Over the years different foods become fads and the focus of research and we tend make changes to our diets as a result of the prevailing winds. Eggs are an example that comes to mind. For years eggs were the enemy because of their cholesterol level. We have since discovered that eggs are packed full of nutrition, they do not increase cholesterol, and they have not been linked to heart disease. Coffee is another example of receiving a bad rap. Twenty five years ago the World Health Organization (WHO) classified coffee as a possible carcinogen leading to bladder cancer. In 2016, in a rare move, the WHO reversed their position and announced that coffee may actually prevent cancer.
There are many health benefits of coffee, however keep in mind this is based on moderate consumption, roughly 3-4 cups or 400mg of caffeine per day. While there are conflicting conclusions from numerous studies it is recommended that pregnant women limit their caffeine to 200mg/day (2 - 6 oz. cups).
Health benefits of coffee:
1. Lower risk for Type II diabetes
2. Improved energy levels and physical performance
3. May protect from Alzheimers disease and dementia
4. May lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease
5. Protective effects on the liver
6. Fights depression
7. Lowers risk for some types of cancer
8. May lower risk for stroke
9. Source of antioxidants and essential nutrients
In the last several years there have been some new twists on how to brew or drink your coffee. Each of these processes have their own claim to enhanced benefits.
Bulletproof coffee: Black coffee with grass-fed butter and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT Oil)
Bullet proof coffee was developed by Dave Asprey. It is a great way to get healthy fats for improved cognitive function and support for your hormonal system. Grass-fed butter provides a good ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 that is similar to the healthy breakdown of fatty fish. MCTs are a type of fat that require less energy and enzymes to be digested. MCT oils may also induce mild fat loss over time. While this recipe can boost energy and alertness, keep in mind that it is high in calories and that you will need to replace some food or another caloric beverage in your diet to account for the increase in calories.
Cold-brew coffee: Coffee steeped in water in a cold setting for 12 hours or more
Cold-brew coffee is another interesting option for coffee drinkers. There are continued debates if cold-brew coffee is better than traditional brewed coffee. The greatest benefit is that cold-brew is less acidic. Those who experience stomach upset with drinking hot brewed coffee may be able to drink cold-brew. Cold-brew is said to be smoother and maintain more flavor and aromatic compounds. Some sites suggest that cold-brew has more caffeine due to the length of time the coffee steeps.
We will no doubt continue to see food fads come and go and we will continue to adopt some foods/drinks and marginalize others.