I get asked this question ALL the time.  Should I be drinking coffee?  How much is too much?

Let’s set aside four scenarios that coffee is part of a bigger problem first.

  1. Fatigue: if you are having to drink 3 plus cups of coffee a day to just get through your day because you are so tired then you need to fix the underlying issue. Coffee is the patch getting you through your day.  Most likely your stress gland, the adrenals is involved.  Address the adrenals and then you don’t have to drink coffee.  You can drink it because you enjoy it instead (reasons that this may be a good idea to follow)…
  2. Reflux: coffee can be very acidic and can make reflux worse.  In addition, the caffeine relaxes the sphincter in the esophagus allowing more reflux. Decreasing your consumption of this or trying lower acid brand and lower caffeine may help.
  3. Allergy/sensitivity to coffee: If you have a sensitivity or allergy to coffee (yes, this does happen) then you need to remove it from your diet.
  4. Insomnia – caffeine can certainly keep you awake so limit the amount especially after 3pm to decrease this side-effect

Now that we have cleared those three out of the way, what about the rest of us?  Is coffee good or bad?  You will be surprised at the findings of several studies.  READ ON to learn 10 reasons why coffee might just be your friend….

Coffee has been studied for years.  Recent studies have added to the flurry of information.  Here is what we know and 10 reasons why coffee is good for you:

  1. Coffee actually contains many essential nutrients like vitamin B2, B3, B5, magnesium, and potassium to name a few.
  2. Coffee drinkers have a decreased risk of developing diabetes by as much as 25-50%. Now, if you are drinking coffee with that morning donut don’t think you have it covered!
  3. Coffee may lower your incidence of Alzheimers disease. One study indicated it may be up to 65% lower risk. Lots of variables go into Alzheimers though so take this as just one of them.
  4. Coffee may protect against liver disease and cirrhosis.
  5. Coffee is a mood enhancer and may help with depression.
  6. Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of liver and colon cancer.
  7. Coffee decreases your risk of heart disease! This was just shown in a nice long study.
  8. Coffee may decrease your risk of arrhythmia. Careful though as I do know of some people this does make it worse.
  9. Coffee contains rich antioxidants including polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acids.
  10. Coffee may lower all causes of death in men and women by 20-26%
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Here are some of the key points:

  1. On average the most benefit occurred at 3-4 cups a day or more in majority of the studies
  2. Fresh ground caffeinated has the highest benefits
  3. Instant coffee still has benefits but at reduced rates compared to ground
  4. Decaf coffee still has some benefits, too but also at reduced rates
  5. Organic coffee differs in the farming process and has more antioxidants
  6. Light and medium roasts were found to have more polyphenols than dark roast.

Take home message:  enjoy your cup of coffee or should I say cups…

To your health,