Life, Nutrition

Tea Defeats Coffee

America loves coffee.  Our lives begin everyday with coffee.  But should you trade your keurig in for a kettle?

Did you wake up today and NEED a warm cup of coffee?  It’s a habit for most people, really.  That is why some people even grab a cup of decaf.  It’s a comfort thing.  It tells you, “it’s time to wake up,” and somehow you feel like you will be more productive and have a better day if you can embrace a warm cup of coffee first.

But what about tea?  I always though that was something to leave to the British, but lately I’m wondering if we have it all wrong here in America.  The majority of eastern civilization enjoys tea in the morning, and often throughout their day.  Coffee is like an addiction.  It is so hard to try and tell yourself, “I want a cup of tea,” because most of us would rather a cup of coffee.  So which is actually better?

Coffee is not nutritionally devoid.  It has caffeine, which contrary to what many health experts like to say, is beneficial to the body.  It has antioxidants which fight free radicals, in turn, lowering your risk of cancers.  However, if you are comparing the levels in tea as opposed to coffee, it’s a no brainer.  Tea is the healthier choice.  I know, my heart just broke too!

The benefits of tea greatly outweigh those of coffee.  Although tea generally contains less caffeine than coffee, the caffeine in tea processes much more slowly in the blood stream.  This prevents the infamous caffeine crash many experience.  The caffeine in coffee is absorbed and processed very quickly.  Do you ever get anxious or jittery?  That is the reason.  If you are someone who NEEDS caffeine in the morning to function, try black tea.  It has the highest levels of caffeine.  Next is oolong, then white, then green.  Choose which one works best for you.

  • Black tea-This is the darkest member of the tea family.  It also has the highest levels of polysccharides, which is a carbohydrate that slows down your body’s glucose absorption.  Why is this important?  It helps you digest your food more efficiently, and in short, acts like a filter sorting out how your body absorbs the good nutrients and chemicals while helping to bind the bad.  
  • Oolong-This tea is my favorite!  It aids in digestion and helps boost your metabolism, (studies show up to 4%).  Some people suggest using it when trying to lose weight.  However, no tea is going to make you lose weight on its own.  Please find value in the word, “aid.”
  • White- The least processed of all the teas with the highest concentration of antioxidants.   Some people claim this tea to be the most beneficial tea due to its extraordinary amount of antioxidants.
  •  Green tea-This tea is kept in its original leaf state, which prolongs the life of its antioxidants.  Probably one of the most popular teas and often referred to for its healing properties.

From what I have researched, all teas lower cholesterol, fight cancers, strengthen your immune system, boost your metabolism, protects against glaucoma, Alzheimer’s disease  and helps your body function more efficiently.  Some more than others, but in all, they are very favorable.

The downside?

The only real downside I found while researching tea is that if a post-menopausal woman consumes more than 4 cups of green tea a day, she could have a greater risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (up to 78%!)  Green tea has high levels polyphenols, the antioxidant found in green tea that fights cancer.  Too much of a good thing really does exist and in this case, can cause liver toxicity.  Please note that this is more prone in people who take green tea supplements because they have 50x the amount of polyphenols as a cup of tea.  Advice?  Stick with home brewed tea and consume various types to experience their different gains.

Something you don’t know and definitely want to consider-

If you are drinking tea for its aid in preventing cardiovascular disease, do not add milk!!  Recent medical research shows that when tea consumers add milk to tea, it biologically changes the way these teas work.  It is not causing you any harm, but it is muting the affects of the flavonoids and other health benefits.  Adding milk completely neutralizes the ability of the arteries to relax and expand.  Thus, you lose the cardiovascular healthful effects.

Try making the switch.  If you read my piece in regards to honey,http://auburnambitions.com/a-little-miracle-called-honey/ add it to your tea.  Perhaps the mix of this natural energizer and the slow processing caffeine in tea will be just the thing you need!  Enjoy:)

 

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3 Comments

  • Reply Lisa March 13, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    You have inspired me. Being that I am a latte-aholic (sometimes requesting extra espresso shots), I am giving this black tea thing a try. Drank my water, ate my protein and some greens for breakfast, now its time to bring on the caffeine. Found a mint black tea blend by Yogi.

    • Reply Michelle March 13, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      I’m so flattered you’ve even considered my advice! Thanks:) I hope you notice a difference by adding the tea. Maybe you will still need the lattes, as they have much more caffeine than just a regular cup of coffee! But if you are diligent about adding a cup of black tea first, you will have all those antioxidants plus the slow processing caffeine that maybe you won’t need as much in the way of lattes? I haven’t tried the mint black tea-I will have to check it out! Thanks for the encouragement again, Lisa.

  • Reply Lisa March 13, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    You are most welcome! I think you have a great thing going here and can identify with much of what you write about. You are interesting, bright, beautiful, and funny Michelle! I look forward to your posts! 🙂

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