Three coffees a day?

The Globe and Mail, among many other news agencies, recently published a story that coffee is good for us. They caught people's attention by sharing a study that concludes three cups of coffee a day brings out the optimal health benefits from coffee in the majority of people studied. A customer recently asked us if what we knew about this study.

Here are some things that may be helpful to keep in mind about coffee:

  • Coffee is a whole food. On any bag of coffee the ingredient list is simple: coffee.
  • Coffee comes from the seeds of berries. Coffee is a fruit juice. 
  • Coffee is the largest source of antioxidants in Canadians' diet. Coffee is a health drink.
  • Coffee has no calories (unless you add cream etc.).

Each cup of black coffee provides (percentage of recommended daily intake): 

6% of the RDA for Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5).
11% of the RDA for Riboflavin (Vitamin B2).
2% of the RDA for Niacin (B3) and Thiamine (B1).
3% of the RDA for Potassium and Manganese. 

These percentages are in addition to the antioxidants, caffeine, and polyphenols in coffee. The amount of these is hard to determine because they are effected by the variety and region of the coffee, the roasting process, and the brewing method for any given cup of coffee. It is clear from numerous studies that an average cup of coffee has more antioxidants than almost any other dietary source. Coffee is a superfood. 

Coffee drinkers can keep in mind:

  • No more than 400 miligrams of caffeine is recommended each day. An average cup has 80-100 mg (espresso is about 60 mg). 
  • A light roasted coffee (blonde) is higher in caffeine and antioxidants than a darker roast. It is also more flavourful. 
  • The caffeine effect in coffee wears off after 4-5 hours. Time your coffees well. 
  • Adding milk, cream, butter, syrup or sugar adds a high number of calories to a coffee but should not change its nutritional value. 

Having a coffee is usually a healthy choice. Enjoy coffee the way you might a health drink and then some. You are more confined to how much caffeine you consume than the amount of coffee you take in. Coffee is good for us, but a good night sleep is even better.

 


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