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Coffee or Green Tea: Which Drink is Right For You?

Do you consider yourself to be a coffee connoisseur or a green tea devotee?

Both beverages carry their own set of research-backed benefits that may help you maintain your energy and health as you attempt to balance your caregiver duties with the rest of your life.

These benefits are helpful to know if you're having trouble deciding which drink to down.

Snag a green tea bag if you want to:

  • Fortify your bones: One in two women over age 50 will experience an osteoporosis –related fracture at some point, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. The good news? Australian researchers have linked regular consumption of green and black tea to an increase in bone mineral density in older women.
  • Live longer: Becoming a daily drinker of tea may help extend your lifespan, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Study authors found a connection between regularly drinking green tea (5 cups or more per day) and a reduction in risk of death from all causes.
  • Duck dentures: Green tea may help keep your teeth and gums healthy, according to a Japanese study that found that gulping more than one cup of tea per day helped prevent gingivitis and tooth loss.
  • Free yourself from free radicals: Green tea is king of the antioxidants—substances that help guard cells against the detrimental effects of free radicals. More than any other type of tea or coffee, green tea has by far the most cancer-fighting antioxidants (called polyphenols).

Make a mug of Joe if you want to:

  • Avert Alzheimer's: Three cups of coffee per day may help you keep Alzheimer's disease at bay. A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease discovered that older adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment—a common precursor to Alzheimer's disease—who had higher levels of caffeine in their blood were able to delay the development of full-blown Alzheimer's for several years.
  • Beat the blues: It may not help in cases of full-blown caregiver burnout, but studies have shown that women who drink coffee may be less likely to become depressed than their non-coffee drinking counterparts. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that a daily intake of four cups of coffee was enough to decrease a woman's chances for developing depression by as much as 20 percent.
  • Stave off a stroke: Swigging at least two cups of coffee each day may help prevent you from having a stroke. The bitter beverage has been shown to decrease a woman's risk for having a stroke by 25 percent, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
  • Up your essential nutrients: Coffee is a proven source of certain essential nutrients, including: potassium, magnesium and niacin.

If you'd prefer not to choose between the two, you can derive benefit from consuming coffee and tea. Studies have indicated that both beverages may reduce a person's risk for heart disease, various types of cancer, Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders, and Type 2 diabetes.

Things to keep in mind…

Most studies that connect coffee and green tea with certain health benefits are correlational—scientists have found a relationship between consuming these beverages and certain medical advantages. Because these links are correlational, they are not guaranteed to occur in everyone.

Additionally, while the mind-sharpening benefits of caffeine can be wonderful, there are a few downsides to the stimulant—which can be found in both green tea and coffee.

Caffeine can be addicting, and over time you may need more and more to clear out your mental cobwebs. It may also raise blood pressure and increase symptoms of anxiety and insomnia in people prone to these issues.

The typical cup of coffee has nearly three times the amount of caffeine as green tea, so if you're concerned about consuming too much of the stimulant, you may want to go with green tea or stick to a decaffeinated brew.

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