Coffee nd Your Health
Coffee has long been a key component to many peoples’ morning ever since the the coffee bean was discovered. It has since provided both a natural energy to kick off the day as well as a mental calmness resulting from a daily routine.
So how does one consider carefully any projected health issues due to excessive coffee drinking? We are not doctors, but want to certainly deconstruct the argument as it has been a matter of many discussions within many medical journals for many years. Let’s consider what makes us want coffee and what it is made of.
What you put in it
What you put in your coffee is usually worse for you than what it is in itself. Processed creamers and sugars with artificial flavoring to mask the taste of the coffee is often high in calories and fats. Compromising the calories is often not very tasty and therefore creates a daily routine of starting of the day unhealthy. However, there are now healthier alternatives for those that can’t “take it black”.
Fat free half and halfs are available that do not taste much different that the fat filled version. Land-o-Lakes fat free half and half for instance is still as full bodied as you would expect a half and half to be without compromising on taste. For the sweetener alternatives, Splenda is likely the healthiest option as opposed to the other popular brands you find.
What it is naturally
Coffee beans are grown on small bushes and are therefore subject to how organic the soil and farming is of these crops. Many of the higher end coffees are grown organically and are clearly marked on the packages. Some of the more massed produced and lower end coffees are farmed like other fruits and vegetable using a great number of pesticides. This is still a personal choice though as there has not been any direct research findings that show pesticides have affected coffee drinkers in any way.
From harvest to brewing, some of the same concerns hold true. Coffee has always been a very basic formula, grind your coffee, add water, and brew. The flavor and caffeine are obtained as drips of water drain through grounds of coffee into the pot, but what about before the coffee gets to you?
Especially for decaffeinated coffee, there is another opportunity to have chemicals enter the process. Chemicals are typically used to decaffeinate coffee unless you are purchasing Swiss Water Processed coffee. This among some others use all natural processing using only water to remove the vast majority of caffeine from the beans. So again, if you are concerned with the use of chemicals in what you feed your body and drink decaffeinated coffee, SWP coffee is the way to go.
Why you drink it
Many people drink coffee each morning for the much needed boost to get the day started. Others continue to drink coffee cup after cup throughout the work day. Whether you are just “juicing” for some energy or simply love the taste always consider your health if you believe your intake might be more than your doctor would recommend.
Alternatives to Coffee
This first alternative is simply changing the way your think of your morning cup. If your doctor is recommending a reduction and caffeine and you are a heavy drinker throughout the day, consider creating a blend. A 60/40 split of decaffeinated over caffeinated is a great way to maintain mental routine while lowering your caffeine intake. Simply purchase the same coffee, but a decaf version. You may also touch it up with a nice SWP Mexican bean which has depth in the body of the coffee, but have your flavored coffee caffeinated. It will create a smooth cup with rich body and a touch of flavor.
Also consider replacing a cup of daily coffee with a green tea. The tea often has the same if not more caffeine, but has many more antioxidants and other beneficial attributes.
Everyone is different
Each person metabolizes amounts of caffeine differently so get to know your body rather than advice from a friend’s doctor! Be aware that reducing caffeine too quickly can cause severe headaches so don’t go cold turkey. If you are trying to cut back, cut down a cup a day until you get to your desired amount and then maintain. Also keep in mind to keep well hydrated so replace that normal cup with a glass of water.
If you are trying to replace that morning boost with something a bit healthier and aren’t ready to hop on the treadmill as soon as you wake up, just grab a bowl of cereal within 30 minutes of waking. A glass of water or two before you hit the road and you will be on your way as awake as you need to be. The intake of food first thing gives your body some nutrition to start churning on. Your body will learn quickly this is the new energy source.
For more about the medical side of your health and coffee, read our other article on Coffee and Health.
Here’s to your health and many more years of the fine taste of coffee!