Some people might argue that there are two types of people in the world- tea drinkers and coffee drinkers. No matter how you choose to get your caffeine fix, both options are hiding a few surprising health benefits. In a recent article Thrive Mondays: Tea Time by Elizabeth Jarrard RD, she points out a few benefits of drinking tea over coffee. So before you put that teakettle on the burner, or switch on your coffee pot, take a minute to learn more about the tasty liquid sitting in the bottom of your favorite mug.
The Hidden Heath Benefits of Tea
Antioxidant Super Powers
Antioxidants are the small, but powerful disease-fighting compounds that strengthen our immune systems, and prevent illness. The more better-known sources of antioxidants include fruits, dark leafy greens, and legumes. However, some black and green teas are estimated to contain almost 10 times the amount of antioxidants as fruits and vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, fruits and veggie still play a very important role in your diet, but a cup of tea can be just the thing to give you that extra cold-fighting boost.
Green tea and weight loss
Chances are you’ve heard about green tea and its superpower. Repeated research has shown that the catechins found in green tea may trigger weight loss by significantly increasing metabolism and calorie burning, while also fighting body fat accumulation. Study after study has shown evidence that green tea catechins can not only help you drop some pounds, but they also work to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels with regular consumption.
The Hidden Health Benefits of Coffee
The research is in, and the results may surprise you. Individuals who drink 1 to 3 cups of coffee per day may be at a decreased risk for developing diabetes. The secret ingredients in coffee thought to be responsible for this phenomenon are the caffeine and a chemical called quinine. It’s thought that these compounds interact with the insulin in your body, but the exact mechanism is still not quiet yet known.
The antioxidants in coffee work to protect us from disease in exactly the same way as tea. However, the popularity and wide consumption of coffee makes it the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet.
The benefits of regular coffee consumption goes on and on, but there are a few negative outcomes that you should also be aware of.
Black coffee contains zero calories, but as soon as you add the flavored creams or sugar you may be adding more calories to your diet than you realize. A medium-sized blended coffee or espresso drink can easily contain between 400-500 calories. If you must have your favorite specialty coffee, make sure you are accounting for the extra calories by eliminating a snack or dessert later in the day or by flavoring your coffee with a little fat-free milk and a natural, low-to-zero calorie sweetener.
If you are sipping on coffee consistently throughout the day without frequent teeth brushing, you might start to notice teeth staining. Don’t be afraid to talk to your dentist about finding a whitening toothpaste or mouthwash recommended to keep your smile looking shiny and bright.
So keep warm these last few months of winter with some coffee or tea, and remember these tasty benefits as you sip-sip-away!
Don’t (White) Sugar-Coat It is a blog written and maintained by Elizabeth Jarrard, RD. Elizabeth is one of Around the Plate’s Nutrition Experts and is a member of thePlate Community. As a Nutrition Expert, Elizabeth makes eating healthy simple. Find other healthy eating champions, nutrition experts, and recipe gurus on our community blog network.