Thursday, April 29, 2010
Coffee has been seen as something of a guilty pleasure. Folks tie it in with smoking, drinking, or other things that people enjoy, but aren't necessarily good for you. Tea drinkers have often held that their morning cup is far superior to java in terms of a health perspective. But what IF coffee was not the witches brew that we thought it was? What if the bean was actually GOOD for you?
Several studies from all over the globe have indeed suggested just that. A study in 2009 noted that coffee drinkers had lower risks of prostate cancer and that moderate drinkers (3 to 5 cups) had the lowest instances of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Other studies have found that coffee drinkers have lower instances of colon and liver cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson's disease.
But what's the reason? It isn't caffeine- decaf drinkers showed the same results- so what is it?
It boils down to antioxidants- those friendly flavonoids found in all kinds of things like berries. Coffee is the most common source of antioxidants in the average American's diet. It also contains trigollinene, suspected of preventing colon cancer, as well as several other compounds that can regulate bacteria levels and even improve brain function.
Studies tend to be short, and while doctors aren't prescribing coffee, this does make us feel a little better about our morning joe. Coffee can raise anxiety levels in prone people and can cause insomnia in folks not used to the compounds in the beverage. Also, if you add huge amounts of cream and sugar, you are adding empty calories and fat to your diet, so go light on the half-and-half. But mainly, relax in the quiet knowledge that you might just be doing your body a favour.
Life is too short to be uptight and as it turns out by enjoying the simplest of pleasures, we might just be healthier for a longer part of it.
Posted by Michel-Exildas Galipeau at 09:36