By: Cat Ebeling
Co-author of the best-sellers: The Fat Burning Kitchen, The Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging & The Diabetes Fix
The Last Word on Coffee—Good or Bad?
Coffee seems to have a bad reputation when it comes to health, and often gets relegated to the list of food and drinks to be avoided. But almost everyone drinks coffee—and what about all those recipes for healthy coffee beverages with yummy additions like butter, coconut oil, coconut milk, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, turmeric, etc. So–Is coffee good or bad for you?
If you ask me, I can’t live without it’s eye-opening pick-me-up in the morning, and according to the rest of the world, it seems to be a pretty popular beverage, given the number of jam-packed coffee shops everywhere, so I know it’s not just me. According to recent statistics, coffee just happens to be THE most popular drink around the world, and it’s estimated at over 400 billion cups are consumed a year. Americans drink about 400 million cups of that dark ‘joe a day—well, make that four hundred million and one, for those days when I am extra tired!
The good news is—coffee CAN be good for you, but like other foods, the type of coffee and the way its prepared make ALL the difference! Even big health organizations like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Surgeon General, the American Medical Association, the American Diabetes Association, the National Cancer Institute, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are on board with its healthy benefits.
Besides the delightful lift and sense of alertness you get from coffee in the morning, let’s take a look at some of the other things that coffee can do:
Helps Prevent Serious Diseases
Type 2 Diabetes–Coffee has been shown to be very beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes. In several different studies, published by the Journal American Medical Association, it was found that drinking coffee could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 33%. It’s possible that the antioxidants and minerals in coffee could contribute to this effect, but it’s not known for sure. If you want a proven way to reverse type 2 diabetes naturally, read this page:
This simple technique helps to REVERSE type 2 diabetes, naturally (while getting off harmful drugs)
Parkinson’s Disease—At least six studies have shown that people who drink coffee daily are up to 80% less likely to develop Parkinson’s. And some of the newer Parkinson’s drugs actually contain a caffeine derivative. According to one of the studies’ physicians, Dr. Michael Schwarzschild, MD, PhD of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, “This study is especially interesting since caffeine seems to block a malfunctioning brain signal in Parkinson’s disease, and is so safe and inexpensive. Although the results do not [yet] suggest caffeine should be used as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, they can be taken into consideration when people with Parkinson’s are discussing their caffeine use with their neurologist.”
Alzheimer’s Disease—Drinking four to five cups of coffee can lower the amount of beta amyloid in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Some research seems to point to the fact that coffee helps to reduce inflammation to the brain, which is one of the factors that leads to Alzheimer’s disease. And yet another protein found in Alzheimer’s patients, is the Tau protein. It is thought that these Tau proteins create tangles that kill brain cells and lead to cognitive decline. Coffee with caffeine has a positive effect on tau protein, and it blocks receptors in the brain that this protein attaches to. A new class of drugs may actually result from this recent research.
Colon Cancer—Drinking 1-2 cups of coffee per day is associated with a lower risk of colon cancer and the more coffee consumed the better. This research was published in the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. After adjusting for known risk factors, 1-2 cups was associated with 26% reduction in risk of colon cancer, and more coffee decreases risk all the way up to 50%.
Asthma—The caffeine in coffee contains an ingredient, theophyline, which acts as a natural bronchodilator. Three or more cups of coffee a day actually can help to reduce the risk of an asthma attack and relax bronchial tubes. This review found that even small amounts of caffeine improve lung function for four or more hours. Green tea and black tea also contain this powerful phytochemical.
Migraines—Caffeine contains a natural vasoconstrictor—a compound that causes blood vessels to constrict. While this may not be good for your blood pressure, it works great in the case of headaches and migraines. Caffeine also helps headache medications to work more effectively, and help the body to absorb medication quicker. That is why caffeine is often in over the counter migraine medications.
Reduces Cholesterol and Inflammation in the Body—We all know that inflammation is linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, along with numerous other health conditions. Scientists from Germany, Denmark and Finland found that daily coffee intake is associated with improved cholesterol levels and blood levels of inflammatory compounds.
In an article published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the European scientists also stated that coffee consumption has favorable effects on markers for subclinical inflammation and oxidative stress. Because subclinical inflammation is a risk factor in heart disease, diabetes, and many other diseases, coffee has a preventative effect on these diseases.
Liver Disease—Coffee is protective of the liver and can help detox the liver after a night of overdoing the alcoholic beverages. Coffee drinkers have up to an 84% less risk of developing cirrhosis, with the strongest effect coming from 4 or more cups a day. The livers of coffee drinkers are also protected from cancer, as studies show coffee drinkers have a 40% lower risk of liver cancer.
