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Historically coffee was always considered to be a healthful drink. Then modern 19th century experts pronounced that it would “stunt your growth,” or cause cancer and even heart disease. This advice has recently been turned on its head. Far from causing cancer, coffee is associated with the prevention of (many forms of) cancer. Drinking your daily cup or so is also associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. After decades, the weight of evidence finally convinced us to regard coffee as no longer being “bad for you,” but “good for you” in moderation.
One of the questions I get asked a lot is about coffee. Health friend or foe? Well, it depends, and, as with so many things in the field of nutrition, there is a lot of disagreement on the topic.
First of all, it depends on what coffee you're drinking. A small cup of organic, shade-grown coffee with a dash of real cream isn't going to be the end of the world. An extra-large mocha latte with lots of sugar, artificial flavors, and extra whipped cream -- well, that's a different story. If you love your coffee and don't want to give it up, limit it to one small cup in the morning, and keep it simple. Drink it black or with a little real cream (none of that fat-free creamer that has lots of chemicals and artificial flavors to make you think you're drinking something yummy).
If you're going to drink coffee, I recommend drinking it after you've already eaten something so that it doesn't irritate your stomach. Also, if you struggle with deep fatigue and find yourself regularly relying on coffee to get you through your day, it's a sign that there might be deeper imbalances going on. In these cases, it's worth investigating further with a health practitioner.
Strong evidence shows that coffee can aggravate health problems including reflux, atrial fibrillation and anxiety. It can also cause tremors and sleep deprivation. Pregnant women should limit the amount of coffee they drink because effects on the fetus have not been adequately studied.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.