Coffee Versus Green Tea, and My Love of Both
I love my green tea...I mean, I really LOVE my green tea. When you see me sipping out of a coffee cup during class, it is most likely one of my favorite tea recipes: 1 bag of organic green tea, a splash of unsweetened almond milk, & a drop of honey, stir, sip and smile!
I also enjoy a cup of coffee, the smell, the ritual of making it and enjoying a cup of joe while chatting with friends. For many people, maybe even you, coffee is more than an occasional indulgence, it is fiercely needed. Even the thought of breaking your habit makes you want to run to the hills. I do get it- I have been there, I broke my habit (more than once). Then I found green tea and I became educated about the differences. In addition to loving this delightful beverage, it also has amazing health benefits. Learning about these sealed the deal for me. I've outline some of them below for us. Let me know what you think, can you make the switch?
While both beverages contain antioxidants, polyphenols, caffeine and other chemicals that may provide health benefits, research has not concluded which one is actually better for you. Most research provides evidence that both coffee and green tea contain components that benefit several health-related conditions.
When comparing coffee and tea, coffee has the most caffeine per serving, followed by black tea, green tea and then white tea.
The American Medical Association has reported that people who drank four to five cups of green tea per day had a lower mortality rate from cardiovascular disease.
Heart: Tea relaxes arteries and lowers blood pressure. Decaf coffee is associated with high cholesterol.
Brain: Green tea may prevent Alzheimer's disease.
Plumbing: Green tea may prevent kidney stones.
Bones: Green tea may help keep bones strong, but coffee has been linked to osteoporosis.
Weight Control: Caffeine from either source suppresses appetite, but green tea may spur fat metabolism.
Teeth: Green tea's main antioxidant may prevent cavities.
Diabetes: Drinking more than four daily cups of coffee lowers the risk of diabetes. Tea has no similar effect.
Brain: Coffee protects seniors against Parkinson's disease
Cancer: Coffee is linked to lower rates of liver and colon cancer, while the FDA says more research is needed to support tea's anticancer claims.
Plumbing: Coffee prevents gallstones.
Research suggests that the most potent weapon against disease that green tea contains is a compound known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG has been found to have a number of cancer-protective actions in the body, including an ability to help in the deactivation of cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens).
In one study published in 2004, women consuming green tea every day were found to have a 47 per cent reduced risk of breast cancer compared to those consuming none at all. In another study published the same year, researchers found that men taking green tea each day had about a quarter of the risk of prostate cancer compared to those who took no green tea.
All tea, including green, black and oolong come from the same plant. However, green tea, unlike the others is unfermented so the active health giving ingredients remain unaltered. The other teas, which go through a fermentation process, still contain some of the healthy properties, but appear to be more muted. It should be noted that one can drink too much green tea. The majority of our liquid should be water, but a cup or two of green tea a day can offer some amazing healing benefits.
Green tea catechins help thin the blood and prevent the formation of blood clots by preventing the formation of pro-inflammatory compounds derived from omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in meats and polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as corn, safflower and soy oil. These pro-inflammatory compounds—specifically, arachidonic acid from which the inflammatory cytokines thromboxane A2 and prostaglandin D2 are derived—cause platelets to clump together.
A study published in the July 2004 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine found that among persons consuming tea regularly for at least one year, the risk of developing high blood pressure was 46% lower among those who drank 1/2 cup to 2-1/2 cups per day, and 65% less among those consuming more than 2-1/2 cups per day.
Researchers at the University of Tokyo have shown drinking green tea may significantly increase bone mineral density.
Green tea extract given to lab rats over a 10-week span increased the amount of time the animals could swim before becoming exhausted by as much as 24%.
Green tea's catechins appear to stimulate the use of fatty acids by liver and muscle cells. In muscle cells, the ability to burn more fat translates into a reduction in the rate at which glycogen, the form in which carbohydrates are stored for ready access in muscle, is used up, thus allowing for longer exercise times. Green tea's effect on muscle cells' ability to take in and burn fatty acids, speeding up fat breakdown, is also thought to be the reason why it helps weight loss.