The Advantages (+ Disadvantages) of Coffee & Tea!

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Coffee or tea? A predicament that many of us face when filling up our mugs in the break room. Being that most of us rely on these caffeinated beverages to push us through the day, we think it’s probably worth knowing just how healthy coffee and tea really are…

COFFEE

“There is certainly much more good news than bad news, in terms of coffee and health,” says Frank Hu, MD, MPH, PhD, nutrition and epidemiology professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Here’s the good news about coffee:

Prevents Type 2 Diabetes: In type 2 diabetes, the body struggles to use insulin & regulate blood sugar effectively. Coffee contains minerals, such as magnesium & chromium, which helps the body better control blood sugar (glucose).

Counters Heart Attacks + Stroke: Those who drink 1-3 cups of coffee per day are 20% less likely to be hospitalized for abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) than nondrinkers. Also, in 2009, a long-term Nurses’ Health Study reported a 20% lower risk of stroke in those who drank two or more cups of coffee daily, compared to women who drank less coffee or none at all.

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Relieves Stress: Apparently, coffee drinkers experience a reduction of emotional and physical stress. Published in 2006, the “International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics” reported that cortisol levels in pregnant women were significantly reduced after coffee intake.

…And the bad news:

Coffee is not the best of drinks for dieters. After sprucing your cup up with all of its yummy fixings, from extra sugar packets to plops of seasonal creamers, you’ve made yourself a calorie bomb.

Also, it’s worth noting that coffee is a mild diuretic, which means that it’ll make ya dash to the bathroom more than you would without it…

TEA

Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, next to water, as approximately half of the American population drinks tea on a daily basis, says The Tea Association of the USA (a report from an association that might be wee-bit biased).

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Whether or not tea is actually that popular amongst us Americans, I found close to a zillion benefits backing up the benefits of drinking tea. Instead of explaining them all, which would take a bunch of time, I decided to list them & provide links to their scientific findings:

-Black tea reduces stress

-Green tea positively affects the tissues in your eyes

-Helps you maintain a healthy weight

-Black tea lowers stoysolic blood pressure

-Green tea helps prevent the intake of UV rays (backup sunscreen!)

-Counters the negative effects of smoking

Helps diabetics process sugar

Lowers risk of Parkinson’s disease in both men and women

-Aaaaand so on. To learn more about the benefits of drinking tea, check out this TIME magazine article.

…The bad news about tea? There’s not much in the way of bad news when it comes to tea. However, beware of herbal teas, which are not “real” teas (real teas are green, white, oolong, pu-erh + black tea) and don’t guarantee the same amazing benefits as those listed above. Additionally, for those who are particularly wary of pesticides, you should probably refrain from sipping herbal teas by Celestial Seasonings. Ninety-one percent of the teas from this brand were found to have pesticide residues that exceeded pesticide tolerances, or limits, in the U.S. Most of their teas were not washed before being placed in the tea bags, putting tea drinkers at risk of being exposed to cancer-causing pesticides.

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So, what’s the takeaway here? Sip up! Tea and coffee are, for the most part, A-OK for you. Don’t overdo your coffee intake and don’t overestimate the positive benefits of herbal teas.

……………Aaaand BLAM! Let the caffeine buzz ensue.