Comparison of Tea Vs Coffee – Caffeine, Acidity, and Health Benefits

Tea and coffee are the main two natural caffeinated beverages consumed in most of the world, and they are often presented side-by-side, as alternate options. This article provides a comparison of tea and coffee in several major categories: caffeine, acidity, health benefits, and other reasons for preferring either tea or coffee to the other.

Caffeine Content of Tea vs Coffee:

Compared to tea, coffee contains much more caffeine: often as much as 2-3 times the amount. Compounding the comparison, however, tea is more widely variable than coffee in terms of how much caffeine is in a typical cup. Coffee tends to contain about 80 to 135 milligrams in a typical 8 ounce cup, whereas tea typically contains between 15 and 75 milligrams per cup. Both coffee and tea will be higher in caffeine if they are brewed more strongly (i.e. longer steeping times, or using more grounds / leaf per unit water). Keep in mind that many people, especially in the United States, drink a lot more than 8 ounces when they have a single serving of tea or coffee.

Too much caffeine is known to cause a variety of health problems, and can contribute to anxiety and insomnia. The Mayo Clinic currently claims, based on their survey of medical research, that 200-300mg of caffeine per day is safe, but 500-600mg daily can cause health problems. For pregnant women, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ official stance is that 200mg daily of caffeine or less is completely safe.

A Comparison of Acidity & Effects on the Digestive System:

Both tea and coffee are acidic, and different teas and coffees vary somewhat in their acidity, both based on the variety used, and the strength with which it is brewed. Brewing tea or coffee stronger will result in a more acidic cup. However, as a general rule, coffee tends to be much more acidic than tea.

Because of its greater acidity, coffee tends to be rougher on the stomach and digestive system than tea. Different people vary in their sensitivity to the acidity in coffee, and many people consume large quantities of coffee without any complaints. However, people who have a problem with acid reflux, indigestion, or other problems in the digestive tract may wish to experiment with switching from coffee to tea to see if their symptoms are reduced or eliminated.

Health Benefits of Tea vs Coffee:

Tea and coffee are both known to have a number of health benefits. Although tea is widely perceived as a more healthy beverage, there is also some evidence of coffee having a variety of health benefits as well. Also, although there is solid evidence backing up some of the benefits of tea for health, the health benefits of tea are often overstated or exaggerated. There are not a great deal of studies comparing tea to coffee in terms of their effects on health, but those studies that exist have mostly pointed to tea as the healthier drink, mainly because of its more moderate caffeine content.

Other Reasons to Drink Tea vs. Coffee:

Health is only one of the factors to consider when choosing whether to drink tea or coffee. Cost, taste, and variety are additional considerations. Tea, even high-quality tea, tends to be somewhat cheaper per cup than coffee. And although many people prefer the unique and powerful flavor and aroma of coffee, tea tends to have more variety, owing in part to the existence of different types of tea such as green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong, and Pu-erh. Lastly, convenience is often a factor in more practical settings: if given the choice between high-quality coffee and low-quality tea, as is often the case in many parts of the U.S., many people will choose coffee even if they might prefer drinking tea at home.

Top Health Benefits of Blueberries

The health benefits of blueberries or foods containing real blueberries or pure blueberry juice are numerous. Research continually proves that this fruit contains powerful antioxidants that ward off a variety of diseases. In addition, the fruit is packed with other vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy body.

The blueberry originally grew native to North America and was not introduced to the European continent until the 1930s. Nowadays, the plant is also grown in Australia, New Zealand and certain parts of South America. It is a perennial and typically blooms during the middle of the summer. The plant has two main varieties of bushes. The wild variety grows quite low to the ground and is called the lowbush blueberry; the taller variety is a cultivated plant called the highbush blueberry.

The fruit of the blueberry bush is spherical in shape and is approximately a half of an inch in diameter. When it is ripe, the berry is a deep blue or blue-violet color. The taste varies based on the ripeness of the fruit; the flavor becomes less acidic and much sweeter the longer that the berry is on the bush.

