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The new dietary guidelines for beverages recommend tea and coffee second only to water in healthfulness, but what about concerns that coffee might impair the function of our endothelium? While unfiltered coffee may raise cholesterol levels, paper filtered coffee and decaffeinated coffee doesn’t appear to; two cups a day might even increase the ability of our arteries to dilate. The same can be said about consumption of Greek (boiled) coffee. Coffee enemas as administered in a Gerson-style therapy might be of no help, though. Coffee also appears to decrease the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, Parkinson’s disease, chronic liver disease, and cancer. Unlike exposing chicken to high temperatures, roasting coffee does not seem to produce carcinogens, nor does not appear to build up benzene (unlike certain soft drinks). Although coffee has been shown to be beneficial to our health, tea is probably healthier. What about the caffeine? It may have some health-promoting properties, but pregnant women should limit their caffeine consumption. Coffee does not seem to speed up the cellular aging process, unlike fish and bacon.

Coffee consumption around one to two cups a day is not associated with a change in mortality rate.


Image Credit: Amanda Rae. This image has been modified.

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