Tea and coffee are the two most popular drinks in the world aside from plain water, and there’s plenty of research supporting the health benefits of both. One study found that green tea and coffee drinkers both had a 20 to 30 percent decreased chance of one type of stroke than non-drinkers. Another found that coffee and tea could contribute to a healthy liver and more research found the drinks could lower your risk of developing diabetes.
But which is the healthier choice for you? Is there greater benefit to drinking both on a regular basis? Or should you just stick with whichever your tastes prefer? The truth is, there are many health benefits to both, and as long as you’re drinking within moderation, either choice is a good one. We’ll look at the benefits and drawbacks of both drinks so you can determine with will be your champion.
Antioxidant-rich tea, like green tea and black tea, are both found to have effective anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a normal and protective response your body makes to an injury or infection. It signals the body to inactivate or destroy the problem. However, inflammation also leads to issues in the body, and these issues are commonly treated with anti-inflammatory drugs that have several negative effects of their own. Tea is a drug-free way to fight dangerous inflammation, but you should always consult with your doctor about what kind of treatment is best for you.
Green tea is also found to lower the risk of age-related cognitive declines and memory loss in humans. This research is significant as it is one of the first studies specifically examining the effects of drinking tea on the human brain instead of animal test subjects. Tea drinkers have also been found to have higher bone density and slower rates of bone loss. Overall, tea is often associated with anti-aging, so drinking tea as we grow older might have a slightly more beneficial effect over coffee.
But tea can stain your teeth, so keep that in mind and moderate your daily intake by drinking more water. Additionally, there is an antioxidant in tea that can actually interfere with your body’s ability to absorb plant-based iron. However, this seems to only happen if you are drinking tea while eating your meal. So if you are a vegetarian, vegan, or you depend on plant-based foods for all of your nutritional needs, it is best to drink you tea alone or with a small snack instead of with meals.
If you decide tea has the most beneficial factors for your needs, and you just love the taste, then you should keep a few things in mind:
- Avoid drinking tea with meals, especially if you don’t eat meat.
- Avoid adding sweetener to your tea. Try adding natural flavor or sweetening with fresh grated ginger, mint, or other herbs.
- Try tea in the various types, flavors, and preparation choices such as tea bags, loose-leaf tea, or as a powder such at kratom tea or matcha.
The alternative choice, coffee, is a favorite ritual among many. If you prefer the taste of coffee over tea, you may be very happy to learn the many health benefits it has to offer. Is coffee better than tea? That really depends on your physical and nutritional needs.
Coffee is also an excellent source of antioxidants and has been linked to significantly lowering the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
However, there are a few significant health risks to drinking coffee. Coffee is highly acidic and usually contains much higher caffeine levels than most tea varieties, so there may be some valid drawbacks to drinking coffee over tea. If you have stomach or digestive issues, or just a sensitive stomach, coffee might not be your favored drink of choice. Moreover, unfiltered coffee, like espresso, has been shown to raise cholesterol levels.
Again, choosing coffee or tea as your healthiest option will largely depend on your health needs. Heart disease causes one in four deaths of women in the U.S. and is often unrecognized as the huge risk it poses to both men’s and women’s health. If you suffer from symptoms that can contribute to heart disease, like high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you might want to avoid coffee.
In conclusion, there’s plenty of evidence supporting the benefits of both coffee and tea. But the healthier choice for you will depend on your health needs. If you’re looking for anti-aging benefits or if you suffer from loss in bone density, tea may be the healthier choice for you. If you’re at a high risk of developing diabetes or heart disease, consider coffee. As always, it’s best to consult with your doctor before making any major diet changes.
About the author
Brooke Faulkner is a mom and writer in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She loves researching the current state of medicine and sharing her findings with other families. You can find more of her writing on twitter or at contently.