I love both coffee and tea. Coffee is my “let’s get out of bed in the morning” drink, and tea is my “let’s relax before bed” drink. Both have similarities and differences, both taste good (at least in my opinion). They both have their purposes in my life, but that doesn’t mean they are created equal… does it? More than one medical professional has suggested that I switch to decaf coffee, though no one has recommended cutting back on tea (black or herbal). I wanted to do some further exploration on both, before deciding if I should give one up, or cut back on one, or leave my lifestyle the way it is. Let’s start with…
Image from: http://www.amyvansant.com/tea-vs-coffee/
Though my research of the health benefits of coffee (yay, health benefits!) I found a lot of similar evidence for certain things, and other sources adding a few others. Here are the consistencies that I was able to find:
- Reduces the risk of Type II Diabetes
- Reduces the risk of Parkinson’s Disease
- Reduces the risk of liver disease
- Reduces the risk of stroke
- Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
- Reduces the risk of certain types of cancer
- Reduces depression
There has also been recent reports that coffee drinkers live longer. I’ve seen these floating around Facebook, as well as some other sources online. Not sure if it’s true, but if it is, I guess that’s good news for me. Coffee is also a good source of antioxidants, but as with anything, moderation rules the nation, and we probably shouldn’t overindulge just to get them.
So if those are the benefits, what are the detriments? As any good journalist or documentarian knows, we need to look at both sides of the equation.
- Increases anxiety
- Negative effect on inflammatory bowel disease
- Causes insomnia
- Causes heart burn and acid reflux
- Can be detrimental to those already suffering from Type II Diabetes and heart disease
My overall findings on coffee? I repeat my family’s motto: MODERATION RULES THE NATION!
My current favorite coffee mug.
So then, what about tea?
It’s fairly common knowledge that tea has a lot of health benefits, which is only one of the reasons I love it (it also tastes good and is relaxing to drink). Here are a few of the benefits I could find:
- Contains antioxidants
- Reduces risk of heart attack and stroke
- Boosts the immune system
- Helps with weight loss
- Battles cancer
- Soothes the digestive system
- Reduces risk of Parkinson’s Disease
- Reduces risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
- Green tea helps Diabetics process sugars
What I noticed was that tea and coffee share a lot of similar benefits. Tea, happens to have a few different ones as well. So what about the detriments of tea? (Personally I had never heard of such a thing, but that’s what research is for!)
- Causes anxiety
- Causes insomnia
- Increases risk of stomach ulcers
- Prevents iron absorption
Image from: http://www.hindmadetree.com/products/hindmade-tea
All in all, there are huge advantages, and disadvantages to drinking coffee and tea. So, what’s better for me while fighting chronic pain? I’m not sure this is a question I was able to answer. They both can cause stomach issues, and aren’t good for anxiety. But they do help against things like depression, and they boost the immune system (coffee and tea respectively). I think I’m going to stick to where I’m at. A little bit of coffee in the morning, and a little bit of tea at night!