For a long time now, every medical-related story I read or heard about coffee was bad. ‘It is bad for you,’ is what I have come to accept. But last night I decided to dig a little more about it and get the facts for myself. It all started because I hated the fact I tend to feel sleepy rather early these days. I mean, I need a few hours after the close of the day’s work to watch a movie. And since I decided to stop watching movies on weekends and do something else, I’d switched my movie-time and schedule to one movie a day after work.
So I decided to buy it because I really needed to stay awake for my movie-fix. On the way back from the shop, I remembered a friend whose visits to the doctor is so frequent that having a chat with her is never complete without her latest health issues. Yes, she is that sort of person. Anyway, the latest prognosis, according to the doctor was the she drinks too much coffee. And for her sake, she should eliminate it from her daily diet. No problem she said. However, she told me, she would first of all finish the large tin of imported coffee before following the doctors orders. We had a good laugh. She stopped though. Mainly because I weighed-in and agreed with the doctor that it is bad for ones health.
Is it really? Or is it actually good. Let’s look at the facts though.
The Good Benefits of Coffee
1.Coffee contains some very essential nutrients that the body requires but cannot produce. Some of these nutrients act as effective antioxidants. That innocent looking dark brown liquid of contains following:
- Vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B1 (thiamin), B3 (Niacin)
- Folate, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium, and Phosphorus
That may not look like a whole bunch. But a lover of coffee typically drinks at least 3 cups a day. That can really add up to whole lot of minerals and vitamins. Actually, drinking at least 3 cups a day gives more antioxidants than a typical modern day food
2.The active ingredient in coffee is known as caffeine. It is the chemical that is mostly implicated in all that is bad about the beverage. Caffeine though is basically a stimulant. And in the right amounts can be very good for you. It can make you stay alert, boost your energy levels, elevate brain function, increase your metabolism and ability to exercise more. That is, if physical exercises is your thing.
3.Caffeine helps to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease in old age. This is just the fact based on several studies. So old people who regularly drink coffee are less likely to have these neurodegenerative diseases that are common with the onset of old age.
Other disease that regular drinking of the beverage lowers the risk of getting include
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Liver diseases like cirrhosis and cancer
4.Some people call it the the “happy beverage” because of its effect on mood. Generally, drinking coffee regularly lowers the risk of depression. And since depression is the leading cause of suicide, it also lowers the risk of suicide.
Bad Benefits of Coffee
1.Too much coffee could increase the risk of developing the degenerative bone disease known as osteoporosis. The caffeine is the culprit here. Making the cells responsible for regenerating bones less effective and might even kill them.
2.Drinking too much may lead people to belief you have a poor sense of dental hygiene. This is because it is a drying agent: therefore, it has a tendency to dry up the mouth. The result is that mucosal cells lining the mouth hardly get flushed away after they die. They rather stick around and start decaying after 3 days. Causing the bad breath from the mouth.
This is easily rectified by eating food, drinking less coffee, drinking water and chewing gum. Generally, anything that would make the mouth less drier would solve the problem.
3.Too much coffee can lead to addiction and tolerance to caffeine. And it is well known that a combination of addiction and tolerance is always bad. Tolerance makes you take more of the substance to satisfy your addiction. For coffee drinkers, the symptoms include headaches, extreme tiredness and bad temper.
Addiction to can also have negative impact on your ability to sleep well through the night. So it’s best not to drink it if you notice the negative effect on your sleep. Or if you can’t help yourself, take it well before bedtime.
That folks, is why I decided I’d have no qualms drinking a cup of coffee this evening. The operative words are ‘too much.’ One cup is not that much. As a matter of fact, 3 or 4 cups daily are actually very very beneficial. However, the final choice depends on each individual. To drink or not to drink coffee is not such a big decision after all.
So, how has your coffee journey being? Which camp do you belong to and what are your reasons?