Next to water, coffee is one of the most popular beverages consumed in the world. Legend has it that Ethiopian shepherds first stumbled upon coffee when they noticed their goats ‘dancing’ and acting crazy after they ate some strange red coffee berries. So humans being humans decided they wanted to dance and act crazy too. However, before it was made into a drink, many tribes mixed these coffee berries with animal fat into caffeinated lard balls. Yum. It was later discovered that roasting the beans brought out a complex delicate flavor and more health benefits. With this new method, the modern cup of Java was born.
Many people mistakenly believe coffee is unhealthy. Not true says the scientific evidence. Science wholeheartedly refutes coffee’s pernicious character and conversely demonstrates its numerous health benefits. It is the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet (it has 3000% more antioxidants than an apple – and no calories!). There are many other positive effects linked to coffee but once you start to add sugar, fake sugar, weird creamers and/or decide to have a cigarette with your cup of Joe you may negate all the advantages. Obviously, people who suffer from sleep issues or anxiety problems may want to steer clear of caffeinated beverages altogether. It is also probably a good idea to limit or exclude caffeine exposure to infants, toddlers, and children. I didn’t really have to tell you that, did I?
Warning: Coffee crops come with some of the highest levels of pesticide residue of any agricultural product. The chemical and micro-toxin load is quite heavy and it is probably a smart move to buy certified organic coffee beans. However, there is no good data showing it has ill effects on humans. Traditional coffee is also a good option but harder to come by. It is coffee grown in similar methods to a time before agricultural chemicals were invented. All Yemen, almost all Ethiopia, and most Sumatra coffees are grown in such a state of innocence and are among the world’s finest.
- The lethal dose of coffee is about 100 cups in a day….but then again 100 cups of water might kill you too!
- Coffee is made from a fruit…yet it doesn’t count as a fruit serving in your daily diet. Nice try.
- Black coffee contains ZERO calories (some coffee beans have up to 4 calories).
- Espressos have about one-third of the caffeine content of ordinary coffee but more antioxidants.
- Regular coffee drinkers suffer less depression and are less likely to off themselves than their non-drinking counterparts.
- Evidence suggests that higher coffee consumption may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes – more than 2 cups per day but less than 6.
- Coffee is chock full of antioxidants which protect cells from damage and free-radicals – in fact, Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source!
- About 5 milligrams of calcium is lost per every cup of coffee consumed increasing osteoporosis risk but adding milk to your drink can cancel out the negative effect.
- Coffee seems to protect men but not women against Parkinson’s disease. One possible explanation for the sex difference may be that estrogen and caffeine need the same enzymes to be metabolized, and estrogen captures those enzymes.
- Coffee drinkers are less likely to suffer symptomatic gallstone disease, possibly because coffee alters the cholesterol content of the bile produced by the liver.
- Coffee drinkers experience higher levels of cognition including short-term memory, verbal recall, and visuospatial reasoning.
- As many of you know coffee can be a powerful anti-constipation beverage.
- Contrary to popular belief, coffee is not a diuretic when consumed in moderation (less than 5 cups per day).
- Athletes and fitness buffs have been successfully using coffee as a performance enhancing beverages for hundreds of years. It seems to enhance endurance events more so than short term high-intensity exercise.