colors and artificial flavorings. The word natural might sound safe because it makes you think it’s an ingredient that can easily be found in nature and isn’t modified. This isn’t the case though in fact a “natural” ingredient is only derived from natural sources that are modified or enhanced and then added back into a food or drink.

2. Pick Organic— The reason why you want to pick an organic green tea is because non organic tea is made from synthetic fertilizers, and full of herbicides and pesticides. Pesticides are extremely dangerous for the body because it causes a boat load of health problems such as birth defects. The pesticides also decrease the quality of the tea because it is designed to produce more tea than what would natural grow. This means when you pick organic the tea will probably taste better.

3. Avoid bottled or sweetened green teas — This rules goes back to the first one. Most of the already brewed bottled teas are full of ingredients that you should not be digesting. This includes GMOs, artificial flavorings and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. Aspartame is said to increase the risk of cancer and cause obesity. Not only that, these bottled teas will be higher in unneeded calories.

4. Pay special attention to packaging — When buying a Green Tea is important to look at the packaging. In fact, it’s better to avoid packaging all together and brew teas using toxic-free tea makers. Tea bags are either made from paper or plastic and those have a lot of chemicals. When adding these tea bags to a pot of boiling water, these chemicals are then leaked throughout your tea.

5. Choose loose leaf green tea — The best option is to buy loose leaf green tea. Loose leaf green tea produces the highest amount of antioxidants compared to other packaged teas. Loose leaf green tea also produces the highest quality of flavors and you will avoid added ingredients.

In the end, you want to be able to reap all the benefits of green tea. The high antioxidants in green tea fights off bacteria, increases the immune system, lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and so much more! Don’t ruin this by buying non organic teas that are ridden with pesticides, GMOs and artificial sweeteners.