Antioxidant or toxin? Good or bad? Here’s what the studies show!
Is coffee good for you? Is organic coffee any better and what is organic coffee? Today, coffee is the world’s most consumed beverage after water and over 19000 scientific studies have been conducted on coffee, health and whether coffee’s good or bad for you. Coffee can either be a wonderful superfood or complete rubbish for you depending on how it’s made.
It gets confusing though. Sometimes coffee gets a bad rap as an unhealthy vice and at other times it’s lauded for being
“by far the richest source of antioxidants in the western diet. Nothing else even comes close” Dr. Joe Vinson, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton (PA).
Personally, I’m a caffeine addict. I swear, I think sometimes I have more coffee running through my veins than blood! OK, I know that’s not actually possible but you know what I mean and I’m not alone. I love all versions, caffeinated, decaf, flavored, and even herbal coffee! More about that later on…
The health benefits of coffee can be greatly enhanced – and the adverse effects can be reduced, or even totally eliminated – through conscious sourcing, processing and roasting. “
Is coffee good or bad for you?
How can coffee be both healthy and unhealthy? What’s the truth?
The scientific verdict on coffee goes something like this: Coffee is good for almost everyone.
Overall, studies show that 3-5 cups of coffee per day will have a wide range of diverse health benefits for most people.
Benefits of Coffee
- Helps many lose weight by boosting your metabolic rate.
- Enhances performance in high intensity exercise.
- Is a powerful mood enhancer.
- Improves various aspects of brain function.
- Studies even show that coffee drinkers live longer.
“But, the most astounding research conducted on coffee is surrounding disease prevention and, in some cases, even the reversal of symptoms ranging from Type II Diabetes 24-40% decreased risk for type II diabetes [vii], [viii] Liver Disease & Cancer 40% decreased risk of liver cancer [ix] Heart Disease 30% decreased risk of congestive heart failure [x] Longevity Up to 20% lower risk of premature death in men and 26% for women. [xi] Parkinson’s Disease Up to 30% reduced risk of Parkinson’s [xii] Stroke 22-25% decreased risk of stroke [xiii] Prostate Cancer 15% decreased risk of prostate cancer [xiv] Alzheimer’s 65% reduced risk of Alzheimer’s [xv]. Purity Coffee
So where does coffee go wrong and become bad for you?
It all starts when big coffee companies sacrifice health benefits for profit by using poor production practices which includes treating the beans with chemicals and pesticides. These destroy many of the health benefits of coffee and introduce harmful compounds that can cause upset stomach, jitters, and worse. We’ve all experienced the coffee jitters, especially when we drink it on an empty stomach.
The coffee production companies are focusing on either just profit or just taste and not even considering the benefits. To be fair, there is also huge demand placed on the coffee producers to meet consumer demand which has caused farming methods to concentrate on maximizing production.
Unfortunately, that’s often at the expense of human and environmental health. A bit like the strain we place on the food industry and all of the harmful practices and lower quality, nutritionally devoid foods pushed at us.
What’s even scarier is that the US government does not have maximum residue limits for all the pesticides used on coffee (epa.gov). Which means consumers are unprotected unless we chose to buy organic coffee only. The chemicals aren’t only harmful to ourselves but also to the coffee farmworkers, their communities, watershed and local ecosystem.
What is organic coffee? How is it different?
It’ll come as no surprise that I’m recommending organic coffee since I advocate for organic, natural produce. However, just to confuse us even more, not all organic coffee is created equal!
Organic coffee beans aren’t soaked in pesticides but that’s not the only solution. Many organic coffees don’t get proper nutrients, which can result in defective or low-quality beans and insect damage which can produce other impurities.
Another gross fact is that the beans often develop harmful mold during their journey and processing.
Although mold spores are destroyed during roasting, Ochratoxin A (wikipedia) only roasts out at extreme heat levels too high for the coffee to retain its healthy compounds. Purity Coffee.
So the mold dies but so do all of the benefits!
You know that burnt, over roasted taste you often get? It’s because the roasters char the coffee which can be a sign that there are carcinogens in the coffee! If you’re not going to switch to organic coffee at least consider avoiding Dark Roast coffee where most of the healthy antioxidants have been burnt away-great!
Lastly, virtually every food (without preservatives) will eventually go off as will coffee. Stale coffee’s antioxidants have been degraded meaning you reap less of the benefits.
My Top Organic Coffee Picks
Purity Coffee knows that at each step of the sourcing, roasting and distribution process, decisions must be made. These will affect cost, flavor and the health benefits but their production process means their coffee is Certified Organic, mycotoxin-free, sustainably sourced and they use only specialty-grade[xvii] green (raw) coffee.
Purity’s roasting methods maximize benefits and carcinogens and their practices ensure no cross contact or contamination and the coffee remains free of mold.
Lastly, their coffee is fresher: they displace the oxygen in the coffee bag and K-cups with nitrogen. Nitrogen is used as a best practice in food manufacturing to prevent oxidation by replacing oxygen in packaging.
So How Does Organic Coffee Stack Up?
I’m not going to lie, it’s not Lavazza but better than Starbucks. At least to my taste buds anyway, but I’ll sacrifice a little taste for all of the health benefits and avoiding the nasties.
However, this organic coffee is smooth and clean and doesn’t feel acidic or taste burnt like some do. I haven’t experienced the jitters or any adverse stomach issues since drinking this.
My husband is harder to convert and chooses taste over the health benefits of organic coffee.
Now herbal coffee is different to my thoughts on organic coffee and has different benefits. I love it just as much as my other herbal tea bags and since the potassium level is higher in Teeccino specifically I’m happy to make the switch. Especially if they keep bringing out new flavors like they have been.
Neither are cheap but teas and coffees made with conscientious processing and superior ingredients never are.
More Benefits to Organic Coffee Than Just Your Health
No synthetic fertilizers or chemicals used in growing or production means cleaner beans, air, land, and water.
Organic coffee beans are richer in healthful antioxidants.
Talk to me
What’s your experience been with organic coffee? Message me on social media or drop a comment below.
Products were provided free for testing purposes but no payment was received for this post.
Eve Dawes is a Blogger, Podcaster, Mrs. England World 2020, a WBFF Pro Diva, SAG-AFTRA actress, NASM certified Personal Trainer, Founder of Dawes Custom Cosmetics and GlamourandGains.com. Eve's also the host of BFF (beauty, fitness & fashion) segment on Spill The Tea Live! The show for British Expats. Eve has over 15 years experience in the fashion world, is an avid traveller and cruelty-free beauty advocate.