(WFN) Anyone willing to spend $4 for a cup of coffee must be a real fan, but even those of us who gather around the office drip machine, anxiously awaiting the next fresh pot have some concerns about how much we drink and what the long term effects really are.
There is so much information out there (and more comes out every day) that it’s hard to know what is good for you and what is bad for you. Of course, anything ingested in excess is probably not a good idea but there is a lot of evidence that coffee can actually be a beneficial drink and not the evil, addictive beverage choice of the average American workaholic as depicted in so many trendy magazine exposes.
According to an article by Jane Brody, published in the New York Times and widely reprinted on the Internet and in several other print sources, coffee might be a smart drink of choice.
According to studies cited by Brody, one of the big coffee myths is that it acts as a diuretic. Not so according to a study that found that people who consumed up to 550 milligrams of caffeine produced no more urine than when drinking caffeine free beverages. A large coffee from your local coffee shop contains only about 330 milligrams so there is no reason to think that a large cup of Joe is going to send you running to the latrine. In fact, drinking coffee is as hydrating as drinking other beverages and only adds to your daily water requirements.
People with hypertension and other heart ailments are always told to avoid caffeine. But, according to Brody, an analysis of several studies of over 400,000 people found NO INCREASE in heart disease among daily java drinkers. Apparently, there is no substantial evidence that normal doses coffee puts people at risk of heart attack or abnormal heart rhythm.
In fact, according to the Iowa Women’s Health Study, those who drink one to three cups a day reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease by 24%. Go figure? And Ms. Brody informs us that here is a higher risk of developing hypertension from drinking colas than from coffee.
A Harvard study linking coffee consumption to pancreatic cancer has apparently been debunked and it seems that drinking coffee can actually be a deterrent to liver cancer. A Swedish study found no connection between coffee and breast cancer. The news just keeps on getting better.
Women concerned about coffee’s effects on calcium in the body should take heart in knowing that the effect on calcium absorption is only slight and can easily be balanced by supplementation or by just adding whole milk to your coffee. Any loss of calcium might be attributed more to the lack of milk based beverages than to coffee intake.
Perhaps the only downside is that caffeine consumption can lead to weight gain because it speeds up your metabolism. For those who want to shed pounds, excessive coffee drinking might prove to be a detriment. For those who wouldn’t mind adding a few pounds, well, enjoy yourself with a nice tasty brew of rich fresh roasted coffee any time you feel the urge strike.
Of course, we all know that caffeine is a mood enhancer and can have a positive effect on mental and physical performance. According to the Times article, consumption of up to 200 milligrams of coffee, the amount in an ordinary 16 ounce cup (just a tad more than I can hold in my oversized thermos cup) can create a sense of happiness, sociability, energy and alertness. But did you also know that it improves memory and the ability to perform complex tasks? WOW! How about that!
A review of 13 studies showed that people who drink coffee have a 30 percent lower risk of Parkinson’s disease and another review shows that there is a 28% lower risk for Type 2 diabetes. This probably can be attributed to the high level of antioxidants in coffee.
So maybe we can look at coffee a little differently now? If you’re drinking organic, fair Trade coffee, grown without the use of pesticides and roasted in small, careful batches, you might actually be imbibing a health drink. So the next time you buy your favorite coffee keep in mind that the world’s best coffees are:
- Shade grown Arabica coffee beans
- Roasted in small batches for quality control
- Grown organically without harmful pesticides
- Sold by Fair Trade growers and distributors for a better world
Source(pictures): BLOG.FLEETOWNER, CORPORATEKNIGHTSFORUM, GCFOODGUIDE