Is coffee healthier to consume than tea?

I always hear contradicting statements about the benefits of coffee and tea. So, is coffee healthier to consume than tea?

Dear Doctor,

I always hear contradicting statements about the benefits of coffee and tea. So, is coffee healthier to consume than tea? Cherise

Dear Cherise,

Coffee and tea are the two most popular hot beverages world wide. Both have their pros and cons and a regular drinker thinks that his drink is better.

Tea is rich in anti oxidants. It helps to prevent degeneration of body cells, rejuvenates them, prevents aging, reduces ongoing inflammation and prevents cancer. Tea reduces stiffening of blood vessels and improves blood flow to various parts of the body, including heart and brain. It, lowers cholesterol and thus by these actions prevent heart attacks and strokes. It also helps in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Regular tea consumption prevents bone loss, i.e. osteoporosis. The disadvantage of tea is that it can cause irritation of the inner lining of stomach and cause dyspepsia and is even a risk factor for peptic ulcer. Tannin a substance present in tea prevents the absorption of iron from green vegetables.

Coffee has more caffeine than tea. Therefore it freshens and energises a person, stimulates the brain more. Disadvantage here is, many persons are unable to sleep, if they drink coffee in the evening. Coffee helps in preventing type 2 diabetes. Drinking coffee increases plasma levels of protein sex hormone binding globulin(SHBG), which controls the activity of the body’s sex hormones, which play a role in development of type 2 diabetes. Coffee also helps in prevention of parkinsonism and liver diseases. It has a diuretic effect. In moderation it helps to remove toxic and waste material from the body, but in excess it can cause dehydration. In moderation it is said to protect against heart failure. It helps to burn body fat and thus can help to reduce obesity.

Coffee is known to reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis a progressive neurological disorder. As per some researchers, it also reduces risk of colorectal cancer.

The disadvantage of drinking coffee is that it can cause restlessness and anxiety. Being more acidic in nature, it causes more dyspepsia than tea and is a risk factor for peptic ulcer disease. Coffee beans contain cafestol and kahweol, which increase the level of low density cholesterol(bad cholesterol). Hence filter coffee is better in this regard. During pregnancy, excess coffee use can harm the baby. Coffee use in young children upto6-7 years of age increases the risk of nocturnal eneuresis, i.e. bed wetting.

One can have his choice of tea or coffee, but in moderation. Avoid use of white sugar with it as that would augment calories and thus the weight.

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