Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world – it is also mega business. Coffee plants are cultivated in more than 70 countries. It is an important export product for Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Half the population in America drinks coffee on a daily basis. Starbucks, founded in 1971, has become the world’s largest coffeehouse chain with more than 20,000 stores in more than 60 countries.
Given this widespread popularity, it is no surprise that many people have wondered if drinking coffee is an unhealthy habit. Caffeine, after all, is a stimulant medication and is addictive. For decades, medical advice from organizations like the American Heart Association has indicated that coffee can cause high blood pressure and is bad for your heart. You may even have been told that coffee will give you an ulcer. Nevertheless, in recent years, there has been an immense quantity of new research which has just pretty much exonerated coffee.
Is coffee good or bad for you? The following summarizes the latest findings on coffee and how it may actually benefits your health. Further, if you’re a regular coffee drinker, there are certain things about coffee you should also be aware of. Finally, know that coffee may not be appropriate for everyone, if you have certain conditions, you shouldn’t be drinking coffee in any respect.
Newest Research On The Health Perks Of Coffee
Although not every single study shows coffee to have health-promoting properties, the majority is rather positive.
Aside from caffeine, coffee contains a natural blend of polyphenol antioxidants, bioflavonoids, B vitamins, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and chromium. Research indicates that not only are the non-caffeine elements of coffee anti-inflammatory, they work together synergistically to help neutralize the harsher effects of the caffeine. Moreover, coffee might actually activate beneficial pathways in our bodies at the DNA level.
These studies show that moderate coffee consumption on a regular basis reverses cognitive impairment, cuts cancer risk, stabilizes blood sugar, and benefits the heart. In other words, coffee helps reduce the risk of many diseases:
Cancer (such as breast, colon, endometrial, kidney, liver, and oral)
Diabetes (type 2)
Heart disease (including heart rhythm problems and stroke)
Though coffee may have all the amazing health benefits, not all coffee is identical. Besides, how and when you drink it makes a difference too.
Coffee is a crop that’s heavily sprayed with pesticides, therefore, you should select only coffee beans which are certified organic. Whenever possible, buy sustainable “shade-grown” coffee to help stop the continuing destruction of the tropical rain forests and the birds which inhabit them.
Always buy whole bean. Only purchase whole beans which smell and taste fresh, not stale.
You don’t want to buy pre-ground coffee because you never know whether it’s already rancid by the time you get it.
Darker roast is superior to mild roast. The darker roasts, such as French, Italian, or those used to make expresso and Turkish coffee, are higher in neuroprotective agents than the lighter roasts. Dark roast coffee restores blood levels of the antioxidants vitamin E and glutathione more efficiently than mild roast coffee. Dark roast coffee is also easier on your stomach as it comprises a chemical that prevents your stomach from producing excess acid.
Best time to drink coffee is at the morning. According to some study, coffee may increase your metabolism by up to 20 percent. Therefore, having a cup of organic coffee or one shot of espresso in the morning is best. If you exercise in the morning, have your coffee before workout as studies show that coffee boosts athletic performance, not following as the caffeine may interfere with your body’s muscle-building mechanism. But do not go overboard, one or two cups in the morning should be the maximum for the day.
Drink your coffee without sugar, artificial sweetener, or commercial creamers. Otherwise, you are undoing all of the health benefits of coffee. Excess sugar consumption increases the risk of insulin resistance, suppresses the immune system, and perpetuates addictive food behaviour. If you want dairy and can tolerate it, then you might add organic or rather grass-fed whole milk or cream to your coffee. Skim or non-fat milk often has more sugar than whole milk, while commercial creamers generally have unsavory ingredients.
Avoid flavored and novelty java. These products usually contain a plethora of chemical additives.
If you use a drip coffee maker, avoid using the bright white chlorine-bleached filters. The bleached filters may also contain dangerous disinfection byproducts like dioxin.
Avoid plastic cups. Be careful about the container you drink your coffee from. Plastic cups can leach BPA and Styrofoam cups may leach polystyrene molecules.
When Coffee Is Not Right For you?
If you are pregnant, you should completely avoid using caffeine.
If you have an issue with diminished adrenal function or adrenal fatigue, caffeine can actually create more stress in your adrenal glands. In this time, lots of people are constantly stressed and exhausted, and rely on caffeine for sustained energy to get through the day. If this is the case, it is a tell-tale sign that your body isn’t functioning properly and you want to address the underlying issues.
Adrenal fatigue may wreak havoc on your wellbeing. Therefore, if you have adrenal fatigue, pumping your system with caffeine is merely likely to aggravate your problem in the long run.
If you have problems with electrolyte balance, you may want to avoid it as well.
If you drink coffee and have problems falling asleep or tend to wake up in the night, you may be caffeine sensitive. Caffeine levels vary depending on the type of roast, grind, and brewing method. The finer the grind, the higher the caffeine in the coffee. Drip coffee has more caffeine than espresso because the brew time is much longer. If you experience sleep issues by the caffeine, you might want to vary your type of roast, grind, or brewing method or cut down on the amount you drink every day and be sure you just have coffee early in the morning.
If you experience stomach cramping, heart palpitations, or other symptoms after drinking coffee, you may actually have a food intolerance. There’s also the chance of mold (coffee is a dried food and might contain mold) or other contaminants in the java that trigger a physical response.
What About Decaffeinated Coffee?
Up to now, there is yet conclusive evidence showing whether decaf coffee holds up to the benefits of caffeinated coffee. Limited studies were conducted using decaf coffee but the ones that do seem to be promising. But as caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant and can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms, decaf coffee may be the best way to go if you want the flavor of coffee.
When you purchase decaf coffee, always choose organic and Swiss Water Process, which is a chemical-free approach to extract caffeine. Beware that almost all decaf coffee found in coffeehouses and grocery stores is processed using the compound solvent ethyl acetate. You need to avoid this sort of decaf coffee as traces of chemical solvent still remain in the coffee.
Decaf coffee by law has to have at least 97 percent of the caffeine removed. As you can see, if you have many cups per day, the caffeine can add up rather quickly.
To conclude, coffee is loaded with antioxidants and beneficial nutrients that benefit your health. However, be careful with the stimulant effect of caffeine since it can get extremely addictive. Caffeine is also a source of stress for your adrenal glands. Therefore, drinker be aware! If you like the taste of coffee, mixing everyday with decaf might be a good way to gradually cut down on your dependence on caffeine.