Coffee - Good for You?
If you love that cup of joe in the morning (or afternoon) but are worried about how it could be affecting your health then stop! Worrying, that is. It turns out that coffee (a few cups per day) may actually be good for you, and regular consumption can help stave off certain types of diseases, including cancer. While there isn’t any conclusive evidence, recent studies point to a possible link between coffee and a reduction in the risk of Type II Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, certain cancers (such as liver cancer), heart problems, and strokes. So why do researchers think coffee may be beneficial? It’s mostly because of all the antioxidants that coffee contains which fight free radicals in the body and helps our cells regenerate. Meanwhile, coffee also contains magnesium, chromium, and other minerals which work to help the body use insulin, and in turn controls blood sugar. According to recent studies, coffee drinkers are 20% less likely to require hospitalization for arrhythmia when they consume 1-3 cups per day, while women who drink two or more cups per day can reduce their risk of stroke by up to 20%. However, before reaching for the extra-large mug of coffee it may be a wise idea to switch to decaf, or at the least reduce your daily intake of caffeinated coffee. While the antioxidants in coffee may well keep you healthy, excessive amounts of caffeine can increase blood pressure, as well as increase adrenaline in the body. Not everyone should increase the amount of coffee they drink just to get the possible health benefits though. If you are watching your weight and like lots of cream and sugar with your coffee then it may be better to find an alternative, as 6-ounces of coffee on its own is just 7 calories, but with cream and sugar you are adding at least 70 calories. Likewise, women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant should cut back to 12-ounces or less per day, as there are some studies that indicate excessive amounts of caffeine may lead to an increase in the risk of miscarriage or premature delivery. So, as long as it is in moderation, you shouldn’t feel guilty about 1-3 cups of coffee per day, as they may be actually helping to keep you healthy. If you would prefer an even healthier alternative consider some green tea, particularly if you want to avoid the calorie consequences. If you're a coffee lover, be sure to try our vegan protein bar, Daily Mocha Mantra. It's a wonderful blend of coffee and chocolate and yes, it's good for you!