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What About Coffee?

What About Coffee?   02/28/20Coffee originated in the coffee forests of Ethiopia and has grown in popularity across the world.  Unfortunately, numerous health controversies, concerns and warnings accompany this increasingly popular beverage. Let’s sort fact from fiction and clear up some of the confusion.

News that touts health benefits of coffee are associated with MODERATE coffee consumption, and moderate coffee consumption is defined as 3 to 5 (8-ounce) cups per day.  Moderate coffee consumption is associated with decreased mortality, improved cognitive function and a decreased risk of depression.

Coffee contains many health-boosting components, known as antioxidants and polyphenolic acids.  These health-boosting components assist the body in fighting disease, reducing inflammation and protecting the body against chronic diseases.

Unfortunately, lipid-raising agents that are known to increase cholesterol and triglycerides are also part of coffee’s profile.  Using coffee filters helps remedy this problem because coffee filters trap the lipid-raising agents found in coffee. 

Caffeine from coffee, or any caffeinated beverage, produces a physical response, and everyone’s tolerance to caffeine is different.  Headaches, nausea, anxiety, and restlessness can result from caffeine consumption.  Therefore, be aware that lighter roasts of coffee are higher in caffeine than darker roasts, and listen to your body’s physical response to the caffeine.

For example, if you feel your heart rate increasing, or you become anxious or begin to lose sleep due to caffeine consumption, you may want to decrease your caffeine intake.  Again, “moderate” consumption is defined as 3-5 eight-ounce cups of coffee per day.

Consuming 3 to 4 cups of coffee per day maximizes coffee’s benefits related to Parkinson’s disease symptoms. This benefit is attributed to the caffeine in coffee.  For that reason, decaffeinated coffee does not result in the same symptom improvement as caffeinated coffee.

If you drink coffee instead of consuming calcium-containing beverages and foods, you may be shortchanging yourself on bone-building calcium.  It is important for adults up to age 50 to consume a diet that provides 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day.  For adults over age 50, that number bumps up to 1,200 mg of calcium per day.  Adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk to your coffee can also help offset the osteoporosis risk associated with coffee.

Source:  Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension Food and Nutrition Specialist

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/coffee-pen-notebook-caffeine-cup-2306471/ (downloaded 03/03/20)

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