The debate between the benefits of tea and coffee, and which one is better for our health, is an age-old one, and also never-ending. Both tea and coffee exhibit certain health benefits and both have their own downsides too. Both are rich in antioxidants, which help to fight the free radicals and thus protect us against the risk of cancer. Many people believe tea to be a better alternative than coffee as it offers more benefits with fewer side effects. However, the truth is there is not a clear standout. Both of them have a long list of pros and cons. Let us now see the reasons to choose one over the other, and also how to make the best of these favourite beverages.
Tea definitely offers a long list of benefits. The antioxidants in tea fight inflammation. Tea drinkers have a lower risk of heart diseases and stroke. Tea is also known to enhance brain health. A study shows that drinking more tea also reduces age-related memory loss. The bone density of regular tea drinkers is observed to be higher with slower bone loss rate. Tea is also associated with anti-aging. But it has its own cons too. The first one is the stained teeth. Purely cosmetic, but still no one wants stained teeth. Another serious issue with drinking tea is the impact on iron levels. In a 1982 study, drinking tea with a meal reduced the iron absorption by 62 percent. The important tip about preparing tea is to avoid adding sweeteners or at least limit them. Fruit juice could be used for sweetening. Natural seasonings like ginger and mint can be used to add flavours. These boost antioxidant potency.
Coffee is a major favourite beverage amongst the masses of the world. A Harvard study found out that those who drink 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day were less likely to die prematurely of some diseases than those who consume no coffee at all. Coffee is also a rich source of antioxidants. The regular use of coffee has been linked with the protection against type 2 diabetes. The other health benefits provided by drinking coffee include protection from liver cancer, liver diseases, Parkinson’s disease, and promoting a healthy heart. But, the natural materials found in unfiltered coffee are responsible to raise cholesterol levels, although not to an alarming level. Coffee is more acidic than tea and creates stomach and digestive issues. The higher caffeine content in coffee than tea is also a downside for coffee. People with high blood pressure should limit the use of coffee as it may cause a short but dramatic spike in blood pressure. Coffee, being diuretic, flushes the water out of the body. If you are not a regular user and have it in larger than the usual amount, you can be left dehydrated. Fancy coffees prepared with creams and syrups can add more calories than required. Use plant-based milk and no added sugar (or, just the minimal amount).
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