Is Coffee Healthy?

Thanks to Starbucks there is a coffee shop on every block of every street.  And now with the proliferation of local coffee shops, it is a valid question.  Is coffee a food?  And is it healthy?

Coffee is the end result of brewing the roasted and ground coffee beans.  According to studies done by the Mayo Clinic there is a correlation between coffee consumption and decreased overall mortality. A CNN report, included an observational study involving approximately 20,000 individuals, people who consumed at least four cups of coffee daily had a 64% lower risk of early death.

 

Food defined

But is coffee a food?  “Food” is broadly defined as any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink or that plants absorb in order to maintain life and growth.

I double dog dare anyone to dispute that coffee aids in maintaining life, mine and those around me.  So, coffee checks off the first requirement for being a food.  Now…

 

Nutritional Value

The nutritional coffeevalue of coffee really depends on how you like your cup.  Black coffee has no significant amounts of fat, carbohydrate or protein.  But black coffee does contain potassium, magnesium and niacin. 

Coffee also contains a lot of antioxidants.  Healthline.com reports that the average Western diet gets more of its daily intake of antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables combined. 

Adding milk, cream, sugar or other sweeteners will affect the final nutritional value and increase the calorie content. 

Adding Starbucks to your daily coffee routine will also vary the nutritional value of your daily coffee.  For instance, having a Grande Caramel Macchiato (my favorite, albeit with soy) will tip your caloric intake to 240, with seven grams of fat, 19 grams carbohydrates and 10 grams of protein. 

 

Is it Healthy?

Coffee, in addition to making the daily grind slightly more manageable, comes with its own list of health benefits.  Proven benefits provided by Activebeat.com

      • Lowers type 2 diabetes risk

Study at Harvard School of Public Health discovered drinking up to six cups of coffee (eight-ounce servings) per day reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 33%

      • Protects the liver

A Finish study conducted by both Seinajoki Central Hospital and the University of Tampere found that coffee consumption decreased the liver damaging enzyme GGT (gamma-glutamyl transferase) levels by up to 50%

      • Increases energy levels

Study conducted by Public Library of Science states that drinking three cups of coffee an hour before working out will increase energy, improve endurance and increase exercise performance

      • Improves memory

Neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins University found that moderate coffee drinking improved short-and long-term memory

      • Reduces Parkinson’s Risk

Harvard School of Public Health found that both men and women who consumed three to four cups of coffee per day (and no more than that) cut their risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by almost 50%

      • Protects against skin cancer

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer.  A study at Harvard Medical School linked drinking three cups of caffeinated (is there any other?)  coffee daily reduced the risk of basal cell carcinoma in women 21%, and 10% in men

      • Improves your mood

And you thought it was all in your mind…well it kind of is.  Research from Harvard School of Public Health found that drinking three to four cups of coffee a day lowered the risk of depression in women up to 20%

 

Go ahead grab that cup of java.

 

Where is the bad?

Time magazineheadache reports the early diagnosis of coffee being harmful to you should be answered with a hard no!  Forget the reports that stated coffee was bad for you.  Recent studies have found no significant link between the caffeine in coffee and heart related issues such as high cholesterol, irregular heartbeats, stroke or heart attack.

But coffee does contain caffeine (which is why we love it so) and consuming copious amounts in one day can result in:

      • Insomnia
      • Upset stomach
      • Headaches
      • Anxiety
      • Ringing in the ears
      • Agitation

 

How much is too much?

Research published in the March 2019 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states, the exact level at which caffeine becomes bad coffee: Six cups per day. 

So, go ahead and indulge in that cup of Joe.  Coffee can be healthy. For goodness sake find a local coffee shop that makes you happy.  Have a cup or two.  It’s good for you.

And if you happen to be in Denver Colorado, stop in and have a cup at Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen  at 2528 Walnut Street, Denver Colorado or Thump Coffee at 1201 E 13th Avenue, Denver Colorado ( Oregon based but Colorado loved).

 

 



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