You might be washing down the many health benefits of coffee
There is a long list of coffee health benefits but a seemingly innocent action we do to our coffee can negate all of them.
Studies that provide evidence for coffee health benefits are overflowing. From available information, here’s what we know so far:
- 2005: The idea that coffee increases blood pressure was refuted by a study in 2005. No link was found between coffee and elevated blood pressure. On the contrary, there was a suggestion to the contrary – that coffee actually helps regulate blood pressure.
- 2011: A Harvard study showed that drinking coffee regularly reduces the risk of developing the lethal form of cancer by 60%, and the risk of developing any form of prostate cancer by 20%.
- 2011: A study showed that at least four cups of coffee can lower the rate of depression among women by 50%.
- 2012: According to a Harvard study, three cups of coffee a day lowers the risk of basal cell carcinoma by 20%.
- 2013: Still from Harvard, coffee reduces suicide risk by 50%
- 2013: Harvard analysed 36 studies covering more than a million people and concluded that even heavy coffee consumption did not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease but provided protection against cardiovascular disease instead.
- 2014: Harvard Chan School researchers found that increasing coffee consumption by more than a cup a day over a four-year period reduced type 2 diabetes risk by 11%, while decreasing coffee consumption by more than a cup a day increased their type 2 diabetes risk by 17%.
- 2015: Researchers from University of Texas reported that coffee can reduce erectile dysfunction by 42%.
- 2016: A British study involving data from over 430,000 people showed that drinking coffee regularly can slash the risk of developing liver cirrhosis by almost half.
Now here’s the thing, although we can get the wonderful health benefits by drinking this ancient elixir, those coffee health benefits can be easily watered down by a seemingly innocent action we do to our coffee — adding sugar and cream.
Harvard researchers reported that regardless of caffeine content, coffee with sugar and/or cream is consistently associated with a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Sugar and cream seem to negate the beneficial properties of coffee. It can be inferred that since diabetes is one of the major causes of a lot of other health problems, drinks that increase the risk of diabetes will eventually translate to an increase in the risk of developing other diseases.
Apparently, black coffee is the way to go if we want to maximize its health benefits. Black coffee is not for everyone, at least for now perhaps. But with this new evidence, we might see a shift towards the dark side of coffee (Star Wars hangover).
If you’re not used to black coffee, try experimenting with different beans (Arabica varieties), roasts (medium, dark), and brewing method (French press, pour over, espresso).
Regardless of its health benefits, take coffee in a way that is most enjoyable for you. After all, coffee exists to be enjoyed.
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