Tea or coffee – which do YOU prefer? From weight loss to cancer prevention, we reveal the health benefits of both
- Coffee and tea are good for you in different ways, studies show
- Tea may prevent the development of diabetes and heart attack risk
- It can also protect against obesity, heart disease and cancer
- Those drinking tea 4 times a day for 6 weeks produce less stress hormone
- But it could contain pesticides and stop the absorption of iron from food
- Coffee can stave off Alzheimer’s, protect against gout and liver damage
- Also increases effectiveness of painkillers and improves memory
- However it has been linked to a higher risk of stillbirth
- Also leads to less blood flow to the heart and stains the teeth
Some people swear they can’t wake up in the morning without a strong coffee, while others prefer to start the day with a nice pot of tea.
But with the benefits and dangers of regularly consuming these drinks hotly debated each week, which is better for us?
Now, a new graphic pitting the two against each other claims coffee and tea are good for you in different ways.
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The new graphic has drawn together research on the health benefits of both coffee and tea
One study found that coffee didn’t have any overall benefits for health but did no harm, while tea had clear benefits. Coffee, however, does contains more caffeine than tea
The graphic shows little known facts about tea and coffee, such as that white tea may help prevent obesity and coffee drinkers are less likely to suffer Alzheimer’s
It draws together the key facts from recent studies about the health benefits of coffee and tea, giving connoisseurs of both a reason to stick to their favourite drink.
It says tea may prevent the development of type 1 diabetes, cut the risk of a heart attack and protect against obesity, heart disease and cancer.
People who drank black tea four times a day for six weeks were found to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, one study found.
However, adding milk to the tea may stop the benefits it has against cancer, according to other research.
It’s also possible tea could contain pesticides – even if it is labelled organic – and contains a large amount of tannin, which reduces the absorption of iron in the blood, which can cause anaemia.
And while green tea is often hailed as the healthy option, health-conscious tea drinkers might want to opt for white tea, which is made from the buds and young leaves of the tea bush.
White tea has been found to have a higher concentration of antioxidants in it which may actually be more effective preventing some diseases than green tea.
Tea and coffee are both known to have health benefits and known risks. Here, the benefits for tea are pictured on the left in green, and the risks pictured in red. The benefits of drinking coffee are pictured on the right in green, while the risks are similarly pictured in red
TEA AND COFFEE: THE KEY HEALTH BENEFITS
Drinking three to four cups of tea a day can cut the chance of a heart attack
Helps prevent type 1 diabetes and slow its progression once it has developed
People who drink black tea four times a day for six weeks were found to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol
Contains fluoride which protects teeth
Men who drink more than 10 cups of green tea per day are less likely to develop disorders of the liver
Green tea may protect against lung cancer
Green tea reduces the risk of oesophageal cancer in women by 60 per cent
Green and white tea contains anti-oxidants which may have anti-ageing potential
White tea can help prevent obesity
Tea is hydrating
Tea may contain pesticides, even if it’s been labelled as organic
Tea contains a large amount of tannin. Tanin reduces the absorption of iron in the body which can lead to anaemia.
Tea contains caffeine which has been proven to cause anxiety and rises in blood pressure
Adding milk may also stop the benefits tea has against cancer
Helps prevent type 2 diabetes
Protects against the liver, especially cirrhosis (liver damage) and liver cancer
Decrease the risk of gout in men over 40
Reduces risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Reduces the risk of dying of heart disease
Improves short term memory and reaction times
Chemicals found in coffee could be used to make new drugs to treat heart disease and insomnia
Caffeine in coffee increases the effectiveness of painkillers
Causes tooth discolouration
Drinking eight or more cups a fay significantly increased the risk of stillbirths.
Decreases blood flow to the heart
Over 1000 chemicals have been found in roasted coffee with 19 being known carcinogens
The antioxidants in white tea have anti-ageing potential, may help prevent some cancers as well as inflammation and heart disease
White tea could also help prevent obesity, as it was found to inhibit the growth of new fat cells.
While studies found that drinking tea when it is too hot increased the risk of oesophageal cancer, green tea reduces the risk of oesophageal cancer in women by 60 per cent.
Meanwhile, some studies did find that coffee – normally thought to be the less healthy drink of the two – does have some health benefits.
It can prevent type 2 diabetes, reduce the risk of gout in middle aged men, stave off Alzheimer’s disease and protect against liver damage (known as cirrhosis) and liver cancer in men.
It showed coffee also increases the effectiveness of painkillers and improves short term memory and reaction times, especially in the elderly.
Scientists now believe that chemicals found in coffee could be used to make new drugs to treat heart disease and insomnia.
But other research has shown coffee decreases blood flow to the heart and causes tooth discolouration.
Filter coffee contains almost 150 mg of caffeine a cup, whereas black tea contains less than 70 mg
A study in Denmark found that drinking eight or more cups of coffee a day significantly increased the risk of stillbirths.
COULD A CUP OF TEA MADE FROM COFFEE BE THE HEALTHIEST?
For those who find ‘tea or coffee’ a question too far first thing in the morning, relief may soon be on hand – a combination of both.
Researchers claim they have discovered the ultimate brew – a tea made from coffee leaves which is healthier than both of the drinks.
The coffee leaf tea, which is said to have an ‘earthy’ taste that is less bitter than tea and not as strong as coffee, boasts high levels of compounds which lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease, experts said.
It also carries far less caffeine than traditional tea or coffee and contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The coffee leaves were analysed by researchers from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, South-West London, together with researchers in Montpellier, France.
However, most of the research was based on black coffee with a little milk or sugar, rather than the high calorie coffee drinks found in high-street coffee shops.
Dr Duane Mellor, assistant professor of dietetics at the university of Nottingham, said these were well-known studies and added that he doesn’t advise his clients to give up tea or coffee.
‘They are a better alternative than sugary soft drinks,’ he said.
However, he warned against the high sugar drinks masquerading as ‘coffee’.
A recent MailOnline investigation found the majority of Christmas drinks from popular chain coffee shops contain more than a person’s daily recommended sugar intake in one medium-sized portion.
Dr Mellor continued: ‘A latte with syrup can be a lot of extra sugar, energy, fat. It makes it a very different drink.’
He added that it is a myth that coffee and tea are dehydrating.
‘If you go from drinking none to a lot, the caffeine might make a difference, but if you have a regular intake of caffeine it’s not a problem,’ he said.
And he wasn’t able to choose one over the other: ‘Both have benefits and people should go for what they prefer.
‘It used to be the tea had the strong arguments for health, but with more research coming out about coffee, there’s not much in it now.’
The graphic was created by Policy Expert.