Is coffee unhealthy? How much should you drink? And which kind? We’ve got the lowdown.
To celebrate 2014 International Coffee Day, here are 5 interesting facts about coffee and its effects on your body. Something to read during your… coffee break?
1. There’s no proof that it is unhealthy
Instead of reducing your consumption of double espressos, you could try to exercise more, or stop an unhealthy habit whose harmfulness has been scientifically validated (like smoking).
2. It’s OK to drink up to 4 cups a day
Many believe that drinking between 1 and 4 cups of coffee (1 cup = 100 mg of caffeine) per day has a positive impact on your health. Some studies do mention an increased protection against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, liver cancer and cirrhosis. Supposedly, these 4 cups give your body the ideal amount of the disease-combating antioxidants found in coffee. The truth is, no detrimental effects have been found (in terms of effects on mortality or other health factors) even if you consume 6 cups a day. Consider limiting your intake to 3 cups. Of course, this does not apply to pregnant women, who should not drink coffee at all.
3. Drink filtered coffee
It’s better to drink filtered coffee: filters are believed to block the terpenes (cafestol) that induce an increase in LDL cholesterol (the “bad cholesterol”). Sweden’s boiled coffee and French press coffee (сafetière à piston) therefore contain more of the cafestol that negatively impacts your health.
4. Coffee affects us differently
For some people, even a Ristretto coffee can cause restlessness and negatively impact sleep. We are all more or less sensitive to caffeine. Don’t forget to #ListenToYourBody!
5. The benefits are not all linked to caffeine
The antioxidants contained in coffee fight the negative effects of oxygen-free radicals, helping to prevent tissue damage. Your body also loves the magnesium and chromium found in coffee: these minerals are good for controlling your level of blood sugar (glucose).
Sources: Harvard – Daily Mail – WebMD