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How Healthy is Our Daily Grind?

22 days to go

Around 400 billion cups of coffee are drunk in the world each year, second only to water. In the UK we each drink on average two cups a day at a cost of about £1 billion a year.

There’s no question it’s one of our favourite beverages but how good is it for us?

Nutritionally, coffee contains folate, B vitamins, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, antioxidants and caffeine. This applies to regular brewed coffee as well as instant coffee although instant has around half the caffeine of brewed coffee.

Many studies into coffee have demonstrated a raft of health benefits thought to result from the high antioxidant levels it contains. Reviewing some of the studies does not conclusively prove that coffee can prevent disease, what they do suggest is that the risk of developing certain conditions is lower in coffee drinkers. A wide range of conditions have been studied including Dementia and Alzheimers disease where the CAIDE study reported in 2010, found a decrease in cognitive decline associated with coffee drinking. A Finnish study of nearly 30,000 people found that coffee and tea may reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease.

A meta-analysis of studies into liver diseases such as cirrhosis suggested a protective effect with coffee drinking.

Studies looking at the effect of coffee on blood glucose levels have previously reported that coffee reduces risk of type 2 diabetes – however, a recent study from the University of Bath now suggests that drinking coffee after a bad night’s sleep can have negative effects on control of our blood sugar. This has led to the recommendation that we should eat breakfast before drinking our coffee.

These are a few examples of studies I have read and I don’t doubt we will continue to see further studies reported some of which will support existing findings and some not.

In practice, coffee has some good stuff in it that is found in other foodstuffs and which we know is good for our health so I’m more than happy to have my two cups a day.

One downside is the amount of caffeine in coffee which can have a number of adverse effects on us which we’ll talk about in another post.



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