As passionate daily coffee drinkers, we sometimes feel we have to defend our choice to health proponents who proclaim “coffee is so bad for you, drink herbal tea instead!” Or those who cite scientific studies warning about the long-term negative effects of caffeine on your: heart (such as heart palpitations), brain, adrenals, cardiovascular system. But how can something that feels so necessary and beneficial be so bad for you, right?
Luckily for us, health studies citing the positive effects and benefits of drinking coffee specifically, continue to roll in. This recent study led by cardiologists at the University of California San Francisco, says that “drinking coffee, tea or chocolate does not appear to cause heart palpitations, heart fluttering and other out-of-sync heartbeat patterns.” Most coffee drinkers in fact like the feeling of the energy rush through their systems that coffee provides, but heart palpitations can cause worry about adverse cardiovascular reactions.
So it’s good to know that coffee is not the cause of irregular heart rhythms, which can lead to heart failure or dangerous heart rhythm disorders. Sound too good to be true? Take it straight from this doctor’s mouth: “Clinical recommendations advising against the regular consumption of caffeinated products to prevent disturbances of the heart’s cardiac rhythm should be reconsidered, as we may unnecessarily be discouraging consumption of items like chocolate, coffee and tea that might actually have cardiovascular benefit” – Dr. Gregory Marcus, USF.
Other studies are showing that moderate coffee drinking has been proven to even save lives. According to NBC News;
People who drink regular, moderate amounts of coffee are less likely to die from a range of diseases, from diabetes to heart disease.
And in case you’re curious, the guidelines for “moderate” coffee drinking is no more than five cups per day, and you can still get many of the same benefits from decaf. The benefits include a lower risk of mortality rate from causes like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and suicide. Coffee is also the number one source in the American diet for antioxidants, which perhaps says not so great things about our fresh fruit and vegetable consumption, but as long as it’s coming from somewhere, right?
Other research has found evidence that coffee can help people recover from colon cancer, lower diabetes risk and reduce the inflammation associated with diabetes and heart disease. Hopefully we will start seeing these health benefits reflected in U.S. government new dietary proposals.
This is great news for addicts of the ritual of that morning cup of coffee who also care about their health. You don’t have to give up the smell of freshly-ground beans, the sound of the coffeemaker percolating or espresso machine clicking on, the high whine of the milk steamer, and of course…that first pour. As always, be conscious of how much sugar and dairy you’re adding to your morning cup, but continue to enjoy in good health!