One to two times a week, I love having a cup of coffee with a little coconut cream added. There is just something warming about having a fresh cup to get my morning going. I don’t need the pick me up but I’m not complaining about that benefit either. Who doesn’t love a little extra pep in their step? I know I do.
For many (I’ve been there too!), a cup of coffee in the morning is a must. There is just something ritualistic about sipping a delicious cup of joe to get your day running. You almost feel like you can’t live without it. However, when one cup becomes two and then three and before you know it you are drinking coffee with and after lunch, that treat may start to look more like an addiction.
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages around the world and new research is constantly emerging. So is drinking coffee a problem? Is it good for you? The answer is yes and no.
The Benefits of Drinking Coffee
Some of the benefits of drinking coffee include improved liver health, increased cognitive function, and physical performance. Coffee contains massive amounts of antioxidants and is one of the 5 highest foods in antioxidants. All around the world we are exposed to large levels of toxicity. Therefore, antioxidants can really help in slowing the aging process and protect cells against free radical damage. In addition, coffee increases circulation and can stimulate the liver. It improves blood flow to the brain, and aids in increased circulation (think oxygen getting delivered to your muscles and tissues) during exercise. In addition, coffee intake is associated with a lower risk of stroke and heart failure.
Disadvantages of Drinking Coffee
Coffee however does have some disadvantages. The big one being caffeine. Caffeine can over-stimulate the body and have addictive properties. This can alter mood, increase anxiety, and lead to digestive issues. In the long term caffeine can also burn out your adrenal glands. Adrenal glands are vital to our energy levels and when you give them a natural stimulant like caffeine, they can actually produce less of it on their own. After all, why should they show up to work if someone else (like caffeine!) is doing the job for them? So even though you get an immediate pick me up from consuming coffee, it can ultimately burn out your adrenal glands. Burnt-out adrenal glands will lead to you being even more tired and drained. Our bodies were not meant to function properly with large amounts of stimulates like caffeine.
Anyone suffering from thyroid, adrenal, auto immune, or hormone related issues should not consume coffee. This is because all of that caffeine can actually worsen those problems over time. The short term benefits of coffee do not outweigh the long term effects if you have something like an untreated thyroid issue.
Coffee and your Breasts
Another thing to note is that coffee can increase the lumpiness and tenderness of your breasts. Coffee does not increase your risk of breast cancer. (On a side note, make sure to take every lump or change in breast tissue seriously and get examined by your doctor!) Don’t be surprised if your doctor asks about your coffee consumption if you have fibrous or cystic breasts.
Is Coffee Good For You? The Verdict
The answer is YES, and NO. In general, if you are healthy and just want to support your brain a little, consuming coffee in moderate amounts is fine and can even be good for your health. It is best to drink coffee in the morning or before lunch. This is because of the effects of caffeine in coffee can last around 12 hours. You don’t want caffeine to affect your sleep cycle. Not only can caffeine make it harder to fall asleep, it can have an impact on the quality of your sleep.
When buying coffee you MUST buy organic. This is because coffee is one of the most highly pesticide sprayed crops in the world. So if your body does well with a little bit of organic coffee, have some in moderation in the morning.