Coffee. Its consumption is widespread and so are its applications. Its journey into the modern world is one spanning hundreds of years involving religious ceremonies and eventually commercialisation. Today it is sold in various forms to cater to everyone’s taste buds and wallets. From the cheap chicory-infused versions to the George Clooney backed Nescafe commercials to Kopi Luwak, a coffee produced when the Asian palm civet eats the beans the then goes for a number two. Coffee is used in the production of numerous medicines and comes in at possibly number three after water and tea as the most consumed drink on the planet.
I’m a big coffee drinker but I do it for selfish reasons. I have almost no interest in the taste or the aroma. My use for coffee is purely from a practical standpoint. I use it because it has day-to-day beneficial applications. It staves off my hunger when that time of the day comes about at which point my stomach starts to say, “How about a visit to the canteen?” It reinvigorates me when I’m feeling mentally sluggish or depleted. And when I’m on a good wicket and I’m working out at least every second morning, it helps me to endure. Coffee is a good thing and has proven to actually have a slew of benefits for those who opt for regular consumption.
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What wouldn’t we all give for a good metabolism? Regrettably that’s not the case. Having a good metabolism can be likened to winning the genetic lottery. It’s not generously handed out but to those that do receive it, weight gain is not something they will need to worry about. For the rest of us mere mortals, there’s coffee. Coffee has been proven to speed things up. Use it before the gym to maximise that workout or simply consume as part of a good eating plan to capitalise on your results. If losing weight is a goal, coffee isn’t just you ally, it’s also your friend.
What about nutritional value? I must admit that if I just look at coffee, sitting on that teaspoon before I combine it with hot water in a cup, I fail to take into account the hundreds of years of history that have led to this moment. I don’t even think about what its nutritional value might be and this is something it does possess. In fact, coffee is actually quite loaded! Those little dark granules are carrying niacin, magnesium, potassium, manganese, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. Now I might not know what those nutrients are, I have the public school system as well as a lack of academic motivation during my formative years to thank, but what I can tell you is that coffee is a great source of antioxidants.
Diabetes, now THAT is a dirty word. It’s a scourge of a disease that’s direct cause is unknown but rather attributable to a number of factors. Its cause can be viral, it can be toxins in food, or it can be a result of a dysfunction of your autoimmune system. Obesity, a lack of exercise, aging, a poor diet; these are things that can all play a role in acquiring diabetes. I think it’s important to let the good overpower the bad. You need to let the healthy choices outweigh the bad ones. Ideally you don’t want to eat processed foods and drink beer all the time, but then where’s the fun in eating? Anyway, studies have indicated that the regular consumption of the dark brown stuff (at least 3 cups) can lower your risk of developing Type II diabetes by about 40%.
It makes you smarter! Okay, that’s an exaggeration. It can however get you out of a brain fog because it’s a central nervous system stimulant. It doesn’t make you smarter, but it does cause those neurons to fire a bit faster, and that can at times give you a much-needed edge.
Drinkers take note! Lay off the beer and rather take on the coffee; or, if you are going to lay waste to a few pints, at least come in with the coffee after. Studies have indicated that coffee can help to protect against major liver diseases like cirrhosis, which is mainly caused by, although not limited to, excessive consumption of alcohol.
Skin cancer, check. A defence against brain degenerative disease like dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, check. A way to combat depression, check. Coffee won’t guarantee your safety from these ailments, but its regular consumption will help fend off the possibilities.
When it’s Too Much
Someone once said that evil is really just good in excess. Too much of a good thing is no good, and the same rule applies to coffee. Coffee, when consumed in excess, can cause your body to exhibit signs and symptoms of an unpleasant nature. Three to four cups in a day is the recommended daily dosage, but once you exceed that limit you could experience:
- An elevated heart rate
- An inability to fall asleep
- Stomach cramps
- Jittery sensations
- Mood changes
- Mild panic attacks
The beauty of coffee, outside of its many benefits, is the fact that an absolutely massive industry has been built around it, all dedicated to giving you the type of beverage you want. If you’re in the market, then you could buy one of those really snazzy and ridiculously priced coffee machines that churn out an array of styles and flavours. Alternatively, you could go with one of those entry level Nescafe – ala George Clooney – jobs that uses pods. I can only hope you’ll think of the environment, collect all the pods you’ve used and deliver it all to a recycling facility. Having said that, the extent of your options are fantastic – Mochas, Cappuccinos, Americanos, Caffe lattes, Macchiatos – it’s just fantastic!