There was a time when the only news about coffee and health was how it was bad for the heart, likely to give us ulcers and aggravate our nerves, but, finally, coffee is receiving its deserved seal of health approval. The evidence is in that we can actually encourage people to go on and drink coffee, if it is organic.
It will take nothing short of another mass extinction event to curb our love of coffee. Coffee ingestion is, on average, about one third of that of tap water in North America and Europe. (International Journal of Cancer) We drink coffee for its magnificent taste (if one is drinking good coffee) and we drink it for the effects coffee instantly imparts to our consciousness.
We all used to think that drinking coffee could have a negative impact on the body but let us face it; that did not deter hundreds of millions, even billions of people from drinking coffee. A lot of coffee.
The turning point for coffee came with the publication in 2008 of a Harvard-led study, that examined data on over 130,000 participants from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow up Study who were followed for about 20 years. The results showed regularly consuming up to 6 cups of coffee per day (containing around 100 mg caffeine per 8 oz. cup) was not linked with increased deaths, in either men or women, from any cause, or death from cancer, or from cardiovascular disease.
Coffee is everywhere, through history and across the world. Moreover, increasingly, science is demonstrating that its popularity is a good thing. The work at Harvard is just part of an emerging picture of coffee as a potentially powerful elixir against a range of ailments, from cancer to cavities. Most studies find an association between coffee consumption and decreased overall mortality.
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) released a report recently stating that up to five cups of coffee per day, or up to 400 mg of caffeine, is not associated with long-term health risks. A 2012 study of over 400,000 people, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, reported that coffee consumption is associated with a 10% reduction in all-cause mortality at 13-year follow-up.
The main reasons to drink coffee are:
- Cut pain
- Increase fibre intake
- Protection against cirrhosis of the liver
- Lowered risk of type 2 diabetes
- Lowered risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Reduces suicide risk and depression
- Protection against Parkinson’s
- Coffee drinkers have less risk of heart disease
- Coffee drinkers have stronger DNA
- Lower risk of multiple sclerosis
- Lower risk of colorectal cancer
Dr. Bret S. Stetka writes, “It may seem counterintuitive: A substance known to increase blood pressure might actually be good for the cardiovascular system. Caffeine consumption can cause a short-lived increase in blood pressure, and regular use has been linked to a longer-term increase. However, when caffeine is ingested via coffee, enduring blood pressure elevations are small and cardiovascular risks may be balanced by protective properties.
Coffee beans contain antioxidant compounds that reduce oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and coffee consumption has been associated with reduced serum levels of inflammatory markers. Moderate coffee intake is associated with a lower risk for coronary heart disease as far out as 10 years, and data suggest that an average of two cups per day protects against heart failure.”
Commercial coffee, however, contains a heavy residual load of pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, artificial flavors or colors, or preservatives. Drink organic!
Thankfully, these studies have led to more health-oriented coffee choices, including increasing demand for “organic coffee” at the grocery store and cafes.
Organic coffee is a coffee that is grown without using any synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, on a land that was given sufficient time to detoxify itself, without the aid of any genetically modified organisms and finally processed and packed without the involvement of any chemicals.
Oh, and leave out the milk! If you like, you can whiten your coffee with almond milk or coconut milk.
This content was inspired by an article that can be found here.