Here at Harney & Sons, it has occurred to us that we may be slightly biased when it comes to the fact that we believe tea is the most awesome beverage the world has ever produced.
Our natural proclivi-tea aside, there are some good reasons to consider giving up your coffee and/or soda habits and replacing them with tea. Without trying to be the New England Journal of Medicine, here are a few of the health issues at stake.
While caffeine in moderation is fine for most individuals, the effects of excessive amounts of caffeine are well documented: poor sleep, anxiety/jitters and mood swings, not to mention health issues like increased blood pressure and blood sugar issues.
Tea is lower in caffeine than coffee. In general, a cup of tea has about 40-60mg of caffeine per cup, while the average cup of coffee has around 105mg. And while you can choose to drink decaffeinated coffee, if you are looking to eliminate caffeine completely from your life, that won’t do the trick. Like decaffeinated tea, decaf coffee also has small amounts of caffeine. To go truly cold turkey on the caffeine, herbal teas are your go-to because they have no caffeine. Or water. Water is always a good choice.
When it comes to soda, sugar is the big culprit. Research has shown that regular soda consumption can wreak long-term havoc on your body. From your heart to your brain, your teeth and your bones, your kidneys and your weight, habitual ingestion of sugary sodas are inflicting damage. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that people who drank a lot of soda had shorter telomeres in immune cells, meaning their risk of dying sooner was higher.
So, switching to diet soda will take care of the sugar issue, right? Not so fast…artificial sweeteners come with their own set of issues, such as triggering insulin which in turn sends your body into fat storage mode that can lead to weight gain (yep, weight gain from a diet soda). Diet soda has also been associated with a 36% increased risk of metabolic syndrome which can put people at high risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. There are other issues that have been linked to diet soda as well.
Unlike soda, tea can have a positive effect on your health.
First, as we mentioned earlier, there is significantly less caffeine in a standard cup of black tea than in coffee. White teas and matcha do have more caffeine than black tea, but still not as much as coffee. Other things that affect the caffeine level of tea are the number and type of tea leaves as well as how it is brewed. If you’re looking to lower or eliminate your caffeine, decaffeinated teas contain significantly less caffeine. Flavored teas also have less caffeine because some of the tea is replaced with fruits and other flavors. And herbal teas, which really aren’t tea at all, are naturally caffeine-free.
Tea also has its own unique amino acid, L-theanine, that stimulates the production of dopamine and serotonin creating a much calmer stimulation than the caffeine found in coffee. Also, the high levels of antioxidants found in tea slow the absorption of caffeine; this means you don’t get the immediate buzz and then the crash that follows. It’s more like a time-release of caffeine. Antioxidants are beneficial in general, so the more you get of them the better.
Studies have shown that tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke and is good for your immune system. Some herbal teas like chamomile and mint are good for the digestive system, and ginger tea can calm nausea. Finally, tea without any milk or sugar is completely free of calories. The only other beverage that can make the same natural claim is water. Did we mention we’re also fans of water?
Ready to make the switch to tea? You’ve come to the right place! Harney & Sons have a tea-mendous number of delicious choices. Shop our collection today and before you know it, you’ll have dropped coffee and soda like they dated your sister
Learn more about tea with these quick reads: