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The Good And Bad Side Of Coffee And How It Affects Us

Jul 2, 2008
There's not much else in coffee apart from caffeine yet we all drink it and take little time to know where it grows, how it's produced and how it affects our brains and bodies. Surely something this good must be bad for you. Au contraire! There is on-going scientific evidence that 2-4 cups of coffee a day (based on a 6oz serving) offers more health benefits than you may know. Earlier studies have often clouded these benefits because of lifestyle associations such as smoking

1. Coffee is the #1 source of antioxidants, more than wine, chocolate or tea. Antioxidants can help prevent cancer and heart disease.

2. Coffee has a high level of soluble dietary fiber, more than wine or orange juice. Soluble dietary fiber helps lower total LDL (bad) cholesterol thereby reducing risk of heart disease and it also helps to manage blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. By helping insulin regulate blood sugar levels in the body, there is a significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

3. Further studies of coffee also strongly suggest that regular daily intake of coffee (i) lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease (ii) protects against chronic liver disease and gallstones (iii) may ward off colon cancer (iv) appears to have antidepressant features (v) has also been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

4. Drinking coffee prior to working out reduces post exercise muscle soreness by up to one half! Plus it improves physical stamina and reaction time. Overall, coffee boosts athletic endurance and physical performance.

5. Coffee improves short-term memory recall, as well as alertness and attention to the task at hand. Because a cup of coffee is absorbed in the bloodstream within 15min - 2hr, caffeine helps process information and boost logical reasoning. Safe driving is a direct beneficiary of coffee consumption.

When people slam coffee, it's usually because coffee is known to temporarily raise blood pressure. However while the previous generation of coffee drinkers were satisfied with a single serving of coffee, today's coffee consumer is addicted to a daily habit of drive-thru kiosks and super-sized 20oz+ cups of coffee, not to mention those delicious sweet treats. I might suggest that coffee isn't so much the problem as is the habitual effect of mega cups of java several times daily.

"All the brew that's fit to drink"

Coffee's Nutritional Facts

Coffee can make us feel more alert, boost our metabolism, make our heart race, affect our digestive system and more. And though most of us are aware of the brief caffeine high that coffee offers, most of us don't really know how coffee truly affects our body.

To learn more about the effects of coffee, both immediate and long-term, keep reading.

Coffee as a Stimulant

Coffee and caffeine are stimulants. You know that when you drink coffee you feel more awake, but you also know that too much coffee can give you the jitters or cause irritability.

Because coffee is a stimulant, it can also wreak havoc on your sleeping schedule. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, try cutting back on your coffee consumption or opting for water or decaf after noon.

Coffee on the Digestive System

Coffee actually has fairly high acid levels, particularly with beans like Kenyan or Ethiopian roasts. This is why when you drink too much coffee on an empty stomach, you'll often experience "coffee tummy" or "coffee gut," a basic discomfort in your digestive system.

The caffeine and acid in coffee can also be problematic for people suffering from ulcers. So, if you're having trouble with coffee, try switching to water, herbal teas or drinking milk with your coffee.

Coffee and Antioxidants

Coffee is actually the primary source of antioxidants for most North Americans. Antioxidants are, essentially, any compounds that fight or neutralize free radicals, which cause cells to break down and are cancer causing agents.

Studies have shown that coffee consumption can reduce the risk of developing liver cancer, throat cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's disease and cancer of the esophagus.

Coffee and Physical and Mental Performance

Coffee isn't just a study aid because it helps you stay awake - regular coffee consumption can actually improve your cognitive ability. A recent study showed that participants who regularly consumed at least one to two coffees a day scored higher on short term memory recall, spatial ability, logic tests and general IQ testing.

Coffee and Weight Loss

Coffee is a stimulant, meaning with every sip of caffeine, your metabolism will get a kick start. You'll also have more energy. For example, if you read the ingredients list for most pill-form dietary or weight-loss aids, you'll see one of the main ingredients is often caffeine.

Coffee and Your Teeth

While coffee can actually reduce cavities thanks to its acidity, it can also cause major teeth staining. To keep your teeth white, follow a cup of coffee with a bottle of water and brush your teeth at least two to three times a day.
About the Author
The author's web site World Coffee Mart dot Com aims to provide information about coffee makers especially vacuum coffee maker and capresso coffee maker.
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