Coffee originates back to the 13th century. It is not one of these “new” things that we are being exposed to, like aspartame or MSG. Nor is it a chemical. It contains them, but in natural form. However, now people are doing all kinds of studies and saying “coffee is bad”, others say “coffee is good”. So how do we know for sure, who is right?
I have been researching this for a couple of months now and my finding is: FOLLOW COMMON SENSE!
Here is a list of all the claims and studies done to say what is BAD about coffee:
- Coffee increases mortality
- Caffeine gives us atrial fibrillation
- Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant – it appears to give us energy but in reality it is followed by a “down”
- Caffeine makes us tired because by over stimulating us we do not rest when we need to
- Caffeine consumption is associated with muscle tension and nerve irritation in four areas of the body: base of the skull, neck and shoulder blades, band around the forehead and the lower back
- Other problems associated with caffeine consumption are: headaches, “fuzzy” heads, cyst formation, insomnia, bloating, chronic fatigue, irritablility, female infertility, sinus congestion and pain
- Withdrawal symptoms: headaches, vomiting, heavy head, nausea, achy legs, fatigue and lethargy, weight loss
Now I have no doubt, that if you are going to go and consume copious amounts of coffee these things will happen. There is such a thing as “too much of a good thing”. Take water, for example. We all know water is good for you (well, water which doesn’t have chemicals in it) but you are actually able to drown your body from the inside if you have too much. Once again, we follow common sense and we don’t go drinking 20 liters of water a day.
Here are some arguments based on studies as to why coffee is GOOD:
- Caffeine makes you happy and smart – it improves both mood and brain function by blocking the effects of Adenosine, it allows the release of other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. This improves reaction time, moods, memory etc
- Caffeine is found in most commercial fat burning supplements because it increases the metabolism and increases the oxidation of fatty acids, thus helping weight loss and increasing physical performance
- Coffee lowers type II diabetes
- Coffee lowers the risk of Alzaihmer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
- Coffee is good for your liver
- Coffee makes you live longer
- Coffee is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants
- The smell of coffee makes you less stressed
- Coffee makes you happier
- Coffee consumption has been linked to lower levels of suicide
- Coffee decreases skin cancer in women
- Coffee enemas make the process less painful
Again, my feelings here are “if you are looking for it, you will find it”. I found some of the items on this list quite amusing.
Now, let me just clarify, when I say “coffee”, I mean real coffee. “Skinny decaf soy latte” is NOT coffee. Instant coffee has been processed so much that what ends up in your cup is coffee flavoured water.
“Real” coffee which has been put into your cup one way or another that actually comes from a coffee bean is going to have more caffeine in it than any other kind. Also, if it hasn’t gone through a filter of some sort then it will also contain the fat which apparently may contribute to increased cholesterol.
I LOVE coffee…..
Seriously though, if it is not processed, i.e. comes from a bean, AND it is in moderation then I fail to see the problem. If you are going to drink copious amounts of coffee each day then you are very likely to have some issues. If you know you have an adverse reaction of some kind to coffee, then don’t drink it. But that is MY opinion. You choose what yours is.
I have one to two cups of coffee per day. So, I grind my beans and then I put them in my plunger. And I drink my coffee black. Basically, it is not processed, it is not filtered, it is as straight as it comes.
But I am a bit different in a way that I can have a cup of coffee before bed and then go straight to sleep. It does not affect me in that way.
Everyone is different and I suggest you find your “happy balance”. If you are experiencing some of the symptoms listed above or you drink like eight cups a day, I would most definitely suggest slowing down.
If you are drinking coffee flavored milk drinks and the like, that is NOT coffee. It is bad on many other levels which I am not discussing in this post.
Some people don’t even like coffee, some love it. If I leave my cup lying around, my two year old will try all he can to get a hold of that cup and drink it.
I just know that I love my coffee because the smell of the freshly ground beans makes me anticipate that first sip, the full body and taste are exquisite.
The key here, as always, is moderation and the least processed the better. But that’s just what I think, what do YOU think?