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A Naturopath’s take on Coffee!

Many people enjoy a cup of coffee every once in a while, while others can barely function before their first cup of joe in the morning. The jury is still out on whether coffee is the be of and end all of good health – but is it really a healthy way to boost your energy and mood?

  Firstly, one cup of coffee and you’ve lost at least another glass of hydrating water. As water comprises between 45 to 75 per cent of our total body mass, if you take the average coffee drinker, one litre of fluid loss is quite substantial.

  Coffee is a drug. It alters mood, and it is addictive. For this reason alone, many people may prefer to avoid it.

  Some people do not deal with caffeine very well.  Although some of us clear caffeine fairly rapidly (8 to 12 hours), slow metabolizers of caffeine can take up to 24 hours to clear it.  If slow metabolizers consume caffeine again within those 24 hours, they will accumulate higher and higher levels over time, and feel terrible.

  Coffee increases the release of cortisol and adrenalin from the adrenal glands. In large amounts, and over a long-term, this may disrupt sleep and impair the body’s ability to deal with stress.

Health Risks of Coffee:

  • Stomach ulcer and acid reflux
  • Anxiety and sleep disturbance
  • Iron deficiency (prevents absorption)
  • Miscarriage and reduced female fertility
  • Tinnitus.
  • Blood pressure was previously believed to be a risk, but recent evidence discounts that. A recent Harvard study found ‘no convincing link’ between ‘paper-filtered coffee’ and heart disease (9).

 

☞ In the big picture, coffee is not the worst thing in your diet.

Far, far worse, is the sugar in your hot chocolate. And the cake!

 

If you must drink coffee, savour it, and buy the best you can find! If you can’t give it up, reduce your intake, drink a glass of water for every cup and don’t switch to decaf thinking it’s better, as many decaffeinated drinks are stripped of caffeine using chemical processes.

 

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