Coffee, tea and good health

Coffee and tea are considered harmful to the body. An entire industry has emerged around alternatives to good coffee or a piping hot cup of tea. There is a rough estimate that the world drinks three cups of tea for every cup of coffee. And tea is the second most popular drink in the world (after water). Now science shows that coffee, tea and good health can go together.

The study, published in PLOS Medicine, examined data from 360,000 people between the ages of 50 and 74, looking for their coffee and tea drinking habits, as well as incidents of dementia and stroke over the years. After the initial survey was conducted, the same participants were followed up 11 years later to allow researchers to compare and contrast.

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Photo by Kira on the Heide via Unsplash

The study concluded that participants who drank two to three cups of either of these two drinks daily did better than those who didn't drink them at all. The sweet spot was found when people consumed the amount of each drink daily (4 to 6 cups total), resulting in a 28% lower risk of dementia and a 32% lower risk of stroke.

In an email exchange with CNN, Dr. Lee H. Schwamm, chairman of the American Stroke Association Advisory Committee and chairman of vascular neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, said the study is intriguing, but there is no way to determine a causal relationship from this initial data.

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“We can't assume a causal relationship and say, 'Drinking more coffee or tea is good for the brain.' What we can only say in this study is that people who reported drinking coffee/tea moderately were less likely to have a stroke or dementia over the 10 years of follow-up,” he said.

This type of coffee is best for your heart healthPhoto by Jenny Ueberberg via Unsplash

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Coffee has long been associated with preventing a variety of diseases and improving heart health. However, it is always important to use caffeine in moderation and to control your coffee consumption without being too strict about it. When it comes to tea, studies have found links to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, better teeth and even protection against cancer.

In short: Drink a warm drink in the morning and don't think about it too much if you feel the urge to drink more later in the day.

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