The Magic Elixir-Coffee! Whether you’re a one cup a day or several pots a day enthusiast we love our cup of black gold! Java consumption is a favorite past time in Greater Seattle. Some drink the brew to get their day going, some to unwind after a busy day. There’s a drive up shack on just about every corner. From bikini clad young ladies to more traditional “coffee shops” with that good ole bohemian feel.
We’ve all heard (or been preached to lol) about the downsides of drinking coffee. While there are some slivers of truth for some people in what these “alarmists” claim. There are so many health benefits for most people (including mental- you know what I mean 😜). I would like you to reconsider coffee’s place in the diet and in health care.
Let’s take a dive into some of the unique properties of that cup that keeps you up!
Coffee can be seen as a nutritional product as it is a mixture of many nutriceutical compounds that all have individual purposes. There are so many recognized and unrecognized properties of coffee. We are going to touch on some but not even close to all them.
The supposed boogeyman. We’ve all been there, too many cups too fast (believe it or not some sugar will help balance the stress response from too much caffeine), maybe you took too much of your pre-workout (pretty sucky feeling). As with most things, ingesting more caffeine than your body can process you should expect to have some side effects. The good news is your body quickly builds a tolerance to caffeine. Might not be such good news to you java vets, you picking up what I’m putting down? ☕ Caffeine consumed in reasonable amounts (your mileage may vary) actually provides some health benefits.
Let’s take a look
- Protects the liver from alcohol and acetaminophen (Tylenol) and other toxins, and coffee drinkers are less likely than people who don’t use coffee to have elevated serum enzymes and other indications of liver damage.
- Caffeine protects against cancer caused by radiation, chemical carcinogens, viruses, and estrogens.
- It synergizes with progesterone, and increases its concentration in blood and tissues.
- Caffeine “improves efficiency of fuel use” and performance: JC Wagner 1989.
- Caffeine stops production of free radicals by inhibiting xanthine oxidase, an important factor in tissue stress.
This is a very short list of some of the benefits of the oft demonized nutrient. There are many more benfits to ingesting caffeine but to keep this article readable I’ll move on!
- Magnesium is an essential dietary mineral. The second most prevalent electrolyte in the human body.
- Magnesium deficiencies are common in developed countries. A deficiency increases blood pressure, reduces glucose tolerance and causes neural excitation.
- Maintaining healthy magnesium levels is also associated with a protective effect against depression and ADHD.
- Potassium is an essential mineral in the human diet
- Commonly seen as the counter-part to sodium. Especially when it comes to blood pressure and regulation of water in the body.
- Riboflavin is a vitamin which someone could not ingest enough of if their diet is poor.
- Vitamin B3 is necessary to support the function of many enzymes.
- Niacin is very effective at normalizing blood lipid levels.
- Chlorogenic Acid shows promise in many aspects of health and cognition. It is similar to bioflavonoids and shares some effects similar to caffeine.
There are many other polyphenols and antioxidants in your cup of black gold!
If you want to take a deeper dive into the science of coffee (with citations!) click the links below!
Raypeat.com – Dr. Peat’s website is a wealth of info on quite a few topics. He has a PHD in biology with specialization in physiology (this barely scratches the surface of who he is). In my opinion Dr. Peat provides the most coherent view of the health and well being of the whole organism.
Thanks for taking the time to read Part 1 of our series on The Magic Elixir-Coffee. The next article will take a look at different roasting levels and how that correlates to caffeine content.