Weather it is hot, cold, with other flavors or plain simple, coffee has always been among our favorite drinks. It is considered a ritual which symbolizes starting the day, enjoying the afternoon, gathering with friends, having a break from work and so on.
But in the science world, coffee has always been a “controversial” drink, as there are many pros and cons about it, making it difficult to decide if the drink is good or bad for your health.
Various researches so far have suggested that coffee increases the risk of heart diseases, by raising blood pressure and cholesterol. Some scientists even link coffee to anxiety. If consumed regularly, cutting it off might create so called “coffee craving anxiety”, and if not consumed at all, i.e. not being used to it, sudden consumption might also create feelings of anxiety.
Generally speaking, fact is that until now coffee has invariably been associated with an unhealthy lifestyle which includes overconsumption of alcohol, cigarettes and/or illegal drugs, substances which can all lead to various conditions. But, saying that coffee is an unhealthy habit would be unfair since the distinction between the drink itself and the lifestyle attached to it has never been made.
In fact, one latest research indicates a totally opposite situation, showing coffee in an entirely different view. The study was conducted by Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul, South Korea.
It included 25.000 middle-aged men and women, and it focused on the correlation between coffee and coronary artery calcium (CAC). CAC is an early indicator of the condition coronary atherosclerosis or clogged arteries. Substances called plaques or atheroma clog up the arteries, thus hardening or narrowing them, which can further lead to deadly attacks like strokes or heart attacks.
The participants in the study were on average aged 41 and showed no signs of strokes. They were asked detailed questions about their lifestyle and about their family history of diseases. They were also checked for their educational level, physical activity level, smoking status, alcohol consumption and consumption of red and processed meats.
Coffee consumption was categorized by researchers as less than one cup a day, one to three cups a day, three to five cups a day and more than five cups per day. After categorization, average calcium ratio was measured in each group. The people who consumed one cup of coffee a day were measured a 0.77 calcium ratio, those drinking one to three cups a day – a 0.66 ratio, three to five cups a day – a 0.59 ratio, and the ones who drank more than five cups a day had a 0.81 ratio, which clearly indicates that the ones who drank three to five cups of coffee a day had the lowest calcium ratio.
Another very important fact is that coffee has been proved by previous researches as somewhat helpful, when it comes to diseases like diabetes type 2 and dysfunctional insulin production, conditions which are in direct correlation with heart attacks and strokes, as they contribute to hardening the arteries.
Despite the results that showed amazingly positive effects of coffee on human health, scientists and researchers maintain that these results can still not be generalized, since the study was conducted on South Korean population. What should be taken into account is that they drastically differ in their lifestyle, with respect to their eating habits and common everyday habits.
Nevertheless, all researchers agree that a huge load has been taken off of coffee, as the analyses showed that its use is not only not harmful, but that it might also have positive impact, especially if taken regularly by people with cardiovascular problems.
That being said, you are now free of all stigma when it comes to coffee consumption, and if you are a passionate drinker, feel free to use it daily.
Taking coffee to another level
I have a friend who says that “having the same kind of coffee every day is like having the same thing for lunch day after day” and to tell you the truth, I could not agree more. That is why I always experiment and here are some recipes that are simply delicious:
– Mint coffee – add some previously prepared and refrigerated mint tea to your coffee, some ice cubes, stir and you get a refreshing summer drink.
– Bulletproof coffee – just add some butter and milk to your coffee and you will notice the difference. It makes it very creamy and also stops food cravings for long periods of time.
– Spicy kick coffee – add some cardamom and cinnamon to your regular coffee and you will be surprised by the scent and flavor.
So, knowing now that it is safe to consume it, I think it is time for a cup of coffee.
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