Most of us can’t go without a cup of coffee or two on a daily basis, but do we need to be worried about this or can we be drinking it guilt free and how much is too much?
Well a few years ago we’d only have heard about the negative impacts of coffee, raising your blood pressure, causing heartburn and impacting a good night’s sleep. Whilst some of us do have sensitivities to caffeine, increasing evidence has led us to believe that it actually has some health benefits.
Coffee is full of antioxidants which can help fight off toxins in your body as well as containing essential nutrients such as magnesium, B vitamins & potassium. The caffeine can also help boost metabolism, though this needs to be considered with caution as too much will have negative implications. It can also influence brain neurons to keep to improve cognitive function, improve memory & reaction time and improve mood.
Studies have shown that coffee drinkers may have a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, uterine & liver cancer, Parkinson’s, dementia and type 2 diabetes. The World Health Organisation have now taken coffee off their list of potentially carcinogenic foods as well as deeming it as potentially protective against cancer of the uterus and liver.
So you can banish your guilt as long as you drink it in moderation ie not more than two cups a day, preferably black with no sugar or added syrups and not at very high temperatures as this can lead to esophageal cancer. It is best to also avoid drinking it if you are pregnant as coffee has been linked to lower birth rates, preterm birth and pregnancy loss. Organic, fresh (beans or ground) coffee is the best nutritionally, as it’s higher in antioxidants. One Korean study found that lighter roasted beans protected human cells better against oxidation (cell damage) and inflammation, probably because the ones that had been roasted longer and exposed to more heat lost some of their antioxidant properties however even the darker roasted will still retain some.
So whilst we shouldn’t start drinking it as a health drink, we are safe in the knowledge that one of our worldwide favourite drinks is indeed now a drink to be enjoyed guilt free!