Coffee vs. Tea – Which is better for you?

By: Health Local Staff May 22, 2013
  Article
coffee and tea

We've collected some info to help you decide which you should be reaching for in the morning.

There’s always been a great debate over coffee and tea and which one, if either, is better for you. People often assume tea to be a healthier option and coffee has often gotten a bad rap for not being good for you, at least until recently. So, to help you decide which you should be reaching for in the morning, we’ve collected some information about coffee and tea when it comes to your health.

Calories
If you’re counting calories or working on losing weight, there’s no need to ditch your coffee and make the switch to tea—not unless you’re a triple-triple lover that is. Coffee and tea are neck-in-neck when it comes to their calories, neither of which is even worth worrying about and are considered calorie-free. It’s the things we tend to add to coffee that makes it bad for us, like sugar, cream, and flavoured coffee whiteners.

The Good Stuff in Coffee and Tea
Both tea and coffee are rich in antioxidants, which are known to lower the risk of certain diseases. It’s important to note though that most of the research that points has been focused around green tea and not the more commonly consumed black tea, Earl Grey, Orange Pekoe, etc. An antioxidant called chlorgogenic can be found in both regular and decaf coffee. Coffee also contains protein as well as higher levels of magnesium and phosphorus than tea along with choline. Black tea has more folate in it.

Disease-Fighting Power
Though coffee seems to be the winner as far as the good stuff in it; coffee and tea are pretty close when it comes to their relation to cutting risk of disease. Research suggests that coffee lowers the risk of liver and colon cancers, Type 2 Diabetes, and even Parkinson’s disease, while tea has been linked to a reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer, as well as Alzheimer’s. The folate in tea can also help with anemia. The jury is still out on whether caffeine has any negative impact on blood pressure and evidence is starting to suggest that it doesn’t have quite the effect in blood pressure as was once thought. Two cups of coffee per day is considered safe for everyone.

So as you can see, even though coffee may contain a few more nutrients, tea and coffee have a lot in common when it comes to your health. Coffee takes the lead if you’re comparing it to black tea over green tea though, as the green tea contains 3 times more catechins than the black that are responsible for the high antioxidants we talked about. Reaching for either coffee or tea for your morning jolt is good for you as long as you don’t overdo it with the sugar and cream.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.