Caffeine. Friend or foe?
by Lou Rubic
We have had a long history enjoying coffee as part of our daily ritual, whether over catching up with friends or as a morning or afternoon energy boost. Coffee is here to stay because we love it; the the process of making a cup, the aroma, the taste. However, there have been many contradictory studies telling us everything from avoiding coffee in pregnancy and if you have liver disease to coffee making you live longer.
The bottom line is, enjoy your coffee in it’s purest form. Without sugar and only a dash of milk if preferred. Two cups (not mugs!) of coffee a day can improve digestion, longevity, strengthen immune response and modulate blood sugar levels (as long as you do not already have diabetes). This moderate coffee intake can also have a protective effect against cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies that have shown coffee to have adverse effects on our health attribute this to the level of caffeine, the main phytochemical in coffee. Espresso, barista prepared coffee, has the highest concentration of caffeine. This also depends on the barista and how much coffee goes into each cup freshly made. The variety of coffee also makes a difference with the caffeine content of the Robusta coffee bean variety being higher than in Arabica beans.
Caffeine consumption above this level and with added sugar, such as the classic energy drink combination, is a big risk factor for insulin resistance and development of Type II diabetes. Unfortunately these energy drinks are the beverage of choice for young teenagers and adults.
As the weather warms up try a cold drip filter black coffee. The long filtration process extracts loads of nutrients from the coffee and as it is brewed without cold water rather than hot, there is no bitterness. Enjoy!
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