Coffee: What You Should Know

April 26, 2017

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks and is consumed all over the world. It is made from the seeds, or beans as we call them, of  the Coffea plant which is a plant native to southern Africa and tropical parts of Asia. Today some of the top-producing countries are Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia. According to the Harvard School of Public Health 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every day and Americans drink an average of about 3.1 nine ounce cups every single day.


While coffee is consumed left and right it is important to stop and recognize the effects of this drink and the caffeine that it contains on our health. A September 28, 2015 Harvard Gazette Article featured several studies by Harvard’s School of Public Health regarding the positive effects of coffee. One study showed that drinking four to five cups of coffee daily cut the risk of Parkinson’s disease in half compared with drinking a little or none. An April 24, 2014 online article by Harvard’s School of Public Health emphasized the links between drinking coffee and a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. A study done by Harvard’s School of Public Health has also shown that drinking coffee may reduce the risk of depression in women. In the January/February 2017 Issue of Food and Nutrition a study done in November 2016 and published in Food and Research International showed that fifty -two healthy men and women consumed three servings per day of a 35:65 blend of green and roasted coffee for eight weeks and had greatly reduced blood glucose and increased insulin sensitivity compared to when they did not consume coffee.


Clearly coffee has shown to have health benefits. However some studies have shown that over-consumption of coffee can lead to negative health effects. Studies have shown that the excessive drinking of coffee can lead to increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, restlessness, insomnia, and sometimes an irregular heartbeat due to the stimulating nature of caffeine. According to an article by the Mayo Clinic, research has shown that drinking large amounts of unfiltered coffee is associated with higher levels of cholesterol.


Generally, everything should be consumed in moderation. The Mayo Clinic states that for a healthy adult about 400 milligrams of caffeine or about four cups of coffee is the recommended limit. Caffeine affects each person differently and metabolizes at different rates from person to person so simply listen to your body and make informed decisions about coffee consumption!

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