Throughout the past few years, the medical community has discussed the diverse effects of coffee on our health. Although many advise us to avoid this form of caffeine, others argue that coffee is actually beneficial to our bodies. So what is the latest news? Is coffee good or bad for your health? The answer, in short, is that it’s a little of both.
Basically, the downside of coffee is that it can lead to high blood pressure, anxiety, and an upset stomach. Not to mention it is highly addictive. The extent of how bad coffee is for you may also depend on how you take it. If you add tons of cream and sugar, this can contribute to weight gain. A 24-ounce Starbucks venti double chocolate chip frappucino, for example, contains a shocking 520 calories!
Despite these drawbacks, moderate coffee consumption can actually be good for you. In fact, coffee helps reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, liver cancer, gallstones and Type 2 diabetes. It can also lower the risk of stroke in women and reduce the risk of developing basal cell carcinoma by up to 20%.
Apart from popular belief, current research proves that moderate coffee drinking does not increase risk of heart disease or cancer. In fact, current studies show that coffee helps prevent many types of cancer. The reason for this difference in findings was a big flaw in prior research. These studies did not include lifestyle habits in their research. In other words, the studies did not consider whether or not the person smoked or avoided exercise, which are two major causes of the two diseases.
One recent study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, shows that women who drink four or more cups of coffee per day have shown a 25% reduction in cases of endometrial cancer. Scientists believe this may be due to the fact that coffee has the ability to lower concentrations of free estradiol and insulin. Its antioxidant phenols also provide a cancer-fighting effect. According to another study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, women who drink coffee (four cups per day) lower risk of depression by 20%.
Drinking a few cups of coffee every day also has many benefits for men. For example, it can cut a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer by 30%. If a man daily consumes six cups of coffee, he can even reduce this risk by 60%.
Although coffee has proven benefits for men and women alike, it’s vital for everyone to monitor their caffeine intake on a daily basis. You should have no more than 500-600 mg of caffeine intake per day, or 6 to 8 cups of brewed coffee. Obviously, the amount of caffeine in a cup of espresso will be more than a cup of coffee.
The key point to keep in mind is to consume coffee in moderate amounts, especially if you are pregnant. But all in all, the benefits of coffee consumption far outweigh the risks for most people. So grab a café grande and drink up!
Overall, nutrition is very complex and our understanding of it is constantly evolving. If you have questions about your current nutrition, supplement plan, or would like more information about the effects of coffee, please ask. We are here to help!