There are around 2.25 billion cups of coffee enjoyed by humans around the world, each and every day.
This makes coffee one of the world’s most popular beverages. However, according to Google search data, many people want to know, Is Coffee Healthy?
We have mostly good news to share, but just like anything else in life, Coffee is only good for your health if enjoyed responsibly (i.e. no syrups, refined sugar etc) and not excessively (i.e. more than 2-3 cups a day).
The Good news:
Studies show that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of several diseases. This is due in part to the antioxidants and several beneficial nutrients.
Here are some of the health benefits of coffee:
1. Energy and Focus
Coffee contains a stimulant called caffeine. When caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream, it leads to an increase in certain neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and dopamine. This leads to an enhanced firing of neurons in the brain.
Several studies have shown that coffee improves various brain functions including memory, mood, vigilance, and reaction time.
2. Weight Loss
Caffeine intake has been proven in several studies to increase our metabolic rate by 3-11%. This is good news for people wanting to burn fat.
It also aids in a higher workout rate when exercising, which in turn helps us burn more calories per session.
3. Contains Beneficial Nutrients
Besides being a delicious beverage, coffee is full of nutrients that are important to our health.
Some of the nutrients contained in coffee are potassium, magnesium and niacin.
4. Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Studies have shown that people who drink coffee have a reduced risk of getting type 2 diabetes. We are not entirely sure how this works but the results speak for themselves.
The Bad news:
Coffee, like anything else in life, is only good if enjoyed responsibly, and in moderation.
An overdose of caffeine can leave many people feeling jittery, anxious, and over-stimulated.
People can also build up a tolerance to caffeine, leading to a need for more frequent and higher doses. This can result in reliance on the substance in order to “feel normal”.
In addition to being a delicious and enjoyable beverage, coffee, in moderation, is very healthy too!
Let’s looks at where the actual coffee bean comes from. A coffee bean is extracted from a fruit often referred to as a cherry. It is a seed of the cherry that comes from the Coffea plant.
Now we know the coffee bean is a gift from nature itself.
The purest form of that wonderful cup of java, therefore, will include just two ingredients, ground coffee beans, and hot water. That’s it.
Adding additional substances like sugar and milk can detract from the overall health benefits of coffee. Perhaps try to find healthy alternatives like natural honey, xylitol or stevia instead of refined sugar, and almond milk instead of cow’s milk.
What makes Air-Roasting healthier than traditional roasting methods?
When coffee is air-roasted it is suspended in a vortex of hot air. This ensures an even and balanced roast. The chaff, skins, and dust are removed from the roast chamber which improves the cleanliness and purity of the beans. In addition, air-roasting with the Air-Motion Coffee Roaster uses no gas in the roasting process, which eliminates the addition of harmful chemicals and combustion.
Additional, Major Health Benefits of Coffee
Reduces the Risks Associated with Chronic Diseases:
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, consumption of 3 to 5 standard cups of coffee daily has been consistently associated with a reduced risk of several chronic diseases. These include:
1. A Decreased Risk of Certain Cancers:
Coffee may stimulate the production of bile acids and speed digestion through the colon, which can lower the number of carcinogens to which colon tissue is exposed. Various polyphenols in coffee have been shown to prevent cancer cell growth in animal studies. Coffee has also been associated with decreased estrogen levels, a hormone linked to several types of cancer. Caffeine itself may interfere with the growth and spread of cancer cells. Coffee also appears to lower inflammation, a risk factor for many cancers
2. A Decreased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes:
In a meta-analysis of 45,335 people with type 2 diabetes followed for up to 20 years, an association was found with increasing cups of coffee and a lower risk of developing diabetes. Compared with no coffee, the decreased risk ranged from 8% with 1 cup a day to 33% for 6 cups a day. Caffeinated coffee showed a slightly greater benefit than decaffeinated coffee.
3. Heart Health:
Evidence suggests that drinking coffee regularly may lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
A large cohort of 37,514 women concluded that moderate coffee drinking of 2-3 cups a day was associated with a 21% reduced risk of heart disease.
4. Reduced Risk of Neurodegenerative Diseases:
A large cohort of men and women were followed for 10 and 16 years, respectively, to study caffeine and coffee intake on PD (Parkinson’s disease). The results showed an association in men drinking the most caffeine (6 or more cups of coffee daily) and a 58% lower risk of PD compared with men drinking no coffee. Women showed the lowest risk when drinking moderate intakes of 1-3 cups of coffee daily.
Furthermore, a study showed, drinking 3-5 cups of coffee a day at midlife was associated with a significantly decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease later in life compared with low coffee drinkers after 21 years of follow-up.
5. Prevent the formation of gallstones:
The most common type of gallstone is made of cholesterol. Coffee may prevent cholesterol from forming into crystals in the gallbladder.
A study of 46,008 men tracked the development of gallstones and their coffee consumption for 10 years. The study concluded that men who consistently drank coffee were significantly less likely to develop gallstones compared to men who did not. A similar large study found the same result in women
It’s important to note that individuals may not tolerate higher amounts of caffeine due to symptoms of jitteriness, anxiety, or insomnia and therefore, may want to moderate their coffee intake.
Decaffeinated coffee is a good option if one is sensitive to caffeine, and according to the research, it offers similar health benefits as caffeinated coffee.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, it’s important to keep in mind how you enjoy your brew.
The extra calories, sugar, and saturated fat in a coffee shop beverage with whipped cream and flavoured syrup might offset any health benefits found in a pure bean to cup coffee.
This is why we recommend beginning to appreciate the purest form of coffee, with ground beans and hot water, freshly brewed.
Lastly, apart from coffee offering that essential boost in the morning to get the day started, as noted above, coffee also has a host of other long-term health benefits, making it that much more enjoyable day-to-day.