Is Coffee a Health Drink?

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Image courtesy of zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Coffee lovers might be surprised to hear that their most beloved drink can also be considered as a health drink nowadays.

Not too long ago, coffee was not considered as a health drink because of its high caffeine content. There were studies saying that coffee could be associated with cancer. This prompted people to avoid drinking the caffeinated drink.

A few years after that study, researches have recounted the research saying that the earlier research is flawed. But now, more and more studies show that coffee—in moderation—can be considered as a health drink because of the number of benefits one can enjoy from drinking it.

Harvard researchers are saying that coffee, when drank regularly, can be a cure for diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and colon cancer. It could even improve your mood and treat daily headache problems. It could even be drank to lower risk of cavities.

Research shows that regular coffee drinkers are 80 percent less likely to have Parkinson’s disease. While 2-cups-a-day drinkers can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 25 percent and 80 percent in liver cirrhosis risk. It can even slash the risk of gallstones by half. There are even studies showing that people who smoke and drink heavily, have less heart and liver damage because of their coffee intake.

So, what causes these benefits? It is the anti-oxidants, and surprisingly from the caffeine also. Currently, drugs for curing Parkinson’s disease are being developed. These drugs have a derivative of caffeine as their component. Coffee also has chlorogenic acid and tocophenols which are antioxidants. These mineral components can improve insulin sensitivity. When we talk about insulin sensitivity, it is the body’s response to insulin.

There were studies conducted in Europe citing that the trigonelline, the compound which is why coffee smells good and has bitter taste, also has benefits. It can be both antibacterial and anti-adhesive. These prevent the formation of dental cavities.

Enjoy that cup of Joe

In most workplace settings, a normal person can consume at least four cups of steaming brewed coffee in a day. In most countries, coffee is considered as a staple drink. In fact, all over the world, people have their specialty coffee from beans that only grow and can be found in that part of the globe.

Nowadays, a lot of people are becoming more aware about what they are actually buying and how it is grown. One of the most noticeable trends is organic coffee. This type of coffee is very similar to regularly grown coffee, the only difference is the method by which the farmer grew the coffee. The process does not include pesticides, chemicals, and other substances except the ones found in nature where the coffee beans are grown.

Today, coffee — whether its organic or not—is considered by many people as a health drink because it is believed to contain more antioxidants in one typical serving compared to that of other juices such as grapes, oranges, raspberries, and blueberries. In fact, more and more dieticians agree that coffee can be a good alternative for commercial health drinks because it can bring benefits that can be good for a person’s overall health. Here’s a list of what coffee—as a health drink—can do for the coffee lovers out there.

  1. Excellent source of anti-oxidant. A cup of coffee is believed to be loaded with tannin and antioxidants that are beneficial in keeping diseases away and can help achieve a healthier skin. Certain properties of coffee are believed to help control the cell damage which leads to the development of certain diseases.
  2. Good for the cardiovascular system. Experts agree that coffee contain properties that are good for the heart and its arteries. It also helps improve the circulation of blood within the person’s heart.
  3. An alternative headache and asthma reliever. People who consume enough amount of caffeine are known to reduce risks of possible asthma attacks because the caffeine is believed to be a good pain buster.
  4. Promotes healthy liver. Aside from reducing the risk of several serious cardiovascular illnesses, coffee is believed to bring about healthy benefits to the liver especially those who have cirrhosis and gallstones.
  5. Controls sugar levels among diabetics. Coffee is known to be a good source of “chlorogenic acid,” that are proven to reduce large amounts of glucose concentrations in the blood. People who are prone to diabetes can consume larger quantities of coffee because it greatly helps in the prevention of diabetes.
  6. It can boost to athleticism. As a health drink, drinking coffee can be a good way to boost one’s athleticism because of its high caffeine content. Experts agree that caffeine can enhance the athletic endurance and performance of an athlete, what more in an ordinary person?

But can everybody drink coffee?

Unfortunately, not everybody can drink coffee. People with bladder and kidney problems, existing diabetes, gallstones, heart problems, high cholesterol levels, hypoglycemia and generalized panic and /or anxiety attacks should avoid drinking coffee altogether. Avoiding drinking coffee is also advised to pregnant women and those with high risk of osteoporosis.

For pregnant women, if coffee cannot be avoided, then it is recommended just to drink one to two cups a day. Infertility, miscarriages and low birth weight among babies are the primary reason why pregnant women are recommended against drinking coffee.

Excessive caffeine intake can also lead to nervousness, anxiety and rapid heartbeat. The caffeine overstimulates the nervous system, making the adrenal glands work overboard. Osteoporosis patients are also advised against coffee. Coffee reduces the capability of bones to absorb the necessary minerals, making the bones weak and in risk of osteoporosis. But the effects can be reduced if milk is mixed with coffee.

For some people, coffee can also be addictive. People who have stopped drinking coffee experience withdrawal symptoms. They would get headaches, less energy and alertness, difficulty in being focused, get irritated easily and sometimes even get depressed.

Over caffeine consumption can also have an impact on your skin, since it increases the risk of developing stretch marks. Caffeine may also play a role in weight gain. Although, it is mentioned that coffee drinkers may lose weight in the short-term, but in a longer period of time, coffee can lead to weight gain.

Coffee both has good and bad effects. Similar to other beverages and food, once it is taken in big amounts, then it is likely that they may have undesirable effects to your body. Whether coffee can be considered as a health drink, it is up to you to make the choice.


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