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Monday, February 26, 2018

Coffee and Health - Pros and Cons of Drinking Coffee

Why people love drinking coffee? There is no single answer to this question, as people have various reasons. Some drink it because they need the pick me up, some drink it because the withdrawal symptoms are pretty bad, some just love coffee, and some drink it as a social thing. Whatever the reason, people always wonder if coffee is good or bad for our health. The answer is not a simple one, but we can tell you this: it's a drink that we need to drink in moderation. We've heard so much about the good, the bad, and the myths behind drinking coffee. But are we really sure that what we know about coffee is fact or fake? Let's find out.

    Coffee Benefits

    The best and healthiest way to drink coffee is to drink it black. Adding creamer or milk, sugar or flavors can speed up the dissolution of the healthy oils found in coffee.

    Anti-Cancer Properties

    Though it's not true for all types of cancer, black coffee was proven to reduce the risk of having liver, colorectal, skin and prostate cancer. Research shows that drinking at least two cups of black coffee can reduce certain types of cancer from being acquired. They can also prevent these cancers from ever getting terminal as well.

    Coffee Can Cause Stomach Upsets

    It's true that coffee can cause an upset stomach. People attribute this to acidity in coffee, but that is not the real reason. There is a compound in coffee that stimulates the acid production in your stomach. That is why coffee is considered a digestive adjuvant. The problem is that in some people that production is too much. Here is a bit more about coffee causing an upset stomach.

    Another explanation for digestive problems from coffee is the prebiotic quality of coffee. The research is not conclusive, but it looks like coffee stimulates certain bacterial populations in our gut.
    But there are plenty of ways to reduce the stomach upsets. One way is knowing just how much you're drinking. Too much of anything can cause an upset tummy; even your beloved cup of joe.

    Prevention for Serious diseases

    There are over 200 studies conducted on coffee proving that coffee has more benefits than drawbacks. It was proven to help reduce the risk of getting Type II diabetes (reducing the risk by 22%), Alzheimer's Disease, serious heart diseases, Multiple Sclerosis, and many more.

    Rich in antioxidant

    This is pretty common knowledge about coffee. A coffee bean has more than phytochemicals that fights free radicals. That's why it has tons of benefits as research shows.

    Some of the phytochemicals in coffee are: Chlorogenic acid, Quinic acid, Cafestol and kahweol, N-methylpyridinium.

    Increases Alertness and Improves Mood

    Coffee is a brain protector. Caffeine is a stimulant that helps your brain stay alert. With the right amounts of caffeine, it keeps our brain from degrading, as we age.

    Coffee Helps Alleviate Depression

    There is a study that found that coffee drinkers are less likely to be depressed. This might be related to the anti-inflammatory properties of coffee. According to recent data, there is a strong link between depression and inflammation. Another reason might be coffee’s ability to increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine.

    Coffee Health Myths

    There are pros and cons of drinking coffee, some of them are true, some of them are myths. Some of the anecdotal evidence is just overinflated for marketing purposes, and in certain cases, what people believe about the black magic drink is just hilarious.

    Myth: Coffee for weight loss

    Caffeine can actually suppress the appetite. But, it doesn't directly contribute to losing weight. Coffee can temporarily quell appetite; but, it doesn't mean that it is complete alternative for food.

    It's also said about coffee that is a metabolism booster. There is not enough scientific research can back up that claim entirely.

    Coffee can be a bad thing for your diet, if you need to add creamer, or sugar.

    We are not completely discarding coffee as a possible help while trying to lose weight, but green coffee supplements will not do anything alone.

    Myth: It Causes Impotence

    This was actually an age-old myth that ignited in the 1600s. In 1967, a group of women filed a petition against coffee. They said that their men are growing impotent because of too much coffee intake. In fact, there is tons of ridiculous news about the health effects of coffee over the past millennia.

    Possible Myth: Causes Adrenal Fatigue

    There is a popular belief that coffee can put your adrenal glands in overdrive. This in turn overworks the adrenal glands, and in the end you will be more tired by drinking coffee.

    While the theory makes logical sense, there is no scientific research on it, so it is a pure speculation.

    Health Risks of Drinking Coffee

    Coffee was considered detrimental for our health for a long time. Only in the latest decade scientists debunked some myths about coffee, including the There are also disadvantages to drinking coffee and here are some of them:

    Coffee Risk One – Encourages Mineral Depletion (Can Cause Weaker Bones)

    Drinking coffee actually encourages your body to leach minerals faster. Caffeine is a diuretic, thus increases urination. This in turn speeds up depletion of minerals in your body including: calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and potassium. Moreover, caffeine could reduce the absorption of some minerals such as iron, manganese, zinc and copper.

