Today, there is much debate as to what is healthy to drink. With all the sugars, additives, caffeine, and other ingredients, it really is hard to say what is and what is not. A top debate is whether coffee is better than tea, or tea better than coffee. There will always be the avid coffee drinkers or, as I like to call myself, tea junkies. But I can tell personally that I will always prefer a good cup of tea to a cup of joe.
With coffee, it is said to have many health benefits such as helping prevent type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart attack and disease, and even stroke. With the prevention of type 2 diabetes, you have to put into consideration the amount required to drink in order for this to be effective, for the younger generation, seven or eight cups of coffee is just not reasonable. It is said in order for the process to be a significant preventive measure, the person must drink seven or more cups of coffee a day, which only produced 35% of people to be placed in lower risk(WebMD,2011). If I personally were to drink seven or more cups of coffee, I would be bouncing off the walls! I already have sleep issues, one cup of coffee is bad enough, and the bathroom breaks? Oh geeze, I can only imagine. The reason why this helps with the prevention, is that there is antioxidants in the coffee known as oxygen free radicals, and other minerals such as magnesium and chromium that also help the body with insulin, which in turn controls your glucose (WebMD,2011).
With the assistance of type 2 diabetes “coffee prevention”, It also can assist with risk factors of heart attacks and strokes. Diabetes creates a larger risk to heart disease or stroke, so in preventing type 2 diabetes, you can also prevent a heart attack, disease, or stroke! SWEET! But what about the cancer claim? There is no solid research that coffee prevents cancer, but there is evidence that it helps with liver cancer, although it is yet to be a proven study.
Now for the big kahuna, weight loss. Everyone in one way or another, looking to either lose weight, or keep weight gain at bay, but when they say that coffee can assist with weight loss due to a low calorie count, they forgot to mention that it’s black coffee, not the “good” kind as I like to put it with all the bells and whistles of cream, sugar, ice, flavor additives, etc. So that double mocha latte with skim milk and extra foam that was under the assumption of being extremely healthy? It truly is not. And put into the consideration of the diabetes prevention, seven or more of those would seriously have your hands shaking, sleep will honestly not be an option, and I can only imagine the hole burned through my wallet. So unless you like black coffee with no additives (which some do), there goes the low-cal drink.
But, along with those benefits are those disadvantages of coffee that in return could be harmful. With the caffeine in coffee it is a psychoactive stimulant drug, this affects the central nervous system that results in mood changes and behavioral changes, and for those that are unable to handle it, it can in turn cause anxiety and a fast cardiac rhythm. Coffee can also cause addiction, where coffee –addicts have a hard time stopping their habit due to the energy they feel they are receiving.
Here’s the kicker, with all the sugar, milks, creams etc. This can in turn increase the cholesterol level if taken in excessive amounts, which tends to be the case with avid coffee drinkers. Now with that added cholesterol, there is the heightened risk of diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Now wait, didn’t they say that excessive amounts help with all these issues? Oh wait, only without the good stuff.
Now what about tea? Well, tea can be somewhat plain sometimes, sometimes have a strange odor, and even bland. But that’s just the basic tea. There are so many different types, such as black, red, white, and green tea, oolong, China, Japan, flavored (many different flavors!), the list goes on! But what about the benefits of tea?
Tea contains antioxidants that can help slow down the aging process (which I know I want to do!) and helps cells regenerate and repair themselves. There is also a study stating that it may help our bodies to prevent cancer. Black tea can help reduce the effects of stressful events by lowering the amounts of stress hormones in the body(eatandrinkbetter.com,2009). And what about those horrid cavities and plaque? To prevent cavities and plaque, drink a cup of tea! Compounds in tea are actually capable of killing or suppressing growth and acid production of cavity causing bacteria in your mouth, which in turn means less dental work! And let’s be serious, no one likes to visit the dentist… unless you are a dentist…
And let’s get back to the weight loss factor, There is a suggestion currently being studied stating that tea can increase endurance in exercise by improving fat metabolism, and also it boosts immune systems. There is of course the claim that green and black tea could help prevent diabetes and cancer, but this is still being researched, along with the prevention of stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, and antidepressant properties.
It is also said that drinking black tea after a stressful event, could actually lead to a lowering of levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. And of course most avid tea drinkers are aware of the “sleepy time” tea, the tea that sooths your mind and helps you sleep, I use this tea in particular regularly, or anything with mint or chamomile in it, always calms me down and helps me sleep.
There are also studies checking on the melanin extracted from black tea, as it has been reported as having a possible life saving effect on the treatment against snakebites. Sweet!
Back to the weight loss point, Green tea and it’s extract have been shown to help with weight loss and lower cholesterol, which in turn helps with the prevention of diabetes and heart disease.
Of course there are always a few bad eggs in great things, such as caffeine once again, but in order to avoid the caffeine, there are many different de-caff teas, thus giving many different ways to avoid the negative effects of caffeine. But I will say, the good outweigh the bad in the world of coffee versus tea. And there is way more benefits than I can name in this post for tea versus coffee, so the research is also in your hands if you are interested in knowing any other health benefits to either of these two drinks.
It is hard to tell someone what they like or do not like as it’s based completely off of personal preference, but I will say that ever since I was little I have been a tea drinker. Of course every now and then I’ll take a cup of coffee over a cup of tea, but I personally love the options of different flavors, the weight loss factors of green tea, the natural sleep aide, and of course, the pick me up after a stressful situation.
So which do you prefer? Coffee, or tea?