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Is Coffee Good For You


Anyone who knows me knows I’m one of the biggest coffee hounds. I probably drink more coffee than any 10 people I know. In fact, I’ve worked for Starbucks in the past as a barista and now work at a coffee shop at a local agricultural college. I’ve heard many times, as you probably have too, that coffee is bad for you. It’s said to stunt your growth, stain your teeth, give you warts (not sure where this came from!!), and the list goes on. So when one of the students asked me if coffee was beneficial in any way, I said I’d have to find out. My research turned up some intriguing facts.

14 Reasons to Drink Coffee

1. Coffee may help you fight depression and could help in the prevention of suicide in some people. Coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant, elevating the mood. It’s hard to depressed when your body says otherwise.

2. Coffee may help lower the risk of death. In two confirmed studies, it was shown that the overall risk of premature death was reduced 25% in a 20 year period for coffee drinkers.

3. Coffee may help to prevent some cancers. Another study showed that the risk of developing prostate cancer in men was reduced 20%, and endometrial cancer in women by up to 25%. The people in these tests drank around 4 cups of coffee a day.

4. Coffee may help lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. The evidence sown in numerous tests was “pretty solid” according to more than one doctor involved in the studies. Over 15 studies have been done to date, all of them showing positive results.


5. Coffee may help protect the brain. It has been shown to lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  Just the smell has shown to reduce the stress in lab rats. I know it works for me!

Is Coffee Good For You 1

6. Coffee may help patients recovering from colon cancer surgery to heal faster. Studies have show that recovery may be as much as 30% faster.

7. There is research that suggests drinking caffeinated coffee may help ward off skin cancer. It was shown that caffeine helps to lower the risk of developing basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer.

8. Coffee may help to lower the risk of oral cancers. Possibly due to the acidity, one study found 50% reduction in oral cancers for coffee drinkers as opposed to non-coffee drinkers.

9. Coffee could help strengthen the muscles. Coffee drinkers have been shown to have overall better muscle tone.

10. Coffee provides legal stimulation and is a natural performance enhancer. Who needs steroids when you have coffee? And it’ll never show anything negative on a drug test.

11. Coffee may help prevent Parkinson’s disease. A study at the Mayo Clinic showed that Parkinson’s was slower to start or even eliminated in some individuals.

12. Coffee contains antioxidants. These antioxidants help to protect the cells in your body from degradation.

13. The antioxidants in coffee may help prevent liver cancer. Another study is underway that is showing promising results.

14. Coffee could help you to lose weight. It contains magnesium and potassium. These two elements help the body to use insulin. Insulin helps to regulate blood sugar, reducing cravings for sugar.

Keep in mind

Although coffee has been linked to many health benefits, it has also been found to cause health troubles if consumed in excess. Drinking coffee in moderation is important.

When choosing your coffee, quality is everything. Since coffee beans are one of the most heavily sprayed crops, this is one thing you should definitely buy organic. Choose whole, fresh beans and grind them yourself so you can avoid drinking coffee from degraded beans with rancid oils. (find good organic coffee here)

And for your drinking pleasure…a great iced coffee recipe:

Homemade Iced Coffee

Ingredients & Supplies

Method

Place the coffee and sugar (or substitute) in the jar. Crush the fruit and add to the jar. Cover with the water and mix together. Place in the refrigerator and let sit overnight. The next day, strain the liquid through a coffee filter. You can also use a french press if you wish. Whatever solids are left can be thrown in  the compost. The liquid that is left can be consumed as it is over ice or you can refrigerate it for a few days. You may need more or less sugar depending on your taste buds.

This drink has about three times the caffeine and much less acidity than traditional brewing methods.

If you would like to quickly get rid of some of the caffeine, place about 6 tablespoons of ground coffee into a french press. Add hot water to cover the coffee. Let this steep about 3 minutes and discard the liquid. Then cover the coffee with water again and proceed as you normally would. The first liquid contains as much as half the caffeine and the second will have about half as much as normal brewed coffee. (Tip: I save the liquid from the first time and freeze it in an ice cube tray. These cubes can be put in a zip top bag to use later in iced coffee drinks. This method prevents iced coffee drinks from getting watered down!)

What are your favorite ways to enjoy coffee?


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Comments

  1. Lorene says

    I don’t know how accurate this information is but this is what happened to me over 20 years ago. I used to drink 2 cups of coffee each morning and that was usually all the caffeine I drank during the day. I decided to “get healthier” by cutting out the coffee so I started drinking warm water instead. Not much time passed after that and I discovered I had diabetes. At the time there was a health counselor every Saturday morning on the radio station I listened to. It was a call in show so I called in and told her what had happened to me. Her question back to me was “did you stop gradually?” I said, “no, I just stopped drinking it”. She told me that since coffee is a stimulant that my pancreas was probably activated by the coffee (it may have been getting “low functioning”) and that when I stopped “cold turkey” I didn’t give my pancreas time to start up on its own and so I got diabetes. Made sense to me, but as I say, I’m not sure how accurate this information is. I do know she was a very informed health counselor.

    • Matt Jabs says

      Were you drinking organic coffee all those years? Because conventionally grown coffee should NOT be consumed, it is grown using WAY too many chemicals.

      • Debra Maslowski says

        Thanks Matt, that’s true. Organic coffee may be more expensive, but it’s grown without chemicals. Also look for fair trade, shade grown coffee for more sustainability.

