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Your Morning Cup of Joe - A Health Food?

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Where do you stand on caffeine? Like so many other innocent, naturally occurring effects from a food substance, this one has been demonized.
Others have been the calming effects of tryptophan in turkey, the endorphin rush from really hot peppers.
But I digress, I'm hear to defend your morning cup a joe.
I guess from that first sentence you can tell where I stand.
I am firmly on the side of love it, use it, wouldn't live without it.
Now I didn't say couldn't.
I can, and I have given up coffee, and all other caffeine delivery systems at times.
Once I switched to decaf coffee thinking it would help me remain calm while running a 185 seat restaurant in NYC in 80s.
Lucky for me I hated the decaf and went right back to my old friend.
It seems that I was instinctively pumping up the brain cells with my morning mug and by only having one, I was able to stay calm and alert.
I read this recently in Dr.
Julian Whitaker's newsletter and it's pretty funny.
He is pro-caffeine too and says, "If coffee were harmful then emergency rooms all over the world would be chocked with people suffering the ill effects of their favorite morning beverage.
Hadn't thought of it that way had you, you anti-caffeine folks? In recent decades, some 19,000 studies have been done examining coffee's impact on health according to WebMD supporting the idea that caffeine is not the devil and in fact does lots of good for some.
First coffee improves concentration and alertness, and boosts mood.
In fact just the smell of coffee can relieve stress in animals.
Coffee can also stop a migrain, curb appetite, and increase the effectiveness of aspirin and analgesics.
Excedrine and Anacin as well as some prescription meds contain caffeine.
Now here's some really interesting news, drinking coffee reduces the risk of Parkinson's disease as much as 80%! But wait, there's more.
Compared to those who fear and shun coffee, those who drink at least 2 cups a day are 80% less likely to develop cirrhosis of the liver even if they drink a lot of alcohol.
We are half as likely to get gallstones and 25% less likely to get liver cancer.
Though it is often cited as a risk factor for breast cancer a recent study spanning 22 years and involving 86,000 women found a weak inverse association between the two in postmenopausal women only.
And maybe some of the best news of all for those with type 2 diabetes are at risk of it just came out of Harvard.
After analyzing data on 126,000 people for as long as 18 years, Harvard researchers calculate that compared with not partaking in America's favorite morning drink, downing one to three cups of caffeinated coffee daily can reduce diabetes risk by single digits.
But having six cups or more each day slashed men's risk by 54% and women's by 30% over java avoiders.
Now that's a lot of caffeine and more than many of us can tolerate without getting jittery, not to mention the too much acid being loaded into our systems.
The point here is that coffee with caffeine can be a part of a disease prevention meal plan.
What makes coffee so healthful first of all is the protective antioxidants-in the average daily consumption, which is 1.
65 cups, coffee provides 1299 mgs of antioxidants.
Tea, the second richest source of antioxidants supplied only 294 mgs.
And believe it or not, coffee contains 2 mgs fiber per cup.
Again, these facts came via Dr.
Whitaker's latest newsletter.
On the flip side, it's clear that coffee isn't for everyone.
Its legendary jolt in excess doses -- that is, more than whatever your individual body can tolerate -- can increase nervousness, hand trembling, and cause rapid heartbeat.
Coffee may also raise cholesterol levels in some people and may contribute to artery clogging.
But most recent large studies show no significant adverse effects on most healthy people, although pregnant women, heart patients, and those at risk for osteoporosis may still be advised to limit or avoid coffee.
I didn't even cover the benefits coffee in particular can give your workout-especially those who work out for long periods of time.
Suffice to say there is nothing devilish about caffeine or coffee as long as it works for you.
My hope here was to give you back a beverage you might have at one time loved but threw under the bus because the food police led you astray.
Now we can wake up, smell the coffee, drink the coffee and bow to the coffee for its health benefits as well as how it makes us feel.
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