Flat white, cappuccino, black or double shot are all words coffee drinkers all over are quite familiar with. Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world and for many of us it’s the only thing that is getting us out of bed in the mornings. But with its frequent use people are questioning how healthy this beverage of choice really is, especially when it comes to causing cancer. Fear not fellow coffee lovers, boil the jug and read on…
In 2016 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have claimed that coffee has been bumped down a level in their cancer causing agents charts, it is now under the category group 3- not classifiable as to its carcinogenetic to humans where it used to be under group 2 – possible carcinogenic to humans. This is good news for coffee lovers everywhere. The confusion comes from evidence that drinking very hot beverages (over 65 degrees) can cause oesophageal cancer but there is insufficient evidence to prove this. In fact there is some evidence that is pointing towards coffee actually preventing certain cancers. The way coffee can prevent cancer is still unclear but there are some theories in place.
- There is some evidence pointing to the fact that certain chemicals in coffee can improve insulin sensitivity and prevent long term or chronic inflammation, both which are known to be a cause in developing cancer.
- Coffee may also be able to protect against DNA damage, slow the growth of cancer and kill of damaged cells before they can turn into cancer.
Research is still in the early stages but it is looking promising.
How many cups?
I’m not saying that you should start drinking coffee if you don’t already, but it may be something to think about. Drinking around 2-6 cups of coffee daily is showing to reduce our risk of many different cancers, coffee contains antioxidants, and these molecules are our best friends when it comes to fighting off cancers. Antioxidants fend off free radicals that float around in our bodies; free radicals damage our cells and can cause cancer to start growing.
- 4 cups or more daily can decrease our risk of oral and head cancers by 39%.
- Women can lower their risk of uterine cancer by consuming 2 cups a day.
- Men can lower their prostate cancer risk by 60% when they drink 6 cups a day.
- At least 6 cups a day can lower your risk of certain brain cancers by 40%.
- 3 cups a day can prevent and slow down the growth of breast cancer.
Any other benefits?
Apart from preventing cancer there are many additional benefits to drinking coffee!
- Energy boost- coffee obviously contains caffeine, which is a natural stimulant. This is what gives us that boost of energy after drinking a nice hot cuppa.
- Burns fat- again it’s the caffeine in coffee that can help us to loss fat; it does this by stimulating our metabolism causing us to burn more fat for energy.
- Protects against type 2 diabetes by about 23-50%
- Coffee can improve our exercise performance, as caffeine signals to start breaking down fat we get an increased energy surge and more fuel available to pump out our workout!
- Lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia and Parkinson’s.
- Drinking coffee can lower our risk of developing depression and significantly lowers our risk of suicide.
- Coffee can also help to protect our hearts and protect against stroke.
The bottom line
Coffee may actually be one of the healthiest drinks on the planet. From starving off cancers, boosting energy and promoting good health, coffee is defiantly my drink of choice.
So all you coffee drinkers grab a cup and enjoy a long, healthy and happy life!