If coffee is healthy or not has been discussed for ages, myths and facts are often mixed together. Lately, researchers have had a closer look at old studies and come to some new conclusions. It looks like coffee is a little bit healthier than previously thought.
Coffee has been popular for a long time and some people drink a lot of coffee every day. You can hear that coffee is both bad and good for your health. Several studies have found out that coffee, in moderate amounts, has a number of health benefits. It also looks like earlier studies may have exaggerated the risks of drinking coffee. Many of them did not take into account well-known high-risk behaviors which were common amongst many coffee drinkers back in those days.
But also the recent studies warn about drinking too much coffee. Large daily consumption of coffee may lead to a number of health issues, or at least increase the risk of several health problems. High consumption of unfiltered coffee for example elevates cholesterol levels. Too much coffee may also over time increase the risk of heart disease. The general advice is that up to four cups of coffee a day is safe.
In small amounts, coffee may have some health benefits. It can protect against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancers. Coffee also has a high content of antioxidants but how well it works against aging is still unknown.
You probably know that coffee contains caffeine. It is a stimulant which is also found in cola soft drinks, chocolate, energy bars and in some medications. In small doses, caffeine make you feel refreshed and focused. In large doses, you may feel anxious and have difficulty sleeping. It is possible to build up a tolerance to caffeine, meaning that larger doses are needed to achieve the same effect. Over time, you may become dependent on caffeine in order to get your body to function at its best.
The safe amount caffeine varies from person to person but many experts say that up to 400 or 500 mg per day is acceptable. A standard cup of coffee contains around 100 mg of caffeine, espresso coffees may contain up to 200 mg. Decaffeinated coffee contains only a few mg of caffeine. Remember that chocolate, cola soft drinks and energy drinks contain caffeine as well. Note that for pregnant women, the safe amount is only 200 mg per day.
One important warning about coffee, or rather caffeine, one should be aware of is that it temporarily increases blood pressure. It also looks like a high caffeine intake can raise blood pressure permanently but not everyone is affected by this. If you suffer from hypertension and want to drink coffee, or any other drink which contains caffeine, you shoule discuss the issue with your doctor.