About 100 million Americans drink at least one cup of coffee of every day.
But is coffee good for us? Since humans starting roasting beans and brewing coffee, it has been blamed for a variety of evils — from stunting growth to causing cancer and heart disease. So you may be surprised to learn that the research comes down firmly on the side of good.
The World Health Organization recently announced that regular coffee consumption may protect against both uterine and liver cancer, while also concluding that there was no evidence that coffee caused other kinds of cancers. And in recent years, other research has shown coffee is actually beneficial for our hearts and our brains.
Now to be clear, all the research focused on plain, black coffee. Not coffee with cream, not coffee with sugar. And certainly not the flavored confections from Starbucks or McDonald’s.
Black coffee has hundreds of ingredients, some of them naturally occurring and others the result of roasting.
Prime among coffee’s beneficial ingredients are healthy antioxidants, known as phytochemicals, which have anti-inflammatory qualities, can protect against heart disease and diabetes, and help repair damage to cells.
Caffeine, on the other hand, has both good and bad qualities. It’s a stimulant, which means it can help us with concentration and alertness. But it also has addictive qualities, and may contribute to insomnia, increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure.
Medical experts recommend limiting daily consumption to no more than five cups per day — or 400 milligrams of caffeine.
For our part, we love how great a good cup of coffee tastes with one of our bars.
Bottom line: if you’re not a coffee drinker, there are lots of other easy ways to add antioxidants to your diet including eating more fruits and vegetables. If you are a coffee drinker, there’s no evidence to suggest you should stop, especially if you’re limiting your intake. So sit back and relax with a cup of coffee and a Step One Foods cranberry or chocolate bar.