The average American consumes about 10 pounds of coffee each year, whether it’s a hot summer day or a frosty winter night. The most appealing thing about coffee is its taste. Those who don’t like the flavor of plain coffee simply have to add chocolate, cream, milk, and other enhancers to suit their preference.
Many say that they can’t start their day without drinking at least a cup of coffee, not knowing or simply ignoring the fact that the world’s favorite beverage is not a health-promoting drink and should not be regularly consumed.
Here are Dr. Joseph Mercola’s top reasons why you should ditch coffee:
1. Coffee has ZERO nutritional value.
Coffee does not contain any vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Those who promote the health benefits of coffee will argue that it contains antioxidants but whatever benefits it may provide are cancelled out by the numerous dangers to your health.
2. Coffee contains a lot of caffeine.
Dr. Mercola believes that caffeine is a powerful drug which should be avoided or severely limited. Overconsumption of caffeine can lead to anxiety symptoms, depleted iron and calcium levels in women, heart palpitations, increased blood pressure and stress hormone levels, insomnia, and a sensation of nervousness or jitters.
3. Coffee increases your risk of rheumatoid arthritis and stroke.
A study showed that drinking three cups of coffee a day could increase the risk of thromboembolic stroke in older men who have high blood pressure. People who drank four or more cups of coffee on a daily basis doubled their risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis compared to those who drank less coffee.
4. Coffee increases your risk of osteoporosis.
Coffee stimulates your adrenal hormones, which activate your fight or flight response.
Your adrenals may burn out when stimulated too often and your body will turn to progesterone as a replacement hormone, Dr. Mercola explains.
Progesterone keeps your body’s estrogen in check and when it is used up to compensate for your adrenals, you increase your risk of becoming estrogen dominant, which can lead to osteoporosis.
Coffee also increases the acidity level of your blood. This causes calcium to be pulled from your bones and teeth to be used as a buffering agent. The combination of estrogen dominance
and high blood acidity further increases your osteoporosis risk.
5. Coffee impairs your body’s ability to use B vitamins.
Since caffeine is a strong stimulant, caffeine gives you an illusion of having more energy but the truth is, too much coffee actually depletes your supply of B vitamins, which provide you with real energy. Coffee also interferes with your body’s ability to use folate and vitamins B12 and B6 – nutrients you need to maintain a healthy homocysteine level. Elevated homocysteine is associated with a a number of serious, even life-threatening conditions like heart disease and Parkinson’s disease.
6. Coffee is a heavily-sprayed crop.
Most of the coffee you drink is grown outside of the U.S., and the government has limited input and control over the type and quantity of pesticides used in the countries where it gets coffee imports, Dr. Mercola points out. Pesticides contribute to a wide range of health problems, including prostate cancer and other cancers, Parkinson’s disease, and even miscarriages.
7. Coffee is bad for expecting mothers.
Pregnant women should avoid caffeine entirely and those planning a pregnancy should ditch coffee before conceiving, Dr. Mercola warns. Studies show that over 300 mg of caffeine a day may increase a woman’s risk of miscarriage or spontaneous abortion, delivering a low birth weight baby, and having a child with certain birth defects like cleft palate.
Four or more cups of coffee a day may increase a baby’s risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)! Any caffeine consumed passes from the mother to the unborn child and is also transferred through breast milk. The body of an unborn child has no ability to detoxify the caffeine he or she is exposed to.
8. Coffee promotes fluid loss because it is a diuretic, a substance which impairs the body’s ability to use water.
Dr. Mercola recommends drinking tea as a healthy alternative to coffee. Many types of tea provide health benefits but the two that Dr. Mercola highly recommends and personally uses are Royal Matcha green tea and organic Tulsi tea.
Green tea is rich in EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), an antioxidant compound which helps fight cancer cells, protect your brain and liver from oxidation, improve digestion, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
On the other hand, Tulsi tea is derived from the herb Tulsi or Holy Basil, which has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries because of its health promoting properties. Tulsi is an excellent source of antioxidants and phytochemicals, which help support your immune system, promote healthy metabolism, and provide bone and joint support.