Today we have Eirini Mpotsi, from Nutrition Support to spill the beans on the topic of Coffee.
I use to be a coffee addict, (typical Greek!) until the irregular heartbeats started, which really affected me when I tried to sleep or workout…I decided to turn decaf and have now been drinking less and less coffee for over a year now. I reached out to Eirini to find out how healthy this beverage really is.
Components of coffee
Coffee includes a complex mixture of compounds, where caffeine has been the most widely known. However, coffee is also rich in other bioactive substances with up to 1000 described phytochemicals. 
Coffee can be included as part of a healthy diet for the general public. A daily intake of ∼2 to 3 cups of coffee appears to be safe and is associated with neutral to beneficial effects for most of the studied health outcomes.
Coffee consumption may :
- Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension, as well as other conditions associated with CV risk such as obesity and depression.
- Be neutral to beneficial regarding the risks of a variety of adverse CV outcomes including coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, and stroke.
- Include protection against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease
- Improve asthma control
- Contribute to a lower risk of select gastrointestinal diseases.
- Effect cancer risk (depends on the tissue concerned, although it appears to favor risk reduction)
- Seem to reduce mortality.
- Offer protection against liver disease.
While many of coffee’s benefits probably derive from its caffeine content, decaffeinated coffee seems to offer some health benefits too and may be a reasonable option for those who experience uncomfortable effects from caffeine stimulation.
It is possible that individuals who consume coffee, differ in other important dietary and sociological aspects from the non-consumers. Therefore, the possibility that coffee consumption may be acting as a surrogate marker of some other dietary or lifestyle risk factor cannot be fully excluded. These possible risks are connected either with the high caffeine content either with the procedure of preparation of coffee.
Caffeinated coffee can:
- Affect lipid profiles depending on how the beverage is prepared.(brewed and filtered coffee as opposed to preparations made from boiling beans without filtering- for people with dyslipidemia)
- Lead to an osteoporosis risk (Drinkers of caffeinated coffee in particular might be advised to ensure adequate calcium consumption from dietary sources to guard against potential adverse outcomes related to bone health).
- Cause anxiety, insomnia, tremulousness, and palpitations.
Finally, coffee should not be taken as a substitute, but only as a one more partner in a general strategy to promote health, where exercise and healthy diet continue to play key and irreplaceable roles.
Should we add milk and sugar in our coffee?
Usually we add milk in coffee because we want to minimize its smell and intensity. We think that in that way it becomes lighter and more delicious, but this can lead to chains of reactions within the body. Investigations have showed that when the milk is mixed with a high amount of caffeine (which are found naturally in coffee, or tea), it increases the excretion of calcium in the urine while a large amount of this mineral settles in the intestine. Casein of milk, when contacted caffeine, clots and creates a mass which causes bloating, often pain in the stomach and more frequently abdominal disorders. Apart from that, milk is also source of energy and calories. Therefore it would be better to avoid drinking coffee with milk.
As far as the sugar is concerned, it is the main substance that is responsible for the calories and the good taste of coffee. Therefore, we should consume a specific quantity of sugar so that we can benefit from it and avoid the possible dangers that it can cause. This quantity can be calculated if we take into account the total consumption of sugar in a day. (~10%)
There are though, other solutions to make our coffee taste better such as add cinnamon, cocoa, cardamom etc.
1. The impact of coffee on health (A. Cano-Marquinaa, J.J. Tarínb, A. Canoc )
2. Association of coffee drinking with all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis Yimin Zhao1,2, Kejian Wu1,2, Jusheng Zheng1,2, Ruiting Zuo1,2 and Duo Li1,2,* 1 Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou 310058, People’s Republic of China: 2 APCNS Centre of Nutrition and Food Safety, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China
3. The impact of coffee on health (A. Cano-Marquinaa, J.J. Tarínb, A. Canoc )
A big thank you to Nutrition Support. Find them here on facebook!