Is coffee a junk food or super food???

There is a lot of information out there telling you that coffee is really bad for you! But is this true? Let’s check out some things and see what you think!

HERE’S MY EXPERIENCE WITH COFFEE

I used to love the smell of coffee… But I hated the taste! I liked the smell so much that for several school projects I would take my paper and soak it in coffee (really concentrated coffee) and then I would bake the paper in the oven to dry it. It made the most beautiful old timey paper  that was perfect for projects and it smelled sooo good. I would sniff it all day long! 

 That taste though! Yuck! I couldn’t understand how anyone could drink it black.  I know some of you judge people’s character by what kind of coffee they drink. I’m sorry if I disappoint you but I can’t help it. 

Now if you had a lot of milk (like more milk than coffee)  add sweetener and turn it into a desert we were good! Oh and cool it down! I cannot drink a hot drink no matter what it is.. a little warmer than room temperature is perfect!  

After I get married since my husband loves coffee, I had caffeinated coffee a few times. The 2 times I can remember I drank it somewhere after lunch but early afternoon so no later than 2:00. By the time my husband got home at 4 or 5 he comes in the door I greet him and start talking to him.  First thing out of his mouth is “did you drink coffee?”

I am like “why do you ask?” I thought that was just strange because I don’t ever drink coffee so why would he be wondering about me and coffee. 

“Well because you are talking a mile a minute!”

Truth is I was! Truth is at midnight my brain was still going so much I had to get up and go sew these skirts that I had been planning in my head the whole time I was in bed to make for my girls. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. More and more details kept coming to mind and more to my to do list and I had to get up and go get it done… sooooo at 3 a.m. My husband wakes up and notice I’m gone and found me wide awake with all this sewing stuff ALL over the living room! I want to use an emoji here!  Is it proper to use emojis in blog posts? Let me know in the comments.  

He makes me go to bed.. you know because I have 2 young kids that are gonna wake up very very soon… Well I am still wide awake as I am “sleeping” in the bed. It was a very similar scenario to the next time I drink coffee.

 From then on I started drinking decaf coffee the few times I would have it as a desert and then learned the decaffeination process is not healthy so I didn’t drink coffee often.  

Three pregnancies ago I started really having problems with my heart. We didn’t know what was going on but my heart rate would get really really fast 180 BPM or more sometimes. I couldn’t do hardly anything because my heart would go so fast. A few seconds on a stationary bicycle would have my heart beating crazy. I could literally take my pulse accurately by the ripples in the bath water.  I talked to the doctor about it so they had me do a heart monitor for a day which of course I did not have a big episode while I had it on. The doctor told me yes my heart rate got high but it came back down and I was in better shape than 98% of the women in his office so just don’t ride the bicycle. Personally an unacceptable answer to me having a severe issue going on like that keeping me from functioning.  The 180 BPM was from walking into a store just from the parking lot. I didn’t know what else to do so I didn’t walk or ride a bicycle. I could not have any caffeine whatsoever. Even a half a glass of Southern sweet tea and I would feel like I was having a heart attack. 

This continued to be a severe problem every pregnancy I have had since. Even when I’m not pregnant I still couldn’t handle caffeine more than what I got in a hot chocolate or brownie. The caffeine was not the problem for my heart rate but it aggravated whatever was going on severely.

My health declined this summer. I had got reinfected with Lyme disease and then I started having severe heart issues and I wasn’t pregnant…. Like I said I always have  heart issues but it’s severe during pregnancy so this was weird. Through this journey, I found out that I had postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome also known as POTS. This is a dysfunction of your anatomic nervous system. When you change positions you can’t properly control your heart rate and your blood pressure. It is aggravated by pregnancy, caffeine,  and your menstrual cycle among other things. 

So for me coffee is a no no big time! Talking a mile a minute has also come on just with having a brownie or hot chocolate before.  I think it’s funny how fast I can talk though! It takes skills!  

Coffee is not good for me but does that mean it’s not good for you?

Let’s take my husband for a minute… He can literally drink a pot of coffee and immediately fall asleep! I do not understand this! When he has a headache (not caffeine withdrawal related) he can drink coffee and it will help because coffee is a vasodilator and improves circulation especially to your brain! Coffee also really helps to regulate his digestive tract! 

I have had a couple natural practitioners who really promote coffee. Now they say it needs to be organic coffee because regular coffee is so full of pesticides  it’s really toxic.

 With that said one of those doctors will say not everybody benefits from coffee though. He says that if you go to the bathroom very quickly after drinking coffee most likely your body will benefit from coffee but if coffee does not make you have to go to the bathroom you’re not flushing caffeine properly and so most likely it will not be good for your body. This is the opinion of 1 doctor. I wonder if anyone else supports the idea of a beneficial cup of joe. 