Mood, Energy, Athletic Performance and Fat Burning
Coffee can increase your heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and metabolism—meaning you actually can burn more calories. It elevates your mood and helps eliminate depression, stimulates the brain and increases energy, but if you overdo it, it can cause nervousness and anxiety.
Because caffeine actually speeds up your metabolism, you not only have more energy, you burn more calories. Caffeine also breaks down fat cells and frees up fatty acids in the body for immediate fat burning. In fact, converting fat to energy is 30% more effective with caffeine. And because fat is being burned for energy, blood glucose levels don’t get low.
Caffeine also has a positive effect on athletic performance as well. Caffeine has been shown time and time again to increase the body’s endurance, speed, power, and increase recovery. Part of this is due to caffeine’s effect, and part may be due to the numerous antioxidants coffee contains. Whatever the reason, a cup of coffee before a workout or competition will put you ahead of the pack!
Coffee is Full of Antioxidants
A recent report by Mario Ferruzzi from Purdue University shows coffee as one of the richest sources of polyphenols (powerful antioxidants) in the Western diet. The most abundant of these are phenolics, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid. Additionally, levels of the pro-inflammatory substance, interleukin-18, and 8-isoprostane (a marker of oxidative stress) decreased by approximately 10-20%. Adiponectin, levels went up 6%. Obese people have lower blood levels of adiponectin than normal weight individuals, and losing weight increases adiponectin levels. Coffee was noted to improve cholesterol levels, including total cholesterol, and HDL (good) cholesterol.
Coffee’s Dark Side
Coffee can have a dark side, including nervousness, anxiety, and shakiness. Coffee may not be good for those with an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, or anyone with any type of anxiety or panic disorder. Too much coffee too late in the day can also cause insomnia late into the night and early morning. (Note: if you have insomnia, make sure to read Mike’s article here with 5 tips to sleep better and fall asleep easier)
Coffee can also cause problems with the body’s ability to utilize folate, B12, and B6–vitamins that important to pregnant women, and important to all of us for mood regulation. These B vitamins are also important to keep the inflammatory substance implicated in heart attacks, homocysteine, low.
Coffee is very acidic, and it can pull calcium from the body in its efforts to balance out the acid/base levels of the blood.
Too much coffee can be over stimulating to the adrenal glands that produce cortisol. When adrenals are over stimulated on a regular basis, they can burn out.
If you are pregnant or plan to be, it is best to avoid coffee altogether or limit your consumption to one cup a day. Too much caffeine can increase miscarriages, cause low birth weight in babies and increase the risk of cleft palate in your baby. Caffeine also comes through in breast milk, so if you’d like your baby to sleep well, do not nurse soon after drinking coffee.
So, what’s the verdict: ditch your cuppa Joe, or keep drinking it? Personally, I really cannot get going in the morning without a nice stout cup of coffee. It gets me going both mentally and physically.
Keep these things in mind to make sure you are maximizing the benefits of your coffee:
- Use fresh whole ORGANIC beans which maximizes the antioxidants in the coffee and minimizes any toxins. The type of coffee you buy and drink makes a huge difference, as it does for many other foods. Coffee is often highly sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, so it is best to drink organic coffee if at all possible. And never drink coffee out of those nasty Styrofoam cups! Hot coffee leaches out toxic chemicals from the Styrofoam. Styrofoam is terrible for the environment, too!
- Avoid drinking coffee late in the evening or even the afternoon. Caffeine has a half life of 6 hours, so a couple cups take most of the day to clear from your system. I find I cannot drink coffee any time after 12 noon, or I am up most of the night.
- Drink your coffee black. Avoid adding cheap sugary creamers, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, or that fake non-dairy ‘cream’. If you’d like to add something sweet, try a little maple syrup, stevia, or even a touch of honey or coconut sugar. A great healthy cream option is organic grass-fed cream, or coconut cream. Coconut cream is loaded with healthy, fat burning medium chain triglycerides, known to help you burn fat and boost your metabolism. Occasionally I add a small amount of grass-fed butter and coconut oil to my coffee which helps me put off breakfast for a while.
- If you get your coffee from a coffee shop, avoid drinking those specialty drinks like frappuccinos, flavored lattes, etc. Some of those drinks are known to contain over 700 calories in one drink!
- Increase your antioxidants by adding in some cinnamon, which also helps control blood sugar and has many other benefits. Organic cocoa powder is also delicious to add to your coffee to give it that delicious mocha flavor. Cocoa is high in magnesium, antioxidants, and helps you lower your blood pressure.
A little bit of coffee can be very helpful at times. Long boring drives in the car, adjusting your time zone clock when traveling, upping your athletic performance, or just getting up and running in the morning. And sometimes that steaming, hot, fragrant cup of coffee is just the perfect thing on a cold morning!
