1. Coffee sets off a chain reaction in the body that stresses the adrenals. The acid- based oil in coffee irritates the lining of the stomach and increases gastric acidity. That sparks the secretion of adrenaline by the body. Adrenaline stimulates insulin secretion, which fuels hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). The end results are tension, a mild rise in blood pressure, a craving for sweets 2 or 3 hours later, low energy and a depressed mood.
2. Coffee counteracts different medications. When our blood sugar drops, the body ups the production of epinephrine—which counteracts the medications typically prescribed for people suffering from pain, obesity, hypertension or depression.
3. Coffee causes nutritional deficiencies. Heavy coffee drinkers have a deficiency of the B1 vitamin thiamine. Symptoms of B1 deficiency range from fatigue, nervousness and malaise to aches, pains and headaches. In addition, regular consumption of coffee prevents nutrients from being absorbed effectively in your small intestines, which leads to further vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
4. Pesticides in coffee are toxic to the body. Coffee growers in Colombia—where a vast amount of our coffee comes from—often use harmful pesticides when growing their beans, such as aldrin, dieldrin, chlordane and heptachlor. Some scientists speculate that coffee beans are the most significant source of these toxins in U.S. diets.
5. Long-term coffee consumption taxes the liver, increasing toxicity in the body and opening the door to disease. The function of the liver is to filter the blood so that it can clean and nourish the cells in our body. When the liver gets overloaded trying to detoxify chemical residues in coffee (and the foods and other substances we bring into our bodies), it becomes congested. And when the liver is congested, it doesn’t properly filter the blood. Impure blood ends up circulating through the body, impeding cells’ ability to regenerate and
grow healthy tissue.
Unfortunately, drinking decaffeinated coffee isn’t any better than drinking regular coffee, because it can contain large concentrations of trichloroethylene — a chemical that’s also used as a degreasing agent in the metal industry and a solvent and dry-cleaning agent in the clothing industry. Trichloroethylene is also related to vinyl chloride, a chemical in plastic that’s been linked to certain types of liver cancer.
If you can’t fathom getting through the day without that coffee taste, try herbal drinks with chicory, which has the flavor you love without the harmful side effects. If you need a pick-me-up to start the day, give yerba mate a try. It has effective stimulants but doesn’t produce as many of the negative health effects that caffeine does. An even better, more healthful, option is herbal tea. Herbal teas seem weak to you? Pump them up by using two or three tea bags per cup of tea and letting them steep for a longer period of time. Add a bit of nut milk if you’d like to drink them latte-style.