Even though a warm cup of coffee can jump-start your day or provide an afternoon pick-me-up, this popular brewed beverage may also contribute to the depletion of some vital nutrients, such as thiamine and folic acid. Regulating your coffee intake and supplementing your diet with nutrient-rich foods may help offset the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that you may lose.
Coffee may deplete levels of B vitamins in your body, including thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. Ellen W. Cutler, in “The Food Allergy Cure: A New Solution to Food Cravings, Obesity, Depression, Headaches, Arthritis and Fatigue,” explains that the caffeine contained in coffee may interfere with your body’s ability to absorb B vitamins and may prompt the waste removal of these necessary nutrients.
B vitamins may contribute to a variety of critical body processes, from energy production to toxin elimination. Alan H. Pressman and Sheila Buff, in “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vitamins and Minerals,” explain that your body needs B vitamins to regulate nerve growth, manage mental and memory functions, convert food into energy and maintain cholesterol levels. You can find B vitamins naturally occurring in many meats, including seafood and poultry, as well as whole grains, legumes and dairy products.
With regular consumption, coffee may reduce quantities of the alkalizing mineral calcium in your body. Yuri Elkaim, in “Eating for Energy: Transforming Your Life Through Living Plant-based Whole Foods,” explains that the caffeine in coffee may contribute to the increased excretion of calcium. Caffeine may function, Elkaim says, as a diuretic and pull nutrients such as calcium from your body.
Decreased levels of calcium can lead to weakened bones, as well as other health problems. Pressman and Buff note that calcium contributes to heartbeat regulation, blood pressure management, muscle contractions, nerve communication and connective tissue construction. You can find calcium in a wide variety of foods, including many dairy products and some seafood, as well as almonds, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and spinach.
Even though coffee contains magnesium, coffee may also reduce magnesium levels in your body. Carolyn Dean, in “The Miracle of Magnesium,” explains that coffee’s diuretic properties may block the absorption of magnesium and enhance its excretion. She notes that a deficiency in magnesium can result in anxiety or depression-related symptoms, including fatigue, insomnia, apathy, confusion, nervousness and anger. Dean explains that magnesium supports the production of the “feel-good” brain chemical serotonin and helps to support adrenal gland health.
Magnesium also contributes to overall health by assisting with calcium absorption, and Pressman and Buff say that magnesium is necessary for heart health and blood pressure maintenance. You can find magnesium in fish, whole grains and legumes, as well as in nuts such as almonds and cashews and in many vegetables, including artichokes, broccoli, peas, spinach and squash.
- “The Food Allergy Cure: A New Solution to Food Cravings, Obesity, Depression, Headaches, Arthritis, and Fatigue”; Ellen W. Cutler; 2003
- “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vitamins and Minerals”; Alan H. Pressman, Sheila Buff; 2007
- “Eating for Energy: Transforming Your Life Through Living Plant-based Whole Foods”; Yuri Elkaim; 2008
- “The Miracle of Magnesium”; Carolyn Dean; 2003