As a kid, you may have been told that drinking coffee would stunt your growth. While there is evidence that coffee consumption has a slight impact on your body’s ability to absorb calcium, the effect is actually negligible.
So why do the myths persist? As it turns out, we have the inventor of Grape Nuts to blame. That’s right: C.W. Post slandered coffee’s good name, claiming that it was bad for the heart and kidneys, caused nervousness and gastrointestinal upset, and contributed to yellow skin.
While anyone who’s ever consumed too much coffee will admit that overdoing it can make you feel a bit jumpy, the rest of those claims are vastly overblown.
You see, Post was trying to boost sales for his new breakfast beverage, and coffee was a chief competitor. These days, nobody’s ever heard of “Postum,” but coffee’s still going strong.
Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee
Okay, so we’ve already established that most of the strikes against coffee are bunk, but let’s take it a step further. So how can coffee actually benefit your health?
- In 2014, a study conducted jointly by researchers from several international universities found that moderate coffee consumers (those who drank 3.5 cups per day) were less likely to develop cardiovascular disease.
- Other studies have found that regular coffee consumption can also reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and type II diabetes, as well.
- There are also links to two common degenerative brain disorders: it seems coffee may keep Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s at bay, as well.
- Did you know that coffee is also chock-full of antioxidants? It’s true. In fact, coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the western diet.
With Coffee, Moderation Is Key
As with anything, moderation is key if you want to reap the maximum health benefits of drinking coffee. It's recommended to keep daily consumption to no more than five cups per day.
Also worth noting: the scientific data cited in this article specifically pertain to black coffee: no cream, no sugar, and certainly no whipped cream or sprinkles.
Adding a splash of cream to your coffee probably won’t have much of an effect on coffee’s health benefits, but if you’re in the habit of drinking your coffee with copious amounts of sugary add-ins, then you may want to consider swapping out your Frappuccino with something a little less extravagant and calorie-rich.
As always, consult your healthcare physician for all health and diet related advice.