The Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee
Coffee Health Benefits, what you should know.
First thing's first - the good news.
Coffee. is there anything quite like it? The rich aroma that wafts into through your when it's brewing. The flavors, hints, and notes ranging as wide as floral to nutty to fruity to chocolaty. And the caffeine? Well, that is one of the best parts! But if one was to ask, "Is coffee good for you?", the answer is, luckily, (mostly) yes!
Is coffee good for you?
Again (mostly) yes.
For starters, coffee is loaded with antioxidants, polyphenols, and tannins. These special amino acids can help protect our bodies from oxidative stress and our cells from damage caused by dastardly free radicals.
Coffee also hands us a dose of nutrients like riboflavin, manganese, potassium and vitamin B5. These vitamins, nutrients and amino acids can also help reduce inflammation.
Coffee has been found to help support a range of healthy body functions.
Some research suggests that regular drinking of coffee may decrease the likelihood of developing certain ailments. Now coffee isn't a complete defense, but it's something that helps maintain your body's healthy immune system.
Coffee can also help speed up our metabolism, keeping you in tip top mountain hiking shape. Caffeine, that magical element in coffee, has a lot of roles. Caffeine can enhance our physical and mental performance, this, in turn, can aid folks who are seeking a little help with committing to their exercise regimen and putting in the extra effort to go hard at the gym, pool, track, or wherever they like to break a sweat. Caffeine also supports the body's ability to break down fat on top of boosting physical performance.
This isn't all, caffeine increases adrenaline and blocks a particular inhibitory neurotransmitter in our brains. The effect? That sweet sweet energy boost from coffee!
Now, if one were to ask, "what are caffeine's other effects on the brain" the reply would be manifold. Some research suggests caffeine from coffee can even enhancing our brain function and mood due to the additional neurons firing.
All these benefits are rather keen, and they can work in tandem to lead to increased longevity, but now here come those caveats!
If one were to ask if coffee is good for weight loss, the answer is yes, as it is virtually calorie free. This is assuming you are enjoying black coffee. Any additives, creamers or extra frothy goodness may pose some problems to your weight-loss regimen.
But what about those precious kidneys? Can coffee cause kidney damage? Current research suggests that even downing 3 or more cups a day does not cause damage to our kidneys or pose much risk. But, just like with weight loss, try to opt for black coffee for the most health-enhancing effects without the health detriments caused by excessive sugar or fats.
Ah! But is coffee good for our hearts? As one might suspect, black coffee, free of added sugar or fats, is beneficial to our hearts - but, there is a catch. Excessive caffeine consumption can potentially raise our blood pressure and heart rate.
Coffee - Great for Some, Jitters for Others
For some, coffee is not a pleasant experience, there just isn't any way around it. If you're not a coffee drinker just yet, we encourage baby steps.
Caffeine can, especially in excess, cause sleep problems, stomachaches, headaches, jitters, anxiousness, and nausea. So, like all good things in life, enjoy coffee in moderation!
Is decaf good for you?
Do all of the same pros and cons apply with decaffeinated coffee? Sure, we all love coffee, but sometimes a little bit less caffeine is what we're in the market for. To be clear, decaf, despite its name, still contains caffeine but a greatly diminished amount. Anywhere from 2- 15 milligrams of caffeine per 8 ounce cup. Let's compare this with standard coffee's 80-100 milligrams per 8 ounce cup. So, a sizable chunk gets removed, to say the least!
Extra! Extra! We've got good news for decaf fans, because recent studies indicate that decaf provides pretty much the same health benefits as standard coffee. Now, whether it's bad for you or not depends on the method used to decaffeinate the coffee beans.
There are five methods used to cut down on the caffeine in beans charcoal, ethyl acetate, carbon dioxide, water, and methylene chloride. It is the last one, methylene chloride, that can lead to some unpleasantness to our health. Headache, drowsiness, irritability, coughing, and lightheadedness are all symptoms associated with mild exposure to methylene chloride. Mild exposure.
If you do take the decaf plunge, try to opt for charcoal or carbon dioxide treated, as those are the best for maintaining the health and flavor benefits that standard coffee has, while limiting some of the caffeine content it offers.
Is coffee bad for kids?
Most can remember being young, seeing your parents drinking that weird, dark, hot drink every morning. They'd act so grumpy if they hadn't had their morning brew. Oh how you coveted that dark nectar, what it must taste like! You begged and begged to try some, and for some of us, the story ends there until we became adults and started drinking the wondrous dark drink ourselves. For others, with or without permission, we took a big, intrepid gulp of the black stuff. Your likely reaction was an eww! and a quick jaunt to the nearest sink.
But now, for many of us, we revisited the strange, dark, hot liquid and now understand why our parents always drank it - and why it seems like they needed it just to function in some instances.
Trips down memory lane aside, what kind of impact does coffee have on kids? Some recent studies have found that children and adolescents who consumed caffeine regularly showed signs of increased anxiety and sensitivity to other stimulants later as adults. Other studies, however, suggest that moderate to occasional caffeine consumption is mostly harmless to children, as long as it isn't interfering with their sleep.
Which may be where our pal, decaf coffee can come in handy. That is if Junior really needs his daily cup of coffee to head to school on time, then decaf may be a safer choice.
Some good news today
Let's recap some of the positivity today. Coffee is (largely) good for you! Both decaf and standard coffee provide handy health-promoting powers. It is beneficial to our liver, our heart, our brain, and our overall general health and longevity.
Kid's can (but maybe shouldn't) have a cup every once in a while, though decaf or only on the rare occasion are two good options for children and adolescents. So maybe no Starbucks gift card for birthday gifts till the kids are a bit older! As for weight loss? Coffee is your go-to gym buddy and motivation in a cup!
Black coffee, in moderation, is largely a boon to our overall health and well-being. But when we start adding sugar, syrup, cream, or other odds and ends, that's when coffee begins to be a bit problematic. For those wanting to get the most health-enhancing effects out of their coffee, go for black. A well roasted coffee bean can do wonders for the overall flavor, don't compare your burnt coffee diner experience to brews miles ahead.
Brewing method doesn't matter too much so whether its cold brew, Dutch brew, pour-over, French press or espresso, you are getting some choice health benefits, all in one cup!
Try to limit your consumption to 3-5 cups a day. Especially if you experience headaches, nausea, jitters or anxiety. Caffeine can stay in our systems as long as 6 hours after our last sip, so bear this in mind if you are burning the midnight oil and decide to opt for a pot of coffee.
Most importantly, if you have further questions about your personal health or diet, please seek the advice of a doctor, physician or trained medical professional - especially if you are taking medication.
Beyond those final public service announcements, coffee is a grand old drink. one that can wake you up in the morning, get you going to the gym, and keep you feeling like you, so why not treat yourself to a cup of coffee right now? Your body and brain will thank you for it.