Apart from water, coffee and tea are the two most widely consumed beverages in the world. Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed each day around the world. Americans alone consume some 400 million cups of coffee a day.
So is this “Cup of Joe” good for your health, or is it, in fact, harmful?
There is no straight answer to this question as coffee drinking has been linked to a number of health benefits, but at the same time coffee has also been said to raise health concerns.
To balance out between the benefits of drinking coffee and avoiding its harmful effects, it is recommended that we keep our coffee consumption between one-to-two cups a day.
- One of the most important chemicals in coffee is caffeine. Caffeine consumption is known to make us alert and improve physical performance. It also acts as a potent nervous stimulant and increases the effectiveness of painkillers.
- Coffee is a great source of antioxidants and a regular coffee drinker gets more antioxidants from coffee than any other food.
- According to some studies, drinking coffee helps in burning fat and also helps lose weight. It helps fight type 2 diabetes by stimulating insulin production and keeping off sugar cravings.
- Coffee consumption is linked to reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease. It is believed that coffee stimulates activity in the part of the brain that is usually affected by Parkinson’s, thus reducing the risk of being affected by almost 25 percent.
- According to researchers, people who consume between two-to-four cups of coffee are at a lower risk of stroke than those who drink less, or no coffee. Coffee also reduces risk of prostate cancer (in men) and endometrial cancer in women, apart from other cancers such as skin cancers.
- Coffee can help you wake up but it is also likely to keep you awake and restless. Insomnia is one of the commonest side effects of coffee. Excessive coffee consumption can increase blood pressure and may even cause dehydration (since it is a diuretic).
- Coffee consumption is not safe during pregnancy. Compulsive coffee drinkers are asked to keep their consumption to one cup during pregnancy.
- Poor or low quality coffee can be quite toxic and can cause headache, nausea, and sickness.
- Some research studies suggest that coffee may aggravate heartburn and acidity.
- Regular coffee consumption may stain teeth