Is Tea Healthier Than Soda or Coffee? A Great Alternative
In recent years it seems that tea has taken on a new surge in popularity. In the past decade along, we are now seeing tea stores and tea shops. Unlike coffee shops that have been around for years, the tea craze has definitely increased.
So you have to wonder, am I missing something? Why is there such a sudden surge in popularity of tea? Is tea healthier than soda or coffee? In a lot of ways, the answer to that is “Yes” but it really depends on which teas and how you drink it as well.
Natural vs Unnatural
Soda doe not have nutritional or health benefits. Tea, on the other hand does. Regular sodas contain a great deal of sugar and even diet sodas have show to have been bad for dieting.
Regular soda is packed with sugar and too much of it can lead to very unhealthy weight gain. This can make you a likelier candidate for type two diabetes. When you drink too much soda it means that your diet will have less nutrient-rich foods it needs to function normally.
Even sweet tea is better than soda as it has many beneficial factors. Green tea for instance has catechins which have been known to reduce your risk of certain cancers such as colon, lung, skin, prostate and breast cancer. Both green and black tea can both reduce heart disease risk. You can actually lower the risk of hardening of the arteries by drinking black tea.
How Sweet it Is!
Did you known that on average a 12-ounce can of a popular cola contains about 152 calories and 40 sugar grams, primarily from added sugar? Tea drinkers generally add sugar or sweetener to their drink and control just how much sugar they use. Cola drinkers are getting roughly 10 teaspoons of sugar in each can.
Even if you like sweet tea, chances are that you are not adding 10 teaspoons of sugar to make it sweet. Of course the better option is to drink tea without sweetener at all. But many of us prefer a bit of sweetness in our drinks. So it is still better for you to control just how much sweetener you are consuming than reaching for a soda.
The even better option is to go entirely natural by sweetening your tea with honey. That way you are not consuming manufactured sugar at all.
Tea vs Coffee – The Great Debate
Not all that long ago, we were all lead to believe that coffee was bad for you. Recent studies have shown that this is not necessarily true and that there really are health benefits of coffee. Among these are reducing the risk of colon cancer and that it might actually prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
While tea also has its own benefits to boost. Among these are lower chances of prostate, breast and skin cancers. Teas are rich in antioxidants (especially green tea) which limit cell damage and actually boosts our immune systems. They have also been shown to lower our cholesterol and blood pressure.
If you have been on any diet plan within the past couple of decades (who hasn’t right?) you probably have heard of the benefits of green tea for losing weight. Teas in general, and particularly green tea, can help to “flush” our bodies which make it easier to lose weight whether you are on a diet or not. In addition, they are certainly a much healthier beverage choice than diet sodas which actually contribute to weight GAIN.
Tea Types and Benefits of Each
The category of tea is actually quite broad, but those in the industry categorize the natural teas as black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea and pu-erh tea.
Black Tea: Is made with fermented tea leaves and has the highest level of caffeine. It is the base for most common tea flavors. Benefits include reducing risk of stroke and protecting your lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke.
Green Tea: Made from tea leaves that have been steamed. It’s widely known for containing many antioxidants, the benefits of which include aiding eliminating fat (which is why it is so popular in most diet plans these days). The antioxidants also reduce your chances of colorectal, pancreatic, stomach, lung, breast and bladder cancers. On top of that, it reduces your chances of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, improves cholesterol levels and reduces risk of stokes.
White Tea: Is made from unfermented and uncured tea leaves. There has been one study that suggest it has the most potent anticancer properties of all teas.
Oolong Tea: In one study, this tea has been found to lower bad cholesterol levels. It is also marketed as a weight loss supplement, although that has not actually been scientifically proven yet.
Pu-erh Tea: This tea is made from aged fermented tea leaves. It is actually in a cake form and in the black tea family. It’s benefits are less weight gain and reduced bad cholesterol.
Herbal Teas–Naturally Decaffeinated
Unlike coffee and soda, teas have a category that is all their own. It is the growing herbal tea line These teas are by far a better drink choice as they are natural and naturally decaffeinated as well. So you still get the satisfaction of drinking a tasty beverage without the worries of what is in it.
While most natural teas contain some caffeine, herbal teas do not which makes this line of teas an attractive tea choice. The flavors of these teas are endless and you can find just about any flavor for your palate. I highly recommend giving these teas a try, especially later in the day as they won’t cause you to lose sleep either.
Some Like it Hot! (And Some Like it Cold)
If you are not a big fan of hot tea, try it cold instead. One of the benefit of drinking it cold that most people don’t realize is that our body burns more calories drinking an iced beverage than a hot beverage. That is because our body “works” to heat up an ice-cold beverage to our body temperature.
Still, there is nothing quite like a hot cup of tea when we are ill. Why is that? Could it be that tea gives us a comforting feel and makes us feel better? Then why wait until you are ill? Enjoy it whenever you like to pick up your spirits.
The Possibilities are Brewing
These days there are lots of ways you can enjoy a nice cup or glass of tea. Some people prefer to use a tea kettle, but I am not a fan of that as tea kettles can build up calcification in them which is not all that good for you and ruins the taste of the tea as well. I prefer to use my home tea carafe, designed especially to make tea in either a hot or cold choice. One thing I would suggest is that you not purchase the cheaper tea makers on the market that have a plastic carafe as you do not want to consume harmful BPA and other chemicals that can come from the plastic.
A word of warning here on ice tea drinks at fast food restaurants and eateries that serve tea from their soda gun. Those “teas” are not the same as real brewed tea. If you choose tea as a beverage while out at restaurants, always asked if it is fresh brewed. If they tell you it isn’t, you’re better off choosing a different option.
Tea Time? Why Yes it Is!
Is tea healthier than soda? Definitely so much better for you in lots of ways. Is it healthier than coffee? The verdict is out on that yet, but it certainly is a better alternative than sugary and diet sodas without a question!
If you have a comment or question with regard to this article, I would be more than happy if you leave them below. I will get back to you as soon as I am able.