Finally--an objective article about Coffee And Tea

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sorry for the extra post today, folks, but I just had to include this one in here, too. I like how this guy addressed the positives and negatives about caffeine, and how he went right to the source on some things that were misquoted in other recent articles. This is an excerpt from somewhere around the middle.

Nutrition 911, Part VIII: Coffee—Friend or Foe?: "Is coffee a superfood?

This would depend, I guess. We've seen some downsides and I've yet to mention two others. One, it's addictive, and two, it's been linked to insomnia. Performance-wise, sleep is crucial for your body to recover and recharge itself. No matter its benefits, if coffee negatively affects your ability to rest, it's not going to help you much.

Yet, analyzing data of 126,000 people over 18 years has led to an almost astonishing number of likely health benefits, including lowering your risk of diabetes, Parkinson's disease, colon cancer, and improving mood, headaches, and even lessening the risk of cavities.

In some cases, even the 'all things in moderation' cliché was put to the test. For example, drinking one to three cups a day reduced type 2 diabetes risk by single digits, whereas drinking six or more cups per day slashed men's risk by 54 percent and women's by 30 percent.

These findings have been routinely backed up by further studies. At least six studies indicate that coffee drinkers are up to 80 percent less likely to develop Parkinson's disease, with three showing the more they drank, the lower the risk. Other research shows that compared to not drinking coffee, at least two cups daily can cut your risk of gallstones in half, provide a 25 percent less chance of contracting colon cancer, and a whopping 80 percent decline in liver cirrhosis risk. So abundant is this research that caffeine is added to certain medications to treat headaches, mood, asthma, and now Parkinson's."

Thanks to Annie for bringing this to my attention through posting about it on her blog.

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  1. ok but doesnt it say somewhere that too much caffeine is bad for you!?!

    im a coffeeholic....but now im a Tea drinker...doesnt do it for me as much as coffee does tho...sigh..

    ok... so which is better.. instant or drip?

  2. Hi, Grafx. Yes it is. As it says in the full version of this article, there is a lot of conflicting information about both coffee and tea. They both have benefits, but also down sides.

    Caffeine has the same effect on your liver as refined sugar--it causes it to release a flood of glucose into your system, so your blood sugar is rising and falling all the time. This puts a strain on your pancreas, and can lead to problems such as diabetes.

    To prevent getting too many tanins in your coffee, drip is better than boiled. However, according to my Dad, if it's not boiled, it's not worth drinking.

    Instant, I don't know. I tend to stay away from anything that has been altered enough from it's original form that it can be made "instantly," because usually it ends up in a form your body finds toxic.

    I usually drink tea. My downfall is that I prefer it sweet. I use dehydrated sugar cane juice (which is completely unrefined, leaving all the nutrients in it as opposed to cyphoning them off as "molasses"), or raw honey, but even natural sweeteners have their limit. I try to put a little less sweetener and a little more whole cream in to compensate to make it healthier for me. (Sorry, I haven't yet posted about why whole cream and whole milk should be used over skim. However, if you read any of my "saturated fats" posts, it's along that line...)

    I usually use tea bags, and just steep them a long time, as this is less messy and labour-intensive than boiling tea. (Not to mention that loose tea is a rare commodity in the bustling metropolis of Peace River. I hoard my stash for special occasions.)

    A while back, I linked to a page that had relative caffeine values. If I remember correctly, a cup of coffee has about 115mg of caffeine, and tea has about 40mg. Decaf tea has about 15mg, and Hot Chocoalte has about 4mg.

    If you are drinking tea, you probably have a nice middle-of-the-road option, but beware the sugar!


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