One of my favorite questions that I am asked when I mention to someone that I study nutrition is, “I drink a lot of coffee, is that bad for me?” I feel like there has always been at least some controversy about coffee consumption, and while there are always two sides to every story and everyone has their own opinion, I decided to do some research and see what the scientists have to say about our morning friend, coffee.
According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, up to 3-5 8oz cups of coffee per day can be incorporated into a healthy diet. For espresso and other forms of caffeine drinkers (this does not include canned/bottles/jarred energy drinks containing additives), up to 400mg per day of caffeine is the healthy limit. These guidelines also confirm that staying within this amount of coffee consumption does not have any link with increasing risk of major chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease or premature death.
Like most things, it is suggested that coffee is consumed in moderation to avoid any potential harm and obtain its benefits. In fact, black coffee contains a number of micronutrients, according to coffeeandhealth.org. There is about 92mg of potassium per 100ml of coffee, 8mg of magnesium and low in sodium. From the same source, studies have shown that coffee is about 95% water and when consumed moderately, does not lead to dehydration.
On average, one cup of brewed, black coffee contains about 2 calories. When cream, whole milk, sugar and sweeteners are added to coffee, calories and risk increases, turning coffee into a potentially harmful substance. A study between NIH’s National Cancer Institute and AARP.org showed that regular moderate coffee drinkers were less likely to die from heart disease, stroke, diabetes and infections. According to americanpregnancy.org, consumption of 150 mg – 300 mg of caffeine per day does not negatively affect pregnancy. With all of this being said, research is still being done, everyone is different and not everyone metabolizes the same, therefore it is important to only consume what your body is comfortable with and no one is encouraged to start drinking coffee if they currently do not.
So for those of us who do choose to drink coffee, where are some sustainable places to purchase a cup of java on the Seacoast? Here are a few of my favorite spots:
-White Heron Café (Portsmouth, NH): Serves organic, fair trade coffee and teas, uses compostable containers, provides a bright and cheery environment and yes, you can find these lovely people at our Winter Farmer’s Market! More info at: http://www.whiteherontea.com
-Adelle’s Coffee House (Dover, NH): Serves coffee from Seacoast Coffee Company, an artisan roaster out of Maine providing an array of fair trade and organic blends. Adelle’s strives to source and produce locally, composts and recycles; “contributing less than 20% of their waist to landfill.” More info at: http://www.adellescoffeehouse.com and http://seacoastcoffee.com
-Beach Pea Baking co. (Kittery, Maine): A Maine Made café aspiring to source as locally as possible. Check out their site for the list of vendors! More info at: https://www.beachpeabaking.com
-Freedom Café (Durham, NH): This non-profit café is directed to end human trafficking and commercial exploitation of all humans through seeking fair trade products and opening up their space to any person, group or organization who are also seeking a slave-free world. More info at:http://www.thefreedomcafe.org
-45 Market Street Bakery and Café (Somersworth, NH): A quaint café using local and fresh ingredients and serving locally roasted coffee that you can also find at the Winter Farmer’s Market! More info at: https://www.facebook.com/FORTY-FIVE-MARKET-STREET-BAKERY-and-CAFE-377309784273
– New Hampshire Coffee Roasting Company (Dover, NH): This operation has an outlet in Dover where they do direct sales as well as roast coffee for wholesale accounts. Their coffee can be found across the Seacoast at various retailers. This roaster has a line of sustainably harvested, fair trade coffees.