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Is coffee good for you?

Just the right amount can improve our mood; too much may make us feel anxious and jittery. In moderation, coffee seems to be good for most people – that’s 3 to 5 cups, or up to 400 milligrams of caffeine.

More pros than cons

For years, coffee was believed to be a possible carcinogen, but the 2015 Dietary Guidelines helped to change perception. For the first time, moderate coffee drinking was included as part of a healthy diet. When researchers controlled for lifestyle factors, like how many heavy coffee drinkers also smoked, the data tipped in coffee’s favor.

A large 2017 review on coffee consumption and human health in the British Medical Journal also found that most of the time, coffee was associated with a benefit, rather than a harm. In examining more than 200 reviews of previous studies, the authors observed that moderate coffee drinkers had less cardiovascular disease, and premature death from all causes, including heart attacks and stroke, than those skipping the beverage.

However, coffee isn’t for everyone. There are concerns about overconsumption. This is especially true for expecting mothers because the safety of caffeine during pregnancy is unclear. While the research into coffee’s impact on health is ongoing, most of the work in this field is observational.

What about caffeine?

Espresso has the highest concentration of caffeine, packing about 70 milligrams into a one-ounce shot but is consumed in less quantities. By comparison, a typical 12-ounce serving of drip coffee has 200 milligrams of caffeine, more than instant’s 140. And, yes, brewed decaf has caffeine, too – 8 milligrams – which can add up.

But for some of us, knowing how much caffeine is in our coffee can be especially important. You’ve probably noticed it before.

Evidence suggests there can be a reliance on the drink, and tolerance builds over time. Withdrawal symptoms include a headache, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating and depressed mood.

Source: Gulf News

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