Coffee was once considered bad for us , and now I see a new article every week about its health promoting benefits. So which research is correct?
There is no right or wrong answer, coffee can be both great for you and harmful depending on how your body tolerates it and where the coffee is coming from. Coffee contains caffeine which is a drug and like any other substance, it can affect people differently. It’s important to understand how caffeine interacts with your body before consuming it in high quantitates.
POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF DRINKING COFFEE
1. Coffee contains Anti-oxidants - Anti-oxidants prevents cell damage and neutralises free radicals, which occur naturally as part of our metabolic function. This can lead to inflammation and chronic disease. In other words, anti-oxidants help keep us healthy on a microlevel.
2. Coffee provides a short term memory boost - Caffeine appears to affect the particular area of the brain responsible for memory and concentration, providing a boost to short-term memory, although is not clear how long the effects lasts for.
3. Coffee may lessen the risk of developing type 2 Diabetes - Moderate to high coffee consumption has been associated with better glucose tolerance and a substantially lower risk of type 2 diabetes. However, it remains unclear what components in the coffee that may be responsible for the beneficial effect on glucose metabolism.
4. Coffee can boost physical performance - Caffeine increases adrenaline in your blood. Adrenaline is your "fight or flight" hormone which prepares the body for exertion. Have a cup of coffee about an hour before your workout and your performance and endurance can improve. Use it as pre exercise drink.
5. Coffee may assist in weight loss - Coffee contains magnesium and potassium, which helps the body use insulin and regulate blood sugar levels. Which in return can help reduce cravings for sugar and snacks.
POTENTIAL NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF COFFEE
1. Coffee can upset your stomach - Many of the compounds in coffee such as caffeine and the acids found in coffee beans can irritate your stomach and the lining of the small intestine. Causing heartburn and decreased digestive function. It is particularly harmful for those suffering from ulcers, gastritis, IBS and Crohn’s disease.
2. Coffee may cause insomnia and anxiety - Caffeine will increase adrenaline in the blood and may cause increased heart rate which in some people can lead to anxiety and disrupt sleep. It is also known that caffeine interfere with GABA metabolism. Gamma-aminobutyric acid is a neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood and stress levels.
3. Coffee may raise blood pressure - According to a mayo clinic study, the data revealed that people with a history of hypertension had elevated blood pressure after 2-3 hours after consuming coffee.
4. Coffee may decrease mineral absorption - Coffee affects iron absorption in your stomach and particularly your kidneys ability to retain calcium , zinc , magnesium and other important minerals.
5. Coffee interacts with some medication - Caffeine interacts with thyroid medication, psychiatric and depression drugs, the antibiotic Cipro and heartburn drug Tagamet.
Many people are very protective of their coffee and probably won’t like to hear the negative health problems associated with it. But be aware how coffee affects you, if you notice any negative side-effects or unpleasant symptoms from coffee, it is probably best to avoid it completely. Try drinking a calming alternative herbal tea like dandelion root, camomile, peppermint or lemon balm tea.