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Sip to Your Heart's Content

posted Feb 19, 2015, 9:17 AM by Rachel Griffin   [ updated Nov 4, 2015, 12:40 PM by Julia Quam ]

Coffee & tea have been consumed for ages for various reasons, but research continues to show that coffee and tea drinkers may be receiving some health benefits from these beverages. Both beverages have numerous social connotations that have changed throughout the ages, but the important thing is that they are still widely consumed!  

Coffee and some teas contain antioxidant compounds called polyphenols or flavonoids which research is showing may prevent heart disease. There are various types of teas with differing amounts of the flavonoids, but most studies show that black and green teas contain the most.  Along with coffee, these teas also contain a fair amount of caffeine, so limiting intake to 1-2 cups per day may be best for some individuals. When choosing tea, try loose tea or tea bags with few added ingredients to ensure that you are receiving the full benefits of the beverage.  For coffee, choose a high quality bean and grind yourself for the most complex flavor.  

Flavored coffee and tea beverages have become increasingly popular, so do not be lured by high-calorie, high-sugar lattes, macchiatos, and cappuccinos in the name of antioxidants.  For the best in taste and health, brew and flavor coffee or tea yourself!  Liven up tea with fresh citrus, herbs, or a touch of honey.  Add some pizzazz to your coffee with a touch of pure maple syrup or a splash of low-fat milk (or milk alternative) and vanilla extract. 

As we mentioned in our chocolate post, taking a few minutes out of your busy routine to unwind can also aid in stress reduction, which is another recommendation for overall heart health.  Whether your choice is coffee or tea, try to include it in an overall calming routine, by sipping slowly and breathing deeply.

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