I LOVE coffee. I never did until 6 months into chiropractic college. Before my love of coffee began, my impression of coffee was always “it’s bad for you”, “it stunts your growth”, “it’s addictive”, basically all negative things. Turns out, to my oh so grateful delight, I was wrong.
Evidence is mounting that roasted coffee has a plethora of health benefits. It turns out that coffee, in moderation and properly prepared, can be a good thing.
Here are just a few of the many benefits of coffee:
A Japanese study in 2010 revealed that coffee consumption exerted a protective effect against type 2 diabetes; further confirmed by 2012 German study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers have also found that coffee doubles glucose intake, which will greatly reduce blood glucose levels.
A study in 2009 showed coffee produced an increase in the metabolic activity and/or numbers of Bifidobacterium, which are beneficial bacteria in your gut.
A large 2011 study of nearly 50,000 men found men who drank six cups of coffee per day had 60 percent lower risk of lethal prostate cancer, and those who drank three cups per day had a 30 percent lower risk.
A 2011 study found that women who drank more than one cup of coffee per day had about a 25% lower risk of stroke than women who drank less; a 2009 study found women who drank four or more cups of coffee per day reduced their stroke risk by 20%.
One of the biggest concerns that come with drinking coffee is the caffeine. Caffeine levels vary depending on type of bean, roast, grind, and brewing method. Contrary to popular belief, darker roasts typically contain less caffeine than lighter roasts due to the prolonged heat breaking down more of the caffeine molecules. Additionally, drip coffee actually has more caffeine than espresso because the brew time is much longer. And in general, the finer the grind, the higher the caffeine in the coffee.
If you exercise in the morning, have your coffee prior to your workout, NOT after. Consuming coffee after your workout interferes with your body’s muscle-building mechanism.
The most important thing to keep in mind when drinking coffee is that QUALITY IS KEY.
- Buy organic coffee – Coffee beans are one of the most heavily sprayed crops with pesticides. Remember, you will obliterate ANY positive effects if you consume coffee that’s been doused in pesticides or other chemicals.
- Skip the sugar – Added sugar will certainly ruin any of the health benefits by spiking your insulin levels, which contributes to insulin resistance.
- Choose organic cream – If you’re going to add cream, choose organic milk. These days, milk is so heavily processed and full of harmful antibiotics and added chemicals. I use organic heavy whipping cream in my coffee not only because it is the least processed, but it tastes AMAZING!
As with everything, moderation is key. Especially when pregnant. A new study shows that one dose of caffeine – just two cups of coffee – ingested during pregnancy may be enough to affect fetal heart development and reduce heart function over the entire lifespan of the child.