We drink it every morning at home, on our way to work or at the office. For centuries it has served us well and because we recognize that our lives could not unfold without it, today, coffee is the second most traded commodity on earth, after oil, of course. Whether you need the buzz or high it gives in just a few minutes after drinking it, or you enjoy its amazingly delicious flavor, no one can deny having drunk at least one cup of coffee by the time he/she was 20 years old. This exquisite beverage’s long-term effects have been studied in enough detail for us to have a good picture with regard to the advantages and disadvantages of drinking coffee every day. So, let us have a closer look at what we know today about coffee to be true.
1. Coffee and Dehydration
The myth of coffee or caffeine having an impact on our daily intake of water has finally found a resolution. Actually, the answer to this dilemma has two answers: yes and no, each with circumstantial validity. Beginning with the “yes” side of the story, people know that coffee is a natural diuretic. Because of the effects it can have on our body, coffee also helps push liquids out of our systems, and when drinking 4 cups of coffee a day is a routine done without replenishing the water resources, specific dehydration symptoms will manifest: fatigue, poor concentration, and headaches. The “no” part of the answer implies that we remember to always drink a glass of water with every cup of coffee.
2. Coffee and Depression
Caffeine is the most common used central nervous system stimulant worldwide, and for this reason alone researchers have conducted a number of longitudinal studies, mainly on women, to establish if there is any connection between coffee consumption and depression. A BBC article from 2011 suggests that caffeine may help prevent depression according to the findings published in a renowned medical magazine. The study reported that some 2,600 women developed depression in less than 10 years after the study began, and they belonged to the category of subjects who tended to be non- or low-coffee drinkers. For those who drank 2-3 cups of coffee per week the risk of developing depression decreased by 15%; as for those who drank 3-4 cups/week, the risk decreased by 20%.
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3. Coffee and Low Blood Pressure
Many people dismiss a headache or feeling dizzy without giving them a second thought; however, both symptoms may indicate low blood pressure – a condition that should not be treated lightly because in time it can block oxygen and nutrients from reaching the brain. There are a number of reasons why someone might have low blood pressure and the most frequent causes are: dehydration, pregnancy, and heart problems. Besides increasing the salt intake and drinking more water, a very effective home remedy for low blood pressure (headaches) is drinking a cup of black coffee which will increase your heart rate immediately, thus raising your blood pressure.
4. Coffee and Cancer
An impressive number of studies have been conducted in order to establish coffee health benefits, especially in supporting the body’s fight against different types of cancer. The results are astounding, and they show the following: that drinking up to three cups of coffee per day can reduce the risk for women to develop ovarian cancer by 5%, and for those who have never been on the contraceptive pill or HRT the risk was reduced up to 43%; that people who have a daily intake of 4 cups are less likely to suffer from 4 types of cancer: prostate, colorectal, mouth and larynx; that if you drink 6 or more cups of coffee on a daily basis you can reduce the risk of developing some types of skin cancer up to 31%. Of course, there are also noticeable side effects to drinking 3, 4 or more than six cups of coffee a day that everyone should consider before anything, including increased blood pressure, the risk of cardiovascular illnesses, of developing rheumatoid arthritis, and even breast shrinking for women.