Drinking coffee, especially in the morning, has gained a lot of popularity across the world. However, the health effects of taking coffee have had mixed reactions with some praising and others downplaying it.
According to research, coffee has many psychoactive substances that make it beneficial to the human body. The caffeine contained in coffee has some health effects, although it's not the only useful substance.
So, is drinking coffee healthy or unhealthy?
Today, coffee has widely been reported to have some health benefits and dangers in the human body.
The Benefits of Drinking Coffee
1. Source of essential antioxidants
Coffee is a rich source of antioxidants that are essential to the body. These antioxidants help in fighting inflammation, which results in some chronic health conditions such as atherosclerosis, arthritis, and certain cancer types.
Additionally, antioxidants neutralize free radicals that can bring oxidative stress resulting in chronic diseases. Generally, antioxidants protect body cells from damage. Lastly, coffee contains a substance called chlorogenic acid that can prevent cardiovascular disease.
2. Lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes
Taking coffee lowers the risk of having type 2 diabetes. According to a 2009 study, it concluded that taking a cup of coffee daily lowers the risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 7%. First, coffee helps the body to use insulin and thereby regulates blood sugar actively. Secondly, drinking coffee prevents tissue damage, and lastly, it prevents inflammation, which is a major risk factor for causing type 2 diabetes.
Recently, a study has found that a substance in coffee called caffeic acid reduces amyloid fibrils, which is the abnormal protein deposit accumulation associated with type 2 diabetes patients.
3. Healthy heart
Studies show that most coffee drinkers, especially those you take 2-4 cups, lowers the risk of getting heart disease by 20% compared to those who don't drink. Coffee has some substances that support heart health through the protection of arterial damage as a result of inflammation.
4. Reducing the risk of some cancers
Men who regularly drink coffee have a lower risk of getting prostate cancer. A recent study also found that women who drink 4 or more coffee cups have a 25% reduced risk of developing endometrial cancer compared to those who took less than 4 cups.
Apart from this, studies have also discovered the relationship between coffee taking and its effects on lowering breast, colon, rectal, and liver cancers. Coffee has some antioxidant phytochemicals called polyphenols which have anticarcinogenic properties that assist in reducing inflammations that cause tumors.
5. Boosting memory
Caffeine plays a significant role in boosting the short term memory of people. A study conducted by Australian researchers found out that the memory skills of people who take coffee were improved compared to those who didn't.
Caffeine affects various brain parts that are responsible for concentration and memory. However, research doesn't give a definite time on how these effects can last.
6. Curbing depression
Taking coffee lowers the risk of developing depression in both genders. A recent study found that there's an inverse relationship between coffee intake and depression i.e., taking too much coffee lowers depression by up to 20%. What happens is that the caffeine in coffee activates the neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) responsible for controlling mood.
7. Losing weight
Today, most people who have been in the urge to lose weight are quitting taking weight loss supplements and turning to coffee taking. If you have excess and unwanted sugar, caffeine can assist you in burning excess body fats, which come as a result of poor dieting.
The most common challenge that people face when trying to fight fat is the rate of metabolism. Having a higher metabolism rate leads to eating without adding much weight. Research shows that caffeine increases metabolism rate by between 3-11%.
These are some health benefits of drinking coffee. Others include lowering the risk of stroke and Alzheimer's disease.
The Dangers of Drinking Coffee
Although coffee seems to have numerous health benefits, there are some dangers that can come along as follows:
1. Causing restlessness and insomnia
Taking too much coffee can cause restlessness and insomnia. In case you're experiencing poor sleeping patterns, then coffee might be the issue. This is because caffeine stays in the bloodstream for as long as 6 hours. Therefore, restlessness is likely to occur if you take coffee, especially in the evening, before you go to bed. In this case, it's advisable only to take coffee during the morning.
2. Increasing anxiety
Taking coffee only exacerbates anxiety but doesn't cause it. Heavy coffee intake leads to rapid heartbeats, which further makes people feel shaky. On the other hand, those suffering from anxiety or look worried every time need to decrease their coffee intake so that they can alleviate the common jittery feeling there are experiencing.
3. Causes headache
If you've been a regular coffee drinker, the withdrawing this habit can result in headaches. In fact, if you wake up and skip taking a cup of coffee, after even an hour or two, you might start experiencing a headache. Just like painkillers, drinking coffee can relieve headaches. However, this is a serious challenge, especially for those who can't access coffee for some time.
4. Causes high blood pressure
People suffering from blood pressure should rethink the amount of coffee they take. Studies show that the caffeine contained in coffee is likely to raise blood pressure for a period of up to 3 hours. Therefore, patients with high blood pressure should be extra careful about the amount of coffee they take since it can be harmful to their health.
5. Increasing cholesterol
Coffee has two ingredients, namely kahweol and cafestol, which are responsible for increasing LDL cholesterol levels in the body. Taking too much-unfiltered coffee is likely to raise your LDL cholesterol level. However, taking filtered coffee will ensure that there's no LDL, although the two ingredients can also be found in the French press, Turkish coffee, and the Scandinavian cooked coffee.
These are some dangers of drinking coffee. Others include acidity that can cause sickness, irritability,