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Green Tea vs. Coffee, Which One Is Better For You?

Green Tea vs. Coffee, Which One Is Better For You?

The short answer is: both.

Coffee and green tea contain different amounts of caffeine, brimming with antioxidants, they have some great health benefits. They are both safe and healthy– except for pregnant women– who might have to limit their caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams per day as advised by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Although both green tea and coffee contain caffeine, coffee has a significantly greater amount per cup. A cup of coffee contains 100-150mg of caffeine, while a cup of green tea contains about 26mg.

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1. Coffee vs. Tea and their health benefits

Both green tea and coffee do have various health benefits.

There is some evidence from Japan that green tea can reduce chances of death from all causes (23% lower in women and 12% lower in men). It can also prevent heart disease (31% lower in women and 22% lower in men). The results were particularly evident for stroke cases (42% lower in women and 35% lower in men).

Both green tea and coffee seem to help against developing type 2 Diabetes as well, although the case seems stronger with coffee. Studies show that those who drink coffee regularly have a 23-50% lower risk of getting this disease.

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There is really conflicting evidence about green tea being protective against cancer. Coffee may reduce chances of liver cancer and colorectal cancer. However, liver cancer is the 3rd leading cause of worldwide cancer death, while colorectal cancer is the fourth. That’s pretty significant! Green tea may slow cognitive decline in the elderly at smaller doses, while coffee only shows the same effect after drinking large amounts. Moreover, the total caffeine intake in people seems to have a massive effect on preventing Parkinson’s in men; a reduction in risk ranging from 32-60%

Green tea seems to also lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. Finally, green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of heart disease.

2. Metabolic rate and dental health

It is common knowledge that green tea is a fat burning drink, and may therefore assist in weight loss. Several studies show that caffeine can boost the metabolic rate in the human body by 3-11%. The effect is kind of small, but it still might be an important weapon in your fat loss arsenal. Green tea might help you with killing bacteria and inhibiting viruses like influenza, potentially lowering your risk for infection, and therefore helping improve your breath and oral health.

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Coffee gives people that “coffee-breath” which some people find quite unpleasant. These were just the main points that have come up during my research of tea and coffee. However, the effect of these two beverages have been studied EXTENSIVELY. If you have the time and interest, you can find a ton of more information by going to Google Scholar and typing in words like “coffee”, “tea” and “green tea and coffee”.

Conclusion

Both green tea and coffee contain caffeine, as well as high amounts of antioxidants and some minerals. The health benefits from both beverages could be due to their antioxidant effects or because of something called “hormesis”. It’s important to know that the polyphenols in coffee and tea are foreign substances to the body, and might cause an increase in the body’s defense mechanisms. Of course, hormesis is definitely something that often occurs involuntarily, and is never encouraged to develop voluntarily. So don’t do it!

If you prefer tea, then you should continue drinking it. If you prefer coffee, then great. If you want to experience the best of both worlds then it might be best to drink a little bit of both. It’s always important to be careful of over consumption however, realizing that too much of anything is never a good idea!

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Featured photo credit: Picjumbo.com via picjumbo.com

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Jae Berman

Health Writer

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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