People generally prefer one over the other due to presumed benefits. All for the sake of feeling good about drinking either coffee or tea. Although, I know all the health benefits and side effects associated with both, I still feel a certain pleasure in drinking coffee. However, let’s not get in to the debate of which one is cooler to have; coffee or tea. Of course, coffee adds to style.
Both coffee and tea have one component common between them, which is caffeine.
Researchers have found recently many benefits of caffeine
Alerts the nervous system of body by meddling with Adenosine. Adenosine is the compound which induces sleep and sluggishness in body.
Acts as an analgesic, relaxing muscles and if used before work out helps to prevent muscles from souring.
Contains anti-oxidants which help in picking up free radicals which are a byproduct of oxidation of food. These free radicals can damage our body cells severely and can be a reason for various types of cancers.
One of the reasons of bowel/colon cancer is the retention of waste food for longer time periods. This waste food contains compounds from bile which are direct source of cancer. Caffeine prevents specifically bowel/colon cancer by increasing the movement of waste food in the colon.
Helps in controlling asthma attacks. Caffeine is a bronchodilator, means it can relax the respiratory tract to insure smooth breathing. Just for an insight; people who have had any experience with asthma must know about Theophylline and Theobromine. These are common drugs which have similar composition as caffeine. Two cups of a normal coffee will do the same as one pill of Theophylline.
Helps in reducing headache by relaxing blood vessels in head region.
Helps in enhancing short term memory, cognitive and logical reasoning capability of brain.
So these are the few common good points of coffee and tea. But the question is the amount of caffeine found in both. A study by International Coffee Organization revealed that coffee has four times more anti-oxidants than tea, only because it contains more caffeine.
Now that we have discussed about caffeine, lets move on to the other components found in coffee which are nutritional blessings from heaven.
A moderate intake of coffee reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes mellitus Type 2 is caused by relative deficiency of insulin. Chlorogenic acids found in coffee slow down the action of the enzymes involved in the formation of glucose and this procedure is used in controlling high glucose levels in conventional medicines as well.
This disease has been studied to be reduced, and in some cases ceased, to occur due to a property of caffeine. It blocks adenosine A2A and triggers the D2 receptors which help in increasing the motor activity.
Coffee contains a lot of different types of minerals, namely; Thiamine, Niacin, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Folate and manganese. It also contains Potassium and Riboflavin in moderate amounts.
Thiamine controls loss of structure and functions of neurons.
Niacin (Vitamin B3) prevents diarrhea, dermatitis (inflammation of skin), dementia (decline in cognitive functions) and death.
Magnesium and Phosphorus found in almost 300 enzymes in human body. Mostly active in enzymes involved in synthesis of DNA and RNA.
Folate (Vitamin B9) regulates the growth of body in adults as well as fetus.
Manganese found in liver and kidneys. It controls immune system of body and is also found in many enzymes of wide spectrum.
Coffee also contains very high levels of fibers even more than wine or oranges. The intake of soluble fiber is inversely proportionate to risks of heart disease. Fiber also enhances the digestion of food. Other minor studies revealed that it is helpful in reducing chances of skin cancer, preventing cavities, reduction of weight, prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, removing gall stones and prevention of liver cirrhosis.
The down sides of coffee are not much actually, and they are more of speculative statements. Some of them are increased anxiety, irregular sleep patterns, acidity in stomach and effects during pregnancy and menopause. Tea on the other hand also has many benefits. I have already discussed many of them in the caffeine section. But they are associated with caffeine actually. So, why not to opt for something which offers even more than just caffeine? On the other hand tea has some side effects as well.
Then drinking tea and coffee casts a lot of difference on even the attitude of a person simply. Many tea drinkers may get annoyed by this statement, which can be taken as a prejudiced one. However, this is nothing else but my personal rant. You can discard it as you move on to the next line.
Picking coffee as a desired beverage does not mean that we should take it all the time and in huge quantities. If we want to yield a desired output, then we have to be choosy for the type and amount of coffee we can take in a day.
Lastly it comes in innumerable varieties as compared to tea, so choose whatever suits you and give your body a treat of nutritional excellence as Professor Peter Martin, director of the Institute for Coffee Studies said at the World Coffee Conference:
“[The] latest scientific evidence indicates that in moderation (2 – 4 cups per day) not only is coffee not bad for you, it may offer some health benefits”.