By Jamie Rieger
I did not start drinking coffee until I was well into my 30s and in fact, prior to that, I could not even stand the smell of it, let alone drink it. I never owned a coffee maker and any visitors to the house were treated to cold drinks instead of a cup of java.
Many of these same visitors also thought I was an oddball for not drinking coffee.
One day however, I caved to the peer pressure and started drinking some of that flavoured stuff basically to just be polite and social.
Well, one thing led to another; I won a coffee maker in a raffle, and before long, I was buying whatever brand was on sale…just for when somebody stopped by for a chitchat. I would go visit a friend and we would shoot the breeze over a couple cups of coffee…and that too, became a habit. (I really miss those visits, by the way!)
These days, I would hardly call myself a coffee junkie. I rarely have a cup past noon; switching to water or iced tea later in the day; but I do enjoy a cup or two first thing in the morning.
Still, I wonder just how healthy coffee really is for a person, so of course, I turned to Google and it didn’t take long to find an article that boasts about the benefits of coffee. (You can find articles that will back-up your argument on pretty much any topic on Google if you look hard enough!)
So, I found an article on Huffington Post (pretty reliable source), written by Kristin Kirkpatrick, manager of Wellness Nutrition Services at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute (seems like she could be an expert on the subject).
Her article, 9 Benefits of Coffee talks about coffee being one of the greatest sources of antioxidants we can include in our daily diets.
According to the article, coffee, whether caffeinated or not, can actually lower one’s risk of death especially for those with chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes. There is not a lot of detail provided, but the article goes on to say coffee can actually help lower your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Here’s one benefit that really interested me. Coffee can help protect your brain, that “coffee drinkers are more likely to resist development of dementia and Alzheimer’s later in life”. It goes on to say that coffee can help reduce stress associated with sleep loss. I’m not sure I buy that part of it because if I drink too much, I end up wound up tighter than a cheap watch.
The article goes on to list a few other benefits and I learned that coffee may not be as harmful as I thought. Mind you, I haven’t Google the harmful effects of coffee yet. That’s for another column.
If you are reading this over a freshly brewed cup of Joe, enjoy it…guilt-free!