Two new studies on coffee and health just came out. The first shows that coffee lowers the risk of stroke in women by about 25%. That study was performed at the Karolinska Institute, where my wife Lana received her medical training. From experience, Swedes drink massive amounts of coffee, so it’s no wonder they wanted to test it! Important results are that 1 cup is as protective as 5 cups, and differences in risk are unchanged by smoking status, body mass index, history of diabetes, hypertension or alcohol consumption.
Translation: even if you’re fat and smoke like a chimney, coffee is still a good idea.
Harvard professor of nutrition and epidemiology identified a link between drinking any coffee and lowering diabetes risks, and others have found coffee may prevent gallstones, colon cancer, liver disease, and Parkinson’s disease. It’s such an effective performance enhancer that high levels of caffeine qualify as doping in some sports events.
Translation: coffee makes you healther and better than you were before.
But to get these benefits, be sure to drink high quality, low toxin coffee. Here is how to pick the best coffee with the most buzz and least side effects:
- Never use normal decaf. Ever. Caffeine protects the beans from more mold. You need it in your coffee or you shouldn’t drink it.
- Never choose robusta (cheap, instant) beans. These are moldier, which is why they are higher in caffeine too (as a defense against mold on the bush). Drink arabica.
- Insist on wet process beans. Many higher end African coffees use natural process, which means they dry the beans in the sun, giving them time to mold. Wet process coffee uses far less time and rinses the beans, making for lower-toxin coffee.
- Aim for Central American varieties grown at higher elevations where mold is scarce. (Bonus points if they’re blessed by shamans, one-armed monks, or picked by orphans…)
- Single estate is better than major brands. If it is sold by a national coffee house, its mixed with countless other sources, and you can guarantee that some toxic mold made it into the coffee.
- If you can’t find good beans, order an Americano because steam helps to break down the toxins.
The easier way is order online, of if you have a higher risk tolerance, go to your local independent coffee hangout, find the barista with the most tattoos and piercings, and say, “Give me the most expensive Central American, wet-process (or washed) beans you have please.”