  2. Carol says

    This article seems misleading… I would be interested to know how coffee was consumed in a lot of this research. Black organic coffee drunk in moderation is very different than the sugar- or fake sweetener-laden, dairy filled drinks that many associate with their coffee habits. The bad effects of these sweet & milky beverages far outweigh the good effects of coffee/caffeine. I can’t imagine all of these benefits in a triple mocha whipped cream latte. And I’ve seen the number of sugar packets that some people dump into their coffee ~ can’t be beneficial.

    • Nancy says

      I would hope that anyone able to read this blog would know the difference between drinking coffee and drinking one of those “sugar-or fake sweetener-laden, dairy filled drinks”. Those are as much like real coffee as Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice “Cocktail” is like real cranberry juice. I don’t know how these studies could include adulterated coffee. That would skew the results due to the dairy, sugar factor. Luckily I drink mine black with a dollop of organic, virgin coconut oil.

    • Debra Maslowski says

      Yes, decaf would have much the same results, it just wouldn’t be as effective due to the way decaf is processed. Most decaf is water processed which weakens the strength. I would avoid decaf that is done with solvents.

  3. Bea says

    Thanks for the recommendation of organic beans from Vitacost; I hadn’t realized they sold coffee! I’ve just been forced to reconsider my coffee drinking habits, due to finances. For 28 years, I’ve been drinking Peet’s coffee. In all of that time, the only other roaster I liked was also in the Bay Area, and they don’t ship (Well, I did go to a certain cafe in Austin for great cappuccino, but I’m not sure of the roaster they used). I’ve been trying to source actually GOOD organic gourmet coffee (Peet’s states that, although most of their beans aren’t certified organic, they aren’t grown with any pesticides or other noxious chemicals.) that is also clean, and freshly roasted enough that it doesn’t taste stale. Very difficult. My request to DIY is for a review of organic or cleanly grown beans that actually taste great, and cost less (including shipping) than $12/lb, which is what my favorite brand can be had for. There were reviews on Vitacost, but the one that seemed the most informed wasn’t positive. There must be some sleepers out there – gems waiting to be discovered.

    • Debra Maslowski says

      Great idea Bea! I hadn’t thought to compare costs. I’m always looking for ways to same money, though I had coffee worked into my budget. The coffee we get at work is locally roasted, certified organic. And don’t be too worried about the certification. I grow all of my herbs chemical free. While I can’t say “certified”, they certainly are organic. Many small farms can’t afford certification, and I’m one of them.

  4. Cindi says

    Coffee may have some health benefits, I sure do enjoy it, but, it’s important to keep in mind that caffeine is an addictive drug. Caffeine is very hard on the adrenals, giving them a ‘false’ boost of cortisol. Eventually there is a ‘crash’ from this boost which causes us to crave either more caffeine or sugar. If you’re like me, and already have adrenal burnout, you might seek out coffee for energy, but it only serves to exacerbate the problem. So, if you find yourself tired all the time, despite the coffee, you might try giving it up for a week and see what effect it has. Long term effects of adrenal stress can cause hormonal imbalance. To read more about it, check out: http://www.livestrong.com/article/269199-caffeine-effects-on-the-adrenal-function/
    There are several other sources on the internet.
    I also take issue with reason #2 “Coffee may help lower the risk of death. In two confirmed studies, it was shown that the overall risk of premature death was reduced 25% in a 20 year period for coffee drinkers.”
    That’s a little vague for me, death comes from a wide variety of causes, I’m don’t see that as a sound scientific resolution.
    Generally, I find your posts to be very helpful and right on, but, while you’re touting the benefits of coffee, I would include some of the detriments, as well, and site some of your sources. thanks!

  5. Bea says

    Caffeine is a drug, no doubt. But, one just has to look at how it caught on like wildfire each time it was introduced to wonder if, maybe, humans felt something to be missing in their lives, lol. What if it really does ameliorate depression? It has been shown to help research subjects stay on task when the tasks are boring. Maybe many of life’s tasks are simply boring, and people appreciate a little kick to keep them going. People are known to use a variety of focus-changing drugs when caffeine is not available, like Betel Nut, which alters perception of time and is often used when folks have to travel far, on foot. Even meditation masters are known to drink tea.

  6. Rebecca Banner says

    I do the blood type diet and mine is AB. Coffee isn’t good for those who have an AB blood type.

  7. Ruthie says

    I would like to know how organic coffee (flavor wise) measures up against the M.H. brand.
    Thanks for this post :) Ruthie

  8. Thomas says

    At 20/30 dollars a pound for organic, I would have to trade my first born for it. No one can afford that price
    Unless they are rich. You have no idea how these cofee’s were raised if you were not on the farm watching.
    I’m all for organic if I can go to the farm and buy it. Otherwise you do not know, certificate or what. I drink a lot of
    Coffee, and a lot of tea, but there ain’t no way that I will pay 20/30 dollars for one pound of coffee. I would try and
    Raise the beans myself first. I won’t pay a dollar for one carrot either. What is the use of being healthy if you
    Are dying like a pauper?

  9. says

    You mentioned that “it has also been found to cause health troubles if consumed in excess. Drinking coffee in moderation is important.”

    How much do “they” say is enough and how much is too much?
    Thanks!

    • Betsy Jabs says

      Great question, but that’s a tricky one to answer Carlie. Mainly because all the research cited gave different amounts. So it will be different depending on what health benefit you’re trying to get from the coffee. However, a few cups per day seemed to be the max for best results in most of the research. If there is a certain health issue you’re interested in learning more about, click on any links within the paragraph to see more detailed info.