See if you can identify the beverage I’m talking about by a few facts:
- There are more than 38 ways to make it.
- 65% of American drink it with breakfast.
- 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink it every day.
- People drink an average of 28 ounces of it each day.
- Americans spend about $40 billion on it annually.1
- Men who drink it regularly have a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
- Drinking it helps protect women from endometrial cancer.
Read on to discover more about the specifics of these last two facts, and how you can make this drink work for you…
Continued below. . .
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Did you guess the mystery drink is coffee? I probably gave it away by telling you people drink it for breakfast…
Recent studies show that coffee can help prevent cancer in both men and women… welcome news to coffee drinkers everywhere.
Coffee consumption and endometrial cancer
Studies show coffee can be effective against cancers that are directly related to obesity, estrogen and insulin resistance, like endometrial cancer. As you may know, insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes and many other medical problems.
Endometrial cancer begins in the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium. It’s caused by too much estrogen compared to progesterone, which can happen when a woman is overweight and insulin resistant.
Too much insulin stimulates the body to produce too much estrogen.2 The hormone imbalance causes the endometrium to grow ever thicker, which can eventually produce cancer cells.
Researchers in Norway studied the 97,926 postmenopausal women in the Norwegian Women and Cancer (NOWAC) Study to determine the connection between coffee consumption and endometrial cancer risk.
They followed these women for nearly 11 years and discovered a significant risk reduction among women who drank eight or more cups of coffee per day, especially in those who were overweight.3 This even held true for current smokers.
Note that in Europe coffee is generally consumed in two to four ounce cups rather than the 8, 12 or 16 ounce cups we’re used to in the States. Eight cups per day in Norway is more or less equivalent to the average amount of coffee Americans drink each day.
Researchers in China performed a meta-analysis of 13 published articles that covered 1,534,039 participants in endometrial cancer studies. In the data they discovered a linear relationship between coffee consumption and a decreased risk of endometrial cancer.
For every one cup of caffeinated coffee consumed daily the risk decreased 7%. For every one cup of decaf coffee consumed the risk decreased by 4%.4
There are many other studies to support the theory that increased coffee consumption correlates to reduced endometrial cancer risk. Coffee has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which may be the key to its success in this case.5
Italian-style coffee can protect against prostate cancer
A study performed in Italy tested the effects of Italian-style coffee on the risk of prostate cancer. Italian-style coffee can be espresso, made under high pressure, or it can be made from a gentler method (see below for details).
The study, published in the April 2017 issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, followed 6,989 men aged 50 or older for four years. Using questionnaires and two kinds of human prostate cancer cell lines, the researchers discovered that men who drank three or more cups of caffeinated coffee daily had a 53% lower risk of prostate cancer than men who drank the least amount of coffee.
The researchers concluded it was the caffeine in coffee that slowed the spreading and metastasis of the prostate cancer cell lines.6
However, researchers who conducted an earlier study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, had a different view. They “observed a strong inverse association between coffee consumption and risk of lethal prostate cancer. The association appears to be related to non-caffeine components of coffee.”
These components include biologically active compounds like “phenolic acids, that have potent antioxidant activity and can affect glucose metabolism and sex hormone levels.”7
While coffee is most often associated with caffeine, it does in fact have a lot of antioxidants. One study found that a double espresso coffee (Italian-style) had the highest antioxidant value of all prepared beverages in the study, which included a total of 283 beverages. The espresso drink had more antioxidants than red wine, pomegranate juice, green tea, grape juice, prune juice and black tea.8
Best ways to get your coffee fix
To get the cancer-fighting benefits of coffee, it’s best to stick with black coffee or coffee with a small amount of organic milk or cream. If possible, omit sugar.
You don’t have to spend a fortune at your local coffee shop to get great Italian-style coffee. You don’t even need a fancy espresso machine.
To make Italian-style coffee at home, all you need is a moka pot (sometimes called a stovetop espresso maker or “machinetta”).
This is a two-chamber, stovetop coffee pot that resembles an hourglass. It makes a version of boiled coffee, similar to the coffee an old-fashioned percolator makes. It’s ubiquitous in Italian kitchens.
You fill the bottom with water, put coarse-ground coffee in the metal basket filter, screw the top on and heat the unit over low heat. The heat forces the water up through the filter where the coffee is ready in the top of the pot.
Italian-style coffee has a robust flavor, so it may take a little while to get used to it. If it’s too strong as is, add some organic milk or cream.
Drip coffee pots
If you don’t want to part with your drip coffee pot in favor of Italian-style coffee, that’s fine. Just be sure to use unbleached paper filters. Bleached paper can leach chemicals into your brew.
Better yet, use a permanent filter made of metal mesh. Paper filters absorb a lot of coffee’s oils, which house the cancer-fighting power. With the metal filter, you’ll have more flavorful, beneficial oils in your cup each morning.
Gold coffee filters are said to be the best. They’re readily available on the Internet.
Organic coffee is key
Because coffee is one of the most widely traded commodities in the world, large growers have been known to cut costs and boost production with generous doses of pesticides and other environmentally unfriendly practices.
They’ll use hybrid plants developed to grow in full sun because they’re easier to manage and can be planted more densely than non-hybrid varieties that prefer shade. This leads to clear cutting of forests, loss of animal habitat and rapid soil erosion.9
For these reasons, I recommend you always purchase organic coffee.
What kind of coffee to AVOID at all costs
If you’re a regular at the corner cafe, skip espresso-based drinks like cookie-flavored mochas, caramel frappuccinos, and flavored lattes with whipped cream. These drinks hide loads of sugar—some as much as 43 grams in a small cup!10 —that can outweigh all the health benefits of the coffee itself.
When making coffee at home, never use those single-serve plastic pods. The plastic cups are not recyclable and can leach BPA and other chemicals into your coffee, making it toxic. That, and the coffee inside is usually conventionally grown.
Regular organic coffee, made using classic drip or percolating methods, will have the most positive impact on your health.