Coffee, tea and cocoa, even though regarded as vice for the longest time, even being compared to alcohol and cigarettes, are healthier than it was presumed.
Scientists keep discovering secrets of coffee, tea and cocoa, three herbs which are used in different forms on all continents. As time goes by, studies show they are healthier than it was ever believed before. All three contain antioxidants and phenols which have preventive, and in some cases healing effect. Until recently, focus was on their bad influence, often unfounded in facts. They were categorized together with alcohol and cigarettes as vice.
Coffee, which is accepted world wide, has a very interesting composure of herbal chemicals and antioxidants. Because of that, research has shown that coffee is, as an antioxidant, five times stronger than tea and three times stronger than red wine.
Coffee and tea are in any case both more than just “caffeine solutions”, as it was once believed. They contain a vast variety of biologically active substances. Their full effect is yet to be determined, but for now it’s sufficient to say it’s positive. In the same manner, cocoa is more than just theobromine, a substance that similarly to caffeine affects nervous system. Cocoa has high percentage of procyanidin, a type of polyphenol which has a whole list of positive effects.
Cocoa is in most cases consumed in the form of chocolate. Studies have shown that its effect is better if it’s not polluted with sugar and various fats. In other words, the healthiest are those chocolates that have high percentage of cocoa in them and the lowest percentage of other ingredients such as various herbal oils and sugar which don’t come from cocoa bean itself.
As far as coffee is concerned, research has shown that roasting is good because it increases antioxidant effect. Only flavor depends from the chosen style of preparation. Analysis shows that, for example, short and long espresso both have completely identical content of useful matter, which means it depends on amount of spent coffee. “American coffee”, even though “long and slim”, contains a lot of useful matter as well because, in order to prepare it, we use several “doses” of coffee.
Useful content of coffee also depends on type of coffee which is consumed. For example, Arabica has higher concentration of polyphenols and caffeine than other sorts, which can be recognized in its sharper flavor. Precisely because of that, however, many people do not like it and many importers don’t use it in mixtures they make.
In tea consumption, there’s a big difference between green tea, which is made out of green leaves which mostly keep their original shape and are just dried, and black tea, which is made in a specific fermentation process. This is why it was commonly believed that green tea is healthier, but recent studies have shown that fermentation is also useful, because it leads to creation of thousand of substances which green tea doesn’t have. However, that doesn’t mean that green tea isn’t good: it’s already proven its favorable effect on metabolism which, for example, helps with losing excess weight.
In the end, studies have ruled out misbelieves regarding tea, coffee and cocoa. No research succeeded in proving that chocolate allegedly causes constipation. It’s also untrue that coffee and tea, because they are diuretics, can’t hydrate the organism. They both hydrate effectively, tea much better naturally, because it is consumed in larger quantities. However, sugar shouldn’t be used with them. Experts recommend usage of honey and fructose instead.
Because of the fact coffee and tea have an effect on nervous system – so much that coffee was listed as doping for athletes until 2003 – they should be consumed moderately. Experts say you shouldn’t go for over two or three cups daily. In any case, you should not reach over recommended daily dose of 300 milligrams of caffeine. You should keep some things in mind when calculating your caffeine intake. Caffeine is found in many other drinks – energy drinks, colas, mate tea, regular teas and even headache medicine.
That should all be accounted for when determining your daily dosage. Also, caffeine consumption leads to tolerance, which means coffee won’t have same effects on people who drink five cups a day and people who don’t drink it regularly. Getting accustomed to coffee (tea, cocoa) practically reduces the effect of caffeine. In other words, people should be careful when they decide to use coffee as medicine.