Coffee and Health Facts Versus Fantasy

Coffee has a lot of health benefits. However, it is not a miracle drug or drink. In this regard it is useful to sort out coffee and health facts versus fantasy. The main sources of coffee health benefits are the antioxidants in coffee and the fact that we drink so much coffee. The caffeine in coffee offers both benefits and problems. Antioxidants are responsible for fighting the free radicals in the human body that lead to cell damage, inflammation, chronic diseases. What are the health benefits of drinking coffee?

Coffee Health Benefits

Johns Hopkins University details why coffee is good for you. The first and foremost reason is that people who regularly drink coffee are better at processing sugar and less likely to develop type II diabetes, a disease that affects nearly half a billion people worldwide or more than six percent of earth’s population. In addition, regular coffee consumption is related to less heart failure, a lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease, less likelihood of colon cancer or liver disease, fewer strokes, and a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. The sum total of these effects is based on a reduced incidence of DNA (genetic) damage and leads to a measurably longer life!

Coffee and Health Facts Versus Fantasy
Caldas, Colombia Where the Best Coffee Comes From

Ways That Coffee Causes Problems

Not everyone can drink a lot of coffee without having problems. It appears that the ability to drink coffee regularly without side effects has a genetic basis. Folks who have problems tolerating coffee become anxious, have trouble sleeping, have higher blood pressure, and get an increase of their heart rate. All of these effects are “dose related.” The more coffee some folks drink the worse their symptoms are. Many of these folks can drink decaffeinated coffee, however. Decaf provides most of the benefits of regular coffee because it still has the antioxidants but lacking the caffeine it does not provide the morning wakeup effect or help one through a long afternoon.

The Sugar Trap of Specialty Coffees

A cup of good black Arabica coffee has no calories and all of the health benefits noted above. However, lots of folks who drink coffee like it with a bit (or a lot) of sugar, milk or cream, or other additives for flavor. While adding a bit of milk or sugar to taste or to balance acidity is generally not an issue, too much can become a health issue all by itself. While your coffee is working to protect you from diabetes you are adding so much sugar that, in theory, you may be countering the good effects of your coffee!

Coffee Is Not a Cure All

There are lots of good reasons to drink coffee in addition to the fact that you like it. However, coffee is not a cure all. As the old saying goes, only death and taxes are certain in life. By drinking coffee, you will not live forever. The health benefits of coffee get getter the more coffee that you drink up to about six cups a day and then they level out. All of the health benefits of coffee function in moderation. Coffee reduces the risk of type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s but does not cure to totally prevent any of these conditions. Any assertion to that effect is pure fantasy. The point is that coffee is rarely bad for you unless your genetic disposition is such that you get heartburn and high blood pressure with just a cup or so. So, drink you good Colombian Arabica coffee. Enjoy it. Revel in the fact that what you enjoy is also generally good for your health.

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