Is Coffee Good or Bad for You and Is Organic Coffee Worth The Hype?
“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. “
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 “Today, coffee is the world’s most consumed beverage after water and over 19000 scientific studies have been conducted on coffee and health. Coffee can either be a wonderful superfood or complete rubbish for you depending on how it’s made. It gets confusing; sometimes it gets a bad rap as an unhealthy vice and at other times 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). I love all versions, caffeinated, decaf, and even herbal coffee! More about that later on…
How Can Both be Right? 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. 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, and 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].
So Where Does it go Wrong?
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 which 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 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 but 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 which means we 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
How Can We Make Sure We’re Drinking The Beneficial Kind Rather Than Doing More Harm Than Good?
It’ll come as no surprise that I’m recommending organic coffee since I promote organic, natural produce. How is organic coffee different? Just to mess with you even more, not all organic coffee is created equal! Organic 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 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? Its 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 Picks
Purity Coffee knows that at each step of the sourcing, roasting and distribution process, decisions must be made, which will affect cost, flavor and 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. Their 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 which is used as a best practice in food manufacturing to prevent oxidation by replacing oxygen in packaging.
Now, what may seem completely outside the box but is actually right in it, is caffeine free herbal coffee. I didn’t used to get why anyone would drink caffeine free but one of my nieces can’t drink caffeine but loves the taste of coffee and I sleep way better when I cut caffeine off after midday as well but also love the taste and an afternoon cuppa (must be the English is me).
What is Herbal Coffee?
The idea behind Teeccino was to be a caffeine-free cappuccino that could be brewed just like coffee, hence the name! Made from roasted herbs that are organically grown in the USA, Europe, Guatemala and India and blended with fruits, nuts, herbs and spices to produce a wide variety of flavors with 3 distinctive flavor profiles that are designed for different taste preferences: Mediterranean, Maya, and Dandelion. Dandelion sounds odd for a coffee but it’s surprisingly good. My favorite is the Dandelion Mint Mocha (which I’m going to start making iced for the Summer) but I have my eye on the Caramel Nut, Almond Amaretto & Gingerbread Chicory (I told you I had a sweet tooth).
They’ve also brought out roasted herbal teas. I got into herbal teas about 8 years ago when I was competing in the fitness world to help my sweet cravings. I’ve been drinking their Dandelion Turmeric Tea as I love a bit of a spring clean at this time of the year. Don’t worry this one doesn’t have any side effects (I don’t think I need to go into further detail as to what I’m referring to) but the turmeric and ginger is also a great anti-inflammatory while the dandelion helps to detoxify your body.
Every cup of Teeccino has nutritious health benefits that are naturally released during brewing and are quickly absorbable because the nutrients are suspended in liquid so digestion isn’t needed to remove them from fiber. It may not have caffeine but thankfully the ingredients still provide an energy boost but in a steady way and minus the crash.
Ingredients like carob pods which lowers insulin resistance, chicory root feeds your probiotics which helps maintain balanced blood sugar, potassium an essential electrolyte mineral, and soluble fiber which helps to reduce cholesterol and slow the absorption of carbohydrates and sugars make this a healthier choice than non-organic coffee.
It’s also acid free. We’ve all seen alkaline diets and acid testing strips as our diets are typically too acidic as we eat too few alkaline foods.
Millions of people take prescription drugs daily to reduce acidity while still drinking caffeinated beverages that aggravate acid reflux, IBS and other inflammatory digestive conditions. Our commitment is to produce nutritious, organic products that help people build optimal health and enjoy a natural, abundant energy supply by following a healthy lifestyle. Teecino
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, it is smooth and clean and doesn’t feel acidic or 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 tea is different to my thoughts on the coffee and I love it just as much as my other herbal tea bags but since the potassium level is higher in Teeccino I’m happy to make the switch especially if they keep bringing out new flavors like they have been.
More Benefits 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.
Prevents Deforestation: Most organic coffee is grown the natural way within lush forests keeping ecosystems alive and/or partnering with co-ops to restore the land while growing organic coffee. http://blog.equalexchange.coop/organic-vs-conventional-coffee/
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Products were provided free for testing purposes but no payment was received for this post.