Is coffee healthy? Every day, an incredible two billion cups of coffee are drunk worldwide – one of the most popular drinks. Up to three quarters of adult Slovaks enjoy coffee every day. We love it because of taste, stimulating effects and also health benefits.
It affects each of us differently. It depends on age, gender, body weight and, last but not least, the coffee tree variety and the quality of the coffee. Thanks to the cup of this delicious drink, we feel the influx of energy, increasing our productivity and motivation.
In addition to caffeine, which is the main stimulant in coffee, it also contains antioxidants, small amounts of vitamins B2, B3, B5, potassium, manganese and magnesium. It is with the representation of these substances that several benefits of black fluid on the human body are associated.
Coffee is healthy and prolongs life
Coffee is renowned for its high content of antioxidants. For all we can mention chlorogenic acid and coffee acid. Thanks to them, human cells are better protected from damage and oxidative stress. Research by scientists from the Swiss city of Lausanne looked at comparing polyphenol content in coffee, cocoa, green, black and herbal tea. Coffee was the best performer.
In addition, this drink prepared from roasted coffee tree grains is an excellent means of improving physical performance and promoting cognitive function. It is also associated with liver protection, improvement of heart health and prevention of diabetes.
According to a review of 18 studies by Australian scientists from the University of Sydney, every single cup of coffee we indulge in reduces the risk of developing diabetes by 7 per cent. They believe that the chlorogenic acid mentioned above is responsible.
Furthermore, coffee can have anticancer effects and increase fat burning and metabolism. Caffeine is characterized by the ability to increase metabolism by 7 percent within three hours of consumption, according to a study from the Agricultural University of The Netherlands Wageningen.
When asked if coffee was healthy, a nutritionist, Barbara Freshman, also replied. "Coffee is a popular drink in the world and contains a large number of phytochemicals. Many studies have clearly shown the beneficial effects of coffee consumption in reducing the risk of developing diseases such as type II diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, even with decaffeinated coffee.
An important source of phytochemicals with the greatest benefits are phenolic compounds, especially chlorogenic acid," confirms the positives of coffee by a well-known nutritional specialist.
Coffee is often referred to as an elixir of youth or a means of prolonging life
Studies by scientists from different parts of the world have also looked at these areas, and many have confirmed that coffee, as a valuable source of antioxidants, reduces the risk of dying from various serious diseases. For all of us, we can mention one that was published in May 2012 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
The study involved 402,260 people aged 50-71 years. After evaluating all the data, the researchers concluded that those who drank the most coffee, namely 4-5 cups per day, were significantly less likely to die within 12-13 years.
What does that say, an expert? "We are talking about extending life precisely in connection with reducing the risk of serious chronic diseases. In this way, we can say that coffee prolongs life. As far as my opinion is concerned, I am relying on meta-analyses, i.e. something like studies of studies, where a review of previous research is carried out and the resulting data is then derived from this.
In one of the most recent meta-analyses conducted by Grosso and colleagues, the highest dose of coffee drinking (up to seven cups a day) was associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality by 10 percent," explains Barbara Fresh.
How much coffee can we indulge in every day?
Despite the fact that the study participants also received more cups of coffee per day, 3 cups a day are still considered ideal. As for the caffeine content of coffee, it depends mainly on the type of coffee. However, on average it is 90-100 mg per cup, with the maximum daily dose being 500 mg, or 5 cups of coffee. If we indulge in more on a regular basis, we take a risk.
"Coffee is safe for most adults. Drinking more than 6 cups a day can cause "caffeineism" with symptoms such as anxiety or restlessness. Coffee containing caffeine can cause insomnia, nervousness and restlessness, stomach discomfort, nausea and vomiting, increased heart activity and other side effects.
Drinking unfiltered coffee can increase total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglyceride levels. For people with cardiovascular diseases, drinking more than 5 cups a day is not recommended," warns the expert.
What about coffee in pregnancy and during the breastfeeding period?
A nutritionist considers it safe 1-2 cups of coffee per day. A larger amount may be associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, premature birth and low birth weight of the newborn. This is also the case with breastfeeding mothers – caffeine in larger quantities can irritate the digestive tract of the breastfed baby, cause sleep problems and irritability.
What if we suffer from digestive problems, osteoporosis or are taking medication?
"In digestive tract diseases, irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea, coffee can aggravate the symptoms of these diseases.
In the context of women who suffer more often from osteoporosis, drinking caffeine coffee can increase the amount of calcium excreted in the urine. With osteoporosis, it is better to limit the dose of caffeine to 300 mg per day, which is about 2-3 cups of coffee.
People taking special medicines should definitely beware of drinking coffee – it is always necessary to consult a doctor or, as a last resort, to study the package leaflet. For example, some antidepressants, anti-asthmatics, and even antibiotics can interact with caffeine (an ext. caffeine source) or cause the body to break down caffeine more slowly," says Barbara Fresh.
Is coffee, milk and sugar a bad combination?
Not all of us can enjoy the pure taste of coffee. That's why we improve it with milk, a vegetable drink or even sugar. In commonly eating people, the most common combination is with animal milk and sugar. Does such a "mix" harm the human body?
'While milk and sugar in coffee may not affect the benefit effects of coffee, they will definitely affect the taste of coffee. If we ignore the action of milk and sugar on our organism, which is another article, then their combination with coffee is not problematic in itself and is a myth," adds a nutritional specialist.