Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world – it’s also mega business. Coffee plants are cultivated in over 70 nations. It’s an important export product for Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Half the people in America beverages coffee on a daily basis. Starbucks, founded in 1971, is now the world’s largest coffeehouse chain with over 20,000 stores in more than 60 nations. In the past five years (2009-2013) alone, Starbucks’ share price has risen more than seven-fold.
Given this widespread popularity, it is no surprise that lots of people have wondered if drinking coffee is an unhealthy habit. Caffeine, after all, is a stimulant drug and is addictive. For decades, medical advice from organizations such as the American Heart Association has suggested that coffee may lead to elevated blood pressure and is bad for your heart. You might even have been told that coffee will give you an ulcer. Nevertheless, in recent years, there was an immense amount of new research which has only pretty much exonerated java.
Is coffee good or bad for you? The following summarizes the most recent findings on java and how it may actually benefits your health. Further, if you are 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.
Latest Research On The Health Perks Of Coffee
Though 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 like magnesium, potassium, and chromium. Research shows that not only are the non-caffeine components of java anti-fungal, 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 reveal that moderate coffee consumption on a regular basis impairs cognitive impairment, cuts cancer risk, stabilizes blood sugar, and benefits the center. In other words, coffee helps reduce the risk of several diseases:
Cancer (such as breast, colon, endometrial, kidney, liver, and oral)
Diabetes (type 2)
Heart disease (such as heart rhythm problems and stroke)
Even though coffee may have all the awesome health benefits, not all coffee is identical.
Coffee is a crop that is heavily sprayed with pesticides, therefore, you should select only coffee beans that are certified organic. Whenever possible, buy sustainable”shade-grown” java to help stop the continued destruction of the tropical rain forests and the birds which inhabit them.
Only purchase whole beans which smell and taste fresh, not stale.
You do not want to buy pre-ground coffee as you never know whether it’s already rancid by the time you get it.
Darker roast is superior to light roast. The darker roasts, such as Italian, French, or people 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 effectively than light roast coffee. Dark roast coffee is also easier on your stomach as it contains a compound 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 a single shot of espresso in the morning is best. However, 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 industrial creamers. Otherwise, you are undoing all the health benefits of coffee. Excessive 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 may add organic or preferably grass-fed whole milk or cream to your coffee. Skim or non-fat milk frequently has more sugar than milk, while commercial creamers generally have unsavory ingredients.
Avoid flavored and novelty java. These products usually contain a myriad of chemical additives.
If you use a drip coffee maker, avoid using the bright white chlorine-bleached filters. Some of the chlorine may leach into the coffee during the brewing process. The bleached filters may also contain dangerous disinfection byproducts such as dioxin.
Avoid plastic cups. Be careful about the container you drink your coffee from. Plastic cups may leach BPA and Styrofoam cups may leach polystyrene molecules. Your best bets are glass, ceramic, or stainless steel coffee mugs.
When Coffee Isn’t Right For you?
If you’re pregnant, you should completely avoid using caffeine.
If you have an issue with decreased adrenal function or adrenal fatigue, caffeine can actually create more stress in your adrenal glands. In this time, lots of folks are constantly stressed and exhausted, and rely on caffeine to get sustained energy to get through the day. If this is the case, it is a tell-tale sign your body is not functioning properly and you want to address the underlying issues.
Adrenal fatigue can wreak havoc on your health. Therefore, if you have adrenal fatigue, pumping your system with caffeine is merely going to aggravate your problem in the long run.
Coffee has a diuretic effect. If you have problems with electrolyte balance, you might choose to avoid it too.
If you drink coffee and have problems falling asleep or have a tendency to awake in the night, you might 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 problems by the caffeine, you may want to vary your kind of roast, grind, or brewing method or cut down on the amount you drink each day and be sure you only have coffee early in the morning.
There is also the chance of mold (java is a dried food and might contain mold) or other contaminants in the java that trigger a physical reaction.
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 those that do seem to be promising. But as caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant and can result in dependence and withdrawal symptoms, decaf coffee is probably the way to go if you want the flavor of coffee.
When you buy 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 with the chemical solvent ethyl acetate. You need to avoid this sort of decaf coffee as traces of chemical dyes 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 several cups per day, the caffeine can add up rather quickly.
To conclude, coffee is loaded with antioxidants and valuable nutrients that benefit your health. However, be cautious with the stimulant effect of caffeine since it can become extremely addictive. Caffeine is also a source of stress for your adrenal glands. Therefore, drinker be mindful! If you like the flavor of coffee, mixing regular with decaf may be a good way to gradually cut down on your dependence on caffeine.