Feeling A Bit Despresso? Add Some Coffee to Your Diet

By Sasha Chernomorsky, Staff Writer

 //Coffee has a bad rap for being very detrimental to one’s health. Many people don’t drink it because they are worried about the side effects that come with it. In a Blueprint-conducted survey of 248 students and staff members, 53 said that they don’t drink coffee because they believe that it is unhealthy.

   The fact that coffee has its drawbacks is undeniable. Growth stunts and caffeine dependency that come with coffee consumption are well known facts, but many people are unaware of the newly proven benefits that come with drinking a couple ‘Cups of Joe’ every day.

   New studies have shown many benefits that come with daily coffee consumption. According to studies done by the University of California, Los Angeles and the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), an increased amount of coffee intake can prevent type 2 diabetes.

   Over a four year period, the HSPH tracked 7,269 people in a study that showed that those who increased their daily coffee intake had an 11 percent lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes compared to those who didn’t modify the amount of coffee they drank.

   Researchers also proved that more coffee reduces the chances of Parkinson’s Disease. Studies conducted at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center showed that the caffeine in coffee may help control movement in people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.

   The United States isn’t the only country interested in coffee. Italian researchers found that more coffee lowers the risk of liver cancer by 40 percent. In addition, some of the results show that drinking three cups a day lowers the risk by over 50 percent.

   Protection from other liver diseases, such as the rare autoimmune disease primary sclerosing cholangitis and cirrhosis, are linked to daily coffee consumption as well.

   Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the HSPH teamed up to look into the way coffee affects heart health. According to their data, drinking coffee in moderation protects against heart failure. They suggest about two eight-ounce servings a day, stressing the fact that moderation is crucial in this situation.

   As many people know, antioxidants are very important in a healthy diet. According to recent studies, the human body extracts the most antioxidants out of coffee than any other food or beverage. Not only does coffee provide antioxidants, but it also contains riboflavin (known as vitamin B2), Pantothenic Acid (known as vitamin B5), Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium, and Niacin (known as B3).

   Another well-known side effect of coffee consumption is energy increase. 48 out of 248 survey-takers said that they drink coffee on a daily basis because they need the energy. As long as coffee is consumed in a moderate amount, this energy boost can be extremely beneficial, especially to students who often have trouble staying focused in the mornings. If more students drink coffee (in a healthy amount), they may be less drowsy and come to school physically ready to work.

   By stimulating the nervous system and increasing adrenaline levels, caffeine can lead to better workouts. Not only is caffeine found in the majority of fat burning supplements, but it also stimulates the body’s “fight or flight” reaction which prepares the body for intense physical exertion.

   Though Alzheimer’s doesn’t have a known cure yet, some research shows that coffee drinkers have up to a 65 percent lower chance of getting it.

   Another important result of drinking coffee on a daily basis is a decrease in the chances of developing depression. A Harvard study published in 2011 showed that women who drank four or more cups a day had a 20 percent less chance of being depressed.

   The negative side effects of coffee should not be ignored either. Coffee is notorious for causing insomnia, anxiety, stress, heartburn, acrylamide, and caffeine dependency. Based on the results of recent studies, coffee shouldn’t be shunned so much as a moderate amount of coffee intake on a daily basis can be extremely beneficial to one’s health.

   Another important factor to remember is the quality of the coffee. There are many varieties of coffee preparation, and for coffee lovers and health nuts, investing in a cup of coffee that’s slightly more expensive is definitely not the worst idea.

   Many coffee fans own their own coffee machines and buy higher quality beans.

   Maybe we should give coffee another chance; by promoting coffee and acknowledging both the benefits and negative side effects of the beverage, more students may start drinking it, which wouldn’t be the worst thing. In fact, maybe having coffee available for purchase at school will increase the amount of coffee consumption among students and will reduce the time spent on preparing coffee in an already hectic morning.

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