    Coffee Risk - Can speed up Aging

    Though it is rich in antioxidants, drinking too much can have a backslide of effects. Too much antioxidants can literally age you instead of making you younger. Coffee can make us pee more. So, it also aids in losing water content in our body thus making your skin dry and prone to wrinkles.

    Coffee should be Avoided by Pregnant Women and Kids

    Kids have weaker gastrointestinal enzymes to really breakdown the complexity of coffee. Caffeine content in coffee is too high for kids. It is recommended that adults stick to drinking a maximum of 300 mg of caffeine. This is equivalent to about 4 cups of brewed coffee. For kids, to maximize the benefit of alertness and improved mood, it's best to give them only a quarter to a half of what adults drink. This would translate to about one 8-ounce cup of coffee. Even this could be too much for many kids.

    For pregnant women, coffee is fine as long as they don't go beyond 200 milligrams of caffeine. So, moms-to- be, halt on the refills! High levels of caffeine can translate to low birth weight or even miscarriage in earlier stages of pregnancy. We know pregnant women are often times exasperated by the constant need to take a nap, but this is actually good for your health and the baby’s.

    Other known cons of drinking coffee

    • Aggravates GI tract sensitivity
    • Induces a sweet tooth, (by stimulating the pancreas)
    • Causes insomnia and anxiety, (over stimulation of the adrenal glands)
    • Increases the risk of heart attack
    • May raise blood pressure
    • May worsen menopausal symptoms
    • Stains our teeth

    When Does Coffee Become Bad For You?

    You Are Sensitive to it

    If you didn’t know, you can be sensitive to coffee. Sensitivity to caffeine is pretty common, and most people find ways to manage it through limiting the amount consumed. A more serious problem is the allergy to caffeine, though this is a very rare occurrence.

    Amount of Intake

    Coffee is, overall, an awesome and healthy drink. But only to certain amount. Adults are recommended to take a safe amount of up to 6 cups of brewed coffee a day. And yes! That's black without any sugar or creamer. The healthy dose of coffee is about four to six 8-ounce cups of coffee a day.

    An average 8-ounce cup of coffee contains about 90-95 mg of caffeine. And it is recommended that an adult take about 300 mg of caffeine a day to optimize the benefits of coffee. But you have to remember, coffee should not be taken as an alternative for water.

    The negative effects of drinking coffee are mainly brought about by the excessive intake of caffeine. For more information, read about the harmful effects of caffeine.

    Not Drinking it Plain

    Adding sugar and milk or creamer actually reduces the health benefits of coffee. A great healthy cup of coffee can become toxic once you douse it with 4 cubes of sugar or heavy spoonfuls of refined sugar and pouring milk in it.

    The best alternative for sugar would be by adding honey, agave syrup, coconut sugar, or stevia.

    Improper Coffee Brewing Method

    This also affects the 'healthiness' of your cup of coffee. The amount of time you brew your coffee and the way you make coffee overall. Over brewing your coffee can blow all the health benefits off your cup of coffee. Once you brew you coffee for too long—not only does it taste bitter—it burns the essential oils from coffee.

    Over-brewing also pulls out more caffeine from the coffee bean. Caffeine is highly water-soluble. The more time a coffee bean is immersed in water, the more caffeine is extracted in your coffee. Temperature is also another over-extraction factor. If you brew coffee at higher temperatures, you dissolve more caffeine into your cup, and again, destroy some of the phytonutrients.

    For those who have sensitive stomachs, it's easier on the stomach to cold brew coffee than drinking it hot. Cold brew is gentler on your GI (gastrointestinal) tract, because of the different extraction profile at lower temperatures.

    Overall, drinking coffee is mostly good for our health. Actually, it's really good for us but in moderation. The only times we reap the bad seeds of coffee is by drinking it like water. Control is the key to drinking coffee and sticking to that literally translates to a life long-lived!

    Guest Author: Dorian Bodnariuc

    Dorian is a former barista and a perpetual coffee lover. He now writes about coffee and maintains the Coffee Brewing Methods blog. He enjoys all kinds of coffee, but his favorite method of brewing is espresso.

    That's all for today!
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