There are a lot of things especially with adrenal fatigue or heart-related issues and even cancer where people recommend not drinking coffee. Is it true or just an opinion? 

With cancer a lot of people are against coffee because it makes the body acidic but does evidence support coffee as being bad for cancer?

Let’s check some studies on coffee and see what they concluded

According to this study 

“High versus low consumption was associated with an 18% lower risk of incident cancer… Consumption was also associated with a lower risk of several specific cancers and neurological, metabolic, and liver conditions.”

Here’s another statement from here. 

“Habitual coffee consumption is also associated with lower risks for cardiovascular (CV) death and a variety of adverse CV outcomes, including coronary heart disease (CHD), congestive heart failure (HF), and stroke; coffee’s effects on arrhythmias and hypertension are neutral. Coffee consumption is associated with improvements in some CV risk factors, including type 2 diabetes (T2D), depression, and obesity. Chronic coffee consumption also appears to protect against some neurodegenerative diseases, and is associated with improved asthma control, and lower risks for liver disease and cancer. Habitual intake of 3 to 4 cups of coffee appears to be safe and is associated with the most robust beneficial effects.”

Coffee is bitter. Bitters are known for supporting your production of bile and help liver health. With a healthy liver you’re detoxing better which can help a wide array of symptoms and is probably the reason studies state it lowers liver disease.

Here’s some benefits quoted here


“The documented health benefits of coffee consumption are considerable and widespread. This bean has even been linked with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.

And for those who already have type 2 diabetes, coffee can prolong life expectancy. One study of nearly 4,000 type 2 diabetics found that those who drank coffee were 30% more likely to still be alive after being tracked for 20 years.

In addition, coffee turns out to be loaded with antioxidants (which help to prevent the damaging effects of oxidation on cells throughout your body). In fact, coffee is the #1 source of antioxidants in the American diet — by a wide margin.”

There are some people that will not benefit from coffee. Genetics can play a role.  Being pregnant is one case that is negatively affected by coffee. There is an increase in low birth weight, preterm labor, and loss of pregnancy at doses of 3-4 cups a day. There are other conditions like POTS that could be aggregated by coffee. It is common for Chronic Lyme disease patients to suffer negative symptoms when consuming coffee.  Adrenal fatigue is another situation you may want to abstain from a cup of joe. 

Even though my husband does very well with coffee, when he’s under a lot of stress coffee will make his stress worse, affect his mood, and can also bring on muscle and lower back pain.

This is the conclusion from another study in regards to cortisol levels and caffeine.  

“Caffeine did not acutely elevate cortisol levels in the absence of stress. As seen at the C+60 time point following the morning caffeine capsule, the caffeine-day values are equivalent to the placebo values in both settings and for both men and women (Fig. 1). However, the repeated administration of caffeine in conjunction with stress and food intake caused a ROBUST ELEVATION in cortisol levels relative”

Interesting in that same study they also found different stressors and the caffeine affects men and women differently.

I now have backing when I tell my husband he needs to lay off coffee when he is stressed out even though he claims it doesn’t bother him and I’m just against his coffee. I love research!  

“The analysis also revealed interaction terms that suggested that mental stress and the meal affected cortisol differentially for men and women, although they responded similarly to exercise itself. First, as expected, the cortisol patterns across the day differed in the mental stress and exercise setting… Second, men and women had different patterns of cortisol secretion across the day,…, suggesting different reactions by men and women to the stressors and the meal. Third, caffeine affected cortisol secretion differently in relation to mental stress, exercise, and the meal…This agrees with other work showing that men have larger cortisol responses to mental stress than women do, but that men and women respond equally to caffeine”

“Heavy coffee and caffeine intake continue to be seen as potentially harmful on pregnancy outcomes” source 

Check out this conclusion from another study

” Coffee consumption was more often associated with benefit than harm for a range of health outcomes across exposures …. except in pregnancy, where high versus low/no consumption was associated with low birth weight…, preterm birth in the first… and second… trimester, and pregnancy loss… There was also an association between coffee drinking and risk of fracture in women but not in men.”

There are some genes that could play a role in some people’s response. There are genes that deal with metabolizing caffeine.I must have gene variations here.  

This study made a connection with certain genes and personal sensitivities to coffee. 

Conclusion 

Some of this is great news to you coffee drinkers!

 If you don’t fall under these risk factors you can drink your organic coffee and feel great about it! 

Live long and drink coffee!  Just don’t stress while doing it!  I won’t be enjoying it with you but am joyful for you!

Do remember the high consumption level is 3-4 cups a day. To clarify that is 3-4 8oz servings NOT 3-4 coffee mugs that can vary from 8 oz to a whole pot. (Wink)

Are you a coffee drinker?  How do you like it?