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Does Coffee Count as a Supplement?

If you are on a health journey, you are likely well aware of the things that you must cut out of your diet if you want to heal. You must say goodbye to processed foods, sugary beverages, and gluten. Regular consumption of alcohol and a daily dose of dairy need to be memories of the past. But what about coffee? 

If there’s one thing most people are unwilling to part with, it’s their morning cup of joe. Few things are more satisfying than the first sip of coffee each day. For many, it’s more than just a tasty beverage. It’s a ritual. Coffee is the beverage that brings people together. 

Sadly, there is a great deal of confusion around whether or not coffee is beneficial or harmful, especially for those with cardiac concerns. What if we told you that coffee is not only safe but, when enjoyed correctly, can actually serve as a daily nutritional supplement? 

How is coffee like a supplement?

Many people enjoy coffee for its taste and texture. Others appreciate the boost of energy derived from a cup of joe. For some, coffee is the perfect stress reducer. And yet a smaller subset of individuals drink coffee strictly for the health benefits. Yes, you read that right. Coffee has extraordinary health benefits. In fact, coffee can be consumed just as you would your daily vitamins. 

It’s no secret that we live in a stressful world. Psychological stress comes by way of financial woes, relationship dynamics, work-related problems, and lack of support, among others. In addition to emotional stress, the human body also experiences many physical stressors. Lack of sleep, exposure to toxins, lack of regular movement, and a poor diet all tax our bodies. 

Both types of stress create free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are unstable molecules that, when built up in the body, create damage. Left unchecked, free radicals destroy DNA, fatty tissues, and proteins, thus increasing the risk of disease. 

One way that our bodies fight off free radicals is through antioxidants. Sometimes referred to as “free-radical scavengers,” antioxidants help disarm free radicals and neutralize the damage they cause. 

The human body naturally produces some antioxidants, such as glutathione and alpha lipoic acid. However, most antioxidants make their way into the body through our food. Plants are packed with compounds called phytochemicals that have potent antioxidant properties. 

Of all staples in the American diet, coffee beans carry one of the highest levels of antioxidants. Scientists have discovered thousands of different kinds of antioxidants in coffee, making it one of nature’s best superfoods. Specifically, chlorogenic acid (CGA), an antioxidant found almost exclusively in coffee, has incredible health benefits. CGA combats free radicals, lowers inflammation, helps to regulate glucose levels, lowers blood pressure, and protects the heart and vascular system. 

Moreover, many people take supplements to try to improve their energy.  Coffee is a natural stimulant that temporarily boosts alertness and energy.  Drinking coffee before performing a cognitive task or exercising may benefit some people. 

In addition, coffee contains trace amounts of healthy micronutrients. For example, a single serving of coffee has close to 120 mg of potassium, 7.2 mg of magnesium, and trace amounts of phosphorus, manganese folate, choline, and sodium. Moreover, coffee is a source of B vitamins such as niacin and riboflavin. 

Therefore, you can rest easy knowing that your daily cup of coffee is working to fight oxidative stress in your body and provide a natural source of vitamins and minerals. 

Can I drink coffee if I have a heart condition? 

Many people wonder if they can drink coffee if they have a heart condition. After all, caffeine is a stimulant that can increase heart rate – something most cardiac patients hope to avoid. However, while each individual is different and must carefully listen to their body’s cues regarding coffee consumption, most people with cardiac disease can safely drink coffee. 

Just as with food, coffee can be medicine to the body. Recent medical research concludes that two to three cups of coffee daily benefits the heart and may even lengthen life. For example, a 2022 study of over 380,000 people found that individuals who drank two to three cups of coffee each day had a 10-15 percent lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, heart failure, arrhythmia, or dying for any reason. 

In another 2022 study, researchers concluded that coffee drinkers were not at higher risk of developing heart rhythm problems like AFib or atrial flutter. Moreover, those who began the study with AFib had a lower risk of death. For instance, AFib patients who drank a cup of coffee each day were nearly 20 percent less likely to die than those who refrained from coffee. 

In addition, some of the other health benefits of coffee include:

Downsides of coffee 

You’re probably ready to brew a fresh cup of coffee by now. However, sit tight just a bit longer. While coffee is a true superfood, we regret to inform you that the coffee you are drinking is not likely to be healthy. 

Not all coffee is created equal. In fact, most conventional coffee is downright toxic for the following reasons:

  1. Conventional coffee is doused in chemicals

Shielded from intense heat under the forest canopy, coffee beans prefer to grow in shady areas. The dark forest provides the coffee plant with moist soil and natural insect control to keep the plant happy and thriving. 

Worldwide coffee demand is so high that farmers have altered their practices, clearing large areas of land to produce more crops. As a result, coffee crops that once grew in the shaded forest are now grown in the sun. Unprotected by the forest ecosystem, coffee beans require multiple chemicals to stay alive. 

In fact, conventionally grown coffee is one of the most chemically treated crops in the world. It’s doused in synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides. Unfortunately, many coffee-producing countries have little to no regulations on chemicals used on coffee plants. These toxins penetrate the bean and make their way into our bodies, wreaking havoc on our health.  

  1. Conventional coffee is a breeding ground for mold mycotoxins

Mold poisoning typically conjures up images of a damp basement or water damage in a home. However, one of the most significant sources of mold mycotoxins is our food, especially coffee.

Coffee naturally grows in warm, damp areas, which is the perfect climate for mold. Moreover, poor harvesting, roasting, and storage practices often lend to additional mold growth. Multiple studies have found measurable amounts of mold mycotoxins in coffee beans. Mold mycotoxins are harmful to the body and especially to the heart. 

