Nov 14, 2017

The topic of whether coffee is healthy or harmful for your health is a controversial one. Every morning, when our body does not allow us to get out of bed, we instantly think about coffee. Most people actually think, ‘a cup of coffee a day keeps sleep and depression away’. While this is true, people do not know the risks behind this.

An average American drinks at least three cups of coffee a day. One in the morning and two usually at work. While a single cup of coffee does has it benefits, drinking too much is definitely bad for your health.

Let us break it down how coffee contributes to the healthy and harmful factors:

Coffee Is High In Anti-Oxidants

A cup of coffee contains some of the necessary nutrients, which our body requires daily. Following are the percentage of nutrients, which make in the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance):

  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 11%
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1): 2%
  • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 6%
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3): 2%
  • Manganese: 3%
  • Magnesium: 2%
  • Folate: 1%
  • Potassium: 3%
  • Phosphorus: 1%

Combine these nutrients with your daily meal, and you are fulfilling your daily dietary requirements. However, if this coffee increases by two cups, then the excess of anti-oxidants can affect the mortality of life. The top symptom being increased risk of heart attacks and clogged arteries.

A Stimulant – Coffee Enhances Brain Function

Caffeine boosts our brain activity by blocking a neurotransmitter called Adenosine. This allows other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and nor-epinephrine to reach the brain. This reduces our tiredness level and makes us alert. Our cognitive function increases and we grasp things faster.

Negative Effects – Insomnia and Heart Problems

Caffeine is like a drug. You miss drinking it one day and you will get withdrawals. The withdrawals will lead to anxiety, jitteriness, heart palpitations and panic attacks. With so much going on in your body and your brain functioning at a fast pace, you might not be able to sleep. This is more accentuated by high blood pressure, which may eventually lead to a heart attack.

Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Type 2 Diabetes patients have low insulin levels, which makes them feel tired all the time. A cup of coffee impairs glucose tolerance and reduces insulin sensitivity. By keeping your sugar level in check, coffee helps you to avoid the risks involved with type 2 diabetes.

Higher Cholesterol Levels

Coffee contains two ingredients called Kahweol and Cafestol that increases cholesterol levels. Filtering reduces the quantity of these ingredients but people who already have high cholesterol levels should avoid drinking any kind of caffeine. However, studies have also proved that these two are the key ingredients in reducing risks of cancer.

Low Risk of Liver Cancer

If you do not have high cholesterol or any heart problems, then coffee can prove extremely beneficial for you. Cirrhosis is the stage where the liver is completely covered by scar tissues and the person is on the brink of death. By drinking two or three cups of light coffee a day, the risk of Cirrhosis can be reduced by 84%.

Pregnancy and Coffee

Pregnant women should avoid drinking coffee as it can harm the fetus. The harmful nutrients in coffee makes the fetus addicted to caffeine. This often results in low weight babies, babies that might die after few hours of delivery and miscarriages.

Like most things in life, coffee is healthy in moderation but too much of a good thing can be bad for you. It depends on the quantity and quality of caffeine you are drinking, as well as your history as a patient. If drunk at a moderate amount, the effects can be beneficial and if drunk in excess, the effects can be harmful.

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