Which of us doesn’t reach for a cup of coffee (or maybe even two) first thing in the morning, or when we feel we are flagging and need a pick-me up? With conflicting information everywhere about how good or bad coffee is for us it’s difficult to decide whether we should drink so much coffee or not. However, as recent research shows, we have no reason to feel guilty for indulging ourselves in a cup of coffee, as indeed it may be beneficial to our heart health.
Several studies have revealed that coffee has many health benefits and looking into the impact of consumption on various markers of heart health such as cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure, there are some interesting results:
Depending on how your coffee is prepared, a cholesterol- raising compound known as diterpenes can be found in varying concentrations in your coffee cup. Filtered coffee was found to contain no increased levels and as such has no effect on raising your cholesterol levels, whereas boiled coffee has a higher concentration level of diterpenes present, which can cause an increase in total cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol levels.
Benefits are to be found in coffee, both caffeinated and decaffeinated types, providing antioxidants which aid in the control of blood sugar and thereby reducing the risk for type 2 diabetes. It is thought that drinking up to six cups or more per day may reduce further rises in blood sugar levels.
There are no findings to prove that drinking as many as six cups of coffee per day will increase your blood pressure levels in the long term. However, you need to be aware that caffeine is a mild stimulant and in some cases may cause a temporary, small increase in blood pressure readings and your heart rate.
It has been reported that during the roasting process of fresh coffee beans the components undergo a structural change leading to the formation of brown- coloured, nitrogenous compounds and melanoidins, which all have important health implications. Many biological activities, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, antioxidant and antimicrobial may all be attributed to these components.
Overall, moderate amounts of coffee and caffeine, amounting to approximately 3 cups of coffee daily, will not cause heart related problems, or negatively impact on heart health. It is advised that those with any history of high blood pressure, or heart disease could be more sensitive to caffeine use and should consult with their doctor regarding personal caffeine intake.
Watch the calories
Coffee may also cause heartburn and an upset stomach in some cases and remember that whilst coffee contains negligible calories, if you drink a large caramel latte the calorie intake will be very much increased. Some coffee drinkers find that heavy caffeine use could result in “caffeine jitters” through the day, and an inability to sleep at night.
Also bear in mind that it may not necessarily be coffee drinking that leads to better health, but the fact that people who chose to drink coffee may well have a healthier aspect to their lifestyle in general. Remember that loading up with coffee will not be a substitute for eating fruit and vegetables for the supply of more antioxidants. You also need fresh and organic produce to provide minerals, vitamins, fibre and antioxidants to help keep your heart healthy.
For high quality, single origin coffee beans at affordable prices visit The Coffee Wholesalers website for more information. For every 5 kilos of any single origin coffee beans purchase you get 1 kilo free.