Since its discovery, coffee continues to be a source of personal comfort, social lubricant and spiritual inspiration for millions of people around the world. And yet, its health benefits are still hotly debated!
So, far the results of scientific studies have been a mixed bag of benefits and banes to mankind. For coffee aficionado and average Joe alike, it can be confounding to be pulled one way and then another with each published study. To help you separate the beans from the chaff, so to speak, here’s a lowdown of coffee’s health benefits so far.
One of the coffee facts is, that coffee reduces the risksof contracting heart disease because of the presence of beneficial antioxidants in each cup. And with the number of cups that passes through an average American’s throat, these protective antioxidants accumulate.
Also, coffee does not seem to increase blood pressure. Take note, however, that hypertension is a complicated process of which the role of coffee has yet to be studied in depth.
On the other hand, coffee can raise cholesterol levels specifically because of the presence of kahweol and cafestol that increase low-density lipoprotein in humans. Special notice is given to non-paper filter brew methods and to decaffeinated coffee for such risk.
On a brighter note, coffee exhibits anti-cancer properties. Although previous studies have pointed out that more than 500 chemicals found in coffee are rodent carcinogens, it does not necessarily mean that these are human carcinogens, too, as these occur naturally and are not toxic in the levels consumed on a daily basis.
Researchers continue to uncover coffee facts that point to coffee’s reduction of risks for liver, colon, breast and rectal cancers.
It must be emphasized, however, that drinking plenty of coffee will not provide total immunity from cancer. It’s a complex disease with complex causes and cures that coffee alone cannot explain.
According to a unique study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, drinking coffee reduces the risk of developing Type II diabetes by more than 50 percent.
Of course, caffeine in itself is not the cause of such good news since more studies need to be done to determine what coffee compounds are responsible and how these work to lower the risk for diabetes.
It cannot be overemphasized that adding sugar-laden additives to coffee such as milk and sugar can negate the beneficial effects diabetes-wise. Just plain old decaffeinated coffee will do.
Degenerative Brain Disorders
As most coffee drinkers observe, coffee can improve mental alertness and short-term memory. Now, researchers have discovered that it can also reduce the risks of developing degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease as well as dementia.
The flip side is that men are more protected from Parkinson’s disease than women are. Still, coffee is good for cognitive performance so drinking up is still good.
In conclusion, too much of a good thing is bad. So, it is with coffee, too. One of the coffee facts is that it’s good for your health as studies have proven and will continue to prove in the future but excessive consumption can be bad for your health.
Just like wine and chocolates, coffee is best taken with moderation. This way, you get to enjoy their unique pleasures while getting the best health benefits possible.