It’s no secret that I love coffee. I drink at least one cup of coffee most days. Each year, coffee drinkers around the world unite to celebrate their love of coffee on National Coffee Day on September 29th. But is coffee a dangerous drink, or a healthy beverage?
Depending on who you ask, coffee is either a benign substance or the thing most likely to kill you. However, it turns out, that these coffee naysayers may be incorrect. Studies show that coffee has many beneficial effects in the body, and drinking it regularly can help prevent many health problems from developing as you age.
Of course, as with anything, moderation is best. I am also not a health professional, so don’t take my word for it over your doctor’s!
Here is what science has to say about the health benefits of coffee:
Some Coffee May Help Prevent Cavities
A July 2014 study conducted by Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University and published in the journal of Applied Microbiology found that some coffee is able to prevent the spread of bacteria in the mouth that leads to the development of dental cavities. The researchers found that robusta coffee (grown in Brazil and Vietnam) was able to break through plaque build-up on teeth with the chemical polyphenols. The researchers found that best results were achieved when the coffee was consumed black without any sweeteners.
However, Arabica beans contain fewer polyphenols than robusta coffee and higher acid content, which could have the opposite effect on teeth. Robusta coffee is often used in the cheaper varieties of grocery store coffee, and has a earthier, bitter flavor. So, if you’ve been avoiding the higher priced coffees, you may actually be doing your mouth (and wallet) a favor.
Tip: Make your own Coffee Facial Scrub.
Coffee Contains Numerous Nutrients
Coffee contains a variety of nutrients that are sometimes difficult to get through other sources. The main nutrients in coffee include: vitamin B3, vitamin B2, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorous. 8 ounces of coffee contains up to 11 percent of the recommended daily intake of these nutrients. Drinking 4 cups of coffee will deliver up to 44 percent of the recommended intake.
Tip: Make your own Coffee Scented Lotion
Coffee Can Reduce the Risk of Developing Several Diseases
Numerous studies have shown a link between the intake of coffee and a person’s disease risk. Studies have been done on Parkinson’s disease, strokes, heart disease Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, depression, and type 2 diabetes. In all studies, coffee provided up to a 65 percent reduction in risk. Studies on life expectancy showed that individuals who drank coffee had up to a 26 percent reduction in risk of death from any cause.
Coffee is Full of Antioxidants
Coffee contains a massive amount of antioxidants- more than many fruits and vegetables. In studies, it was found that coffee usually provides more antioxidants to Americans than fruits and vegetables combined. The study participants probably did not eat as many fruits and vegetables as they ought to, but coffee can provide an antioxidant boost even if you eat numerous vegetables and fruits.
How Much Coffee is Ideal?
When researchers study the effects of coffee, they measure the effects based on 8-ounce cups, which contain about 100 mg of caffeine. Eight ounces is about half of a regular mug of coffee. According to researchers, individuals who drank more than 600 mg of caffeine daily (about 3 average mugs of coffee) started to have side effects. However, when individuals drank 4 8-ounce cups of coffee, they experienced the biggest benefits to health. This is equal to about 2 mugs of coffee daily.
Want to roast your own coffee beans at home? Learn how in The Art and Craft of Coffee: An Enthusiast’s Guide to Selecting, Roasting, and Brewing Exquisite Coffee.
Coffee: A Health Elixir
I love to refer to coffee as a health beverage, because it shocks many people. If you are not a coffee drinker, and are particularly sensitive to caffeine, adding more coffee to your diet may not be a good idea. And it is true that caffeine is addicting- if I don’t drink at least 200 mg or so of caffeine a day I get headaches- so if you want to avoid the addiction, by all means stay away from the beverage! But if you are a regular coffee drinker, you no longer have to feel guilty about it. Perfect news for National Coffee Day!
Do you drink coffee? Why or why not?