Is coffee healthy or not?
Find out the health benefits of drinking coffee.
There are conflicting reports to whether the risks of drinking coffee outweigh the benefits. Is coffee healthy or not?
Benefits of Drinking Coffee
There are two major ingredients in coffee that can have an effect on your health: caffeine and antioxidants. Caffeine has gotten a bad rap in some circles, but a few reports show some health benefits to the use of caffeine.
In some studies, drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages has been shown to reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease. Caffeine can also be a mood elevator and can help in the treatment of asthma and headaches. Another study has shown that caffeine can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's Disease and even help those who have already started showing symptoms.
Antioxidants are substances that occur naturally in foods and are thought to help prevent certain diseases like cancer and heart disease. Coffee is one of the largest sources of antioxidants in the American diet, and studies have shown a link between these antioxidants and a reduction in cancer and heart disease. Of course, fruits and vegetables are still the richest source of antioxidants, and coffee consumption shouldn't be seen as a substitute for eating several servings a day.
Recent studies by Harvard and Iowa Women's Health have shown a link between drinking coffee and a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes. The results seem to show that the more you drink, the better.
Risks of Drinking Coffee
There are a few reasons to stay away from the delicious black brew. Consuming too much caffeine can cause anxiety, nervousness and jitters. So if you already suffer from an anxiety disorder, you should avoid caffeine.
Caffeine relaxes the muscle that keeps stomach acid out of your throat, and so it can aggravate heartburn or acid-reflux disease. Most doctors will tell you to avoid coffee if you have reflux.
Caffeine has also been shown to raise blood pressure, but there are conflicting reports. Some say that this is only found with caffeine from soft drinks and not coffee. If you have high blood pressure, you should check with your doctor about caffeine consumption.
Drinking Coffee While Pregnant
It is still debated whether it is advisable to drink coffee while pregnant. The most recent studies say that a little bit is acceptable, but that you should try to keep your caffeine consumption to less than 300 milligrams a day. This is the amount found in about three cups of coffee.
Caffeine is passed through breast milk. If you're nursing, it's better to skip the coffee or have a small cup right after your baby has finished nursing. That way your body has time to break the caffeine down before the next feeding.
If you have ever tried to quit drinking coffee, you know that caffeine is addictive and that caffeine withdrawal can cause some unpleasant side effects. The most common is headache, but the effects can also include fatigue, nausea, nervousness and flu-like symptoms.
If you need to eliminate caffeine from your diet, it is best to do it slowly by cutting the amount you are consuming in half every week or so until you are caffeine-free. This will help you avoid some of those unpleasant side effects.
Is Coffee Healthy or Not?
If coffee is a large part of your daily life, you should know how your health is affected by your daily jolt of java. Make an informed decision.