Monday, May 7, 2012

In Defense of Coffee

For some reason I cannot fully explain, since arriving in Del Norte County a couple weeks ago I am drinking more coffee than I ever have before.  I suppose you can argue that it is because it is addictive, which is true, but I think there are many factors contributing.  Coffee’s main draw is that it is a stimulant, which can help you stay awake and focused.  That was the main reason I started drinking coffee a couple years ago.  But there are other reasons for consuming this warm beverage. One reason for me, it seems to be everywhere. Wherever I go, to the office, a meeting, or a social event there is always a pot of coffee staring me in the eyes.  Another reason is for socializing, going out for coffee with someone or taking a coffee break is a good reason to meet up and have a conversation.  Whatever the reason, I am drinking more of it, which has led me to look at some of the health effects it has.

Most of the time, people focus on the negative effects coffee can have.  However, many of these negative effects have been refuted and studies did not take into account people's other lifestyle choices like smoking or eating habits.  So instead of looking at the negative effects, I looked at some of the positive effects.  A big one is that it contains antioxidants, which help to protect against free radicals that cause tissue damage in the body.  In addition, coffee consumption has been shown to decrease chances of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's, and dementia.  Not only that, but people that drink coffee tend to have fewer cases of cancer, heart rhythm problems, and stroke.  Now, this does not mean drinking coffee is going to cure you from any diseases, but it does show that drinking a cup or two or coffee each day is not the worst thing for you.  

A good thing about coffee is it usually only has about 2 calories in it per cup.  This is before you add any cream or sugar, but even with the extra ingredients, coffee does not have nearly as many calories as other high calorie beverages.  Coffee can also be beneficial in losing weight. I've always found drinking a cup of coffee before exercising usually boosts my motivation and allows to me to go for a longer period of time.  In general, coffee can be that extra boost of energy you need to make it through work or complete a big project in time.

With that said, everything in moderation. Too much coffee can of course have adverse effects like restlessness, anxiety, and sleeplessness.  But for anyone feeling guilty about drinking a couple cups a day, their are much worse things out there for you in regards to your health.

1 comment:

Growing Tables Admin said...

Hats off to our newest contributor! Brian Quilty has joined the Growing Tables family of writers in his position as a VISTA for the Food Council and the Children's Health Collaborative.