Each coffee bean is formulated with over 300 natural compounds even before roasting them. Organic compounds such as Carbohydrates, Amino acids (also known as primary structure of protein), Fibre, Pectin, Minerals, Antioxidants, Caffeine and others are what’s in every tiny coffee bean. These unique blends usually double during the roasting process as chemical reactions occur to form nearly over a 1000 compounds.
There’s no denying that coffee has been around way longer than most of us have and over time has built a reputation for causing many illness, from human development defects like stunting your growth to major issues like heart diseases. However, many researchers have shown the science and true facts behind this matter.
Based on trustworthy medical research, coffee consumption has been linked to longevity. In addition to that, other health benefits come along with it that helps us to maintain good well-being, for both internally and externally. Prior to this fact, the chemical composition in coffee does have its good and bad. Just like what people say, that cup of Joe may be good for many, but there are downsides as well.
Now, let’s get into the technical details.
Coffee chemicals such as lignans and chlorogenic acid could help with reducing inflammation in our body and to maintain blood sugar levels. These essential compounds in coffee promote lower insulin resistance and inflammation. Moreover, these chemicals also could potentially help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Current studies have proven that there is no connection between coffee and increased increasing the risk of cancer or heart diseases.
Furthermore, recent studies also found a link between reduced overall mortality, cardiovascular mortality and coffee consumption. However, this is depending on whether people are heavy coffee addicts that drink large amounts of coffee each day.
If you’re drinking 4 cups of coffee a day, it might help to prevent clogged arteries that are one of the risk factor for heart disease. A cardiologist, Dr. Gregory Marcus from University of California San Francisco who led a study regarding coffee said, “We may unnecessarily be discouraging consumption of items like chocolate, coffee and tea that might actually have cardiovascular benefits”.
Many scientists also believe that caffeine is not the only responsible factor that should be concerned when it comes to cardiovascular health. However, more research is yet to be done, to completely understand the advantages of coffee singularly on cardiovascular health.
If we are talking about coffee consumption as part of our lifestyle, let’s take a moment to take account into other toxic behaviours or habits. Smoking, taking high dosage of medical drugs, physical inactivity and the list goes on. These are just the few common traits among heavy coffee drinkers.
Other health benefits that coffee is said to have is the protection against Parkinson disease, liver diseases such as liver cancer and type 2 diabetes. Besides that, it also has the ability to improve our mental health as well. Decreasing the risk of depression and enhancing our cognitive function.
Based on same research, it states that there are some risks involved as to consuming high amount of unfiltered coffee (boiled or espresso). It is commonly associated with elevated cholesterol levels in the blood.
Do note that everyone’s body reacts differently to certain things. Same goes for coffee. This is due to the genetic mutation embedded in them which slows down the breakdown process of caffeine in the body. Certain people with this specific genetic mutation who consume 2 or more cups of coffee a day can increase the risk of heart diseases.
Even though the risk may appear to be lesser compared to the benefits of coffee, there are also other beverages that you consume which contains more needed nutrients.
An additional ingredient in coffee such as creamer or sugar does change the whole benefit outweighs the risk. Out of 10 people, it’s safe to say that 9 of them will add either sugar or creamer into their everyday coffee. That’s a lot of fats and calories added into your day to day coffee which could be really risky. Research has also proven how sugar is much more harmful to our health compared to salt.
One of the most talked about element in every coffee beverage is CAFFEINE. As mentioned earlier, caffeine is a naturally occurring compound found in a coffee bean. Even in decaf coffees, you still have a small percentage of caffeine. Caffeine processes organically in both the beans and leaves of the coffee plant. Based on scientists’ perception, the bitter taste of caffeine is said to have evolved overtime to protect the coffee trees from predators or pests.
Most coffee drinkers are aware of the energizing effect and their caffeine consumption that comes along with it. Many people start off their day with a cup of coffee due to this very reason itself. It helps to keep them awake and stay focus throughout the day. Some may also want to have another cup of coffee during the mid-day as their bodies have generally become immune to the caffeine effect and gradually have a higher caffeine tolerance.
There are several potential benefits to regular caffeine consumption like improved performance in sports and the cognitive function in adults. Based on research studies, caffeine has an ergogenic effect on people that improves physical endurance during sports. This effect increases the capability of the body to eliminate fatigue symptoms. It is usually more evident in higher endurance sports like running, swimming, cycling and many others.
Moreover, it increases adrenaline production during both anaerobic and aerobic activity as caffeine affects the adenosine receptors in the brain. Thus, helping to stimulate more energy production and blood flow to the muscles and heart. Furthermore, caffeine consumption speeds up recovery process by increasing blood flow through small vessels, reduces muscle soreness and cramps.