There was recently a very controversial ruling by a judge in California that wants to force coffee shops to put a cancer warning label on coffee just simply because it contains a small amount of a particular carcinogenic substance called acrylamides. However, the lunacy of this ruling is that foods such as cereal, potato chips and fries contain as much as 100x MORE acrylamides than coffee, and yet there’s no required cancer warning label for those foods. Plus, coffee actually contains such high amounts of antioxidants, that it offsets any drawbacks from tiny amounts of carcinogens. For that full story, you can read here about coffee & acrylamides and the cancer warning ruling in California.
Also, on the topic of coffee, don’t miss my co-author Mike Geary’s article here:
3 Tips to make your coffee super healthy
And here’s a really delicious recipe to try sometime too:
PaleoHacks coconut cowgirl coffee recipe
The Death of Black Coffee:
Latest studies have found that 1 tiny tweak to your morning coffee puts your body into fat-burn ing mode for the rest of the day.
This coffee trick takes less than 10 seconds…
Yet, it instantly ignites your metabolism and boosts your health, energy and well-being at the same time!
Here’s to an amazing start to your day 🙂
====> Try This 10 Sec Fat-Burning Coffee Trick!
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Thank you for posting this!
Great information. I do love a good cup of coffe and always buy organic. I’ll switch to whole beans. Thanks
An apple in the morning is allegedly more effective than a cup of coffee in the fact that it has all the correct enzymes and sugars you body needs to wake up and stay alert. Its also a good road snack to help you keep awake. When I was a long distance driver, and caffine couldnt keep me awake anymore, I found that a teaspoon of raw unpasturized apple cider vinegar would perk me up and I was good for 45 minutes.
I found this extremely interesting about Coffee and was unaware of the benefits. I am 68 and have been retired now for 3 years and used to drink 8 cups of coffee a day in total (at the office and at home). Since then I have restricted it to only one first thing in the morning. I have high cholesterol and high blood pressure which is kept under control with medication from my GP. I am also on statins (which I have read bad reports about but don’t want to run the risk of a heart attack without taking them). I am extremely fortunate that apart from my symptoms (which I am not even aware of and don’t cause me problems) I am very fit and healthy. Also I have no arthritis – unlike most of my friends. I would like to forward the above information about coffee to my FB page for info for my friends (but you don’t have this facility). I have sent for your FREE book but I am not overweight at 5’7″ and 10 st and try to eat healthily and eat a lot of fruit. However this book will be of interest to some friends of mine.
Change your diet to only real foods and you wont need those deadly statins. Your doctor is trying to kill you with those. They harm far more people than they help. Even if they lower your cholesteral it will be merely masking the problem not addressing it. The problem is your diet. Dont worry about your cholesterol, if you clean up your diet all the chips will fall into place
Enjoyed your article totally. Love my coffee! Thanks! Always — V’Ron
Great News, just helped my daughter recuperate from lung disease, coffee was the main ingredient in her home remedies. Thank you!
Give her vitamin C 2000mg (ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbate) every couple hours till she feels like new again. You cant overdose on Vitamin c, and it is essential for fast healing. The worst thing that can happen is it can loosen your stools if you take too much
Thank you! I appreciate the info! I’m going to make sure that my coffee is organic from now on and drink it black. I’ve been putting organic heavy cream in sometimes but will make sure it’s grass-fed organic cream. Do you have an opinion in regards to Kick-Ass coffee brand? I’ve been ordering it on Amazon and really like it and I believe it’s organic.
I havent actually tried it yet, but I dont drink coffee. Make your black coffee ‘bullet proof’. Add a tablespoon of organic coconut oil and a tbsp of grass fed butter and stir or blend. You now have a very healthy coffee that tastes better than black – at least that is what I have read
I not only put 2 teaspoons of Virgin Coconut Oil in my coffee, but also put in 2 teaspoons of Coconut Sugar in it & also a small amount of Wild Natural Unfiltered Honey in to take out some of the bitterness of my Keurig Brewed Dark Roasted Coffee. I do not use the Keurig prefilled cups & only use my Eco-Brew empty fillable cups in order to use any coffee that I prefer. Go to eco brew.com to order these very well made cups that are exactly the same size as the already filled sealed Keurig Cups. Enjoy only the healthiest coffee everyone!
Just checked and it is organic. Kick ass coffee that is!
