Coffee, is it good or bad?

Hey Folks! Welcome to episode number 5 of the higher healths podcast. Today we discuss Coffee! How can you go wrong with a chat about coffee right? I find the topic is discussed so often, probably because it is just that popular. However, it finds itself in frequent debates about whether or not it is good for you health. It is a potent drink, an elixir cure-all for many. You may have heard people mention many sorts of statements or comments about coffee, like, don't talk to me until I've had my coffee, or don't look at me until I've had coffee. Perhaps it's, I can't think until I have my coffee, or I don't wake up until I've had coffee, or maybe it's, I don't have a problem with caffeine, I have a problem without caffeine, or, I like to start my day with a gentle liquid hug for my brain.   


So it seems that one-day coffee is fantastic for you and great for your health. The next it's bad for you. So which is it then right? 


In this show we'll discuss the origins of coffee, where it all started, it's benefits, some of the downsides, and ultimately, should or should we not be drinking coffee.


Let's head to the start of this, the origins, Ethiopia. Supposedly it was an Ethiopian goat herder that had seen his goats eating the shiny green leaves as well as the berries on these shrubs. Then, he noticed how his goats got all horned up and frisky, so he decided he may as well give it a try as well. Those poor goats ... I mean his lucky wife. Anyways, this dates back to the 15th century; the guy was so excited about it he supposedly ran by to a nearby monastery, shared it with a monk. The monk disapproved, tossed the berries in a fire, the roasting seeds of the berries in the fire gave off that lovely aroma that the beans contain which gathered the attention of other monks. They then raked up those roasted beans, ground them, tossed them in hot water, and whammo, the first cup of joe was produced. 

The beans quickly travelled to the Arabs who were the first known to open coffeehouses. This is where the debate about whether or not coffee is good for you all began. It, for many, was good because it inspired them to gamble and have really fun unorthodox sexual situations occur. For others, this was a bad thing. 

From there it spread on to other areas, Africa, Europe, and then finally hit the America's in the 17th century until almost everyone was acting like an excited goat. 


From a medical standpoint, this is where coffee received it's first positive review. In the 1600's one of England's most significant issues was alcoholism, the medical community sang coffee's praised to cure this problem. It also received attention from first coffee shop owner Pasqua Rosee for it's ability to aid in digestion, prevent gout and scurvy, help cough's, stomachaches and headaches.

1700's came around, and the Boston Tea party was created and said that it was unpatriotic to drink tea! Coffee houses popped up absolutely everywhere, and it was said that because of coffee the colonists were able to work longer hours because of it's stimulant effects. 

Then the late 1800's, coffee is bad and could make you go blind. A wheat bran, wheat, and molasses product named Postum arrived stating that drinking coffee was as bad as cocaine, morphine, or even the pesticide strychnine. 

It was ideas or products like this that planted the seed that grew quickly in the 1900's stating that coffee stunts growth. Raise your kids on Postum they said. This sparked all sorts of negative comments from the medical community and added furthermore to the negative public beliefs on our beloved coffee beverage. Then, the dangerous beliefs continued. 

In 1973 a New England Journal of Medicine study published they found that having 1-5 cups of coffee per day increased your risk of heart attack by 60%, then, 6 or more cups would take that risk up to double, so 120%. Sounds like a severe amount of risk to enjoy a cup of coffee. 

As you can imagine though, the science would soon prove this old research incorrect. They then took any study performed in the 1960's to 2011, and with over half a million participants found no connection, no link to stroke or heart attack. Not only that, but it saw good news. With 2 cups a day you lowered the risk of liver cancer by 43%, men reduced the risk of prostate cancer, and with four cups they found preventative effects on the risk of stroke. 

What a turn-around! My coffee somehow tastes better as I continue to blab off here now.  

To top that cup up, the National Institute of Health, funded research and compiled all documentation from 1966 to 2011 to discover something more to point to coffee's benefits regarding the risk of heart failure. Research taken from sources such as MEDLINE, determined that up to four cups a day could reduce risks of heart failure, while 5 to 10 cups gives adverse effects. 


So, with coffee, being one of the most consumed beverages in the world, and now that we have discovered some incredible health advantages like improved insulin sensitivity, enhanced physical endurance, reduced inflammation levels, as well as a reduced risk of certain cancers, gout, stroke, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, let's drink on!

Now, by all means, if you don't drink coffee it's not necessarily a bad thing, this is not a you must drink coffee message here. It is not a one size fits all drink, it is entirely okay to be a complete water drinker or tea drinker as well. This is strictly all about the folks out there that enjoy coffee and want to keep drinking it guilt free, or for those that quit coffee marking it off as unhealthy. 


Now let's discuss some other things to consider if you are a coffee lover.

How you shop for your beans is essential. I believe that the number one thing you need to consider is, and believe me I already sense a few eye rolls from the listeners on this one but bear with me, Organic. Coffee, as you may have heard, is one of the most densely sprayed crops in the world. Why? Typically coffee grows on bushes naturally in the shade, but to increase production, most large coffee makers chop down massive amounts of rainforest and pour on the chemicals to produce coffee beans faster. 

Some of the retailers using these beans include Starbucks, Keurig, Dunkin Donut's, Second Cup, Van Houtte, and Tim Horton's to name just a few from that list. 

The effects of pesticides are brutal, causing damage to your nervous system, your hormone function by messing with your endocrine system, and reproductive system. The toxins are also stored in your fat tissue, this is very bad for the whole body but especially your big brain because your brain is made up of 60-80% fat. Which is why we can also experience symptoms from lousy coffee such as brain fog, mental impairment, headaches, tingling, numbness and mood problems with this type of toxicity. 


 However, on the plus side more and more people care about the foods they are consuming, and they also care about the coffee they are drinking so you won't struggle to find many organic coffee beans out there anymore. 

As a heads up, however, now that organic coffees are much more mainstream because of the demand for fewer chemicals, be aware of Fair Trade beans, this refers to the agreed price the farmers are paid for their work and does not necessarily guarantee it will be organic. The next bit of information next to that to look for is certified shade-grown coffee that is grown in more natural circumstances making it less likely to be sprayed. 


So get out there and get yourself some incredible tasting organically grown coffee! I'm sure that if you are drinking your coffee black (which you should mostly), you will notice the difference right away, it tastes way better, and you get to take advantage of all the incredible elixir effects and benefits from the drink. It's one of the best social beverages you can have. Keep the servings to a 1-4 cup maximum, do drink your water still, and in the meantime, I will keep my eyes peeled for any additional information to pass along about our dear friend, the coffee bean. 


Thank you all for listening, as always please make sure to rate, comment, and share this podcast, appreciate you, talk to you again very soon. 

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