Is coffee healthy? The history and everything you need to know about coffee
Whether coffee is healthy seems to be an eternal argument. But let’s start with the following scenario:
Your favorite cup is on the table in front of you. Sleepy you rub your temples and think about the dreams of the previous night.
The cup exudes a mild and earthy aroma that goes directly through the taste and smell sensors into the reward center of the brain and ignites a joyful fireworks display there.
You are looking forward to the effect of the same – every morning begins sweeter because of this aromatic and wonderful drink beverage.
You take the first sip and the earthy savor spreads all over your mouth, warms the body from the inside and removes the remains of the cold shower from the bones.
You slowly sip your hot drink, and after a few minutes, you notice a feeling of wakefulness and clarity.
Your day can start!
A bit of history of coffee – You never knew coffee like this!
Coffee is an amazing product. Few people knew this a few hundred years ago. In fact, it was discovered by chance when Ethiopian shepherds watched their goats jump around uncontrollably after they unnoticedly had eaten the cherries of the coffee tree.
They tried some of the cherries themselves and the same effect that made the goats soar in a few minutes was also noticeable in them.
However, these cherries or the green cherry pits tasted absolutely terrible. So they brought them home and their wives roasted the kernels over the fire.
The coffee beans became brown and aromatic. The effect was the same, the taste a lot better. The big breakthrough came once people stopped eating the beans but chopped them up instead and scalded them with hot water.
We are moving ahead to 2018: After petroleum, coffee is the most important export product on Earth and people enjoy this drink almost everywhere.
Americans drink about 400 million cups every day. This makes us the leader in coffee consumption.
Today coffee belongs to our society as naturally as beer and hotdogs, although it was not known until recently. Today everyone can afford it and everyone drinks it too.
But the delicious beverage is increasingly becoming a polarizing drink. Especially in times of delusion of health, coffee is either praised to heaven or demonized.
Some say it will make you healthy to live 100 years, others declare it increases your risk of a heart attack and raises blood pressure levels.
What is wrong with these rumors and half-truths? What does an expert say about coffee? What does science say? Is coffee healthy or not? And how can I get the best out of my drink with simple tricks?
The Coffee Guide: What to look for in quality coffee?
The simple question of whether coffee is healthy or not is unfortunately not easy to answer. In some circumstances, it is unhealthy, in some circumstances coffee is wholesome – very healthy even.
Let’s start with the selection of the right coffee: here is a crucial point.
Pay attention to quality and prefer established branded products to cheap private labels for three dollars per pound.
With coffee, in most cases, you get what you pay for. Cheap beans don’t only carry an unreasonable taste but also very often contain residues of mold and its toxins.
These toxins hinder the flow of energy in the body, trigger allergic reactions, promote inflammation in the body and are considered to be a cause of migraines.
Pay attention to mild, gently roasted coffee. If possible opt for fair trade and organically grown coffee. So you know for sure that there are no chemical additives.
Because the selection of the right coffee should be the first thing before we start with the argument of whether coffee is healthy or not.
Coffee with mold residues cannot harbor any health benefits at all and we all should leave it out of this equation.
Avoid these cheap products at all costs and also decline the types of coffee that you cannot tolerate in any way. More on that in a moment.
After these basics, I would like to give you an interesting and descriptive case study, with which people like to argue. The myth of centenarians:
Is coffee healthy? Centenarians give the first clues
Dan Buettner is a journalist and works for National Geographic. In his bestseller: “The Blue Zones – 9 Lessons For Living Longer”*, he looked at areas with the highest density of centenarians in the world.
He checked for common ground and thus also for causes of how to live healthily and happy for over 100 years.
The five most important blue zones mentioned in the book can be found in Loma Linda (USA), Sardinia, Okinawa, Greece and Costa Rica.
He found out one thing very quickly: Almost all of the centenarians drank plenty of coffee. And by plenty, I mean 3-5 cups a day.
Interestingly, they either grew this coffee themselves or at least roasted and ground it on their own. In no case did they drink cheap private labels from the discount market, but rather organically grown and gently roasted highland-coffee.
And with this point in the background, it is not surprising when scientific studies repeatedly emphasize that good coffee supports longevity and, if used correctly, can be a perfectly healthy drink. This is especially true for Bulletproof Coffee.
After this interesting case study, I would now like to summarize all the advantages and disadvantages of coffee – according to the current state of the science:
All advantages and disadvantages of coffee at a glance
Coffee has many advantages and disadvantages. The most important at a glance – so you can form your own opinion:
Disadvantages of coffee
Let’s start with the negative aspects of coffee:
1- Addiction potential
Especially in connection with stress, coffee ensures a high level of the happiness hormone dopamine in the brain. We can see the same process in people with computer and gambling addictions. In the sense, it is not surprising that coffee, enjoyed in excess, makes you addicted.
2- Irritating to the stomach
Not everyone can tolerate coffee and many people get hit on the stomach. I would like to advise those affected to use gently roasted coffee and, if they still have stomach problems, to avoid coffee. But it does contain irritants.
