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  • Writer's pictureDoug Joachim

Coffee is Healthy – Just Don’t Drink 100 Cups Daily

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

Coffee, often referred to as the world's second-most consumed beverage after water, has a fascinating history. The tale goes that Ethiopian shepherds stumbled upon coffee when they observed their goats exhibiting peculiar behavior after nibbling on the vibrant red coffee berries. Humans, being naturally curious, sought to experience the same "dancing" and eccentricity. In ancient times, various tribes mixed the coffee berries with animal fat, creating caffeinated lard balls—an intriguing combination. However, it was through the discovery of roasting the beans that a more refined and nuanced flavor emerged, along with numerous health benefits. Thus, the modern cup of Java came into existence. Despite common misconceptions, scientific evidence wholeheartedly contradicts the notion that coffee is unhealthy. In fact, it showcases numerous health benefits. Remarkably, coffee is the leading source of antioxidants in the American diet, containing a staggering 3000% more antioxidants than an apple, all without adding any calories. While there are various positive effects linked to coffee consumption, it's essential to avoid diluting these advantages by adding excessive sugar, artificial sweeteners, unconventional creamers, or even indulging in a cigarette alongside your cup of Joe. Naturally, individuals with sleep issues or anxiety problems may find it prudent to abstain from caffeinated beverages altogether. Moreover, limiting or excluding caffeine exposure for infants, toddlers, and children is undoubtedly a wise decision. But then again, I probably didn't need to tell you that, did I?

Warning: Coffee crops often carry high levels of pesticide residue, making it a wise choice to opt for certified organic coffee beans. While there are no substantial data indicating adverse effects on humans, it's crucial to consider this factor. Traditional coffee, grown using methods predating the invention of agricultural chemicals, is also a commendable option, albeit more challenging to come by. Regions like Yemen, Ethiopia, and Sumatra still uphold these old-fashioned practices, resulting in some of the world's finest coffee.

Let's explore some intriguing coffee factoids:

  1. The lethal dose of coffee is estimated to be around 100 cups in a day, but then again, consuming 100 cups of water might also prove fatal!

  2. Coffee is derived from a fruit, although it doesn't qualify as a fruit serving in your daily diet—nice try, though.

  3. Black coffee contains zero calories, although some coffee beans may have up to 4 calories.

  4. Espressos possess roughly one-third of the caffeine content found in regular coffee but pack more antioxidants.

  5. Regular coffee drinkers tend to experience less depression and have a lower likelihood of suicidal thoughts compared to their non-coffee-drinking counterparts.

  6. Evidence suggests that higher coffee consumption, exceeding two cups but remaining below six, may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

  7. Coffee is packed with antioxidants that safeguard cells against damage and free radicals. Astonishingly, Americans obtain more antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source.

  8. Drinking coffee causes a loss of about 5 milligrams of calcium per cup, increasing the risk of osteoporosis. However, adding milk to your coffee can counteract this negative effect.

  9. Coffee appears to protect men, but not women, against Parkinson's disease. One potential explanation for this sex difference may lie in the fact that estrogen and caffeine rely on the same enzymes for metabolism, with estrogen dominating the enzyme usage.

  10. Coffee drinkers have a lower likelihood of developing symptomatic gallstone disease, potentially due to coffee's impact on the cholesterol content of liver-produced bile.

  11. Coffee enhances cognition, including short-term memory, verbal recall, and visuospatial reasoning.

  12. Coffee is known to have potent anti-constipation properties, as many coffee enthusiasts can attest to.

  13. Contrary to popular belief, coffee is not a diuretic when consumed in moderation (less than 5 cups per day).

  14. Athletes and fitness buffs have been successfully using coffee as a performance-enhancing beverage for hundreds of years. It seems to enhance endurance events more so than short term high-intensity exercise

Coffee holds a rich history and has become an integral part of our daily lives, captivating our senses and offering numerous potential health benefits. Scientific evidence challenges the notion that coffee is detrimental to our well-being, highlighting its status as a significant source of antioxidants and its positive impact on cognition, gallstone disease, and even depression. However, it is crucial to consume coffee in moderation (USDA recommends 3 to 5 cups per day or up to 400 mg/d caffeine), avoid excessive additives, and be mindful of individual circumstances such as sleep issues and anxiety. By appreciating the wonders of coffee while being informed about its potential risks, we can continue to enjoy this beloved beverage as a delightful and stimulating companion on our journey through life.

coffee infographic

Doug Joachim – NYC


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1 Comment

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Nov 07, 2020

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