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Health

Is Coffee Bad For You? The Answer May Surprise You

is coffee bad for you

To say that people tend to get attached to their coffee would be putting it mildly. People who love their coffee, LOVE their coffee.

Some say that’s because the caffeine in coffee is addictive, but I think it’s more than just the potential caffeine addiction. Drinking coffee is a ritualistic experience. We love the process of picking it out, the smell of the beans, the warm feeling on our hands, and the delightful taste it leaves on our lips.

Even more than that, coffee is the center of many people’s morning routines. Giving it up—or just thinking about giving it up—usually throws more than just a beverage out of whack. But I know you’re still wondering…

Is coffee bad for you?

The answer is: it depends. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. There are ways you consume coffee in a healthier way. Read on for details…

When clients ask, “do I really have to give up coffee?” my answer usually brings some relief.

Coffee is not inherently unhealthy, but the way you consume it can be.

There was a time when coffee was lumped together with other established offenders like junk food and cigarettes. The science was unclear about whether it was detrimental and many people either avoided it completely or consumed it with feelings of guilt because they perceived it as a vice or indulgence.

However, the latest research shows that coffee is not bad for you, in fact, it may even have some health benefits when properly consumed.

But—and this is a BIG BUT that does not lie—vanilla lattes, Coffeemate, and frappuccinos are NOT full of antioxidants. They’re full of sugar, empty calories, and unhealthy fats.

Coffee the right way can protect against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and liver disease, plus it can boost your mood and improve brain function. Above all, it contains the holy grail of wellness: antioxidants.

Antioxidants help to prevent disease, slow down the aging process, repair cellular damage, and maintain overall health. Surprisingly, coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the U.S. diet.

If you drink coffee, here are five simple rules to follow to get the best of what it has to offer:

5 Rules to Healthily Enjoy Coffee

1. One is your number

One 12-ounce cup per day (or less) is enough, anything more than that could negatively affect your energy and sleep. Don’t overdo it. 

Relying on coffee to stay awake can task your adrenal glands and negatively affect your hormones. If you ever feel like you’re trending towards dependency or need more than one cup to feel alive in the morning, then it’s time to switch to green tea and take a break from coffee.

2. Always go organic

True fact: Coffee is the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crop in the world. You don’t want those toxins entering your body. Plus, since it’s best to drink in moderation anyway, you really don’t need mass quantities of it so it will be easier on your budget. You don’t have to eat everything organic, but coffee is definitely something you consider going organic if you can.

3. Skip (or dramatically reduce) added sugar

Try a drop of vanilla extract or a dash of cinnamon if you want to flavor your coffee. Or, try my favorite healthy homemade creamer or a splash of almond milk. 

This is especially critical if you drink coffee in the morning on an empty stomach because the added sugar will spike your blood sugar, causing you to feel more hungry for the rest of your day and more easily store fat.

4. Use filtered water

Your coffee will not only taste better, it will be free of potential contaminants that are usually present in tap water.

5. Take occasional breaks

Take a few days off of your coffee ritual every now and again to check in with yourself that you’re not feeling dependent. Green tea is a wonderful alternative to coffee with even more health benefits. If you think that you don’t like green tea, then you probably just haven’t found the right one. Tea is like coffee in that there are so many options to choose from. I love everything from Traditional Medicinals and Yogi brand teas.

While I’m certainly not advocating that you replace real food with a pick-me-up from Starbucks, for most people drinking a small amount of high-quality coffee isn’t going to hurt you. It may even help.

I’ll drink to that!

(Sources: Harvard School Of Public Health and Mayo Clinic)

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  1. Elizabeth Resnick says:

    Completely agree with this. To me a frappucino is definitely not coffee, but I don’t feel guilty about my one cup of organic coffee in the morning with some coconut cream stirred in. I love the ritual of it just as much as I like that little boost when I start my day at 4 am.

  2. Kate Horning says:

    Yay! Love this article thanks for sharing. Coffee is definitely a ritual in my life but I have to be conscious not to overdo it.

  3. Phew! What a relief to know one cup a day may actually be GOOD for me.
    What about Decaf???

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