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Coffee: Good and Green

Coffee: Good and Green

It’s such good news. Last week The New York Times published an article debunking every myth about coffee that has had me covertly wincing with my daily second cup of beloved joe. I love coffee, as in head over heels, light of my life, can’t live without.

Although coffee’s high level of antioxidants has given it a boost in the PR department lately, there have still been those lingering whispers of “heart disease, hypertension, cancer, bone loss”–yikes. So in a broad gesture of denial, I have celebrated the antioxidants and dismissed the rest. Now the time has come for some whole-hearted embracing. Here’s the dish, as reported in The Times:

An analysis of 10 studies of more than 400,000 people found no increase in heart disease among daily coffee drinkers, whether their coffee came with caffeine or not.

A study of 155,000 nurses, women who drank coffee with or without caffeine for a decade were no more likely to develop hypertension than non-coffee drinkers.

An international review of 66 studies last year, scientists found coffee drinking had little if any effect on the risk of developing pancreatic or kidney cancer

Coffee and tea drinkers who consume the currently recommended amount of calcium need not worry about caffeine’s effect on their bones.

Like I said, such good news, and it gets even better when the story turns to health benefits, yes benefits. Decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease and Type 2 diabetes, improved memory and ability to perform complex tasks, and enhanced aerobic endurance. Maybe the best news, which is really just old news to me, was the report of “an improved sense of well-being, happiness, energy, alertness and sociability.” No wonder that second cup has me swooning, now without that little tug of “but should I?”

How to Brew the Greatest Greenest Cup
Coffee enthusiasts swear by the press pot, aka the French Press, popularized in the United States by Bodum. Press pot brewing retains more of coffee’s flavor and essential oils that might otherwise be filtered out by a paper filter. In terms of energy efficiency, the manual press pot requires only the energy to heat the water (an electric kettle is most efficient). Americans spend $400 million annually on electricity for their coffeemakers–press pots, virtually nothing. For a detailed tutorial on how to brew the best press pot coffee, let the The Coffee Geek show you how.

When selecting your coffee, opt for Fair Trade, organic, or shade grown–coffees farmed with these farmer and planet-friendly systems are becoming increasingly available in the mainstream marketplace.

Read the full New York Times here.

And read Dr. Brent’s response to the question, Does Coffee Cause Ulcers?

Read more: All recipes, Conscious Consumer, Drinks, Eating for Health, Food, , , ,

By Melissa Breyer, Senior Editor, Care2 Healthy and Green Living

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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2:32PM PDT on Oct 10, 2015

Thank you Melissa.

11:33AM PDT on Aug 3, 2012


6:21AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

Thanks for the scoop.

4:58AM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

Thanks for the info.

9:27PM PDT on Aug 4, 2011

Great article. Thanks for sharing.

6:03AM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

Thanks for the article.

4:16AM PDT on Oct 2, 2010

It's always good if it's green:-)

8:33AM PDT on Sep 20, 2010

Anything is fine in moderation, but if you're sensitive to caffeine (e.g, you feel nervous, restless, unsettled, irritable, emotional, anxious, shaky, or have diarrhea shortly after drinking coffee or black tea) try either green tea or white tea. White tea in particular has only a tiny amount of caffeine, so it's easily tolerated by even the most sensitive. I recommend Rishi Organic (they have a website and you can also get Rishi at Whole Foods Market). White tea contains the amino acid Theanine, which research suggests has a calming effect without making you sleepy. Green and white tea are both loaded with antioxidants and health benefits such as antiaging, anticancer, antiviral/bacterial, healthy immune system, strong teeth and gums, and even fresher breath.

4:41AM PDT on Jun 11, 2010

Thank for all...
I hope that you will drink tea too...;)

6:25AM PDT on Apr 30, 2010

I drink one large cup of homemade coffee a day. Sometimes its fair trade, sometimes its organic, its always double roast.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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