Coffee or tea? Which popular beverage comes out the winner when it comes to health benefits? Read on and find out…
Coffee and tea have been popular beverages for hundreds of years. According to the National Coffee Association, USA, the Arabs were the first to cultivate and begin the coffee trade.
As for tea, you may already know that it is believed to come from China where it was used as a medicinal drink in ancient times. Portuguese priests and merchants who arrived in China were introduced to tea and so were the British, in the 16th century. This was how tea became popular among the Europeans and other parts of the world.
Today, tea and coffee are universal drinks loved by many and both offer an array of benefits.
In your cup of coffee
Ever wondered if drinking all that coffee brings any benefit to your health? Well, if you’re a coffee lover, medical researchers may have some good news for you!
Lowers T2DM risk
Various medical studies have been conducted to discover the positive link between diabetes and drinking coffee and the results are promising. According to WebMD, studies have found that people who drank about six to seven cups of coffee everyday, were 35 percent less likely to have Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) compared to those who drank less than two cups daily. Coffee contains minerals such as magnesium and chromium which help the body to use insulin and regulate blood sugar levels.
Helps brain function
The consumption of coffee has been associated with a decreased risk of Parkinson’s. However, the exact reason remains unknown. A study conducted in 2009 on 1,400 people revealed that participants who drank three to five cups of coffee each day were 65 percent less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s diseases compared to those who do not or rarely drink coffee.
The big C
Some studies have shown that there may be a positive link between the consumption of coffee and cancer prevention. Some studies have found that coffee may decrease your risk of liver cancer in particular. Liver scarring, which is a possible cause for liver diseases, may also be decreased among those who consume coffee. However, further research is still needed to determine the precise cause of this effect.
In your cup of tea
Tea on the other hand, has been long known as a drink that can promote good health. The benefits of coffee are universal and not related to a specific variety of coffee but with tea, health benefits are very much tied to the type of tea you drink.
Green tea is famous for its health benefits as it contains high amounts of antioxidants. It has been used for centuries as a remedy for depression and headaches. Various studies have been conducted to uncover the long list of health benefits that can be gained by drinking green tea. According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, green tea has the power to lower your blood pressure. Another study conducted on 18 adults found that green tea is capable of reducing stress levels as well.
Black tea contains the highest amount of caffeine among all teas. Teas such as Earl Grey and Morning Breakfast are some examples of black tea. Some studies have discovered that the health benefits of black tea include reducing your risk of stroke and T2DM. It is believed that black tea can reduce the risk of stroke, cholesterol levels and even reduce neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
White tea has the same amount of antioxidants as green tea. White tea is believed to help with obesity and the high level of antioxidants may also help to reduce your risk of cancer as well. Antioxidants in white tea also combat free radicals which cause premature ageing. Hence, white tea may help to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin.
Be it tea or coffee, these beverages are relatively good for your health when taken in moderation. They are also low in calories when you have them without any milk or sugar. There is no limitation when it comes to tea consumption for an individual and according to Harvard University, there is no specific amount for coffee either.
More importantly, you should understand your body and read its signs. If you’re unable to sleep at night or feel uncomfortable, this may be a sign that you’re drinking too much coffee or tea. Speak to a healthcare professional if you’re uncertain about the amount of coffee or tea you should consume.
Coffee and tea have their disadvantages as well:
- Causes tooth discoloration
- When taken excessively, may keep you awake at night
- May adversely interact with medication or supplements
- Bottled tea and coffee often contain a high amount of sugar and calories
Kaldi and the Lively Goats
Legend has it that a goat herd named Kaldi, realised that his goats became extremely lively and didn’t want to sleep at night after eating berries from a tree. He then reported what he discovered to a monastery. The monks at the monastery then used the berries and turned it into a drink which helped them stay awake during long hours of prayer. The berries’ reputation for keeping people awake, began to spread from east to west. Now, people from around the globe enjoy this ‘berry drink’ known as coffee.