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Why coffee and tea are good for you

Who knew? Your favourite beverage fights depression, cancer and more

Coffee or tea – take your pick.

New research shows that both deliver unexpected health pluses. A 2011 study at Harvard University in the US, for example, found that female coffee drinkers who averaged four cups a day cut their risk of endometrial cancer (occurring on the lining of the uterus) by 25% and, with more than three cups of caffeinated coffee, lowered their odds of basal-cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer) by 20%. Tea also contains cancer-fighting antioxidants.

 

The beverages may also be mood boosters – coffee is linked to a decreased risk of depression and tea is linked to less anxiety.

 

Here’s how to get the most from your morning mug:

1. Take your tea black

Adding milk may blunt tea’s heart-health benefits, a German study found. And speaking of black, green tea may be the health star, but all members of the Camellia sinensis (the plant used to make Chinese tea) family – black, white and oolong tea, as well as green tea – have health benefits, including aiding in fi ghting infections and slowing cognitive decline.

 

2. Favour filters 

Coffee brewed without a paper filter – in a plunger or espresso pot, for example – retains an oily residue that contains cafestol, a substance that raises levels of heart-damaging LDL cholesterol. You could – if you’re addicted to your plunger – pour your coffee through a paper filter into a cup. Or just save special brews for a special occasion. Breakfast in bed, anyone?

 

Text originally appeared in Good Housekeeping July 2012

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