Gourmet Coffee - Good for Health

Coffee has gotten a bad reputation over the years. Between the negative attentions that it has garnered due to its caffeine content and a few misreported findings that hinted at health problems caused by drinking coffee, many people believe that coffee is not good for you.

The perception is that coffee is great for a pick-me-up but it can cause health problems down the road. Actually, not only is this generally untrue but drinking coffee has several health-related benefits. With the surge in popularity of gourmet coffees, it has been discovered that some of these gourmet roasts can actually have an even greater health benefit than standard coffee roasts.

Contrary to what was believed for many years, drinking coffee can actually be quite good for you, provided that it is done in moderation. Coffee beans tend to be quite high in antioxidants, and many gourmet coffees have even higher antioxidant content. Because gourmet coffees are usually more carefully roasted than standard coffees which will be powdered or freeze-dried, more of the oils that are rich in antioxidants will be preserved throughout the roasting process and make it in to your cup of coffee. These antioxidants have a variety of health benefits ranging from an improved immune system to healthier skin, teeth, and hair.

Though there are a number of artificial and non-dairy creamers available, many people still prefer to use milk, cream, or half-and-half for their coffee. Gourmet coffee shops tend to use real dairy products in lattes, cappuccinos, and other coffee drinks. By using real milk or dairy products instead of a non-dairy substitute you can gain the additional health benefits of milk and dairy when you have your coffee. This includes added calcium and fatty acids, with the calcium being good for your bones and joints and fatty acids helping to keep your brain healthy and your memory strong.

Various studies have found a number of health conditions that coffee can help to prevent. Some of the most prominent of these include serious health concerns such as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and even some types of skin cancer.

In addition to the preventative effect that antioxidant-rich coffee can have when it comes to these conditions, some studies have even shown that drinking coffee every day can help to slow the progression of some of these diseases if they are already present and may even help to make other treatment options function better. This is not to say that coffee alone will cure these serious conditions, but there is a lot of evidence which shows that it can at least have somewhat of a positive benefit when it comes to both prevention and treatment.

Another condition that gourmet coffee can help to prevent has been getting a lot of attention due to a study released in 2007. A link has been found which seems to suggest that drinking coffee daily can greatly reduce the damage which is done to the liver by alcohol and that it can either slow or prevent cirrhosis of the liver both due to alcohol consumption and other causes.

At first it was considered to simply be the caffeine contained in the coffee that caused this effect, but a similar prevention was not noted among tea drinkers or others who had similar caffeine intakes; though the specific ingredient in coffee which causes this benefit has not been identified, it is clear that it is a coffee-specific compound and is most likely one or a combination of the antioxidants contained in coffee oil. Since gourmet coffee tends to contain a higher amount of these antioxidants it is likely that it will provide exceptional protection against liver damage.

Despite all of the warnings that have been given over the years about how the caffeine in coffee can cause excess stress on the heart and higher blood pressure, newer research has shown just the opposite; it is believed that the caffeine in coffee combined with a number of antioxidants can actually help to prevent some types of heart disease.

These implications of are of special importance to the elderly, as the study showed that individuals over 65 who regularly drank coffee were at a significantly reduced risk of heart disease than others who drank decaf coffee or no coffee at all.

Similar to many other things, coffee should be consumed in moderation. Even with all of its health benefits, gourmet coffee can still cause problems if it is enjoyed in too large of quantities or too frequently. However, provided that you do not overdo it, coffee can be a great part of your daily routine and can give you a health boost that you were not expecting.

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About The Author, Stephanie Larkin