Many Americans start their day with a hot beverage. Coffee and tea have powerful anti-cancer properties and are the most consumed.

In many studies, researchers have demonstrated that plant chemicals found in coffee have the potential to decrease inflammation and stop cancer from developing. A review of all studies completed on coffee with regard to cancer risk found drinking coffee may slightly reduce the risk of melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, and breast, prostate, endometrial, and liver cancers. (NEJM, 2020) The data suggests that for every cup of coffee consumed per day there was an improvement in overall survival in cancer patients. Those who drank at least 2 cups of decaffeinated coffee had an improved risk for overall survival as well. 

Green tea contains substances called polyphenols, which scientists think contribute to its anticancer activity. Laboratory studies of one polyphenol, catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), show that it may interfere with several processes involved in cell replication, causing cancer cells to die. A review of studies on green tea and breast cancer risk found those who consumed green tea decreased risk by 15%. (Nutrients, Dec 2018) Black tea contains plant chemicals that also exert cancer fighting potential.

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For those who are looking for a change to their morning ritual or want a healthy substitute for coffee or tea, here are some novel alternative hot beverages to try:

Add cinnamon to your coffee for an aromatic new twist to your old beverage.

Mix green tea with black tea to create a less acidic tasting beverage.

Add lemon juice to your green tea. Vitamin C helps you to absorb more cancer-fighting catechins.

Chaga Mushroom Elixir. Lab and animal studies show that compounds in chaga can kill cancer cells selectively and stimulate the immune system.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Coffee. Lion’s mane is a natural nootropic that supports memory, focus and concentration. We recommend this coffee to help chemo-brain or general fatigue.

The biggest tip of all? Avoid coffee made with a French press, and Greek or Turkey coffee because they contain higher amounts of cafestol and kahweol—chemicals known to raise bad cholesterol levels. Stick with filtered coffee, such as a paper filter that you would use in a drip-brewed coffee, which can help to trap these chemicals.