Thursday, March 10, 2011

7 Health Reasons to Stop Drinking Coffee

I really love my morning cup of coffee. I have tried to stop drinking coffee and switching to black tea so many times I've lost track. Anyone who is a coffee drinker knows the deal. A cup of tea does not have the same aroma or kick as a cup of coffee. Coffee truly is addicting, both the smell and taste. Although there are benefits to drinking coffee, as a Doctor of Naturopathy (traditional), I feel the risks still outweigh the benefits for some individuals. Let me list a few:

1. Over 1,000 chemicals have been found in roasted coffee. 19 of these chemicals are known carcinogens. Decaf coffee is even worse because chemical solvents are used to extract the caffeine. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health showed that a person who drank two cups of coffee a day had twice as great a risk of pancreatic cancer as a person who did not drink coffee. For a person who drank more than five cups, the risk was more than three times that of the nonuser. If you must drink coffee, caffeinated organic coffee is your best bet.

2. Coffee can raise your blood pressure. In some individuals, blood pressure can rise quickly after drinking coffee. If your blood pressure rises easily or you have high blood pressure, you might want to avoid coffee.

3. Coffee causes staining of the teeth. As long as you don't mind spending money on teeth whiteners, then drinking coffee is not a problem but you should factor in the price of whiteners into the cost of a cup of coffee.

4. Coffee can increase LDL cholesterol levels. A 2007 study by Baylor College of Medicine found that cafestol and kahweol, substances present in boiled coffee drinks, dramatically increases LDL cholesterol levels, especially in women. Paper coffeed filters were found to remove most of these compounds. Coffee presses do not filter these compounds so drinking coffee that has been filtered with paper filters is recommended.

5. Your gastrointestinal organs hate it. Coffee can damage the lining of the gastrointestinal organs, causing gastritis and ulcers. The consumption of coffee is therefore not recommended for those individuals with gastritis, colitis, and ulcers.

6. The caffeine in coffee aggravates nervous symptoms. In individuals prone to anxiety and nervousness, drinking coffee can aggravate symptoms and even bring on a panic attack. Drinking decaf coffee will help but individuals with severe anxiety should not drink even decaf because there are small amounts of caffeine in decaffeinated coffee.

7. Coffee is addicting. For those addicted to cigarettes, giving up cigarettes may be difficult without giving up coffee. Smokers love to have a cigarette when drinking a cup of coffee. For the rest of us, the addiction is only a problem if we need to give up coffee for health reasons.

Conclusion: There are better ways to get your antioxidants, reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's Disease, and Parkinson's. However, if you are like me and don't have have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anxiety, and gastrointestinal issues, then a good cup of organic caffeinated coffee in the morning shouldn't do any harm

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