The Health Benefits of Coffee v. Tea

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What’s your preferred brew?

It can be the kind of question that divides a room. The kind of question that makes you question who you really are. The kind of question that, when people answer, makes you wonder whether you ever really knew them at all.

Are you more of a coffee or a tea drinker?

Of course there are also people who like both equally…

But now the New Year is here and we’re all turning over a healthy new leaf (as per in January), it’s not just a case of what you like; we also have to consider what our bodies like. So here it is, laid out nice and clearly, three excellent reasons to treat yourself to whichever hot beverage your heart desires:

The top 3 health benefits of drinking coffee.

1. Coffee may help protect against type 2 diabetes. In 2014 The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) gathered data from questionnaires completed every 4 years. The data established that participants who increased their coffee intake by more than one cup per day (1.69 cups on average) over a 4-year period had an 11% lower type 2 diabetes risk.

As Dr. Simin Liu – one of the authors of the study – put it, there’s an “inverse association” between coffee consumption and risk for type 2 diabetes.

2. Coffee could lower your risk of liver disease and some forms of cancer. This is according to The British Medical Journal, which also reported that you have less chance of dying from a stroke if you drink coffee in moderation, though researchers could not prove coffee was the direct cause when the study was conducted.

It’s also important to point out that pregnant women should consume no more than 200mg of caffeine a day, though of course they can always switch to decaffeinated if they find they’re missing the flavour of really good coffee.

3. Coffee could reduce your risk of getting heart problems. When University of Southampton researchers collected data on the impact of coffee on all aspects of the human body they found that, compared with non-coffee drinkers, those who drank about three cups of coffee a day appeared to be at lower risk when it came to heart problems.

Prof Paul Roderick, from the faculty of medicine at the University of Southampton said “There is a balance of risks in life, and the benefits of moderate consumption of coffee seem to outweigh the risks.”.

The top 3 health benefits of drinking tea.

1. Tea may help to prevent some types of cancer. Though research is in its infancy, results seem to suggest that the antioxidants in tea, including polyphenols and catechins, may help prevent some specific cancers. For example, early studies show that women who regularly drink black tea have a much lower risk of ovarian cancer than women who don’t (though more research is needed to confirm this).

Claire Williamson of the British Nutrition Foundation said: “[…] more studies need to be done. But there are definite potential health benefits from the polyphenols in terms of reducing the risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancers.”

2. Tea could help cut your chances of having a heart attack. Public health nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton, and her colleagues at King’s College London, have found clear evidence to suggest that drinking three to four cups of tea a day can reduce the risk of suffering from a heart attack. They also came across other health benefits, including protection against tooth plaque and the strengthening of bones.

As Dr Ruxton said: “Drinking tea is actually better for you than drinking water. Water is essentially replacing fluid. Tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so it’s got two things going for it.”

3. Herbal teas offer a range of health benefits. Susan Curtis, a homeopath for Neals Yard Remedies, suggests that herbal teas containing real herbs “make effective remedies if drunk at least three to four times a day”, going on to advise that “the best quality herbal teas tend to be organic.”

To give you a few examples; Ginger’s warming effects are said to relieve rheumatic aches and pains, by widening the blood vessels and stimulating circulation. Peppermint is renowned for settling the stomach, since it stimulates bile production in the gall bladder, thus breaking down fat in the digestive system. And green tea is high in antioxidants, compounds produced in the body that protect the cells from damage from things like pollutants.


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