Coffee; Some people hate it whereas others cannot bear to live without it. Starbucks has made about $16 billion this past year and it has America’s addiction to coffee to thank. However, how much do we really know about coffee? We know that it gives us a boost of energy in the morning with all of that caffeine stored but apart from that, does it truly help us or is it actually harming our bodies?
As you probably expected by my previous sentence, coffee does not only provide benefits. Instant coffee and coffee passed through a paper filter have no bad effect on us but let’s face it, most of us love the sugary flavors added to our favorite drink. It is the added ingredients that are high in cafestol, which in turn raises cholesterol levels.
For pregnant women, coffee cannot be their best friend. This drink can cause miscarriages and low birth weight. Fetuses cannot metabolize caffeine in their stage of development, so it is encouraged for women to limit their caffeine intake while pregnant.
Thankfully, we can easily say that coffee provides us with some health benefits that most people would have never thought of. For older adults, coffee can help keep off Alzheimer’s disease for a longer period of time. It prolongs the cognitive impairment that leads to Alzheimer’s, therefore beneficial to the body.
Another disease, Parkinson’s disease, can be of lower risk to those who drink coffee. Men who drink coffee have a lower risk since the caffeinated drink prevents the nerve cells that produce dopamine from dying, which is the cause of Parkinson’s. Among women, it is slightly more complicated. Women that do not take any additional hormones are also of lower risk to Parkinson’s disease, but the women that take hormones do not receive the same benefit.
It also may lower the risk of most non-melanoma skin cancers, especially the most serious type, malignant melanoma. That is definitely something to celebrate about. There were studies that proved that coffee drinkers who had about four cups of coffee a day had a twenty percent lower risk of getting skin cancer than those who did not drink coffee whatsoever. However, there was another study that proved that decaffeinated coffee did not provide the same protection to people compared to caffeinated coffee.
Coffee can lower the risk of people getting one of the top ten health diseases: Type 2 Diabetes. Here is the surprise: it has nothing to do with the caffeine. Both decaf and caffeinated coffee help lower the risk, which means that there is something else that helps prevent Type 2 Diabetes. Scientists predict that the helping agent is chlorogenic acid, which is an antioxidant.
For those who have low blood pressure, coffee can help. It increases blood pressure, but fortunately it has no link to hypertension. However, it is still advised that those with high blood pressure switch to decaf to be sure.
Mentally, coffee benefits us tremendously. Apart from giving us a boost of energy, studies show that, among women, regular coffee drinkers have a lower risk for depression.
So obviously, we can say that the benefits of coffee outweigh the harmful effects. Starbucks may resume their daily sales of the addictive drink with its various complicated names.
“Health Perks of Coffee.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.
“10 Most Common Health Diseases.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 26 June 2010. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.
ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.