Healthy caffeine

By | Health & Wellness
Drinking coffee could prevent diabetes and reduce the potential of liver challenges: Hallbadorn flickr

An estimated 400 million people may sip on a hot mug of coffee today, at breakfast, lunch break and any given time the human body needs an energy boosting wake up call. The high caffeine content found in coffee which offers a buzz has been under scientific questioning since its arrival to mainstream Europe in the 17th century, however latest studies claim coffee may be a beneficial tool in a healthy lifestyle.

From helping to prevent diabetes to minimising potential liver challenges research is emerging to suggest there are several health benefits associated with drinking the strong dark beverage. As one of the world’s favourite drinks it is important to understand how coffee effects the body and mind, a nutritional breakdown identifies a black cup only contains two calories whilst vital antioxidants might play a role in changing the chances of numerous conditions.

Misconceptions about the health implications of coffee  were recently highlighted in a survey of 2000 adults by the World Cancer Research Fund. They found nearly one in 10 British adults thought coffee causes health affects and believe caffeine has minimal health benefits in coffee. The highest health concern associated with the drink may be sugar and full-fat milk or cream.

Published in Medical News Today, coffee is recommended without the luxury splashes milk and sugar. With the average European and US drinker consuming four brews a day, the added sugar content is far from recommended whereas the coffee itself provides high amounts of antioxidants.

Lead author of the study, Joe Vinson said that, “Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source.” The author emphasises the importance of moderation, stating one or two cups a day appear to be the most beneficial before there is a counter effect. The main potential health benefits from drinking coffee include protecting against type 2 diabetes, Parkinsons and liver conditions whilst helping maintain a healthy heart.

Coffee helps to increase plasma level of the protein sex hormone-binding globulin, this in turn controls the biological activity of the body’s testosterone and oestrogen which play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes.

A study from the U.S. assessed the link between coffee consumption and Parkinson’s with the authors concluding that “higher coffee and caffeine intake is associated with a minimal incidence of Parkinson’s”. Although results refrain from suggesting caffeine might be used as a treatment, coffee may be taken into consideration when people with Parkinson’s are discussing their caffeine use with their neurologist and monitoring caffeine intake might be specifically useful to those over 50 years-old, who are more predisposed to Parkinsons.

Italian researchers found drinking coffee minimises the concern of liver cancer by 40%, author, Dr. Carlo La Vecchia said: “Our research confirms past claims coffee is good for your health and particularly the liver“. In addition, cirrhosis of the liver for alcohol drinkers was reduced by 22%, according to a study at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, California, USA.

Coffee has become one of the world’s most profitable export crops and to this date is one of the most loved beverages. Even in the tea hotspot of the UK sales were down by more than 6 per cent in the past 12 months, as Britons were ditching the traditional liquid gold for the more fashionable cappuccino or latte given in high street chains such as Costa, who are reporting growth according to The Grocery statistics analysis.

By limiting milk and sugar habits and maintaining a routine of one or two cups a day of coffee the drink may easily be part of a healthy, nutritious lifestyle. A strong cup of coffee at the start of the morning might be the best possible way to start the day in more variations than first thought.

How might learning this new information revolutionise diets for British people?

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