The Coffee Controversy: How Java Affects Aging and Health

The Coffee Controversy: How Java Affects Aging and Health

By: Neel Duggal

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The relationship between coffee and health has been steeped in scientific controversy for years. Scientists used to think that coffee was just a short-term boost in energy with long-term health consequences. But, recent research indicates that not only is coffee safe to drink, it can actually help you fight aging, possibly lower blood sugar and support a healthy liver.

Below, we’ll straighten out all the research for you and outline how you can use blood data and recommendations to get the biggest boost from your daily cup of Joe.

The Origins of Coffee

Whether you call it Java, cuppa Joe, or Morning Brew, one thing is true: coffee is everywhere. It fills cups at breakfast to give millions of people across the world the jolt of energy they need to start the day. So what’s the real story behind this omnipresent drink?

Coffee is prepared by roasting and brewing coffee beans. Interestingly, these aren’t actual beans – they are seeds from the berries of the Coffea plant, which has its origins in subtropical Africa and South Asia. The two most commonly prepared coffee plants are the more refined Arabica and the earthy, strong robusta.

The first documented use of coffee is in the Sufi Shrines of Yemen and in Medieval Ethopia during the 15th century. This makes it relatively “newer” that its main competitor, tea, which traces its origins back to thousands of years earlier. By the end of the 16th century, coffee was widely consumed all throughout the Islamic world. In 1615, Italian merchants introduced coffee to Europe and it eventually caught on like wildfire in the Western world. It was cheaper than tea, more caffeinated than chocolate, stimulated liveliness and humor but didn’t leave people with a hangover like wine. You can learn more about coffee’s interesting history by visiting the James Ford Bell Library website (University of Minnesota).

Even though tea had a few thousand years of a head start on coffee, they are now both the two most widely-consumed beverages, after water. About 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide per day. 3 According to the International Coffee Association, Finland has the highest coffee consumption per person; the average person there buys 22 pounds of coffee per year. The National Coffee Association pegs the United States is the overall biggest consumer of cup of Joe, however. About 54% of Americans ages 18 and older drink coffee at least once a day. The average American adults drinks 3.1 cups of coffee per day, which adds up to a total of 66 billion cups per year!

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