Is Coffee Harmful or Healthy?
A cup of coffee after a hectic game of indoor cricket at the Salisbury Super Sports club can be just as refreshing as a can of soda or a glass of ice-cold water for some. Although for many years coffee has had a bad reputation regarding its health or lack of health benefits, many coffee drinkers maintain that a cup of this beverage is the elixir of life.
However, some, like Miriam Young, a Chinese Medicine herbalist, believes that “Coffee depletes the immune system and exhausts the adrenal glands” along with other negative reactions.
These strong views are shared by thousands of anti-coffee drinkers and to be fair, it is known that too much coffee can be bad for you. However, is caffeine taken is small doses really harmful? Will a daily intake of a couple of mugs of coffee create a state of dehydration?
The caffeine in coffee reaches our tissues within a few minutes. High doses of caffeine, especially if drunk by someone who doesn’t usually drink coffee, can interfere with normal body functions.
So, why do people still drink their daily doses of coffee? Its smell and taste has become an important start to a stressful day in many lives. Even china (the home of tea plantations) where tea drinking is an art, is beginning to realise that its community is turning to coffee as an alternative.
Certainly, caffeine might be detrimental to our health if consumed in large quantities but the latest research now reports that small daily doses of caffeine (aka coffee) can be beneficial. Latest test results indicate that daily coffee drinkers have over a 40% less threat of developing cancer of the liver. Studies also conclude that regular cups of coffee help to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, “In this study of U.S. women aged 26-46 years at baseline, consumption of two or more cups of coffee per day was associated with a substantially lower risk of type 2 diabetes during 10 years of follow-up”.
Coffee consumption in Australia is also a growing market. However, coffee drinkers in this country are beginning to prefer pure coffee instead of the instant variety. People now enjoy brewing coffee in their own homes. Nevertheless, over a billion cups of coffee are still sold every year in restaurants and coffee bars, with cappuccino sales heading all other coffee beverages.
Jeff, a regular visitor to the Salisbury Super Sports Cafe, says, “After my girlfriend finishes her game of indoor netball, we enjoy our cup of coffee after a great meal”. Possibly the old adage – “everything in moderation” – is the best way to approach your next cup of coffee.