TODAY'S DOSE OF POSITIVE HEALTH
“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons." T.S. Eliot
Since coffee has long had a reputation for being unhealthy, many people, particularly with heart disease, have been advised to avoid it. Looking at the research, however, the potential benefits of drinking coffee are surprisingly large.
One of the biggest meta-analyses of 36 studies published last year have shown that people who consumed about three to five cups of coffee a day were at the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease and those who had more than five cups a day had no higher risk than people who didn’t drink coffee at all.
The combined data involved more than 1,270,000 participants from all over the world. It is important to mention that research on coffee refers exclusively to black coffee. All kind of variations like caramel, vanilla or white chocolate mocha are high in calories and excluded from research protocols.
Another meta-analysis of eleven studies was looking at how coffee might be associated with heart failure. The results were consistent, showing that moderate coffee consumption is linked to a lower risk of heart failure, with the lowest risk among people who consumed four cups a day.
The studies haven’t suggested that drinking coffee improves our health. They have proven, however, that moderate amounts of coffee lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, depression, and inflammation.
In the last few years, some individual studies have found that drinking coffee may be associated with an increased risk of cancer. Researchers decided to investigate further and published results of a large meta-analysis in 2007. It turned out that increased coffee consumption by two cups a day lowered the risk of a liver cancer by more than 40%. These findings were confirmed in two more recent studies.
More high-quality studies were published last year looking at prostate cancer and breast cancer. The data from meta-analyses focused on prostate cancer found that drinking coffee wasn't associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer, and there was no significant association for breast cancer either. The results on lung cancer did show an increased risk of cancer for coffee consumers, but that’s only among smokers.
Two years ago a few prospective studies were looking at how coffee might be associated with stroke. Almost 480,000 participants were observed over the period of 24 months. The data showed that drinking two to six cups of coffee a day was linked to a lower risk of stroke compared with people who didn’t drink at all.
Drinking coffee is also related to a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. A few large earlier studies suggested that people with the highest level of coffee consumption have approximately 30% the risk of diabetes compared with those with the lowest levels of consumption. The updated study, published in 2014, included more than 1.1 million people. Once again, the data confirmed that the more coffee we drink, the lower the risk of diabetes (the upper limit was 8 cups a day including both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee). Considering that by 2025, the number of people affected by type 2 diabetes may increase by 65% to reach more than 400 million individuals worldwide, drinking coffee may indeed contribute to our positive health.
The most recent meta-analyses from Harvard University on mental disorders showed that coffee intake reduces the risk of depression by 20% and the risk of suicide by 53%. Drinking coffee was also associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease and a potential protective effect against the Alzheimer’s disease.
Does coffee lower the risk of all-cause mortality? Yes, the data shows that it does. Several studies have found that drinking coffee is associated with a significantly reduced risk of death. The largest study in this field published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2012 enroled 402,260 people over the age of 50 and followed them for twelve years. The study has shown that drinking coffee is associated with a lower mortality both in people with very good or excellent health and those with poor or fair health.
So, what does make coffee so health friendly? The number one reason why coffee is good for our health is that it acts as a powerful antioxidant. Coffee consists of more than a thousand different bioactive chemicals, most of which are formed during the roasting process. Although many of the compounds remain undiscovered, some of them, including caffeine, are well known, for example, the diterpenes cafestol and kahweol found in the oil.
The studies haven’t suggested that we drink excessively to avoid illness. Moderation is key - the ideal amount of coffee seems to be about four to five cups a day and drinking six or more cups a day provides no additional benefit. Finally, all the studies refer to pure black coffee, with no milk, added sugar, artificial sweeteners or extras.
Coffee keeps us happier and healthier. It's a reasonable addition to our healthy diet, with more benefits proven in research than almost any other beverage in the world.
The Science Based Reasons to Drink Coffee
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the Present Moment
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WEEK 7 - The Philanthropist
Create, Contribute,Thrive and Flourish
In today's class you will learn:
1. The evidence-based scientific reasons to drink coffee
2. How many cups of coffee a day is too much
3. What kind of coffee is good for your health
When you finish today's class, click the golden button below and take another extra small action!
Be in the Now
Positive Health Principle #48
YOUR WEEKLY SESSION
Get ready for your weekly session.
In your sixth session you will explore how to express yourself in service to others and set the following intentions:
1. Trust Your Self
2. Use your personality and self-expression in service to the world
Answer the questions in the Self-Trust Worksheet (download No1), and go through the exercises (download No2) before your next session. Evaluate your session in the Self-Evaluation Worksheet (download No3).
1. Please make sure that you choose a convenient time and a quiet place for your Skype conversations.
2. Let the members of your household know when you need time for yourself, so you are not being interrupted.
3. Check your wifi connection and show up on time.
4. If you are unable to attend, you can still reschedule within the next few days before the Monday of the following week, if your guide has a free time slot.
5. Your one-to-one sessions are an integral part of the Grace School curriculum. It is, therefore, fundamental that each session is in synchrony with the weekly Grace School module.
YOUR WEEKLY DOWNLOADS
All files attached below have been created to support and enhance your learning experience.
These are available for download for the next 7 days. Please make sure that you create your account to answer the questions in the Self-Trust Worksheet (No1), and do the exercises (No2) before your next session.
Use the Self-Evaluation Worksheet (No3) after your session. At the end of the week reflect on your experiences and challenges. Summarise your week with the Self-Reflection Worksheet (No4).
Your WEEK 7 Downloads:
1. Self-Trust Worksheet - identify how much you can trust yourself (approx. time 10 minutes)
2. Exercise Worksheet - do the exercises before your next session (approx time 10 minutes)
3. Self-Evaluation Worksheet - evaluate your session and learn from your experience (approx time 10-15 minutes)
4. Self-Reflection Worksheet - at the end of the week reflect on your experiences and challenges (approx time 10-20 minutes)