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Grinding down to the truth: Is coffee healthy for you?

Do you count on coffee to cure your morning brain fog? Your afternoon crash or Sunday morning hangover?

Have that cup of joe without guilt. 3 or 4 cups, in fact. New research says it’s good for you and to drink up.

But is it really good for you?

Let’s grind down the health benefits of coffee

coffee healthy or notRecent research suggests that coffee can lower your blood pressure and slow down weight gain. This may reduce your risk for Type 2 Diabetes, which is when you have elevated blood sugar levels due to insulin resistance or the inability to secrete insulin.

Coffee may also reduce your risk for liver diseases that lead to cirrhosis.

Caffeinated coffee helps prevent accidents because it stimulates your brain.

Thanks to its antioxidants from chlorogenic acids, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee have proven to decrease deaths resulting from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes and infections, according to the research.

When you grind it all out, the antioxidants in your coffee, whether caffeinated or not, help fight off disease. The caffeine may help reduce inflammation, which would in turn, help reduce disease. And the caffeine can help you feel more alert and responsive.

So yes, your beloved cup of java may help you.

But I’m not referencing any of these research articles because they are a little too pro coffee and in my opinion, too carefree about it. All things should be consumed in moderation, at most.

Let’s also admit the drawbacks of your joe

The acids in coffee can wreak havoc on your intestines, causing gas, bloating, irritated bowel syndrome, cramps or heartburn, as examples. Learn how coffee and other surprising foods can affect your digestion here.

Coffee can cause headaches or other pain in your muscles and joints.

Coffee inhibits absorption of iron in your stomach and the retention of other vital minerals, including zinc, calcium and magnesium, in your kidneys (healthambition.com).

The acrylamide formed when coffee beans are roasted at high temperatures may be cancer-causing (healthambition.com).

Caffeinated coffee is dehydrating. And it seems that many coffee drinkers fail to drink enough water as it is.

Coffee can be addictive. But when you use coffee as a stimulant, you’re stealing energy from other jobs your body should be doing, like digesting or resting, and feeding a viscous cycle of dependency and exhaustion.

And this infograph shows that the number of kids ages 12-17 who drink coffee has grown 80% since 1980. It’s the fastest growing age group amongst coffee drinkers. In a world where we’re already over medicated for ADD and ADHD, this is alarming!

Go for the joe with the most health benefits

In the November 2016 issue of Lucky’s Market’s Health & Happiness, “Coffee Buzz” shares how to select the healthiest coffee. Choose:

  • a light roast. Higher temperatures used for darker roasts reduce the chlorogenic acids and antioxidants in the coffee. If the science behind this interests you, geek out with this article.
  • Arabica coffee because it’s grown at higher elevations, which also means more chlorogenic acids.
  • a finer grind, which offers more surface area for the water to penetrate, therefore extracting more of the antioxidants.

Drink your coffee black. Most add-ins are unhealthy. And just as the milk in milk chocolate diminishes the antioxidant power of chocolate, the dairy in liquid or powdered cream reduces the antioxidants in your coffee!

And lastly, use unbleached coffee filters because the chlorine in bleached ones is also an antioxidant decreaser.

If you drink coffee, do it in moderation. Stay tuned to the latest research about it. And listen to your body. If you’re having chronic symptoms, skipping the brew may mean a healthier you.

 

*This blog is intended for use as a source of information and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice.