Monday, September 29, 2008

Is coffee evil?

I have said before that I don't think coffee is helpful when you are trying to lose weight and get healthy. That said I recognize the health benefits of coffee even though they are not well known but, they do resemble the health benefits of tobacco but that is another blog altogether. I love coffee and have it almost every morning, but you must understand that it is a diuretic and these types of food and drugs will elevate the rate of urination (diuresis). There are several categories of diuretics. All diuretics increase the excretion of water from the body, although each class of diuretic does so in a distinct way. I recommend you read this article below from Dr. Ruben and before you do anything else in the morning drink a large glass of cold water.

Although I’m a kombucha fan, I don’t see kombucha entering mainstream America like coffee has.

The National Coffee Association keeps up with consumer trends in the U.S. coffee market and its 2008 report highlights indicate coffee drinking is on the increase—with 17 percent of the adult population consuming it on a daily basis compared with 14 percent in 2007 and adults aged 25-59 leading the upswing. In fact, coffee consumption has surpassed that of soft drinks for the first time ever.

The report notes, too, that the java junkies believe coffee improves their mental focus, their productivity, and even their health. And they could be on to something—especially as it relates to coffee and its health benefits. In fact, coffee consumption might even help the heart, especially for women.

Dr. Esther Lopez-Garcia, assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Autonoma University in Madrid, Spain, and her team of researchers found that women who drank two or three cups of caffeinated coffee daily had a 25 percent lower risk of death from heart disease and an 18 percent lower death risk than those who did not drink coffee.

Additionally, Lopez-Garcia indicates that coffee drinking is linked to a lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes and some cancers, while preventing development of cardiovascular disease.

Lopez-Garcia is quick to note, however, that these findings may be true only for already-healthy people and that anyone with any health condition should seek the advice of their health professional about any risks—as caffeine can give a short-term elevation in blood pressure.

Dr. Peter Galier, an internal medicine specialist and associate professor of medicine at the University of California Los Angeles' David Geffen School of Medicine, is not convinced that “coffee is the answer to everything,” but he does think that the antioxidants found in coffee may be healthy.

Now, don’t’ get me wrong…I’m not advocating this country’s obsession with sugared coffee drinks such as large sizes of mocha, vanilla, white chocolate, hazelnut and caramel-flavored coffees that top 400 calories and over 50 grams per sugar—roughly the equivalent to a liquefied candy bar.

I do know, however, know that caffeinated coffee has been consumed for thousands of years by some of the world’s healthiest people. As long as your coffee comes from healthy organic sources, you should be okay. I believe you should buy whole beans, freeze them, and grind them yourself for your cup of brew.

I believe it’s fine to consume fresh ground organic coffee flavored with organic cream, honey, or a natural sweetener known as stevia. And just as with tea, I believe coffee is best consumed as it was created—fully loaded.

So go ahead and have that cup o’ joe.

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