Coffee is a stimulant that affects the adrenals, which in consequence use up more vital vitamin C.
However, a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition seems to contradict numerous studies that have suggested that coffee is bad for you and shows that longer term, drinking coffee cuts the risk of death from CVD. Based on a study of over 41,000 women followed for 15 years, it found risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) was 24% lower among those consuming 1 to 3 cups of coffee daily, which was confirmed by other studies on men and women. Preventing cardiovascular disease at the cellular level, just one cup of coffee inhibited platelet aggregation within one hour, regardless of its caffeine content. The analysis, part of the Iowa Women’s Health Study, found that up to 60 per cent of antioxidants in the diet may come from coffee.
It is a common misconception that coffee raises blood pressure and increases the risk of CVD. In fact scientific studies show that coffee’s compounds lower blood pressure over the long term, decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, and may reduce the risk of stroke. It is true that drinking coffee can raise the blood pressure briefly, right after consumption. But its compounds have a longer term benefit: daily coffee consumption decreases blood pressure readings after just 8 weeks, which is believed to be a result of the beneficial action of chlorogenic acids on the arteries.
Active parts of coffee include caffeine and polyphenols. Polyphenols are also found in red wine which, as previously discussed, has been linked to a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease. Further studies found that regular coffee consumption improved inflammation and HDL cholesterol, and decreased coronary calcification.
My view at this stage is that if you already drink coffee, then moderate consumption may be beneficial provided adequate amounts of vitamin C are consumed. If you do not drink coffee you do not need to start in order to gain antioxidant protection.
4 Tips to Remember from Dr Joseph Mercola
When it comes to achieving any therapeutic benefits from coffee, only quality coffee will do.
- Organic: Most coffee produced today is heavily contaminated with pesticides. It’s actually one of the most heavily sprayed crops grown. So, any coffee you consume should be organic, pesticide-free coffee.
- Whole bean: You’ll want to purchase coffee in whole bean form and then grind it yourself to prevent rancidity. Pre-ground coffee may be rancid by the time you drink it.
- Properly dried and roasted: The coffee should smell and taste fresh, not stale. If your coffee does not have a pleasant aroma, it is likely rancid and poor quality.
- Black: If you’re interested in health benefits, drink your coffee black, without sugar or cream. Add sugar and you’ll certainly ruin any of the benefits discussed above by spiking your insulin levels and causing insulin resistance.
Further, if you use a “drip” coffee maker, be sure to use non-bleached filters. The bright white ones, which most people use, are chlorine bleached and some of this chlorine will be extracted from the filter during the brewing process. They are also full of dangerous disinfection by-products like dioxin. If you adhere to the tips above, I see no reason why coffee cannot be a sensible and even therapeutic part of your diet.