Updated: Oct 14, 2020
Coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world. Many cannot imagine the thought of a morning without coffee. Lets talk about this beloved drink and whether or not its something that has a rightful place in our diet.
Among foods and drinks in the Western diet, coffee exemplifies the number one source of antioxidants consumed. In fact, coffee is rich in polyphenols and beneficial plant compounds. The antioxidants present in coffee protect our cells against free radical damage. Coffee can help with circulation in the body, aids in proper blood flow and is very healthful to the liver. The caffeine can have stimulant effects and is known to help focus the mind and provide energy. Due to these benefits, I'd say for a lot of people coffee can be a good option provided that a few key elements are involved.
For one thing, organic coffee is going to be imperative to maximize its benefits. Coffee plants are some of the most sprayed plants among all crops. This means that they are exposed to pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and toxic chemicals that can then enter the human body and exert devastating consequences internally. Additionally, most non-organic coffee beans can have high levels of mold toxins that can contribute to candidiasis issues in the gut.
My recommendation for most people who drink coffee to consume 1-2 cups before noon. I've read reports that up to 5 cups per day can be okay. I tend to think this is a little out of moderation range personally and I think diversifying with maybe a green tea, kvass, switchel, etc. can lead to better diversity as far as beverage consumption. I say before noon due to the fact that the caffeine in coffee can stay in the system for about 10-12 hours. This can affect circadian rhythms, melatonin production and ultimately sleep when consumed in the afternoon and evening. If consumed in the evening, the caffeine and fluid volume can compound to make it more difficult to get restful sleep.
I'm a proponent of drinking coffee black. This offers the most antioxidants and isn't adulterated with sugar and cream. The sugars and dairy-based creams can lead to inflammatory spikes in the body and be tougher on the gut to process properly. In fact refined sugars and conventional dairy are two of the top contributors to leaky gut and subsequent autoimmune conditions in the body. If you absolutely feel like you need to sweeten it up, perhaps a couple drops of an organic, quality green leaf stevia can be okay.
I recommend avoiding cream, sugar and additives and just drinking coffee black.
Those with adrenal fatigue issues I'd recommend holding off on coffee or at least really reducing intake or going decaf. Adrenal fatigue can be exacerbated with the caffeine especially and can further cause burnout issues of the adrenals. This can further impair proper endocrine health and hormonal output. This can even lead to a stronger stress response that can create panic issues and excessive anxiety.
For most people, organic, black coffee in moderation consumed before noon can be a healthful integration into the overall diet. The antioxidants especially are high and this helps to neutralize those cancer-causing unstable free radicals in the body.
Dr. Seamus Allen
CFMP, DACBN, DC