By: Crystal Fernandez
The debate ends here! It turns out both delicious beverages have their pros and cons, but is it true than one is better for your health than the other?
Being a coffee lover myself I was a little skeptical when doing my research for this article. However, what I have discovered might finally answer the golden question: “Which one is better, tea or coffee?”
First, it needs to be understood that tea and coffee could not be more different. Tea is made with dried leaves, buds, and twigs of the camellia sinensis plant. Coffee, on the other hand, is made from a roasted seed that comes from coffee berries, which are picked from coffee trees. It is impossible for both tea and coffee to be so closely compared given that their origins are so far apart.
Coffee has been linked to a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, gallstones and type 2 diabetes. However, Tea doesn’t fall far behind when it comes to health benefits. Studies show that the polyphenol in green tea has antioxidant properties that can help prevent cancer, and increase endurance in exercise by improving fat metabolism. So, which one would be the better daily option?
Every morning more than half of Americans reach for their cup of coffee. This is mostly because they need it to fight the morning trudge with caffeine, which stimulates the central nervous system. Coffee also increases life expectancy and helps fight age related brain problems. When you grab that cup of “Joe” every morning, you might be helping your body tremendously. But what many of us are unaware of is that there are many side effects that come along with consuming coffee. According to Reader’s Digest, large consumptions of coffee can cause nervousness, jitters and a racing heartbeat. It can also cause heartburn.
- A lovely liver: It seems that the more coffee people drink, the lower their incidence of cirrhosis and other liver diseases.
- Brain Food: People who drink between one and five cups daily may reduce their risk of Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
- Happy Heart: Some studies show that people who drink one to three cups a day have lower rates of stroke than non-coffee drinkers. Coffee’s antioxidants may help quell inflammation’s damaging effects on arteries.
- Reducing risks of Diabetes: Studies link frequent coffee consumption with a lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Scientists suspect that antioxidant compounds in coffee may boost cell sensitivity to insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar.
- Cures a crazy migraine: Coffee is the quickest way to cure a terrible headache. Migraines are usually caused by swollen blood vessels. Coffee constricts the blood vessels, which can decrease pain.
- Increases risk of Osteoporosis: There has been concern about coffee’s impact on bone strength because coffee can impair absorption of calcium from the digestive tract.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Coffee serves as an environmental stimuli which can act as a trigger for people who are genetically predisposed to rheumatoid arthritis.
- Insomnia: Sure, coffee wakes us up in the morning, but how does the caffeine affect us in the long run? The consumption of coffee and the caffeine that is found in it also raises the heart beat. According to Sensely.com, this causes problems with sleep as well as anxiety which may eventually lead to insomnia.
Every year the tea sales surpass coffee sales by a landslide for a variety of reasons. Tea contains vitamin C which helps to treat the flu and the common cold. Polyphenols may also help reduce plaque and lower your chances of cavity and gum disease. Like coffee, tea also has a disadvantage. Most tea does contain a lot of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant. It is addictive and it is the most commonly used mood-altering drug in the world. It is armed with many side effects including muscle tremor, headaches and anxiety.
- Helps build a stronger immune system: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, 250 to 500 mg of green tea per day can help your immune activity and also help treat many infections.
- Healthy diet: Tea promotes weight loss, younger looking skin, lower cholesterol, and blood pressure.
- Reduce risk of cancer: Tea can also help reduce the risk of heart disease and developing certain cancers.
- Too much caffeine: Tea contains a large amount of caffeine. Caffeine affects the body’s ability to rest and sleep. It can also lead to fatigue and anxiety.
- Increases risk of esophageal cancer: According to the study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers found a strong link between the temperature at which people preferred their tea and the likelihood that they developed cancer. Most of us drink our tea hot, which can really hurt our insides.
- Pesky pesticides: Some tea may contain pesticides, depending on where it came from. There is evidence of measurable pesticide residues in tea available to consumers all around the world. Chronic exposure to pesticides can also lead to neurological damage.
Now that you know a little bit about tea and coffee, compare each benefit and disadvantage for yourself. Is there a clear winner? Each choice offers pros and cons. Select your tea or coffee with this knowledge in mind and remember that moderation is key.
Crystal Fernandez is a health and food columnist for FIUSM, catch Healthy, Happy, Humble every week on FIUSM.com