I was delighted to see the report in the New York Daily News that the National Osteoporosis Foundation has finally debunked the myth that caffeine causes low bone density.

“There has also been talk that caffeine contributes to the development of osteoporosis.  Another myth, says the National Osteoporosis Foundation.  Although caffeine can interfere somewhat with the absorption of calcium, this is easily offset by raising your calcium intake.  An additional problem with adolescents is that so many of them drink soda (often caffeinated) instead of milk, and so don’t get enough calcium in the first place.”

Too bad they didn’t go far enough in explaining the link between soda and osteoporosis.  It’s not the caffeine in sodas that is depleting our bones.  It’s the phosphates that are the culprit.  They leach out calcium from the body.  The dairy industry tells us that by drinking soda instead of milk, our teens are not building sufficient bone during their bone-building years.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Cow’s milk is actually difficult to digest and essentially generates mucus in the body, which can compromise absorption of nutrients like calcium.  Once we reach the age of 5, cow’s milk is unsuitable for providing optimal nutrition.

When we’re looking at caffeine and tea, we know that the amount of caffeine in tea is considerably lower than the amount found in coffee.  The FDA has determined that 200 mg of caffeine daily is not detrimental to one’s health.  If one were drinking green or white tea, and re-steeping the leaves through the day, it would be quite difficult to come close to the 200 mg limit.  So enjoy your tea.  Herbals traditionally have NO caffeine so you’re not adding any to the mix.  With the cold winters that have set in throughout the country, hot tea is a treat for everyone.  When you consider the polyphenol hit that tea supplies, it’s an inexpensive health-promoting beverage for the whole family.  What could be better when the stress of the failing financial markets, coupled with employment uncertainties, creep into your consciousness…drink up, drink deep, and drink often.

Here’s my prescription for your health: Take a deep breath as you wait for the water to heat up.  You are surrounded by nature and her endless beauty if you take the time to see it.  You are alive.  Despite the uncertainty of our troubled times, we know one thing for sure: This too shall pass.  Imagine the warm liquid that you’re soon to drink imparting healing nutrients throughout your body.  Smile.  You have a lot to be grateful for.  Repeat 3-6 times daily.