Coffee: What’s The Verdict?

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

3. Coffee contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Health-conscious people usually think of beverages like green tea or fruits and vegetables when they hear the word “antioxidants,” but did you know that plain ol’ coffee is one of the most plentiful sources of these essential nutrients? In fact, the majority of people nowadays get most of their antioxidants from this beverage that isn’t necessarily thought of as a health food.

Coffee also contains small amounts of potassium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5.

 

4. But wait, there’s more.

Studies at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that coffee use was linked to a reduced risk of depression in women, type-2 diabetes and even cardiovascular disease.

 

What’s the catch?

As with any drug, coffee isn’t without its downsides. Some people are very sensitive to caffeine, which can make them anxious and jittery. Caffeine can also lead to mildly increased blood pressure and heart palpitations in some individuals.

As mentioned earlier, the caffeine in coffee is addictive. As addictions go, caffeine addiction doesn’t pose serious health risks, and since coffee is one of the most abundant resources in the world, for most people the benefits far outweigh the risks. But the coffee-drinking lifestyle does come with some strings attached.

The fact is that as with any drug, frequent users can develop a tolerance to it over time. If you’ve been drinking coffee for a long time, you probably noticed that at some point you had to start drinking more to get the same effect. This is very common, and it can become a hassle (not to mention expensive) over time.

When a caffeine-addicted individual is unable to get coffee or other drink of choice, they can experience withdrawal symptoms which include headaches, “brain fog,” irritability and fatigue.

 

A few other things to keep in mind

This article made a pretty strong case for the benefits of coffee, but those benefits ONLY apply to the coffee itself. The benefits are cancelled out if you’re drinking it with 500 calories of sugar, creams and syrup added in. Those massive specially-made coffees from chain coffee shops are NOT healthy at all. Stick to black coffee or just a little bit of milk added in.

Those sensitive to caffeine may opt for Decaf. It’s important to keep in mind that “decaffeinated” does not mean “caffeine free.” There is no such thing as naturally and completely caffeine-free coffee. Decaffeinated coffee comes from beans that have been heated up to very high temperatures to release the caffeine-containing oils and then washed with a chemical solution to remove the compounds. The process must be repeated several times before the beans can be labeled “decaf,” but there are always trace amounts of caffeine left behind.

Decaf coffee still has caffeine, but in amounts so small it doesn’t pose any real risk to most individuals who are highly sensitive to it.

 

READ ALSO: Are You Drinking Coffee Correctly? Video

 

Bottom line: For most people, the advantages of drinking coffee significantly surpass whatever risks there may be. As with anything, moderation is called for. With time, you will find the amount of coffee that’s right for your body and learn to enjoy the varieties of this rich and invigorating beverage.

References:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

PrevPage: 2 of 2Next