Is Coffee Really A Health Food?
Enough already! Is coffee healthy, or not? It seems like every other week some scientist discovers negative health risks associated with drinking one of the world’s favorite beverages, followed by another scientist discovering another benefit to drinking the rich nectar. Read below for a compiled list of the health related pros and cons of drinking coffee and decide for yourself whether it’s a justified addition to your routine.
To Drink Or Not To Drink, That Is The Question
- Coffee is a plant and, as such, contains over 1,000 phytochemicals, which are natural disease-preventing substances and include many anti-oxidants which, in turn, help protect the cells of our bodies from damage incurred by free radicals that are produced naturally in our bodies.
- Coffee has been proven to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. In a review of nine studies in 2005, experts discovered that people who drank four to six cups of coffee per day reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by 30% compared to those who drank two or fewer cups per day. Active ingredients in coffee that are known to affect glucose metabolism, thereby affecting type 2 diabetes, include chlorogenic acid, caffeine, magnesium, and quinides. Studies even indicate that de-caffeinated coffee can result in lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Coffee drinkers have proven in countless studies that sipping on the caffeinated version of the beverage most often results in improved cognitive performance. Non-coffee drinkers tended not to perform as well as their brew-enthusiast counterparts on activities involved with learning new information.
- Coffee contains naturally occurring compounds such as caffeine, diterpines, and chlorogenic acid which inhibit cell growth, inhibit cancer growth, and inhibit DNA mythylation respectively, making coffee a natural prevention against the spreading and diagnosis of certain types of cancer.
- Due to the blood sugar rollercoaster that caffeine puts our bodies through, coffee drinkers tend to experience more frequent and intense cravings than those who don’t consume high levels of caffeinated drinks and food. These cravings, along with the fact that coffee is popularly paired with desserts and breakfast pastries, can result in weight gain when left unchecked.
- Experts and dieticians world-wide have discovered that drinking coffee can actually be linked to developing osteoporosis. The Diet Channel has published a compilation of coffee-related facts that states about 5mg of calcium are excreted in urine for every 6oz of coffee that is consumed. The good news is that this calcium can be replaced by adding two tablespoons of milk to every cup or eating two tablespoons of yogurt for every cup.
- Coffee tends to dehydrate the body, resulting in negative effects such as wrinkling of the skin, diarrhea, and even more severe incidents such as kidney failure, swelling of the brain, and seizures.
- Though there are specialty brands of coffee that are organic, traditional brands of coffee tend to be covered in pesticides and other chemicals. Some of these chemicals have been linked to sickness, with over 3 million cases of pesticide poisoning and nearly 220,000 deaths annually. Other common side effects include asthma, hypersensitivity, reduced visual ability, cancer, and problems with fetal development among many others.
Cons That Affect Your Drinking
Coffee can be irritating to the stomach lining and can cause ibs, ulcers, Crohn’s, ulcers and gastritis. For more information about the the negative effects of caffeine, go here. While there are many beneficial and potentially risky side effects of drinking one of the most widely consumed beverages, each person must decide for themselves whether partaking in this habit is worth it to them considering their individual health and family history.