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Tea and coffee, particularly how they are NOT a substitute for water (!), are a regular topic of conversation with Clients. In fact, if we had a pound for every time we talked about them, we’d be very rich by now! 
However, in response to a rather infuriated response recently from a Client – that there must be some benefits to drinking them – we thought we’d take the hint and use it as the topic for this week’s blog post. Having said that – as we also pointed out to them – not all caffeinated beverages are the same and there are several caveats. For some reason, this didn’t go down very well (!), but we suspect this had more to do with their coffee habit than anything else… 
So, let’s start with the good news. 
The first one is obvious and applies to all caffeinated drinks, caffeine is a stimulant. It acts as an instant pick me up and gives us some oomph, which is why we love it so much. Unfortunately, this is short lived and followed by an energy slump, which is why we find ourselves reaching for the next cup… For some people, this can lead on to the jitters, along with unstable energy levels and mood. A series of caffeine “highs”, followed by crashing “lows”, along with disturbed sleep and difficulty “switching off.” 
Coffee has been found to reduce the risk of Heart Disease and Heart Failure, as well as Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Cirrhosis and Diabetes
It’s also been found to reduce the risk of Depression
Tea has also been linked to a reduced risk of Strokes and improved blood pressure. It’s also been found to reduce the risk of Diabetes, abdominal obesity and help balance blood glucose levels
Interestingly, both tea and coffee were also found to reduce the risk of some Brain tumours as well as Dementia and Alzehimers Disease. They also helped reduce the speed of cognitive decline, particularly alertness, attention and long term memory consolidation. 
Finally, they both contain good levels of antioxidants
Now to the less good news or, if you prefer, caveats (!). 
First, as with all things in life, quality matters. So good quality, organically produced products have the greatest health benefits. Freshly ground, organic beans, are streets ahead of the others, particularly their instant cousins. Similarly, loose leaf organic tea is much better quality than that found in bags. 
Second, adding milk greatly reduces the positive effects of both tea and coffee. Not only does it bind to the antioxidants, so reducing absorption, but changes their effects. 
Adding sugar – or sweetener – has similar effects. However, adding a little fresh lemon to black tea can increase the uptake of antioxidants. 
Lastly, while black tea may have some benefits, it’s green tea that leads the way. Organic, loose green tea, not that in bags. 
So, where are we going with this? 
Well, as always, it’s about quality and moderation.  
Enjoy a cup of good quality, freshly made and ideally black tea or coffee, from time to time. Have it as a treat, giving yourself the time and space to really savour and enjoy it, rather than gulping it down while doing something else. 
As always, the choice is yours. 
Picture by unknown author 
Tagged as: Diet, Health, Lifestyle
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