The health benefits of coffee and wine

According to Consumer Reports, about 61% of Americans are regular coffee drinkers, and about 31% prefer drinking wine over other alcoholic drinks. Although this may only sound like good news to the coffee and wine industries, regularly drinking these two beverages can actually improve your health more than you may realize.

Numerous studies done on the effects of these two drinks have revealed that when consumed in moderation, coffee and wine can boost your blood flow, reduce the risk of depression, and increase your lifespan. While many Americans are quick to reach for a pill to solve problems, they may just need a cup of coffee every morning and a glass of wine every night.

5284063240_2e52205a29_zImage source: flickr/Paul Scott

Antioxidants are the main reason that both coffee and wine are great for your body. Antioxidants help your body at the cellular level by removing dangerous toxins which can damage cells. They will also then give your immune system a boost which will help improve your overall health.

Coffee not only helps give you more energy and keeps you alert. It also has been shown to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Wine, on the other hand, has a number of benefits for your heart, including the lowering of cholesterol and reducing your risk of heart attacks and strokes.

From a financial perspective, you can’t go wrong with adding some coffee and wine to your diet, especially when you consider that Americans spent around $18.7 billion on cholesterol-lowering medications in 2010 alone. Plus, by brewing your own coffee, you can save an estimated $500 every year.

The risks

Even with proven benefits, there are still some drawbacks. Coffee has been known to aggravate acid reflux and can intensify symptoms of insomnia and anxiety disorders, particularly in women. Drinking two to three cups of coffee per day may contribute to bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis in older women. Too much red wine can cause weight gain and also leads to dehydration; and cancer has been found to be more prevalent among individuals who drink any amount of alcohol. 

So what is “in moderation” really?

“In moderation” may mean different things for different people, due to the fact that we each have a different height, weight and genetic makeup. If you have any health concerns that are further aggravated by either beverage, the best thing to do is to avoid it altogether. 

However on average, to stay within the safety zone for coffee, limit your coffee intake to no more than four cups per day, or 400 milligrams, according to the experts at Consumer Reports. For pregnant women, limit it to two cups, (200 milligrams), and for kids, no more than one cup (45 to 85 milligrams). (Then again, why would you want to give your little bundle of energy coffee?!) Keep in mind that this is a rough estimate: Different coffee beverages will have varied amounts of caffeine. 

As far as wine is concerned: If you’re healthy, the American Cancer Society recommends no more than one drink per day for women, and two for men.  The serving size as defined by “1 drink” is 5 ounces. It is not recommended for pregnant women to drink wine at all, and if you are at a high risk for cancer, be sure to talk to your doctor. 

While there are still a lot of things to consider as far as your health is concerned, the data shows that there may be modest benefits to drinking both coffee and wine. And as it goes with many things, moderation is key!




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