Along with eggs and chocolate, coffee is one of the things the health community just can’t agree on. One minute it’s healthy and the next it’s not. The good news is that the healthy side seems to be winning out.
A lot of people agree that your average coffee shop drink isn’t the healthiest choice you could make. It’s not because of the coffee, however, but what is added to it. When you take a black coffee and add cream, sugar, flavor shots and whipped cream, it’s no longer truly a coffee.
What is Coffee?
Coffee comes from the coffee tree, which can range in size from shrubs to tall trees, with up to 100 different species. All commercial coffee comes from one distinct latitude around the world, the “Coffee Belt”. This includes areas like Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Kenya and the Ivory Coast. The type of coffee depends on where it comes from, and the average tree can produce up to 2 pounds of green coffee beans every year. The coffee bean, which is actually a seed, is harvested, dried, roasted, ground and brewed to make coffee.
The aspect of coffee responsible for your jolt in energy is actually good for many other things as well. It has been shown to help brain function by increasing things such as norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. Caffeine can help physical performance by breaking down body fat so the body can use them as fuel. In the same way, it helps you burn fat by boosting your metabolism. This is why it is found in a lot of supplements for weight loss, as it is one of the few natural fat burning substances that have been found.
Drinking coffee regularly can help you fight off many common diseases. While not proven, studies have shown that coffee drinkers have an overall lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This could possibly be caused by its fat burning properties. Parkinson’s disease is caused by neurons in the brain dying, particularly ones that produce dopamine. Since coffee has already been shown to increase dopamine production, drinkers can reduce their chances of getting Parkinson’s. Coffee drinkers have also been shown to have a reduced chance of getting Alzheimer’s.
This is a big one. Everyone is looking for a cure for cancer, or a surefire way to prevent it. Coffee may be an answer. It is full of antioxidants, substances that prevent the oxidation and damage of cells by free radicals. Free radical damage is believed to be a cause of cancer, and antioxidants stop them from doing their damage. Coffee drinkers have been shown to have lower risks of specific types of cancer as well, colorectal and liver cancers.
It’s safe to say that coffee is not a health risk, it’s definitely a benefit. There’s no need to worry if you have to have your morning java, it’s good for you!