Coffee – Good or Bad

coffeeThe vast majority of people in our country start their day with a hot cup of coffee.  It’s energizing and kind of get’s things moving….so to speak.

Coffee is everywhere in our society.  We have coffee breaks at work.  We meet friends and colleagues at coffee shops for a business meeting or just a bit of catching up.  We have coffee chocolate bars, we use coffee in baking, and coffee boutiques and coffee houses are springing up everywhere.

Did you know that coffee has been consumed for centuries?  That is correct.  Coffee dates back to the 17th century where in England there were coffee houses where you get your cup of java for a penny.  A good cup of coffee nowadays is definitely more than a penny.  With the increase of Starbuck’s locations and Tim Horton’s coffee shops and the independent coffee houses around this country coffee comes in many sizes and custom made versions and definitely sets you back at least a couple of bucks depending on the size and add-ins.

There are so many conflicting studies out there on whether coffee is good for you or bad for you.  I guess there are valid points on both sides of the debate.  Most of the newest studies say that coffee is good for you.

Let’s see if I can make some of these studies a little clearer on this topic.

Coffee comes from a plant and contains vitamins,  antioxidants, minerals and flavonoids.  So that is a good thing.  Coffee, minus the sugar and cream, is a low calorie beverage containing approximately 2 calories for a normal cup.  So if you are on a calorie reduced diet, a cup of black coffee fits right into the diet.  But when you start adding all of those additional ingredients available at most coffee shops such as flavored syrups and frothy toppings your cup of coffee could end up being 500 calories and loaded with your RDI of fat.  Yikes.

Believe it or not, according to a study done at Scranton University in the US, and quoted by Joe vinson, Ph.D., who is the lead author of the study “Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source.  Nothing else comes close.”  This comment shocks me.  I had no idea that coffee was that loaded with antioxidants.

Because of this high antioxidant count in coffee it has health benefits such as protection against type 2 diabetes, liver disease and liver cancer, heart disease and even Parkinson’s disease.

Coffee is a good pick-me-up when you are suffering from that mid-afternoon slump.  It also improves mental clarity at the same time as it relaxes you.

Some other benefits of coffee from various studies show that coffee consumption may reduce the risk of stroke, and protect against prostate cancer.

Now of course you cannot drink coffee constantly throughout your day or you will end up very wired on the caffeine.  You may end up with anxiety symptoms, increased depression as caffeine changes mood, disrupted sleep, and dehydration.

The problem with most coffee brands is this.  Coffee bean plants are one of the highest chemically treated crops on this planet.  May I suggest you purchase organic coffee for your home consumption to cut down on the amount of pesticide, herbicide and fungicide you consume in your daily coffee.  According to the CS Monitor, up to 250 pounds of chemical fertilizers are sprayed on conventional coffee per acre.  Wow….that is a lot of junk that is not good for your precious health.

Coffee is good on one hand and bad on the other.  I would definitely buy organic coffee whenever possible.

And you say you drink decaf coffee….well conventional decaf coffee is treated with tons of chemicals definitely carcinogenic.  If you are going to drink decaf coffee then seek out the Swiss Water decaffeinated organic brands.  This decaf process is chemical free and eliminates almost 99% of the caffeine.

I bet once you switch your home brew to organic you will enjoy your morning cup so much more.  The flavor is better and definitely more intense.   And you get peace of mind knowing you are not swallowing tons of chemical garbage.

I personally gave up coffee about 18 years ago.  I switched to organic Tulsi green tea and Matcha green tea.  Those are my morning beverages of choice and they contain many health benefits…a discussion for another post.    My hubby loves his cup of coffee though so I definitely keep organic coffee in our home.   I would like to keep him healthy and every little bit helps towards this.  Organic coffee is my suggestion for you too.

 

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