Benefits of Drinking Coffee

From a Dr Mercola article from today
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In this large study of nearly 50,000 men, researchers found men who drank six cups of coffee a day had a 60 percent lower risk of lethal prostate cancer, while those who drank three cups a day had a 30 percent lower risk. The benefits were thought to come from the non-caffeine components of coffee, which include multiple nutrients and flavonoid antioxidants.

Other studies, too, have shown a lower cancer risk among coffee drinkers. For instance, a Japanese study found that those who drank coffee daily, or close to it, had about half the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a type of liver cancer, than people who never drank coffee. Other research has also linked coffee with lower rates of:

Type 2 diabetes
Parkinson’s disease
Dementia
Heart rhythm problems
Stroke

Is Coffee Good for You?

I have previously said that coffee is better off avoided, but some new revelations have changed my stance on this somewhat.

In an interview I recently conducted with Ori Hofmekler, author of The Warrior Diet, The Anti-Estrogenic Diet, Maximum Muscle Minimum Fat — and a self-proclaimed coffee enthusiast who has researched coffee extensively — you can hear the details of why coffee may be of therapeutic benefit.

Please realize that the warnings against the use of caffeine are well-warranted, because in and of itself it can be quite toxic. However, like so many other natural substances, when it comes to the whole food, in this case the coffee bean as opposed to the isolated caffeine, the converse is oftentimes true.

For instance, recent research, which Ori has written about in his upcoming book, Unlocking the Muscle Gene, has shown that coffee, which can trigger glutamate reuptake inhibition, ALSO triggers a mechanism in your brain that releases a growth factor called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).

BDNF activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, and also expresses itself in your muscles. It does this by supporting the neuromotor, which is the most critical element in your muscle. Without the neuromotor, your muscle is like an engine without ignition… Neuro-motor degradation is part of the process that explains age-related muscle atrophy.

So in this respect caffeine from natural, whole coffee may help keep your brain and muscle tissue young.

There is also reason to believe that coffee could help curb your sugar cravings. One of the reasons why you get addicted to a food is because your brain has opioid receptors. They’re part of a primordial reward system that helps you detect, select and enjoy eating fresh foods over rancid ones.

Today, however, we live in a world of plenty, surrounded by processed foods that are typically loaded with sugar, which has led our addictive opioid receptors to become addicted to the wrong foods.

There are a few compounds called opioid receptor antagonists. That means once they occupy the receptors, they prohibit you from being addicted to something else. Coffee is an opioid receptor antagonist, meaning caffeine can bind to your opioid receptors and may attenuate the addictive impact of another substance. So, all in all, it appears coffee may have some valuable redeeming benefits, but there are some important caveats.

Be Careful and ONLY Consume Coffee this Way to Maximize Health Benefits

Most coffee produced today is heavily contaminated with pesticides. It’s actually one of the most heavily sprayed crops grown. So, any coffee you consume should be organic, pesticide-free coffee. You also want only high-quality coffee beans that have been properly dried and roasted, and you’ll want to grind them yourself to prevent rancidity.

Ori explains:

“Basically, if you have a quality coffee bean, even the roasted one, you get multiple nutrients and flavonoid antioxidants. You can detect the quality of the coffee by taste and smell … rancidity can be detected immediately. A coffee that doesn’t have a good aroma or taste is most likely stale and useless.”

Another important caveat is to drink your coffee black, without sugar or cream. Add sugar and you’ll certainly ruin any of the benefits discussed above by spiking your insulin and causing insulin resistance.

Finally, only drink coffee prior to exercise, not after.

When used before exercise, coffee will give you a good boost. However, it affects your muscles similarly to exercise itself. It increases the energy expenditure by your muscle while inhibiting the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) — the mechanism that increases protein synthesis in your muscle.

What that means is that coffee, similar to exercise, actually inhibits the inherent mechanism that builds your muscle, which is why you should avoid it after a workout. (You do not build muscle while exercising. Muscle building occurs afterward.)

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