I drink a lot of coffee. And sometimes I feel a bit bad about that. But I love it.
You won’t find me ordering a double shot caramel soy macchiato any time soon. I’m a black coffee girl – no sugar, no milk, no fancy syrups. So the guilt doesn’t come from the calories. It’s just want I read about it being bad for your skin and your gut, and that it causes inflammation – but I also read that is is an antioxidant, known to be anti-inflammatory which confused me. So I did a bit of research as to why coffee is good for you to make myself feel a little better and I thought that I would share it with you today. You know, just in case you’ve been having the same ongoing debate in your head too.
Just a little disclaimer: I used to live in Costa Rica and I would often take visitors to tour the coffee farms. It was one of my favourite things to do. I learnt a lot about it. As a result, not only is this post most definitely biased towards me being able to continue to drink coffee guilt-free, but also I’m now a bit of a coffee snob. I don’t touch instant and I make fresh filtered coffee every day. It’s a thing in our house and we love it. One reason to get out of our hotel-quality sheets in a morning at 6.15am before the gym. (I have also become a bedsheets snob… but we’ll leave that for another post.)
When I did my elimination diet to fix my gut problems, I had to give up coffee for 6 weeks. I then carried that on for a few months, with just the occasional cup at meetings. But then I went to Cuba. And I’d heard about Cuban coffee (yes, I saw that episode of the Kardashians.) So, I had to try it. And it’s strong. And then I cam home to a very cold November in London and just carried on drinking it. But I now don’t know how I ever gave it up, because I genuinely love my cup of joe in the morning – and I do not have any adverse reactions as a result – when I am eating well. It can exacerbate health “issues”, shall we call them, but it doesn’t cause them. Believe me, I’ve monitored it.
First of all, let’s start with the science bit… (concentrate!)
Studies have shown that coffee not only is earning scientists’ approval but also may even have beneficial effects on your health… Good, right? According to Time.com, “researchers scanned nearly 220 studies on coffee and found that overall, coffee drinkers may enjoy more health benefits than people who don’t drink the brew.”
The article went on to say that coffee drinkers are:
- 17% less likely to die early from any cause.
- 19% less likely to die of heart disease
- 18% less likely to develop cancer
- Less likely to develop diseases such as liver cirrhosis, type 2 diabetes and even Parkinson’s & Alzheimer’s.
There was also a 10 year study by Harvard, who found that coffee consumption may help to curb depression in women. Now obviously, I’m not here to spurt medical advice or support any medical claims (obvs) but I am glad to hear results like these.
There are also the more day-to-day benefits of coffee. It wakes up you up in the morning for one. “Numerous studies also show that caffeine can lead to a short-term boost in brain function as well as an improved mood, reaction time and general cognitive function.” Winning, right? I mean, obviously, it’s a stimulant, but it blooming works, right? This is also why it’s a great pre-workout option as it reduces muscle fatigue and increases your focus short-term. It also has the same effect on your metabolism, helping you to lose weight and burn fat. “Specifically, the caffeine in coffee jumpstarts the process of lipolysis, which occurs when your body breaks down your fat stores to convert it into energy. In other words, drinking coffee helps you burn fat.”
So all in all, we’re in good shape right? But seriously, I’m not suggesting we all start downing the joe until we get the jitters. However, I will continue to enjoy my morning brew, without the guilt, knowing that coffee is good for you – in moderation.
Remember my little trip to LA last year? I certainly loved the coffee there. Read about that trip and my fave places for brunch in West Hollywood here.
Are you a coffee lover? Tell me in the comments below!
Sources: Time.com & Coffee Island