Coffee or Tea: Which is Better for Me?

Which do you crave in the morning—a cup of java or a spot of tea? Popular belief labels tea as a health drink and coffee as bad. Not so! Mounting evidence suggests that both are good for you because they’re brimming with antioxidants.

Coffee or tea? There’s a growing body of research to suggest that both are probably good for you.

Most people cannot function without either their morning cup of coffee or tea. While, it’s mostly the caffeine that gets people going, a side benefit from drinking these beverages is that you may be boosting your immune system and helping to fight disease.

In a report last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. A team of Japanese researchers was able to link green-tea consumption with decreased mortality from all causes–including cardiovascular disease.

What’s sweet about tea?
Tea leaves come from an evergreen plant called Camellia sinensis. The way the leaves are processed determines if they become black or green tea. All teas contain a group of antioxidants called flavonoids.

Which diseases does tea fight?
Laboratory studies using tea and tea extracts on rats, mice, and human cells show promising results. They suggest that tea may reduce cholesterol levels, help prevent blood clotting, lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and even fight inflammation, cancer, and seasonal allergies.

Studies of tea-drinking humans suggest these possible health benefits:
* Black and green tea may lower risk for ovarian cancer.
* Green tea may reduce breast cancer risk.
* Green tea may decrease death rates from heart disease.

What’s the scoop on coffee?
In the U.S., coffee is king of beverages—millions start the day with the aromatic brew. Researchers named coffee as the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet, partly because of the volume we consume. Black tea ranked second.

Coffee contains antioxidants such as quinines and chlorogenic acid. It also contains trigonelline, an anti-bacterial compound that contributes to coffee’s delicious aroma.

Which diseases can coffee fight?
Research suggests coffee may lower the risk of liver cancer, colon cancer, Parkinson’s disease, type II diabetes, and gout.

The men who consumed coffee had significantly less cognitive impairment than those who didn’t. Three cups a day seemed to provide maximum protection.

Chemists in Japan have found that brown seaweed, widely used in Asian cuisine, contains a compound, fucoxanthin, that may promote weight loss.

When it comes to the question of how much coffee or tea you need to benefit the answers can be a bit confusing. While most everyone agrees that the caffeinated should only be taken in small amounts (no more than 3 cups of coffee a day) to avoid the addictive qualities of the caffeine, it’s a bit more vague on how much tea is recommended. Some say 10 cups a day, others say you can experience the benefits with 3 cups a day.