Coffee is one of those things, like whole eggs, that has been both praised and chastised for it’s health effects over time. Most of us who have a stable relationship with coffee think of it as the only way to start of your day, or as good pick me up for when you have an important meeting. Others believe that the caffeine content in coffee can cause addiction, heart problems, and variety other issues. So what is the real truth behind coffee anyways? Is it good? Is it bad? Let’s investigate further.
Why Coffee Might Actually be Good for You
First and foremost, coffee is known to help people get up and going in the morning. It has been scientifically proven that coffee boosts a person’s mental and physical performance. The caffeine in coffee not only keeps you mentally alert, but it can help you physically perform better by stimulating the central nervous system. Try it for yourself and have a cup of coffee about 30 minutes before your next workout and you will actually feel and see the difference.
The whole idea that coffee can help you lose weight is also true. With important vitamins and minerals like magnesium and potassium, the body’s blood sugar becomes more regulated and this helps your body use insulin more efficiently. Overall, this will help reduce your cravings for sweet, sugary snacks and treats. Not only that, but coffee is useful in helping you burn fat as well. Caffeine has been proven to boost metabolism as well as reduce appetite.
Coffee can also reduce the chances of several different illnesses and diseases. It has been proven that coffee is associated with lower risk of stroke with 2-4 cups per day. The risk of Parkinson’s disease is reduced by as much as 25% as well. This is because coffee is known to stimulate activity in the part of the brain that is most affected by Parkinson’s. Knowing that, it may not come as much of a surprise that coffee also reduces the chance of Alzheimer disease as well as dementia. Another health benefit is that coffee helps your body become less sensitive to insulin, which means your risk of Type 2 diabetes is reduced.
Perhaps the most impressive and surprising find is that coffee actually helps reduce the risk of some cancers. Several studies have shown that prostate cancer in men is reduced by up to 20% while endometrial cancer in women is reduced by as much as 25%. That’s only by drinking a couple cups of coffee a day! Caffeine may also be an effective preventative measure for the development of basal cell carcinoma (the most common type of skin cancer).
Antioxidants are known to help your body fight against what we call “free radicals” and coffee is jam packed with these. Antioxidants are also beneficial for improving the health of your eyes, urinary tract, heart, skin, immune system as well as mental health. Not only that, but coffee can also help to improve your mood.
Those are just some proven benefits from coffee, but it’s also important to keep in mind that the quality of your coffee matters too. To get the most from your coffee, it is always suggested to go with an organic and if possible whole bean coffee.
Why Coffee Might Actually be Bad for You
If you find yourself chugging down too much coffee, or coffee that is of poor quality and full of molds and other impurities, you may find yourself feeling sick. Symptoms can include headache, nausea, nervousness, and anxiety. This commonly happens with coffee beans that are over-ripe, or that have been infected with mold toxins.
While the saying too much of anything thing can kill you may sound like a joke, the saying is absolutely true when it comes to coffee. Try drinking 100 cups of coffee in a short period of time and you’ll drop dead. A large dose of 10-13 grams of caffeine, even less if you’re a child or smaller female, is absolutely lethal. The average cup of coffee contains about 100mg of caffeine so this would be difficult to achieve, but DO NOT try it.
Coffee has also been known to cause restlessness and insomnia at night time. While your tolerance will grow over time, you should try to never exceed more than 500 milligrams of caffeine in a day, or about 5 cups of coffee. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine and should limit themselves to 1 or 2 cups.
Women who are pregnant are recommended not to drink coffee at all, but if you must, limit to 1 cup a day. The effect of coffee on the fetus has been quite a controversial topic, but studies have revealed that caffeine does indeed reach the baby. As a fetus, the baby is extremely sensitive to anything going in and out of the mother’s body, thus, caffeine and any other drug should be avoided.
People with high levels of cholesterol should be aware that coffee beans have cafestol and kahweol. These ingredients have been proven to raise LDL cholesterol levels. If you need to watch your cholesterol, then you should definitely make sure your coffee is pure and well filtered, as this is what traps most of cafestol and kahweol which contain the LDL components.
So Is Coffee Good or Bad?
While there are obvious benefits as well as risks associated with coffee, there is no real and clear answer. Every person is different and bodies react differently to different things. Most people say that, for healthy people, the benefits of coffee outweighs the negatives. If you do happen to be a regular coffee drinker though, it is highly suggested you go for high quality coffee brands to avoid the risk of ingesting excess toxins. If you’re living life just fine without coffee, then keep on keeping on because it certainly is no magic elixer of health.