Our Expert Nutritionist Gives Us the Facts...
DO you NEED a cup of coffee to start your day or maybe it takes you two cups of tea or coffee to get you awake?
It is only then that you can properly function and deal with your daily tasks for work and family: Getting the kids ready for school, dressed, getting breakfast, prepare lunch, teeth brushed, face washed, and out the door.
What is the harm in having a few, but how many is a few?
Just take a minute and add up how many you drink per day? Believe you me I totally understand what it’s like to have a bad night’s sleep due our beloved little ones keeping us up all night! The next day you have a cup of coffee then another, then another, then another. Then you’re hooked! Caffeine is VERY addictive.
Coffee has become popular in the last 5 year in Ireland, we're gone very snazzy with our coffee machine in our homes.
My mother never had one in 'her day' (but she has one now teh teh) it was always Tae (tea), and pots of it! There are some many choices: Americano, latte, cappuccino, flat white, mocha, espresso or short black. We drink 400 billion cups a year. The main suppliers are Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, Colombia and Ethiopia. Coffee first evolved in Ethiopia, where some goats accidently ate some of the plant and the poor goats couldn’t sleep!
Coffee does contain very powerful antioxidants called polyphenols; in fact it’s one of the top 5 foods.
When the coffee is roasted its releases these very strong compounds. When we drink a cup of coffee, the caffeine changes the brain chemistry and blocks the chemical Adenosine. This is associated to sleep and alertness. That makes sense why some can’t sleep after a coffee. Caffeine also stimulates the pleasure centre in the brain- that is why caffeine is so addictive! It also stimulates the sypatmic system flight-fight response, this injects adrenal to the body making us more responsive.
So are there any benefits in a cup of coffee?
In recent studies it did conclude that a few cups of caffeine may in fact reduce the chronic disorder’s e.g. – lowering the risk of clogging in the Arteries, Melanoma, Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Dementia, Parkinson disease, Respiratory disease, Stroke, Injuries, Diabetes, Infections and Accidents.
On another note it is not advised to drink large amounts of Caffeine when pregnant, recommended daily amount is 1-2 cups per day that’s 200mg. When we drink caffeine when pregnant it passes straight through the placenta and your wee bundle of joy will get NO BENEFIT from it. It may present a wide range of health problems for your baby e.g.- Increased risk of miscarriage, low birth weights, birth defects like cleft palate, Increase rate of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and decreased cardiac function and heart damage.
Just beware when choosing your coffee:
Choose Organic:Coffee beans are one of the most heavily sprayed crops with pesticides. So, you should select only coffee beans that are certified organic. Remember, you will obliterate any positive effects if you consume coffee that's been doused in pesticides or other chemicals.
Whole Bean:Ideally purchase whole bean coffee that smells and tastes fresh, not stale; if your coffee does not have a pleasant aroma, it is likely rancid. Grind it yourself to prevent rancidity as pre-ground coffee may be rancid by the time you get it home.
Drink It Black:If you're interested in the health benefits, drink your coffee black, without sugar or cream or flavourings. This is very important, as it may be possible to un-do any benefits that the coffee presents. Add sugar and you'll certainly ruin any of the benefits discussed above by spiking your insulin levels, which contributes to insulin resistance. Make sure the water you're using is pure.
Coffee Filters: If you use a "drip" coffee maker, be sure to use non-bleached filters. The bright white ones are chlorine-bleached, and some of this chlorine will leach from the filter during the brewing process. Bleached filters are also notoriously full of dangerous disinfection by-products, such as dioxin.
Coffee Mugs: Be careful about the container you use. Avoid plastic cups as the BPA will leach into your drink, and also avoid Styrofoam cups that can leach polystyrene molecules. These properties will disrupt our hormones especially oestrogen levels. Very important to choose BPA free drinking containers (Bisphenol A).Your best bets include glass, BPA free and ceramic travel mugs.
If you are somebody that experiences a side effect jittery or insomnia, adrenal burn out, fatigue, thyroid dysfunction, or an autoimmune disorder, it would be advised to watch your coffee intake. Personally I would not recommend any more than 2 a day for anybody. If you suffer from insomnia, do not drink caffeine after 3 pm; remember that’s tea, coffee, chocolate and cocoa.
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I hope that enjoyed my blog, until the next time I wish you health and happiness
Written by our Nutritional Expert Betty O'Neill
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