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Is Espresso Good For You?

We all want to believe it, that that morning cuppa we grab on the way to work each day does our bodies good.

And it’s not just a hopeful fantasy. There’s solid evidence to prove drinking coffee, including espresso, is one of those super beneficial things we can do for our health.

In short: Yes! Espresso is good for you.

But how good it is for you can be broken down into three components.

1 – It’s coffee (and coffee is good for you).

2 – The caffeine and acid content.

3 – How you drink it.

First up –

It’s coffee (and coffee is good for you).

If one word captures the very real health benefits of coffee, it’s antioxidants.

(Yes, coffee contains some important minerals too, such as magnesium, but its real claim to fame is its antioxidants, which is has in more ample supply than most food and drink.)

It may be these antioxidants that explain the promising results of studies on coffee drinkers and different types of disease. (Though, in some instances, caffeine may also play a part.)

Whichever magic ingredient is doing the trick, studies have shown people who drink coffee have lower incidences of Type 2 diabetes, some cancers, heart rhythm disturbances, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes, and neurological issues, such as Parkinson’s and dementia.

Coffee is thought to help the body process sugar, to protect the liver, and even to strengthen DNA.

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Basically, coffee does good things for the body according to research, and espresso is just coffee made a different way.

The caffeine and acid content.

Ounce for ounce, espresso contains a lot of caffeine.

More than an equal amount of brewed coffee. And caffeine can be a problem.

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, which is how it puts more pep in your step and makes your mind feel clearer.

But it also increases your blood pressure and the amount of acid in your stomach.

For some people, these things can lead to symptoms, such as shakiness, headaches, dizziness, anxiety, high blood pressure, and insomnia (especially if you drink it too close to bed).

So, while a little caffeine can actually be beneficial (it’s been shown to improve brain function and even lower the risk of depression), too much of it can lead to health issues.

The easiest way to avoid these issues is to consume caffeine in moderation. (400 mg or less per day, which is the equivalent of about four to six single shots of espresso).

Plenty, unless you’re a Gilmore Girl.

How you drink it.

When it comes to health, the biggest problem with espresso isn’t the espresso itself, but the way most people drink espresso.

Flavored lattes are some of the most popular drinks at coffee shops, and these drinks are not good for you.

Here’s a WebMD article where a dietician states plainly that “Starbucks’ white chocolate mocha is a Quarter-Pounder in a cup.”

Yikes.

Even milk, which has its own health benefits, has been thought to block the antioxidants found in coffee/espresso in the past.

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Though growing research indicates this may not be the case, or at least not to the extent that makes milk a no-go in your coffee drinks.

But flavored syrups and sauces are no-gos.

If you drink your espresso in a flavored latte with 50 grams of sugar and 14 grams of fat, it’s not good for you no matter how many antioxidant-laden espresso shots it contains.

In short, espresso is good for you, but there’s nothing good for you about four pumps of liquid sugar with whipped cream on top.

Spread the word!

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