Coffee is a staple in many people’s daily routine. It might be the first thing you think of when you open your eyes in the morning. Some people have their coffee machines programmed to start brewing before they wake up so that it is ready for immediate consumption! I was a barista at a coffee shop all through college and definitely have a love for all things coffee! Since coffee is something that so many of us consume daily, a lot of people probably wonder if it is “good” for us.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, coffee is one of the largest sources of antioxidants in the American diet. Antioxidants help us fight off illnesses and keep our immune system strong. Coffee also contains smaller amount of other nutrients including niacin, potassium, vitamin E and magnesium. These nutrients have many jobs in the body including helping the body use insulin.
Coffee is often times drank with milk, which provides calcium to our bodies. Calcium is a mineral that many people do not consume enough of on a daily basis. Your body needs calcium to build and maintain strong bones. Calcium is also important for heart, nerve and muscle function. Choosing milk over non-dairy creamers will help to make sure you are getting extra bang for your buck with your daily cup of joe.
There are several research studies that have shown other health benefits of coffee. One study found that coffee drinkers were 50% less likely to get liver cancer than non-drinkers. Other studies show that heavy coffee drinkers may be half as likely to get diabetes as light drinkers or non-drinkers.
It seems that the majority of concerns with coffee consumption have been proved to be inaccurate by current research. But, there are still some things to think about.
The first concern is about the amount of caffeine being consumed. Consuming too much caffeine can have negative effects on health. It may increase anxiety, insomnia and poor sleep. It can also increase blood pressure. There is still mixed messages about how much is too much. There are also some health conditions where coffee/caffeine intake may not be appropriate. Your healthcare provider will be able to tell you if coffee consumption contraindicated with coffee and your personal health condition.
Another concern may be how you are drinking your coffee. Is your daily drink filled with flavors, whipped cream and sprinkles? You may be consuming too much sugar and calories in your drink. These “specialty” coffee drinks may be something to save for every once in a while, not daily. One great way to have your coffee is with a splash of milk and cinnamon. Cinnamon also has great health benefits.
So, this is all to say that current science and research indicates that your daily coffee habit likely has health benefits and is not doing you harm unless you have certain medication conditions. Also, make sure you are drinking coffee in moderation.