For years, physicians have been warning about the negative health effects of drinking coffee.
Mounting Evidence Suggests Coffee May Actually Have Therapeutic Health Benefits !
You may have been told that coffee will raise your blood pressure, lead to heart disease, give you an ulcer or make you diabetic. But studies continue to roll in that caste doubt on this “common wisdom.”
Certainly, like anything, coffee should not be used in excess. However, study after study has failed to prove that moderate coffee consumption increases your risk for cardiovascular disease or any other serious illness.
In fact, it’s beginning to look like coffee—at least in moderation—may have a number of unrecognized health-promoting properties. As a result of the rather impressive list of therapeutic benefits.
One of the latest studies, published in April 2012 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition1, confirms earlier studies that coffee may actually reduce your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Regardless of traditionally ominous warnings that coffee should be avoided, it’s being consumed in massive quantities worldwide. Although it’s inarguable now that coffee does have therapeutic benefits, if you are dousing your cup of Joe in creamer, sugar, and other sweeteners and flavorings, you are missing out on the therapeutic benefits and potentially harming your health.
Could Coffee Really be GOOD for You?
With all of these compounds, you might wonder if there are any that have undesirable health effects. Yes, there are. But as I mentioned earlier, these are more concerning if ingested in isolation, as opposed to being consumed as part of the whole food.
What about the Caffeine?
Caffeine is the most widely used drug in the world and can be helpful or harmful, depending on how it’s used.
Caffeine provides a “lift” by blocking the normal action of adenosine. Adenosine normally slows down your brain’s activity and induces sleepiness. Some people are caffeine sensitive and don’t tolerate it well, or have problems sleeping if they have caffeine too late in the day.
Caffeine levels vary depending on type of bean, roast, grind, and brewing method. Contrary to popular belief, darker roasts typically contain less caffeine than lighter roasts due to the prolonged heat breaking down more of the caffeine molecules. Bean species also differ widely in their naturally occurring concentrations of caffeine. Additionally, drip coffee actually has more caffeine than espresso because the brew time is much longer. And in general, the finer the grind, the higher the caffeine in the coffee. So, you might want to vary some of these factors if you experience a reaction, like switching from drip coffee to espresso, or changing brands.
If you have an issue with decreased adrenal function, use coffee with care, as it can be hard on your adrenal glands. Coffee also has a diuretic effect, so if you have problems with electrolyte imbalance, you might want to avoid it.
If you have any negative reactions to coffee, caffeine isn’t always the culprit. You could be sensitive to some of the burnt sugars or oils produced during the roasting of the beans, rather than the caffeine. People experience symptoms such as stomach cramping, heart palpitations and other autonomic symptoms, and these symptoms are usually interpreted as caffeine sensitivity when they are actually more of a food intolerance.
The List is Growing of Health Benefits from Coffee.
Diabetes – A Japanese study in 2010 revealed that coffee consumption exerted a protective effect against type 2 diabetes; further confirmed by 2012 German study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers have also found that coffee doubles glucose intake, which will greatly reduce blood glucose levels.
Parkinson – Coffee may significantly cut your risk of Parkinson’s disease. In fact, coffee is so preventative against Parkinson’s that drug companies are designing experimental drugs that mimic coffee’s benefits to your brain.
Alzheimer – A 2011 study revealed that a yet unidentified mystery ingredient in coffee interacts with the caffeine to help protect you from Alzheimer’s disease
Prostate Cancer – A study showed moderate coffee drinking reduces your chances of being hospitalized for heart rhythm problems.
Strokes – A 2011 study found that women who drank more than one cup of coffee per day had about a 25 percent lower risk of stroke than women who drank less; a 2009 study found women who drank four or more cups of coffee per day reduced their stroke risk by 20 percent
Gastrointestinal Flora – A study in 2009 showed coffee produced an increase in the metabolic activity and/or numbers of Bifid bacterium, which are beneficial bacteria in your gut.
Liver – Kidney and colorectal cancer.Coffee Quality is Key: Four Tips to Remember
When it comes to achieving any therapeutic benefits from coffee, only quality coffee will do. You can find a great deal of information at Coffee & Conservation. Here are five primary considerations:
- Choose: Coffee beans are one of the most heavily sprayed crops with pesticides. So, you should select only coffee beans that are certified organic. Remember, you will obliterate ANY positive effects if you consume coffee that’s been doused in pesticides or other chemicals. Whenever possible, purchase sustainable “shade-grown” coffee to help prevent the continued destruction of our tropical rain forests and the birds that inhabit them. There are many who say shade grown coffee tastes better as well.
- Whole Bean: You’ll want to purchase whole bean coffee that smells and tastes fresh, not stale; if your coffee does not have a pleasant aroma, it is likely rancid. Grind it yourself to prevent rancidity as pre-ground coffee may be rancid by the time you get it home.
- Drink it Black: If you’re interested in the health benefits, drink your coffee black, without sugar or cream or flavorings. Add sugar and you’ll certainly ruin any of the benefits discussed above by spiking your insulin levels, which contributes to. Make sure the water you’re using is pure.
- Coffee Filters: If you use a “drip” coffee maker, be sure to use non-bleached filters. The bright white ones are chlorine-bleached, and some of this chlorine will leach from the filter during the brewing process. Bleached filters are also notoriously full of dangerous disinfection byproducts, such as dioxin.
- Coffee Mugs: Please be careful about the container you use. Avoid plastic cups as the BPA will leach into your drink, and also avoid Styrofoam cups that can leach polystyrene molecules. Your best bets include glass and ceramic travel mugs.