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It is a question that is asked frequently – “Is coffee bad for you,” It is a legitimate question given the amount of coffee we consume these days. Unfortunately, quite a lot of people assume that it is without actually knowing why. They will immediately point out the adverse side effects they may have heard of without researching.
There are several myths surrounding the effects of coffee drinking, but the truth is that it can be both good and bad for you; it simply depends upon the circumstances, the amount of coffee you drink, and your overall health. Is coffee bad for you if your intake is excessive? Well, that is true of many things we consume. So let’s look at the facts.
The Good Effects of Coffee
It may come as a surprise, but coffee does possess some positive characteristics and can be good for you. Did you know, for example, that just one cup of coffee can contain as much as the following –
- 11% of your daily vitamin B2 requirement
- 3% of your daily Potassium
- 3% of your daily manganese
- up to 6% of your daily Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5.)
Coffee Can Be Good For Your Heart!
Studies have found that drinking coffee in moderation, i.e., up to three cups per day, can reduce your risk of stroke. This is due to the antioxidants present in coffee, which are thought to reduce inflammation of the arteries. Coffee is relatively high in antioxidants, containing more per serving than blueberries, which surprises most people. In fact, in the American diet today, coffee is the largest single source of antioxidants.
Coffee and Diabetes
Studies have also shown that coffee can significantly reduce the risk of type two Diabetes, especially in women between 18-40. Some studies have proven that it reduces the risk of Diabetes by up to 50%. Given the huge rise in the incidence of this disease in the western world in recent years, this is an essential factor to be researched.
The drink is also shown to reduce the effects of Parkinson’s disease in men and women who have not undergone hormonal replacement therapy.
Coffee And Your Liver
Drinking coffee can also reduce the risk of liver disease and help to prevent cirrhosis in those who drink alcohol. Only one cup per day can significantly increase the health and function of your liver. This is an area in which more research is needed, but indications are that a couple of cups a day may reduce your chances of developing liver cancer by over 40%.
Some studies have indicated that consuming coffee may significantly reduce a person’s risk of developing colorectal cancer. This is one of the most common forms of cancer in the world.
Coffee provides alertness and stimulates the brain to enjoy greater levels of concentration and wakefulness; a little-known fact is that it also increases mental processing and can decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease when taken in large quantities (about 5 cups per day).
Coffee Can Ward Off Your Headaches!
How coffee manages this is not clear, but it may be connected to how caffeine makes the brain cells more active, leading to constriction of the surrounding blood vessels. This may lessen the pressure which is causing the pain. A cup of freshly brewed coffee will likely relieve your symptoms.
Negative Effects of Coffee
There are several perceived adverse effects of coffee drinking, namely –
Coffee raises blood pressure because caffeine can cause the heart to beat faster. However, in an experienced coffee drinker, this will be, at most, one or two points off your blood pressure. Regular coffee drinkers will likely never notice the effects. Coffee can be a cause of hypertension, however; the risk is very minimal. It is prudent for anyone suffering from high blood pressure to be moderate in the amount of coffee they consume and to seek advice from their doctor.
Caffeine, which is present in coffee in large doses, does limit the body’s ability to absorb Vitamin D. It is also true that it leeches calcium from your bones and digestive tract, drawing it out through the urinary system. This process can go on for as long as three hours after orally drinking caffeine. Because vitamin D and calcium affect bone density and strength, regularly drinking coffee without replacing the calcium may increase the risk of osteoporosis. However, studies on this are not conclusive.
Also, a simple cup of milk with added vitamin D is more than enough to replace these nutrients.
Again it may be sensible for post-menopausal women not to drink excessive amounts of coffee.
Interfering With The Absorption of Vitamin And Minerals
Coffee also negatively affects the way your body absorbs vitamins and minerals. However, increasing the amount of green tea or fresh fruit in your diet can eliminate this problem.
The drink can also increase your risk of dehydration since it contains chemicals that increase urination. You could quickly suffer from dehydration if you do not drink plenty of water with your coffee.
Is Coffee Bad For You If It’s Unfiltered?
Due to diterpenes cafestol and kahweol levels in unfiltered or poorly filtered coffee, the drink can also minimally increase the risk of coronary heart disease. These chemicals also increase cholesterol and plasma homocysteine, which are vital factors in the increased risk of heart disease. However, adequately filtered coffee and exercise can reduce these risks to almost null.
So Is Coffee Bad for You – What Conclusions Can We Draw?
The main conclusion is that the question’ Is coffee bad for you cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. Coffee can be good or bad, depending on the situation. In some cases, coffee can cause harmful effects such as hypertension, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and even an increased risk of miscarriage.
However, coffee can also be a very healthy and nutritional addition to your day and can reduce the risk of liver stones, gall stones, kidney stones, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
In some cases, you should not drink coffee, or you should limit your coffee intake. For example, if you have high blood pressure, are pregnant or nursing, do not get enough calcium or vitamin D, or have a history of heart problems, you should probably limit your caffeine intake to 300mg daily. Remember that if you take any medication or pills, chances are they already contain a minimum of 300mg of caffeine.
Coffee can sometimes increase the risk of weight gain. However, on its own, coffee will do no such thing. If you are worried about your weight or have Diabetes, black coffee has a meager calorie count. Drinking black coffee is also the healthiest and most nutritious way to enjoy the beverage.
High-quality, freshly ground beans are another great way to add benefit to your coffee. Did you know coffee beans begin to lose not only flavor and aroma but vitamin content only fifteen minutes after being ground?
Another consideration is your coffee filter. A cheap paper filter can change the taste of your coffee and doesn’t work as well as a more expensive metal or even plastic filter. Filtering your coffee will remove harmful chemicals such as diterpenes. A metal filter can be re-used, which means that with just a bit of washing, it can eventually be cheaper than purchasing paper filters.
Remember, coffee can be a good thing, but as with anything, good things are better in moderation. If you aren’t sure what amounts of caffeine are best for you, consider asking your doctor. If you are an average, healthy person and get plenty of exercises, you should be able to drink as much coffee as you want. If you have other problems or risks, consider limiting your intake to one or two cups of coffee daily.
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