Blueberry Nutrition Information

Raw blueberries are a wonderful choice for a snack. A typical portion size is about two and a half ounces, which translates into approximately fifty average sized berries. A portion contains around forty calories; almost none of these calories are from fat. Of course, there is no cholesterol and only a minute amount of sodium. The fruit is composed mainly of carbohydrates with approximately seven grams of sugar and two grams of dietary fiber in one serving.

Although blueberries contain small portions of a variety of vitamins and minerals, they are mostly known for supplying vitamins C and K and the mineral known as manganese. In fact, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s guidelines, this fruit provides a fifth of the recommended daily amount of manganese and a fourth of the daily amount of vitamin K. In addition, blueberries have a small amount of the B vitamins which provide energy to the body.

Eating Blueberries

Perhaps the best way to gain the most nutritional value from this fruit is to eat it raw. Some choose to sprinkle them on their morning cereal or oatmeal while some add them to fruit or green leafy salads. Another excellent option is flash-frozen blueberries; this method preserves almost all of the nutrients. Blueberries can be found seasonally in most grocery stores’ produce sections as well as sporadically during the winter months when they are imported from warmer climates. Another great option, especially for those who do not like to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, is blueberry juice which can often be found in markets’ organic sections. It is often found in conjunction with pomegranate juice, which is another powerful antioxidant and is a great way to enjoy blueberry health benefits. Additionally, blueberries are delicious when added to baked products such as muffins, breads, cakes and pancakes.

Very few people suffer from allergies to blueberries. Those who are affected generally have mild to moderate symptoms. An allergy to any kind of berry can begin at any point in one’s life and may not happen when he is a child. The most common reactions occur when the body rejects the food because it is unable to digest it. The symptoms that occur from this include nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea or a moderate to severe stomach ache. Some people may develop a rash. Antihistamines such as Benadryl can be given for a skin reaction. Very few people develop an allergy so severe that they need to be taken to the emergency room. However, a few people are so allergic to the fruit that they have an anaphylactic reaction and develop shortness of breath, a swollen tongue or other violent reactions. Babies under nine months of age should not be fed blueberries since their bodies have not yet begun production of the enzyme needed to digest this fruit.

Health Benefits of Blueberries

Several recent research studies have shown that blueberries hold even more health benefits than was originally thought. It should also be noted that the wild blueberry varieties contain even more of some nutrients than do the cultivated varieties. Reports released in 2007 showed that the many antioxidants in the skins and flesh of blueberries fight off the effects of Alzheimer ‘s disease and slow its degenerative process. In fact, some studies have even shown that consuming this berry can lessen the negative effects from a stroke or other ischemic event. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a report that showed that individuals who consumed blueberry juice had better memory and fewer problems with depression. Multiple studies have also shown its benefits on the heart and cardiovascular health. The high amount of anthocyanins in blueberries, which gives the fruit its deep blue color, relaxes and widens the blood vessels causing decreased blood pressure. It may also decrease bad LDL cholesterol levels. Finally, a research study by the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center showed that blueberries decrease abdominal fat and in turn decreases the incidence of metabolic syndrome.

In addition, blueberries have numerous health benefits that have been known by scientists for several years or decades. Blueberries have more antioxidant properties than any other fruit. Antioxidants have been shown to decrease the movement of free radicals throughout the body, which in turn decreases one’s risk for cancer and decreases the effects of aging throughout the body’s organs especially the skin. It is also well-known that blueberries, similar to cranberries, promote the health of the urinary tract by cleansing the tract of unhealthy bacteria and thereby preventing urinary tract infections. This fruit’s high levels of anthocyanins aid in vision by decreasing the incidence of vision loss from such disease processes as macular degeneration and cataracts. Finally, the dietary fibre from the skin of the fruit decreases the incidence of constipation while the vitamins and minerals such as copper improve digestion.

Summary

Blueberries are truly natural powerhouses that are filled with nutrients to ward off a number of diseases and aid in good health. Scientific research studies continue to dig deeper into this fruit’s many wonderful attributes. With so many delicious ways to eat this fruit, no one will be able to resist its juicy, sweet flavor and gain from the health benefits of blueberries whether eaten whole or as blueberry juice.