In the past I have not liked the addiction people seem to have to it, namely the caffeine. But green tea, which in some cases has almost as much caffeine, turned out to be a super food. The extract I use in my vitamins has all the EGCG and polyphenols but none of the caffeine, so I had no need to bring up the issues.
Green tea also has theanine also called “calming amino acid” which seems to reduce the adrenal effects of caffeine.
But coffee has come of age a bit since then and there are several benefits worth noting. Besides, I doubt you gave up your morning cuppa’ joe just ‘cause I said so!!!
So first we can talk about the fact that coffee is an herbal and thus has its own set of polyphenols, which makes it a potential “health food”.
In truth, all the research on the ill effects of coffee never really came up with anything conclusive, although at one time it was “accused” of being a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. I can remember one researcher reporting no negative finds and admitting there were no proven ill effects of coffee but ending his paper with “this still does not exonerate coffee”.
I found the use of the word exonerate almost funny since I didn’t realize coffee was on trial!
The truth is coffee has survived all the attempts at bashing it and has come out, well, smelling like roses or at least coffee scented roses.
Much of the recent research on the benefits of coffee comes out of an attempt to stop the hemorrhage of people going over to green tea, which ranks up there with Vitamin D and fish oil! LOL! Well at least the extract does because few Americans will drink the requisite 6 cups a day of green tea needed to get the benefits.
So what have we learned about coffee using modern research tools?
1) It is safe to consume in the quantities that most Americans use on a daily basis, and there is no evidence of any kind to support harm.
2) It’s apparently good for diabetes, with a risk reduction on the order of 25+% for caffeinated and 33% for decaf. The absence of caffeine, by the way, does not explain the difference, so no one is sure about why there is a difference.
3) It improves liver health.
4) Regular consumption decreases pro-inflammatory chemical levels in the body and reduces adiponectin which, if you read my newsletters, you’ll know is a bad byproduct of too many fat cells. Some of the compounds in coffee that may be healthful are magnesium, antioxidant lignans and chlorogenic acids similar to those found in chlorella.
5) The green bean version of coffee is gaining popularity and seems to have even more polyphenols.
So what does all this mean?
Well, it means that coffee is probably not a bad a choice, as I used to say, and may even be a good one. By the way, I do still enjoy a rare cup here and there but when I make it I make it right. Since I like espresso, which as you may know is relatively low in caffeine, I can tell you the machine you use to make any kind of coffee, especially espresso, makes a huge difference.
So, if you are going to do it, do it right and treat yourself to a fabulous machine and you will get a fabulous cup of coffee every time.
Here is the place I would go if I were you: 1st in Coffee.
I think we will continue to see more and more health benefits of coffee borne out over the next year or two, especially since Nestle has a vested interest in proving its worth!
‘Til next time, enjoy your cup and don’t forget to visit the folks at 1st in Coffee at: http://www.1stincoffee.com and no I don’t get any money for sending you there I just think they are great people with great products.
About Dr. Dave’s Best
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