So, you’re not an iced coffee drinker. There’s nothing wrong with that, because guess what? You can pursue iced tea with the very same fanatical obsession! Actually, for Iced Tea Day (June 10), we’re explaining why you can lord your iced tea drinking over your iced-coffee-snob friends by effusing all the health benefits tea can provide for your body.
It’s true! Tea can be a very healthy beverage. That’s not to say coffee is an unhealthy beverage but, when it comes to overall health benefits, there’s not much that’s proven about coffee.
Brewed Coffee vs. Brewed Tea
Comparing them cup-for-cup (8-oz. cups), the Mayo Clinic reports that brewed coffee offers almost 100mg of caffeine and brewed black tea leaves offer almost 50mg. So, if you need that mental boost in the morning, coffee will bring it! If you want to avoid the jitters, tea can carry you through the day a little more smoothly.
When it comes to health issues like heart disease, one study showed that those who drank more than one cup of tea regularly experienced less calcium buildup in the arteries (which can lead to heart disease) while those who drank the same amount of coffee didn’t receive the same benefit. Research also links tea consumption to lower risks of cancer, less weight gain, and a stronger immune system.
The real benefits come in with green tea and herbal teas, though. Green tea leaves—which are the same leaves used for black tea, they’re just dried instead of roasted—provide the body with flavonoids (cancer fighters), polyphenols and catechins (heart disease and bad cholesterol fighters), calcium, iron, and potassium.
The benefits of herbal teas haven’t been researched nearly as much, but brewed herbal teas can provide benefits that are correlated to their respective plants. Harvard Health Publishing explains some benefits of ginger, chamomile, and hibiscus and those are just three types of herbal teas. There are hundreds of types of herbs and that means flavor options coffee can never provide without added sugars, carbs and… calories!
Browse through the tea aisle next time you’re at the grocery store, you may be surprised at the interesting flavors you’ll find. Or stop into an ethnic market for imported varieties like jasmine, rose, or cinnamon at shockingly inexpensive prices. Then you can start mixing and matching and using iced tea recipes like these for your daily tea fix and special occasions!