Coffee and Health

By on November 1, 2018
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by Tami Mungenast CPT CNWC

One of America’s favorite beverages is coffee and thanks to a high level of antioxidants it also one of the healthiest! There has been many studies on the health benefits of java, and they have shown coffee to lower the risk for several serious diseases. Aside from providing a jolt of caffeine, 1-3 cups of coffee a day have been linked to lowering the risk of Cardiovascular Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson Disease, certain types of cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease.  

The coffee bean is a rich source of antioxidants. Many of the nutrients in coffee make their way into the finished brewed beverage. A single cup of java contains Riboflavin (B2), Pantothenic acid (B5), Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium and Niacin (B3). In addition to these nutrients, coffee also has several bioactive compounds that have been proven to reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson Diseases. 

According to John Hopkins Medicine these are some of the top benefits of drinking coffee: 

1. Less likely to develop heart failure. Drinking 1-2 cups a day may ward off heart failure when a weakened heart has difficulty pumping enough blood to the body.

2. Less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. The caffeine in two cups of coffee a day provide significant protection against both of these conditions especially in women 65+. It is also shown to help with the symptoms of those living with Parkinson Disease. 

3. Less likely to suffer a stroke. Especially for women who drink at least one cup per day, they have lower stroke risks. Strokes are the 4th leading cause of death in females. 

4. Reduced risk for colon cancer. Research shows that coffee drinkers have a 26 percent less chance to develop a colorectal cancer. 

5. Improved glucose (sugar) process. Studies show that those who drink coffee regularly have lowered risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes.  

Excessive caffeine consumption can be unhealthy. Too much caffeine can cause you to be jittery and increase the heart rate and blood pressure. It can also create anxiety and interrupt your natural sleep cycle. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans it is safe for most to drink 3-5 cups of coffee a day (maximum intake of 400 milligrams of caffeine).  Also keep in mind that what you add to your coffee can turn it from healthy to unhealthy. Be careful with adding too much sugar and syrups to coffee which can pack on the calories and the pounds.

Try this healthy, delicious coffee recipe: 

Pumpkin Spice “Latte” Smoothie

Blend all ingredients to create this fun seasonal drink.

1 cup coffee

½ cup milk of your choice, such as unsweetened vanilla flavored almond milk

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, (or ½ teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup canned plain pumpkin, using real pumpkin adds fiber!

4 ice cubes

Lightly sweeten as needed, Stevia or a packet of Splenda