Ingredients of coffee or the hormones formed as a result of consumption increase the production of sebum in the skin in some people. This, on the other hand, can promote blackheads and pimples. We do not know the exact mechanism yet. However, those who react sensitively and see a connection, better refrain from consuming coffee.
4- Chronobiologically risky
Excess coffee, immediately after getting up and in the evening interrupts the so-called day-night rhythm (chronobiology) of our body. This can result in tiredness in the afternoon and problems falling asleep and staying asleep at night. This makes healthy sleep difficult. So, please, take daily notes to track your rhythm and discover possible disturbances caused by coffee.
5- Stress reliever
Due to the high caffeine level, the adrenal cortex forms the stress hormones (Nor-) adrenaline and cortisol. These are partly responsible for the awakening effect of the coffee, and some people are sensitive to it, especially in hectic times when there are enough stress hormones in the blood.
6- Hinders energy production
If you drink low-quality coffee, there is a chance of mold residues and so-called mycotoxins. These hinder energy production in every single cell in the body. The consequences can be sluggishness, fatigue, autoimmune diseases, allergic reactions, inflammation in the body and also migraines.
7- Promoting migraines
An increase in migraine attacks can occur, and scientists mostly observe these in female coffee drinkers. They are caused either through mycotoxins or through hormonal influences.
8- CO2 consumption
The transportation of coffee halfway around the world and its processing naturally uses a lot of fossil fuels. Those who value their ecological footprint should rethink their coffee consumption (the same applies to apples from New Zealand).
9- Risk during pregnancy
It’s advisable that pregnant women do not use coffee so as not to hinder the optimal development of the embryo, but also so as not to pass on the addictive potential to the baby.
These are the currently valid and recognized disadvantages of (high) coffee consumption. They are balanced by the numerous advantages of coffee, but one should always take them into account:
Benefits of coffee
The benefits of coffee for health at a glance:
1- Lowering cholesterol
The numerous phytochemicals in coffee, especially chlorogenic acid and other polyphenols have been proven to lower cholesterol levels.
2- Lowering blood sugar
Through various biochemical processes in the body (AMPK, adrenaline build-up, heat build-up, etc.), coffee, especially high-quality and black coffee, can lower high blood sugar levels.
3 Improves insulin levels
The same mechanisms by which coffee lowers high blood sugar also have a positive effect on the high insulin levels in diabetic.
Everyone who ever drank three cups of coffee on an empty stomach knows the following fact. There is a lot going on in the intestine after coffee consumption. In fact, it activates the cells in the small intestine that are responsible for intestinal motility (bowel movement/interstitial Cajal cells). Digestion gets going. You can reach this effect, for example, with an espresso after eating, which also helps a lot with irritable bowel syndrome. The term “detox food” applies to quality coffee as well.
5- Can counteract constipation
In the same way, this oriental beverage can remove constipation (e.g. in irritable bowel syndrome), as it eliminates intestinal sluggishness. Thie laxative properties of coffee even further enhance this effect.
6- Encourages concentration
Especially if you don’t drink so often and don’t drink much of it, you will feel this effect: Coffee wakes you up, it makes you lively and promotes clarity in your head. So if you have a strenuous job ahead of you, want to increase concentration and need a few hours of good focus, you will be happy to use coffee and/or creatine.
Studies have shown that polyphenols from plants have all kinds of positive effects on blood pressure, intestinal health and a strong immune system. According to studies, even coffee is one of, if not the most important, source of polyphenols in Western society. On the one hand, this speaks for the coffee wholesomeness, since it really contains a lot of polyphenols. However, at the same time, this also takes a stance against the normal Western diet, as it contains too little fruit and vegetables.
8- Prevents Alzheimer’s and Dementia
This has been observed among the centenarians in The Blue Zones *. Coffee seems to counteract the decay of nerve cells through its diverse active substances in the brain, especially in older people, and actively prevent Alzheimer’s. Exactly how this happens science does not yet fully understand.
9- Burning Fat
If you want to boost your fat-burning, increase your athletic performance or just want to lose weight quickly, you should also start using coffee. That’s because caffeine and adrenaline increasingly release and burn fat from adipose tissue.
10- Prevents cirrhosis of the liver
Coffee activates fat burning, blood circulation and fights free radicals and inflammation in the body. This means that less fat can accumulate in the liver. The risk of fatty-liver decreases as does the risk of cirrhosis of the liver. Coffee also seems to improve the detoxification ability of this organ.
Whether that is an advantage or a disadvantage remains to be seen. But coffee suppresses hunger and appetite and can, therefore, help in a diet (losing weight without a diet).
Now you know all of the advantages and disadvantages of coffee. Of course, everyone can form their own opinion, but good journalism always requires consideration from both perspectives.
Let us know about your experiences and thoughts regarding coffee in a comment below. I’m always looking forward to reading from you.
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You are beautiful, special and unique spiritual beings and endlessly loved. ~Namaste~