a popularly held belief for literally decades: Drinking coffee is not a healthful thing to do. But research in the last many years is indicating this may not be the case at all. Several studies in recent years actually demonstrate that death risk from any cause is reduced in coffee drinkers! One recently performed study noted longevity even markedly increased in those who consumed more coffee! Wow again!
There is much myth and misunderstanding when it comes to coffee consumption and its apparent problems or currently indicated benefits! Even the nature of coffee itself is misunderstood….how often have you heard someone say, “Wow, this dark roast coffee is so strong…there must be tons of caffeine it?” or “I could never drink espresso because it is so strong there just too much caffeine it!” Both comments are in error as dark roast coffees actually have less caffeine than standard fare and espresso roast even less!! Remarkably, multiple anti-oxidants and other nutrients are more prevalent in darker brews also!
Before even considering any benefits to coffee consumption, it’s vitally important to clarify one thing: Black coffee is what is helpful! Adding artificial creamers, heavy creams, half-n-half, flavors and sugar completely negate the potential upside of coffee consumption!
That being said, what other benefits other longer life and decrease risk of death from any cause (as if that’s not enough!!) can be seen by consuming coffee? The list of potential benefits is pretty impressive: decrease cardiac disease, reduced risk of and improvement in Type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, liver/kidney/endometrial cancers, and diminished risk of dementia. A significant risk reduction is even noted for Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s in those who consume the greatest amounts of coffee. Previously, people were often told that if they were to drink coffee to drink de-caffeinated coffee to avoid elevations in blood pressure. Further study has demonstrated this is not the case and that chemicals often used in the de-caffeinating process are far more hazardous! Interestingly, the benefits noted above were demonstrated in predominantly caffeinated coffee drinkers as nearly 70% of all consumption is of caffeinated coffee.
So is there really a catch with consuming and “ahhhhhhhh…..” really enjoying a cup of coffee or four? Yes, there is and, gratefully, it’s simple. Try to use very clean water (reverse osmosis purified or the like), organically grown coffee which you only drink black. Organic coffee is best as much pesticide and herbicide is sprayed on typical coffees and this will avoid that issue all together! Lastly, using whole bean which you then grind yourself just prior to brewing will markedly increase and retain the content of helpful compounds found in coffee!
So relax…..and take a coffee break!