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Coffee and Health: The Good, Bad, and Ugly Truth about Our Favorite Drink

The secrets the barista aren’t telling you.

How much do you love your coffee? If stats are anything to go by, many Americans do love coffee and a good number guzzle over 3 cups of the beverage each day. On any average day, at least 54% of American adults will consume coffee. That makes it one of the most consumed beverages in the country, coming close to water, alcohol, and soft drinks.

But is coffee good for you?

That’s a subject that has attracted a heated debate over the years. While some experts believe that coffee is a drug just like any other and therefore comes with detrimental effects, others advocate for it, arguing that it is a stimulant that will keep you alert and energetic. So, which of the two camps is right?

Let’s look at the good, bad, and ugly truth about our favorite morning beverage.

The Good

Stimulating effect

If you’re one of those people like me who just can’t get enough of coffee, you’re already aware of it’s magical powers, it’s stimulant effect. Its primary ingredient is caffeine, a compound that boosts brain function, physical performance, and energy level.

For that reason, coffee our turn to drink for snapping out of a bout of fatigue, improving mental clarity, and lifting our moods. Its ability to improve mood is probably the reason why it has long been associated with reduced risk of depression and suicide. Ask anyone in the service industry, seriously, we wouldn’t have survived without this brew

Antioxidants

It’s good for you! No seriously.

Most Americans get a huge chunk of their antioxidants from coffee, in fact, more than what they get from fruits, vegetables, and other foods. You get even more antioxidants when you consume organic coffee.

But how is that a good thing? Well, antioxidants curb free radicals and prevent them from damaging cells in your body. As a result, the oxidation process will not take place, and that will lead to some enormous health benefits. For example, cancer cells cannot thrive where there is no oxidation.

Coffee cures cancer! Ok, no, that’s not true, I was just going for alliteration there, but it’s not entirely wrong.

Boosts metabolism

The caffeine found in coffee can stimulate metabolism temporarily and also suppresses appetite at the same time. That is why the beverage is popular among people who want to lose weight. Have you ever noticed you feel full after drinking a cup or three of coffee? This is especially true if you add in milk or creamer.

Therefore, if you are searching for something that might help you drop some pounds and stay in shape, coffee might just be one of the answers.

Reduces risk of some diseases

In a recent study, it was discovered that coffee reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 7%. It’s not yet clear how it does that, but experts are of the opinion that whenever you drink coffee some of its ingredients lower and stabilize your blood sugar level. It also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease, and dementia.

The Bad

Stress and anxiety

Occasional consumption of coffee is totally okay for most people. However, if you develop the habit of drinking it regularly and in large quantities, this might lead you to experience some form of stress and anxiety. That is because in the process of stimulating your central nervous system, caffeine will energize you (mentally and physically) but will also stress the body.

You will then have a constant need to be stimulated by coffee, leading to more coffee intake. On top of that, it increases the amount of cortisol in your body. The hormone is known to influence stress. The more it is in your body the more stressed you will be.

Interferes with digestion

Another common problem among coffee guzzlers is digestion issues. When coffee starts its stimulation effect, it usually shuts down some systems, especially digestion, this might be the reason why it suppresses your appetite as well.

As a result, you are likely to feel irritation in your stomach’s lining, and that can lead to the development of ulcers.

The Ugly Truth

Addictive

Perhaps the most dangerous thing about coffee is its addictive nature. If you drink the beverage regularly it’s just a matter of time before you get hooked on caffeine. If this happens, you will find it challenging to stay mentally and physically energetic without your double espresso or venti latte.

Your focus, attention, alertness, and concentration will be determined by how much caffeine you have consumed. When trying to cut down, if there ever is a time that needs to happen, you might noticed withdrawal symptoms. These include severe headaches and IBS.

As a good alternative when trying to cut down on coffee, green tea is a great source of caffeine, easier on the body, and also good for weight loss.

Bad for pregnancy

If you are a pregnant woman you should stay away from coffee as much as possible. Regular consumption can cause a miscarriage, premature birth, or a low birth weight baby.

Mineral loss

In the long run, coffee consumption can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb minerals, especially iron, magnesium, and calcium. As a result, you are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis and extreme mineral loss.

Final Thoughts

Although coffee has its benefits, it also has an undesirable and ugly side. Now that you know the pros and cons, decide for yourself how much you should be drinking each day!

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