coffee

Nutritional information tends to run in trends. Fat, protein and carbohydrates have all seen their heyday as the star and bad boy of nutritional health, and now, coffee’s moment in the spotlight has arrived. The star of most of our mornings has been in the limelight due to Mormon Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who does not drink coffee as part of his religious beliefs. But what about those of us who don’t have a moral problem with coffee? Should we still be cutting back?

The Good

It’s tough to prove a lot of the benefits of coffee, but certain studies have linked it to staving off diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, psoriasis, cancer and diabetes. The problem with these claims is that many of them have yet to be proven. It’s difficult to prove the link between coffee and these diseases, especially because there are so many variables, and not in the least because very few studies actually ask participants to change their coffee habits. They simply ask about habits that are already in place and draw conclusions from this information. As a result, diminished likelihood of these diseases could be linked to coffee consumption, but it could also be linked to a myriad of other factors.

Coffee’s link to curing headaches is a double-edged sword; while it may provide pain relief and cure headaches, it’s also been linked to causing them!

The Bad

Coffee is often presumed to be a diuretic, and while this is true, it’s only when you’re drinking upwards of three cups a day that this becomes a true problem. What is a problem is the subsequent effect of coffee on the digestive track. Depending on the volume of consumption, coffee could be a veritable poison to the digestive track, according to studies detailed by the Idaho Observer.

The Ugly

While both the good and bad medical effects of coffee have yet to be categorically proven, the effects of too much caffeine on stress levels are clear, according to a Duke University study, people who consume caffeine may not experience long-term elevated blood pressure, but they do experience higher stress levels and anxiety.

In addition, those who experience caffeine addiction due to coffee consumption can be prone to “crashes” or withdrawal symptoms when their caffeine intake is not consistent.

The Verdict

The verdict when it comes to coffee? Like most things, it’s probably fine in moderation, according to reports by CBS News. While there are some adverse effects to consuming large amounts of coffee, there are also some benefits to including coffee in your daily life.

One thing is for sure: if you’re drinking coffee, it’s best to make it organic. Carcinogenic insecticides and pesticides are used on non-organic coffee brands, and ecologically speaking, coffee can be one of the most destructive crops when not grown and harvested responsibly. Free-trade, ethical, organic coffee is the best choice, so choose your favorite organic brew and drink up!

Image: epsos.de