Tea and coffee are probably the oldest and most widely accepted beverages in the world. Although tea remains India’s most popular beverage over the last decade, consumption of coffee is on a steady rise. While most of us indulge in either of the two drinks it always brings up the question – Are they bad for us?
There have been numerous myths regarding them; a lot has been rubbished by science while we try to discuss some of the side-effects below.
Coffee is largely considered a stimulant in most parts of the world due to high concentrations of caffeine, which stimulates the central nervous system. While mild dose of caffeine in a day can help prevent Parkinson ’s disease, Type 2 Diabetes and certain types of cancer, too much caffeine can prove to be harmful.
Amount of caffeine in blood depends on various factors like quantity of intake, quality of coffee beans used and the type of brew ( filtered or unfiltered). Anything over 400 milligrams of caffeine (4 cups) per day over a long period of time can pose quite a few problems in the long run. Insomnia, anxiety and restlessness are the most common signs, while recent study says it may increase the risk of cancer and increased cholesterol.
While it is safe for most of us to indulge, pregnant women need to be extra cautious regarding their coffee intake as there has been a significant correlation between high caffeine consumption and increased risk of miscarriage.
Tea on the other hand is much safer as it contains antioxidants which helps detoxify the body, build immunity as well as helps reduce blood cholesterol. However, it also contains fluorides which may lead to osteofluorosis resulting in brittle bones and premature falling of teeth. Furthermore tea drinkers may also show some of the above mentioned signs of caffeine intake owing to moderate caffeine content in tea. Therefore one should not go beyond 6 cups a day.
Research shows increased risk of prostate cancer and oesophageal cancer in tea drinkers. Though the reason behind prostate cancer is not fully understood, it has been confirmed that risk of oesophageal cancer is higher among those who consume very hot tea.
While both have a lot of benefits in terms health, immunity and vigor when consumed in small quantity, too much of either is not good for health.