Does Tea or Coffee Increase Life Expectancy?
Anything that increases life expectancy is worth talking about. Whether you drink it hot or iced, let’s look at some benefits derived from tea.
What is the Healthiest Tea to Drink?
Tea, in certain forms, is definitely a healthy food. Black tea, green tea, white tea, red tea… So many choices. It’s pretty universal that black tea, as a processed product and has higher caffeine content, is the least healthy of the teas. Recently evidence emerged that black tea, from China, is an especially poor choice due to lead content. Lead, a heavy metal, is a toxic compound affecting the body’s nervous system and most other organs and is most definitely a substance to be avoided. China’s heavy pollution from its coal-burning affects nearby oceans and land. Much like large fish that over time have accumulated high lead levels, tea leaves that are more mature (those that make black tea) and grown in contaminated soil are similarly affected. China is a very large exporter of tea.
The younger leaves found in white and green teas have two to six times less lead than the mature leaves used to produce black and oolong tea. Additionally, the black and oolong variety release their lead into the tea water more readily, making the risk an incredible 100 times lower for green tea as compared to the black and oolong teas. In fact, the risk is so high that exceeding 3 cups of Chinese black tea per day would exceed the safe exposure level to lead. If you must drink black or oolong tea, we recommend a non-China source based on the risk of toxic lead contamination. Japanese green tea, on the other end of the spectrum, is so low in the lead that you can safely consume 8 teaspoons per day of its leaves.
Interestingly organic teas didn’t show less heavy metal contamination. They would definitely have lowered pesticide content which is always good to strive for, but the toxic metals were not significantly different.
Our recommendation has always been to consume green and white tea due to its health benefits, but I also want to share some data on a tea that is neither green nor white but factually beats them both in the antioxidant category. Can you guess what it is? I’ll reveal it a little bit later in this article.
Green Tea or White Tea, Which is Best?
When we speak of green tea, there are actually two varieties, green and white. The green tea is made from young leaves and white tea from even younger leaves that have little white hairs, hence its name. I was always trying to find out which was better, health-wise. I personally like the taste of certain white teas but never had any definitive evidence of which had the highest antioxidant content, the main “selling point” of green tea. Antioxidants are cancer fighters, toxin fighters, and all-around “good guys” when it comes to health benefits, therefore daily good tea ingestion is something I highly recommend.
A study revealed that while green wins the battle over white when consumed alone, the addition of lemon gives white tea a big leg up over its slightly older, greener counterpart. If you hate lemon in your tea, stick with green, but if some lemon suits you, enjoy it with white tea to derive the highest antioxidant content. The acidic nature of lemon draws out the antioxidant goodness from both teas, with white winning the battle by a fair bit.
If you want to boost antioxidant power even higher, eat your green tea leaves. Get some high-quality Matcha powder and add 2 to 3 teaspoons to your smoothie.
Want even more antioxidant power? I spoke earlier about the “new tea” that you should learn about. Here’s the data: Dr. Michael Gregor shares that hibiscus tea may be the healthiest thing to drink on the planet if you want to get the highest antioxidant content.
He uses the following recipe for a fruit punch tasting drink that is incredibly healthy for you.
Take 4 cups of water and add 2 bags of hibiscus tea (you want hibiscus to be listed as the first ingredient in the tea you use). Add the juice of ½ lemon to maximize the antioxidant content. You can add a little sweetener such as erythritol (a nice low calorie sweetener actually rich in antioxidants itself) or a bit of honey to taste. Either warm or cold, this is something you can sip on all day. It’s delicious and very good for you!
Is Coffee Unhealthy?
Some will tout that coffee drinkers live longer. It’s not a large benefit but those drinking 6 or more cups per day did seem to have a slightly lowered risk of dying from certain diseases including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and infections. The kicker was that the benefit was only seen in older coffee drinkers, over 55 years of age. Younger coffee drinkers unfortunately had increased the death rate at that level of consumption. The safe level, adrenal function (your stress gland) aside, seems to be 1 to 2 cups per day. I mention adrenal glands because caffeine can be especially detrimental when the adrenal glands have become exhausted. The symptoms associated with this include fatigue, allergies, trouble sleeping, mood swings, joint pain, and more.
The bottom line is that the doctors of Root Cause Medical Clinic don’t recommend coffee as a beverage because there are many healthier choices, and tea is a great one!
Do you need help with your health?
We have the diagnostic and testing tools, the clinical experience, and a different medical approach to discovering the root cause of why you have the symptoms that are bothering you. As long as you are ready to make some dietary and lifestyle changes, we can help you. We will "hold your hand" through the changes, step by step, to make each step an easy one. We are located in Clearwater, FL, at 1000 S Ft Harrison, at the corner of Ft. Harrison Ave. and Magnolia St. There is plenty of parking space directly accessible from Ft Harrison. If it is not convenient for you to come to Root Cause Medical Clinic, we offer telehealth/telemedicine consultations to residents of certain states. Call us for details.
Dr. Vikki Petersen DC. CCN
Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner
Dr Vikki Petersen is a public speaker, author of two books, several eBooks and creates cutting edge content for her YouTube community. Dr Vikki is committed to bringing Root Cause Medicine and its unique approach to restoring health naturally to the world.