Below is my translation of the first part of a 1-page article from Lifeweek, a lifestyle and current affairs magazine from China. The article compares the potential health benefits of drinking tea and coffee. Interest in tea for health is strong in China, even when the research findings come out of another country, in this case the UK.
The article is one small part of a huge 67-page feature “The Way of Good Tea.” It covers a range of tea-related topics such as the harvesting and processing of different teas, tea science and tea for health, how tea became so popular in Britain, and ancient Chinese tea wares.
Enjoy with a good strong cuppa!
Why I Switched to Tea
By Xue Wei
Over the past two years I’ve put on quite a lot of weight.
I think one of the reasons I’ve fattened up is my regular cup of joe. After drinking coffee, I feel hungry and eat too much. This is due to the fact that caffeine promotes insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar levels. As a result I’ve started to drink more tea and less coffee.
If you like the aroma of green tea, did you know that it is derived from molecular matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)? This is also what gives grapefruit, basil and cabernet sauvignon their fragrance.
A BBC report early this year combed through a huge range of scientific literature and compared the actual quantifiable effects of tea and coffee on people’s physical and mental well-being. It concluded that in terms of lifting our mood, drinking a large amount of tea has much clearer benefits than drinking the same amount of coffee, even though a cup of tea contains about the caffeine of a standard cup of percolated coffee (40 mg as opposed to 80-115 mg).
How Coffee Compares to Tea for Health
In terms of sleep quality, coffee drinkers often have more difficulty getting a good night’s rest. Tea drinkers, on the other hand, sleep longer and are more relaxed.
In terms of relaxing the nerves, coffee makes people more tense. Tea can have a calming effect. Drinking 3 cups of tea a day could lower your risk of depression by 37% compared to drinking no tea. It also appears that drinking a cup of coffee a day can reduce the risk of depression by 8%.
In terms of disease prevention, drinking a few cups of coffee or tea a day may reduce the risk of diabetes. These two beverages, it seems, could both have a role in maintaining heart health. But the evidence for coffee is a little clearer in this respect. However, tea may be better able to prevent a range of cancers. This could be a result of its rich anti-oxidant content.
An article in the London Times also compared the effects of tea and coffee on our blood pressure, bones and weight reduction–and tea comes out on top every time.
Source: Lifeweek (Sanlian Shenghuo Zhoukan), April 25, 2016, p. 79.