Coffee and Your Health: Who Should We Believe?
When it comes to coffee health facts, it’s hard to know what or who to believe. First, we were told that coffee was bad for us and we had to cut down. Then we were told it had all kinds of health benefits. Now we are told it may be bad for our health.
It’s enough to drive a coffee lover to drink… more coffee just to feel a bit better in life. But what truly are the facts when it comes to coffee and health? How do you know when drinking a bit too much, is – well – too much? Read on to learn the latest on heart health and coffee consumption.
Is Coffee Good for You?
In general, research is showing that coffee is, in fact, good for you. A recent study showed that coffee drinkers live longer lives. So what exactly is so great about coffee, besides its amazing flavor and ability to get us moving?
In a word, coffee is filled with antioxidants. It doesn’t matter if you’re drinking regular coffee, instant, or even decaffeinated, when you drink coffee, you’re getting those great antioxidant benefits.
Analyzing those benefits, and at the end of the day, coffee truly seems like a miracle drug. It has been shown to lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, and Type 2 diabetes. It has even been correlated with clearer thinking and lower depression. Some researchers have even said it can slow down prostate cancer.
And of course, the caffeine does boost your metabolism, increasing fat burning and improving physical performance.
Is Coffee Good for Your Heart?
But what kind of effect does all this have on your heart? The bad news is that too much coffee can lead to an increase in cardiovascular disease. As you might guess, it’s that metabolism boosting caffeine that’s the culprit. An excess of caffeine can lead to high blood pressure, which is a common factor in heart disease.
The heart isn’t the only organ that is affected by coffee. It can also have a negative effect on the kidneys and lead to acid reflux or dehydration. The good news is that even though the negative effects on the heart were found across coffee drinker types, the strongest effect was found in those who drank more than six cups of coffee a day.
If you are like the average coffee drinker who drinks two cups a day or less, you should have nothing to worry about. When you get up to drinking multiple pots of coffee every day, however… then it’s time to check your intake and reduce consumption to healthy levels.
Drinking Coffee the Right Way
If you are drinking six or more cups of coffee a day, it probably is time to cut back. Try easing yourself off, maybe getting it down to five cups a day the first week, four cups a day the second week, and so on. You might also ask yourself what is happening in your life that makes you feel the need to drink so much coffee.
Another factor that doctors point to is what we put into our coffee. Even if the coffee isn’t hurting our heart, filling it with gallons of cream and sugar might do the job. It may be in your best interest to cut back on some of the extras, and to just enjoy the natural flavor of your coffee all on its own.
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