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August 2019

The Benefits of Coffee

Drinking coffee may actually be healthy for you!  Moderate daily consumption of coffee, including decaf, has been linked to increased longevity and a decreased risk of several chronic diseases.  These diseases include: type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, some cancers, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Gout, inflammation and gallbladder health may also benefit from compounds found in coffee.

Beyond Caffeine
When it comes to coffee, typically it is the caffeine that comes to mind.  Caffeine is a known stimulant, increasing alertness, temporary mood improvement and boost in metabolism.  However, there are other substances in coffee that most likely offer the health benefits.

  • Coffee contains antioxidants which protect the body, can ward off disease and slow the aging process.
  • Coffee is a surprising source of magnesium, niacin, chromium, potassium and boron.

Although these substances are associated the majority of health benefits, it’s the caffeine in coffee that appears to benefit

How Many Cups for Health Benefits?
Studies show 2 - 5 (8-ounce) cups of coffee daily was associated with the health benefits. Current Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines moderate coffee consumption as 3-5 cups a day or up to 400 mg. of caffeine.  This amount can be incorporated into healthy eating patterns.  The amount of caffeine varies depending on the coffee origin, blend and the way it is brewed. A typical 8-oz. cup of coffee contains 100 mg. of caffeine.

A Cup of Caution –
Coffee is not for everyone.  If you choose to drink coffee here are some things to consider, including possible adverse effects:

  • If you have heartburn or GERD, coffee (regular or decaffeinated) will aggravate it.
  • Coffee has a mild diuretic affect.
  • Coffee with sugar and cream adds calories and saturated fat, outweighing any benefits.  Specialty coffee beverages are more like a milkshake!
  • Caffeinated coffee can interfere with sleep, especially if it is consumed late in the day.
  • If you get migraines, caffeinated coffee may be a trigger.
  • Consuming 4-cups of caffeinated coffee was linked to a higher risk of bone fractures in women, but a lower risk for men.
  • Caffeinated coffee can interact with certain medications such as synthroid, estrogen and verapimil.  Some drugs combined with caffeine, enhance the effects of caffeine.  The absorption of other drugs may be blocked. Check with your pharmacist.

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