What is the difference between organic and regular coffee? Folks have used regular coffee for years and lived to tell the tail. My mom was 94 and still enjoying her regular coffee,
Not true at all. ‘Regular’ coffee was not loaded up with deadly pesticides when you were a kid or when your grandma was drinking coffee. If you buy organic it would be much closer to what grandma drank. The pesticides are heavily linked with chronic disease – you know – those diseases that dont kill you right away but rather make your life living hell till you eventually do die
They’re referred to as ‘Slow kill’ or ‘Soft kill’ weaponized foods.
Personally, I can’t drink anything that contains caffeine as I might have adrenalin dysfunction. Even a little piece of dark chocolate that I really love, triggers an anxiety attack. Plus I am prone to high blood pressure and caffeine does increase blood pressure. Actually, caffeine is a another type of drug as any stimulus drug like cocaine too could harm our brain cells. Thus, I don’t think drinking too much coffee is really healthy. I respectively disagree on your statement related to Migraine remedy by drinking coffee that constricts our blood vessels. Actually it’s the cause of migraine when our blood vessels in our brain get constricted. When I do have migraine (not often), I have found out that drinking a shot of cognac dilates blood vessels and the migraines goes away within 10 to 15 minutes. It works all the time.
What would you recommend in doing, to offset the negative effects of coffee on calcium levels?
Drink less coffee. Eat more greens. Definitely dont ever drink diet soda. That will destroy your calcium 100X quicker than coffee
This is an education of a great knowledge. I take a cup of coffee the first morning part between 3.30 – 4:30 am for my study time. It is very fantastic to hear this message.
Thanks so much
I often skip over your articles with intention to reading it later but this one I read immediately. I am 56 and female .. I have had some un explainable health issues lately and of course all the things that come along with getting older.. I LOVE coffe and need it for my eyes to open in the morning. I loved your article and will make sure I pay closer attention . You are very very informative . Thank you so much for what you do.
I did not drink coffee until I met my husband 30 yrs ago. Now I enjoy a mug every morning. Good to read that it is beneficial. I get so tired of hearing negative news.
Coffee can be addictive. My aunt would tremble without her coffee. I am glad you included the down side of coffee. For some women, coffee can stimulate breast cysts. Get your phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables.
They have roughage to prevent colon cancer. Caffeine is an unnatural stimulant, and it can harm your adrenal glands. Some people get headaches when trying to cut out coffee. It cannot substitute for a healthful life style.
Good article. States the truth about coffee even if some [lecompte] are averse to truth. Possibly another Leftist? Thx, appreciate your good efforts.
Coffee prompts the adrenal glands to release adrenaline. Adrenaline is very caustic to all organs so the liver jumps in to try to save the day and tried to mop up the adrenaline. This effort hurts the liver badly. When coffee is drunk daily it continuously weakens the liver.
I’m 73 years old. Been a coffee drinker most of my life. Usually drink three 12 oz cups every morning. I am not on any prescription drugs at all. There’s not enough money in the whole world to bribe me to take statin drugs. I’ve read too much about them. Anyone with irregular heart beats should take a lot of magnesium. See Dr. Carolyn Dean’s website. Also Dr. Joseph Mercola’s. There’s probably some health benefit in every one of nature’s plants if taken in the right amount, although I can’t say that for sure.
I have been drinking coffee since I was a teenager, I am now 77 years old not on any drugs and can still run and play with my great grand children. Also my father would drink coffee every day and lived to be 96 and was also not on any drugs and live on his own, take complete care of himself. I also eat a healthy diet which I think contributes more than anything else to my good health. But thank you for the valuable information.
I believe when one has to and I quote “Personally, I really cannot get going in the morning without a nice stout cup of coffee. It gets me going both mentally and physically.” Then it’s time to ask yourself “Am I a drug addict?”
I have steered away from coffee/tea since I was about 15 yrs. old. now I’m 81 in May. Only after setting a new world record for the Deadlift of 200kg in my category. hold World Record in Concept 2 indoor rowing in the 70 and 80 age categories. also hold the British and Northern Ireland records in the Shot Putt, Hammer and Weight Throw. and I’m still training 4-5 time a week. Moreover, I’m on no legal or illegal drugs. And all without your much-tooted cup of coffee.
Ps. If you don’t believe me go to youtube and enter my name “Ernest Tuff” in and see how God gives strength at 80.
The problem is not coffee, it’s caffeine.
Coffee is one of the healthiest if not healthiest beverages. Maximum health benefits can be achieved with three to four cups a day.
Find yourself a good , organic decaf with low acidity. Use organic stevia or organic monk fruit as a sweetener and almond milk instead of creamers.
This fall you should be able to add a natural caffeine replacement derived from mangoes that gives you all the benefits of caffeine without the side effects. Then you’ll have a powerful beverage with numerous mental and physical health benefits.
when buying coffee beans at the store , do I grind them at the store or at home, and do I store them in the fridge?