Over the years, I’ve read articles on coffee and tea lauding each for their health benefits, and then on the next page found a study where both were vilified as unhealthy. So, are coffee and tea unhealthy or healthy, which is it?
Do Coffee and Tea Cause Cancer?
Do coffee and tea cause cancer? There is no definitive proof that either coffee or tea cause cancer. It may be the opposite. The WHO (World Health Organization) has taken coffee off its list of possible carcinogens. To the contrary, recent studies indicate coffee may help reduce the risk of colon cancer. Tea has been shown to lower the chance of skin and breast cancer.
Caffeine and Antioxidants
An eight-ounce cup of coffee contains 100 – 150 mg of caffeine while the same size cup of green tea has 30 — 50 mg. The antioxidants in caffeine can limit cell damage and boost the immune system.
Your Brain on Caffeine
More than 400 mg of coffee in a 24-hour period may cause jitteriness, clouded thinking, and insomnia. However, every metabolism is different. For example, I consume 600 to 800 mg of caffeine daily without experiencing any of the above.
EGCG, Green Tea, and Your Brain
“Tea is rich in polyphenols that have effects like reducing inflammation and helping to fight cancer. Green tea is about 30 percent polyphenols by weight, including large amounts of a catechin called EGCG. Catechins are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and provide other benefits.” — 10 Benefits of Green Tea.
EGCG reduces plaque buildup in the brain which may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and has been shown to improve Parkinson’s disease.
Coffee and tea both contain polyphenols, a type of antioxidant, which naturally occurs in plants. Antioxidants have exhibited the potential to help with type II diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, by lowering blood pressure and reducing bad cholesterol levels.
Coffee, Tea, and Asthma
I’ve lived with asthma my entire life. Without any scientific proof, I know that coffee helps my asthma. Sometimes when I feel an impending asthma attack, a cup of coffee is enough to stave it off. It works.
“Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, cola drinks, and cocoa. Caffeine is a drug that is very similar to theophylline. Theophylline is a bronchodilator drug that is taken to open up the airways in the lungs and therefore relieves the symptoms of asthma, such as wheezing, coughing and breathlessness.” — The National Library of Medicine
Are Coffee and Tea Unhealthy?
So, are coffee and tea unhealthy or healthy? The answer is, the health benefits far outweigh any risk. However, like most things, the effects on individuals should be monitored. It might be that the 600 to 800 mg of caffeine that I consume daily would cause adverse reactions in others. So, the amount of coffee or tea that is beneficial depends on the individual.
So, what do you think? Are you a coffee or tea drinker? Do you believe they’re healthy or unhealthy for you?
Many of the facts shared in the post were gleaned from WebMD, Coffee vs. Tea is one better for your health?
Photo Credit: Unsplash photos — Photographer rebekah baines