Coffee Pros and Cons

Coffee Pros and Cons

There have been so many studies and reports about the effects of coffee over the recent decades that many people are confused about the real results.

For a number of years we were told that coffee drinking was unhealthy, but now more recent studies tell us that is not true. Over four hundred million cups of coffee are consumed per day in this world, so of course this is an important issue.

The main problem that people may have is with the caffeine in coffee. Caffeine is a mild stimulant, and therefore raises blood pressure and can increase heart rate. This was of concern to earlier researchers; today, researchers think the effect is so mild and short-lived as to be negligible.

In fact, we are actually hearing about the benefits of coffee consumption. Some studies have even shown that the consumption of coffee reduces the incidence of colon cancer, but at such high levels that the negative effects of coffee may once again be an issue. But moderate levels of coffee drinking may actually be good for us. We know that it helps keep us alert. It has been discovered that wine contains certain antioxidants that help prevent heart disease and some cancers by removing free radicals from the blood system. The same may be true of coffee. Studies have shown that the concentration of antioxidants in coffee is greater than in cranberries, apples or tomatoes. Of course, those other fruits and vegetables also give us many other benefits such as vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Chinese studies have indicated that coffee consumption reduces the effects of Parkinson’s Disease. Some studies in both America and Scandinavia indicate that coffee may reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. And there is growing evidence that coffee can reduce the incidence of kidney stones and gallstones. Benefits have also been noted in the digestive system, since caffeine stimulates the production of stomach acid, aiding in digestion. In moderation, the consumption of coffee has been shown to reduce the constriction of the airways in asthma sufferers. A bronchodilator called theophylline, contained in coffee, helps this effect.

But, of course nearly everything, even things as good as coffee, also has negatives. Excess coffee consumption has been linked with infertility or reduced fertility. Higher blood levels of homocysteine and LDL cholesterol have been associated with coffee drinking; these are both factors in coronary heart disease. Since coffee contains cafestol, which raises blood cholesterol, this is one of the main reasons it has been indicted in the heart disease debate. However, the European method of making coffee, which is to boil the ground beans, is the real culprit in cafestol; the American method of percolating or filtering coffee removes it.

Another issue that has been raised regarding coffee drinking is that coffee may contribute to loss of bone density in women. In addition, women who drink four or more cups of coffee a day may be prone to incontinence.

The bottom line? As always, is moderation. The many benefits of drinking coffee are available, and the risks avoided, if coffee is drunk moderately. Get a one cup coffee maker and enjoy one or two good cups a day, or splurge on your cappuccino instead of endless cups from the coffee vending machine.

Read More

Alternatives To Giving Up Coffee for Health Reasons

Alternatives To Giving Up Coffee for Health Reasons

So you are a coffee lover, and you have all the gadgets and gismos to make that perfect cup. You know all the different coffee types available and your idea of a perfect Sunday morning is to relax with your favorite newspaper and a giant mug of a classic Columbian brew.

So what happens when for health reasons you are told to cut down on the coffee? There are so many reasons these days why you might need to cut down on your caffeine intake, perhaps you are pregnant, or suffering from a heart condition that makes excessive caffeine consumption unwise. As a coffee connoisseur the idea of drinking decaf leaves you cold, but when it is a choice between your health and your coffee you probably don’t have much choice. To make your transition easier, there are few things to consider before you stock up on decaf beans.

Be prepared to spend a little extra on high quality decaf to get a decent taste. There are various processes used to remove caffeine from coffee beans and the most economical uses chemicals to accomplish this. Although the chemicals are washed away, small traces can remain that impact the taste of the resulting brew. Some of the good coffee flavor can also be washed away with the caffeine.

Some more expensive decaf beans go through the Swiss method, where the beans are heated with water and then passed through activated charcoal, which bonds with the caffeine, leaving the beans with reduced caffeine but the majority of their original taste.

Another, more recent addition to these processes is known as Hevla. Coffee beans are steamed at high pressure and the caffeine removed, without any real impact on the flavor. The use of this process is becoming more widespread, but is unlikely to be used on the standard decaf for sale in your local supermarket.

As well as checking the manufacturing process used before buying decaf coffee, you should also have a careful look at the caffeine content. You may think you have been clever enough to find a great decaf that tastes just like regular coffee, for a reasonable price. But you may in fact find that the caffeine content is only slightly reduced, hence the more complete taste, and you can probably do yourself almost as much damage with this as with a regular brew. Also beware of drinking decaf coffee when you are out and about. Because the same machines are often used to make decaf as regular coffee, you might unintentionally be getting a large dose of caffeine anyway.

If you really can’t stomach changing to decaf, you could just reduce the amount of coffee that you drink and really savor those occasional cups. You could also switch to a darker roast such as an Italian roast, popular for espresso making, which are naturally lower in caffeine because most of it has burnt off during the darker roasting process.

So don’t despair if your doctor gives you the bad news. Just because you have to cut down on caffeine, this does not mean that you have to give up good coffee altogether.

Read More

Copyright © 2019 Moving Forward Productions, LLC All Rights Reserved.  Designed and Hosted by Diana Leigh Designs

Translate »