If your day starts with a cup of coffee and ends with a glass of wine, it can be a good thing.
If you have seen the headlines that promote the benefits that coffee and wine have for health and you are among 61% of Americans who drink a cup of coffee every day or among 31% of drinkers who prefer a glass of wine instead of other alcoholic beverages, you will be surprised to see how previous vices become virtues. But how good are these drinks for your health?
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Some research shows that the benefits of coffee and wine, when consumed in moderation, could be similar, for example in an increase in life time, improvements in blood flow and a decreased risk of depression. In addition, it was discovered that coffee and red wine contain antioxidants that could prevent diseases.
But these drinks are not just piles of antioxidants, that’s why they’re more attractive than a cabbage smoothie (at least for most of us). The question is what is the exact role of coffee and alcohol in improving our health.
According to a study of more than 38,000 men over 12 years, researchers at Harvard University found that people who consumed any type of alcohol in moderation (red or white wine, beer or spirits) had 30 35% less likely to have a heart attack than those who did not drink alcohol. Other studies have found a similar effect among women.
Drinking decaffeinated coffee may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, according to another study, which is attributed to caffeine that works in conjunction with a component of coffee to improve brain health. If you only drink decaffeinated, you will also get some benefits: research links coffee and decaffeinated coffee with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Still, not everything is rosy. In the short term, drinking normal and decaffeinated coffee can aggravate acid reflux. Decaffeinated versions can exacerbate the symptoms of anxiety and insomnia disorders, among other conditions, especially in women who, as they tend to be of a smaller size than men, also metabolize coffee more slowly.
Too much red wine can cause weight gain: a 5-ounce glass has 127 calories. Alcohol can dehydrate, which is the main reason for the discomfort of the next day: the raw or hangover. But drinking coffee moderately, contrary to what is believed, does not dehydrate you.
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In the long run, drinking the amount of caffeine in 2 to 3 cups of 8 ounces of freshly brewed coffee per day seems to increase bone loss which can lead to osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. And many types of cancer are more common in people who drink alcohol, regardless of the amount.
How much to drink
In the end, it all depends on you. Research shows that the benefits of coffee and wine for health are very different depending on how quickly your body’s genes metabolize those drinks. Until genetic testing becomes more common and you can identify your limits, the key is moderation and common sense
Also, if you are prone to a condition that worsens with one or both drinks, do not take it. If you take a medicine that could interact negatively with one of these drinks, do the same.
Coffee Guide: Data suggest that most healthy adults can safely consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine, which is the amount in 2 to 4 cups of freshly brewed coffee. Pregnant women should drink less than 200 milligrams; Children, no more than 45 to 85 milligrams. (A can of 12-ounce cola has about 35 to 40 milligrams of caffeine.)
According to the USDA, a 12-ounce cup of coffee filter has 140 milligrams of caffeine. However, the amount of caffeine in coffee may vary from cup to cup, depending on the time of processing, the size of the grind and other factors. For example, Pike Place’s roasted coffee at Starbucks has about 260 milligrams for every 12 ounces, while the same size of American coffee has about 150 milligrams.
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Guide for wine: Pregnant women should not drink alcohol. If you are at high risk for developing cancer, talk to your doctor about drinking alcohol. If you are generally healthy, the American Cancer Society does not recommend taking more than one daily drink for women and two for men.
A “drink” is considered a 5-ounce serving and the limit is per day, not weekly. So, forget about those big glasses of pinot noir and serve only a few ounces.