The Coffee Conundrum

iStock_000005294948XSmallI love my morning coffee, and I will not be giving it up anytime soon. Is this the best liquid for us in the morning? Probably not. Are there other healthier choices? Probably so. Must I give it up?

I do not think so!!!!

I have done a lot of research on this and so have many others.

Drinking coffee fills many needs for us coffee drinkers.

Here are some of mine:

  • I luv getting my coffee ready the night before. It excites me about the morning!
  • I luv, luv, luv the smell of my freshly brewed coffee from my bed in the a.m. (Yes, it is waiting for me.)
  • I luv the routine and comfort of my morning java. I luv holding it.
  • I luv that it perks me right up.
  • I luv having coffee with a friend. It is fabulously social, hence all the coffee shops.
  • I luv grinding it at Costco; the smell is intoxicating. (I wish I could eat it.)
  • I luv that my hubby will bring me my coffee in bed. How fabulous is that?
  • I luv the whole idea of organically grown fair trade coffee; that is all I will buy.
  • I luv that growing and harvesting coffee beans provides a lot of jobs for a lot of people.
  • I luv that as of this day there is NO solid evidence that a single or maybe two cups of coffee in the a.m. will kill me or be injurious to my health. But, in fact, drinking coffee actually has some positive redeeming health qualities.

I have done a lot of research on this and so have many others. HERE is some of that information:

Scientific evidence in favor of drinking coffee. According to the Harvard Medical School Brainiacs’ “trusted advice for a healthier life”:

1.Moderate coffee drinkers are safe! The latest research has confirmed that moderate coffee consumption does not cause harm.

2.Coffee has historically been more than just a typical beverage. Its health effects have been controversial. After all, coffee is loaded with the drug 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine a.k.a. caffeine, (a mild stimulant and possibly somewhat addictive). Even decaf has caffeine and other chemicals and additives. I’m guessing this tidbit of info will not stop us diehard coffee drinkers just yet.

3.Research seems to unanimously suggest that giving up decaf might be a better idea because of the added chemicals. We do not need additional chemicals in our bodies. The air we breathe and many of the foods we need provide us with plenty of poisons. (I just decided I am giving up decaf!)

Coffee and Pesticides

Coffee is typically not grown in the USA, therefore as you can imagine ZERO control over the amount of pesticides sprayed on coffee crops. This means lots of chemicals and toxins on those coffee beans. How about the people who work in those crop fields breathing in that CRAP all day…every day???? Pesticides have been linked to a plethora of health problems. Making a choice to buy only Organic coffee may be a healthier option for anyone connected to that bean. Drinking organic coffee might reduce or eliminate your exposure to harmful pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. It will also help the the people working in those fields. I have seen a few coffee plantations and they are beautiful, but as we know beauty is not always what it seems. Consider buying organic.

Possible health benefits:

4. Studies have shown that type 2 Diabetes is lower among coffee drinkers.
5. Coffee may also positively:

  • reduce the risk of developing gallstones
  • discourage the development of colon cancer, improve cognitive function (it sure helps mine!)
  • reduce the risk of liver damage for people who are at high risk for liver damage
  • reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease

Caffeine increases production of Dopamine in the brain,a chemical crucial to pleasure and motivation.

The brain cells that make Dopamine stop working in Parkinson’s disease. Some researchers speculate that when the liver metabolizes coffee, this somehow inhibits the chronic liver inflammation involved in metabolizing lots of alcohol. (Fans of coffee enemas claim it helps the liver cleanse itself of toxins.) This does NOT mean it is okay to drink a lot of coffee if you drink a lot of alcohol. Remember, everything in moderation. Don’t you just love and know how some people take a single bit of information and forget about everything else they may have heard or read and run with it like they hit the F%&@#in lotto?

Like all drugs, (yes, our beloved coffee is considered a drug) coffee has its darker side. Coffee increases blood pressure and heart rate. It can cause palpitations, tremors, insomnia, diarrhea, and urination. Some of you probably love the D and U. Coffee is NOT a replacement for water. Coffee withdrawal can cause headaches, drowsiness, depression, and just plain miserableness. I gave up coffee during my pregnancies…oy yi, yi…

Did you also know that moderate to heavy coffee drinkers tend to be smokers? For those of you who drink coffee to stay alert and fight sleep deprivation, it does help. Just don’t drink three cups all at once. Spreading your coffee consumption out through the day is better coffee drinking behavior. There is no strong evidence that consuming coffee or other caffeinated beverages causes an imbalance of fluids and electrolytes, such as sodium or potassium. That being said, coffee is not plain water colored brown. The importance of drinking water is another discussion altogether!

Relax and enjoy your java!

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