Interestingly, some of the most common symptoms of mold toxicity mimic those of a caffeine response. Mold growth can result in dizziness, headache, anxiety, irritability, and abdominal issues. Individuals who think they can’t tolerate coffee due to these symptoms may actually be feeling the effects of mold. 

  1. Conventional coffee is often grown under unhealthy working conditions 

The coffee industry is notorious for unhealthy work conditions and low pay. Many farm workers labor in the hot sun for hours with little to no access to clean water. Sadly, some of these laborers are children. Recent investigations have revealed that forced labor is still very much alive in certain areas worldwide. 

Everything is energy, and good health requires supporting our fellow humans. The coffee you drink should be Fair Trade. Better yet, knowing exactly where your coffee comes from ensures that the individuals farming your coffee are treated with respect and dignity.  

Best coffee for heart health 

There are thousands of coffee companies in the United States. It can be challenging to know which ones are safe and ethical. Even if you have a favorite organic brand, there are other considerations. You want to look for coffee beans that meet the following criteria: 

  • USDA Organic (free of toxic chemicals and pesticides)
  • Free of mold and mycotoxins (third-party tested)
  • Roasted in a way that preserves antioxidants and nutrients
  • Packaged in a way that ensures freshness
  • Grown and harvested in a way that respects humanity

By ensuring that all of these factors are met, you can be sure that you are drinking the highest quality coffee for heart health. 

Cardiology Coffee meets all of these requirements. This certified organic coffee was created by a board-certified cardiologist Dr. Jack Woflson, and is third-party tested to ensure that it is free of chemicals and mold mycotoxins. Using smokeless roasting technology, Cardiology Coffee maintains nutrition and optimizes antioxidants. Moreover, it’s grown by economically independent women in their own cooperative in Honduras. 

Next steps 

If you are someone who enjoys coffee, but you’ve been worried about the impact that it may have on your heart, you can breathe easily. For most people, quality coffee is safe for your heart and provides your body with a daily dose of nutrients. 

So, go brew yourself a warm cup of Cardiology Coffee (that you can buy here), sip it slowly, and know that you are nurturing your body with a delicious cup of antioxidants. 

Reviewed by Dr. Jack Wolfson

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About Dr. Keith Smigiel NP, DC

Dr. Keith Smigiel

Dr. Keith Smigiel is a regenerative medicine physician and pain management specialist. He takes an integrative approach to medicine, focusing on customized solutions tailored to individual needs. Using advanced, non-surgical treatments, Dr. Smigiel stimulates your body’s ability to naturally heal itself.

Dr. Smigiel helps people suffering from conditions such as chronic pain and erectile dysfunction, to hair loss and weight gain. Combining treatments such as PRP Therapy, Ozone, Neural Prolotherapy, and IV Infusions with functional rehabilitation, he helps you look and feel better.

He heals the body, instead of just treating the symptoms!

With his professional qualifications as a certified family nurse practitioner, a doctor of chiropractic, and a fellow of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture, Dr. Smigiel offers patients comprehensive care from a broad perspective of conventional and alternative medicine. He also has extensive experience in functional rehabilitation and chronic pain management.

Dr. Smigiel is married to Angela and has two children, Sophia and Larz. When he’s not busy helping patients, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, motocross, and boating.

About Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller is one of the nation’s leading heart rhythm specialists. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.

As a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS), Kneller provides comprehensive patient care, combining best medical practice with invasive procedures using state-of-the-art technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders.

Beyond guideline-directed therapies, Kneller is passionate about optimized personal health. With a deep interest in complimentary alternative medicine (CAM), he strives to reduce the need for pharmaceuticals, invasive procedures, and exposure to harmful radiation. With Natural Heart Doctor, he strives to help each and every client to Live Well, Eat Well, and Think Well to attain their 100-year heart!

About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

Dr. Lattanza Office Visit with Patient

As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

I dedicated the next 4 years to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona where I attained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. I served as Class President all 4 years, Board of Trustees – Student Trustee, spoke as the Club President for our branch of Toastmasters, and was voted by my peers and attending physicians to earn the Outstanding Leadership Award for the Class of 2020. Throughout medical school I took it upon myself to work alongside MDs, DOs, chiropractors, and functional medicine practitioners in addition to naturopathic physicians.

As a Spanish speaking student, I was able to volunteer with community clinics around Phoenix and provide free healthcare to low-income families. Due to this combined exposure, I came to find my passion in treating cardiometabolic and digestive disorders that are all too common, yet largely preventable. I took the opportunity to learn the broad spectrum of healthcare so I can ensure that I am able to provide my patients with the best options.

About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

Dr. Wolfson Office Visit with Patient

Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

For more than two decades, more than one million people have enjoyed the warmth, compassion, and transformational power of his natural heart health courses and events.

Dr. Wolfson is the founder of Natural Heart Doctor Scottsdale, his heart health practice in Arizona, and Natural Heart Doctor, an online resource center with natural health information. Doctors from across the globe reach out to Dr. Wolfson for training and education in holistic health practices.

He has been named one of America’s Top Functional Medicine Doctors and is a five-time winner of the Natural Choice Awards as a holistic M.D. Dr. Wolfson’s work has been covered by more than 100 media outlets, including NBC, CNN, and the Washington Post. His book “The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health” was an Amazon #1 best-seller.

Dr. Wolfson and his wife Heather have four children and are committed to making the world a better place to live. They provide for those in need (including animals) and support natural health causes through their philanthropic efforts.

Chiropractic

Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Acupuncture

Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.