Monday, January 30, 2017

Brew, Java, Joe… Our Beloved Coffee

Americans are hopelessly addicted to our morning java. Coffee sales in the United States have never been higher, and it’s definitely a staple of the American diet. When it comes to the question of how coffee affects our health, some advocate against coffee entirely, while others insist that their “pot-a-day” habit is completely harmless. To further muddle the waters, each justifies their position with seemingly credible science. Why is there so much conflicting “evidence”?

Well, let’s unpack a few of these ideas. When you get right down to it, coffee is a plant. So it is true that coffee contains antioxidants, potassium, manganese, niacin, and a whole host of other beneficial goodness. So it’s a case can be made for coffee being quite healthy.

On the flip side, coffee contains caffeine. Many Americans drink not just one cup - but several - and they rely on it to get themselves through the day. Dependency on coffee is a very real and socially accepted addiction, but an addiction nonetheless.

So the million dollar question is: Do the benefits of the plant outweigh the risks of caffeine?

It seems that the jury is out on this one.  On the one hand, caffeine is a stimulant, and therefore it has the ability to change our brain chemistry. Dependence on any substance - including caffeine - is never regarded as a sign of health.

Then again, others argue that moderation is key. They argue that if you have an occasional cup and you aren’t addicted, you are probably just fine, and you can enjoy the health benefits that coffee had to offer. So, those of us trying to answer the question regarding coffee and or health are left to our own devices once more.

In addition, there is very little discussion about the damaging effects of what we put INTO our coffee which is primarily milk and sugar, neither of which are healthy! Let’s say that the case is closed, and we find out that - hooray! - coffee is actually good for us. So we continue to drink our morning joe - complete with sweetened coffee creamer, aspartame, and sugar… because we know coffee is good for us, right?

That “healthy” habit? We blew it.

So, let’s be realistic. If you find yourself  becoming dependent on your morning java, and you rather trudge through the morning until you get charged up by it, there are likely parts of your body that are out of balance.

Coffee will not bring you back into balance. It’s a poor substitute for a healthy lifestyle.

On the other hand, if you enjoy a cup from time to time and caffeine does not strongly affect you, maybe you’re fine.

The risks and benefits of coffee drinking are documented, and we know for sure that what we usually put in our coffee is terrible for our health. So knowing that, you know yourself, your habits, your tendencies, and how you may be affected, so making an informed choice can come in an individual way.

Make your health decisions with individual information and intention - you'll never go wrong.

Whether you find yourself addicted or not, you can make better decisions in regards to the brand of coffee you buy.  If you would like to try a much healthier option talk to me at your next visit.

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