Historians first started recording the use of coffee somewhere in the mid-1400’s, possibly in the Ethiopian area of Africa and it spread into Arabia and around the Mediterranean into today’s Europe and finally into the Americas.
Even then its use was met with controversy.
To consume or not consume seems to have always been the question… condemned by rulers and religions as addicting and too stimulating, then again touted by rulers and religions as enlivening and enlightening…
The production of coffee from plant to cup is now global and whole international industries are built around it.
The American population seems to run on coffee. (Just ask Dunkin’ Donuts!)
SO WHAT IS THE ANSWER?
Well, modern researchers are still finding answers to both sides. Caffeine doesn’t make up much of the coffee bean, only 1-2%.
According to Natuimetica, other ingredients are chlorogenic acids, caffeol, polyphenols, phytoestrogens and diterpenes along with others. Research is continuing on the effect of these on our health.
One should respect Coffee as a potent drug due to its amazing collection of biologically active compounds.
SO WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS?
The Harvard Women’s Health Watch says is ok for the moderate drinker, 1-4 cups a day. Some of the latest research says it can lower the risk for Type 2 Diabetes, developing gallstones or colon cancer, liver damage in those at high risk for it, and may reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease and dementia. It can improve cognitive function and improve endurance in long duration physical activities.
In a different study women who drank 2-4 cups of coffee per day had a decreased risk for depression. There is even some data that shows heavy consumption (4-6 cups per day) can reduce the risk for numerous cancers due to the antioxidant and anti-mutagenic properties of coffee.
Coffee and hot tea consumption were found to be protective against dry-eye syndrome and gout. Another benefit of coffee was some protection against one of the most feared “bugs”, MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
While all that sounds wonderful, the caffeine in coffee is addictive (try not having your regular cup) and not only that it is a mild stimulant that can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and cause occasional irregular heart beat (something to think about if you are at risk for heart issues).
However, in the general population the European Meeting on Hypertension 2012 found that 1-3 cups a day may protect against ischemic stroke. And new data suggests that an average of 2 cups a day seems to protect against heart failure.
Other drawbacks can include digestive discomfort due to the acidity of coffee causing heartburn, GERD, and imbalances in gut flora. It can cause excess excretion of important minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
The effect of certain medications that are poorly absorbed to start with can be reduced by drinking coffee.
Dehydration from coffee can be an issue so be sure to drink more water if you drink coffee.
If you have depleted adrenals or cortisol imbalances you should stop drinking coffee altogether during treatment to allow for full restoration.
So if you want to drink coffee make sure it is good quality. For those sensitive to mold, lower quality coffee can contain mold.
Use organic whenever possible to avoid the pesticides that are sprayed on coffee crops, they can remain in the bean.
Drink it black: extra sugar and dairy products aren’t conducive to good health.
Use heavy whipping cream if you must and organic stevia, or avoid any sweetener and try cinnamon.
Use ceramic or glass cups, the plastic in convenience cups can have traces of plastic and preservatives from coatings can be released from the heat.
In the end, to consume or not consume, it is still a question…But as with most everything we put in our bodies, moderation is the key. Pay attention to what your body is telling you.
Reduce what you put in your coffee and make sure it is high quality and stick to 2-3 cups or less. Just remember a cup is 8 ounces and most of our mugs hold between 12-16 ounces.
So enjoy your cup(s) of “Joe” in good health!!