However, caffeine can affect each individual differently. Metabolism rates in each individual are compared as well. People with slow metabolism rates and sensitive to caffeine won’t be able to sleep at night with coffee is taken before bedtime. Where else people with high metabolism rate can drink coffee and sleep without a problem.
Risk of having a stroke in older women is another coffee hack that studies have proven. Based on a U.S. study in 2009 and a Swedish study in 2011, older women who drank 2 or more cups of coffee each day had about 25 percent lower risk of stroke. Similar results for men were shown in the 2008 Swedish study.
It is best to keep in mind that other factors like body mass, gender, age also affect how the body reacts to caffeine. Coffee drinkers should remember that caffeine can be found in other food and beverages too, so best to keep aware of your daily coffee consumption.
Coffee compounds like antioxidants can benefit a person by preventing liver and heart diseases and lowering diabetes risks. Not to mention that caffeinated coffee is 8 times more likely to risk of Parkinson disease development.
If you were to compare a regular cup of brewed coffee and a decaf, the average caffeine content is 95 mg and 2 mg respectively. That’s a lot of difference! That’s why some consumers prefer to opt for decaf instead due to health concerns.
Coming back to longevity, the National Institutes of Health have found out how coffee consumption reduce the risks of mortality. Many scientists have come to a conclusion that it truly does lower risk of death related to any heart, respiratory, stroke and diabetes problems. It is proven to be true among people who drank either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee.
Not to mention that coffee drinkers were less likely to die from those sorts of diseases. This study was conducted on older age groups, after taking concern of other factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption.
The studies also revealed a significant risk reduction between coffee drinker and non-coffee drinkers. 4-5 cups of coffee can reduce up to 12%-16% risks among both men and women.
That’s not all, a study from Harvard’s School of Public Health proved that people who drank 2 to 3 cups of coffee daily had lowered suicide risk by 45 percent. This could be mainly because caffeine helps to boost people’s moods and alertness.
Caffeine can also alter your mood and regulate your emotion responses. Neurotransmitters called dopamine are in charge as they partially control the brain’s pleasure centres. For an example, after consuming a cup of coffee, the caffeine molecules tend to bind with adenosine receptors in the brain and preventing its actions. This causes the brain to manipulate us into feeling alert and focus.
Another coffee benefit is the reduction of Alzheimer and dementia risk especially in your 40s and 50s. Based on a study carried out by University of Florida in 2009, it could decrease risks up to 70 percent in your older years. Moreover, regular coffee tends to help slow down the rate of cognitive decline in older adults.
Here are a few downsides of overload coffee consumption on your day to day basis. Most people may not be aware of this, but caffeine is said to be represented as a form of drug. This stated can be supported by a researcher, Steven Meredith in behavioral pharmacology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Caffeine is actually addictive and some consumers become dependent on it for maintaining a productive lifestyle. It also becomes harder to resist or quit coffee, he says. People who quit cold turkey may even experience fuzziness, fatigue, terrible headaches for a few days as the body is adapting to new adjustments.
That’s not all, it could disrupt your sleep patterns and may increase anxiety levels for some people. As mentioned earlier that people with low metabolism rate should avoid drinking coffee before bedtime. However, your internal body has a mind of its own so sometimes it’s hard to tell if you will be able to sleep although you took coffee 4-6 hours ago. Hence, this could lead to daytime fatigue and eventually insomnia.
If you are on certain types of medication such as thyroid, psychiatric, depression medications, antibiotic Cipro and the heartburn drug called Tagamet, coffee could interact with them. This combination could be dangerous as it may increase glucose levels in the blood, causing difficulty to people with type 2 diabetes to manage their insulin.
In addition to that, caffeine is said to be related to bone loss in the spinal for postmenopausal women especially if they consume more than 3 cups of coffee daily. That’s around 300 mg of caffeine and the lack of calcium in their diet adds on this problem.
Another concern with over consumption of coffee is how it affects your stomach. Coffee is a highly acidic substance and if you always consume it with an empty stomach, have an issue with acid re-flux or heartburn then it’s definitely not healthy for you as it will only aggravate the current problem. Plus, it will irritate the gastrointestinal tract in your stomach.
If you think switching to decaf would help, well based on reliable research, decaf coffee actually increases acidity levels in the stomach.
Having high levels of cholesterol and overdosing coffee can be seriously bad for your health. The coffee compound called cafestol elevates your LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. So, best thing to do is use a paper filter to remove those cafestol and slowly reduce intake of coffee from your diet.
All in all, coffee is more beneficial to us compared to the harm it can bring us. In reality, its really all about taking everything in moderation including coffee. So before taking your next cup of coffee, analyse your current lifestyle and make baby steps in improving your health.