So you think your morning coffee an OK option on your healthy eating plan? Is drinking coffee really bad for you or is it actually good?
Healthy Caffeine in Coffee?, I get these questions about coffee and health all the time and as a coffee drinker myself, it is smart to take a look at both the good and the bad and learn how to drink coffee safely..
Now, I’m not here to tell you that coffee is good for you. (I’m here to tell you the facts). If I did, I would be telling only the good side of the story and I’m no politician. I am here to give you the good and the bad and tell you how you can incorporate your favorite coffee or tea into your healthy meal plan.
The bad side of Caffeine
Most coffee and tea contains a lot of caffeine. This is usually the primary reason people make coffee their drink of choice in the morning. Caffeine is a drug and comes with a long list of side effects. Have you ever tried not having your coffee in the morning? The headache that comes on when you try and kick this habit can be brutal (just like with any other drug), and creating a dependency and addiction like this is harmful to the body.
Second, coffee is extremely acidic. Our bodies function at optimum levels when they are slightly more alkaline (the opposite of acidic). It is best for us to greatly reduce any foods that will drive our body’s pH to be more acidic and eat more foods that are alkaline (like fruits and veggies). An acidic body pH is like a magnet for all kinds of illnesses. Also, an alkaline body has a much stronger immune system, thus making illness much less likely to occur.
Last but not least, the caffeine in coffee and tea is abuse to your adrenal glands. Your adrenals release your “fight or flight” hormones basically giving you a nice “boost” when needed. Unfortunately, people who drink coffee all day long are consistently beating on their adrenals. This is the equivalent of whipping a tired horse even when he is exhausted. Eventually he will not move at all, the result is adrenal fatigue, leaving you with no energy, think of chronic fatigue.
Research on the effects of caffeine on the adrenal glands
The good side of Caffeine
Coffee tastes so nice and makes me feel great in the morning.
Many studies have shown that drinking coffee can help towards the prevention, and treatment of diseases and illnesses as varied as Alzheimer’s disease, liver disease, skin cancer, diabetes, parkinsons’s disease and many more. Although, I don’t believe coffee is the cure all to these diseases, many ancient cultures did rely on the coffee bean to cure a long list of ailments. But also, small doses of caffeine can increase performance and mental focus.
Green tea is a great drink with a long list of benefits. Green tea is a wonderful source of antioxidants which are important in cancer prevention. Green tea has even been found to raise the body’s metabolism and aid in fat burning. However its effects are really minor when compared to the effects of sound nutrition and a good exercise plan. Now that I’ve said that, don’t think you can eat junk food and just wash it down with green tea!
What is a coffee and tea drinker to do?
1. Limit your coffee and tea intake to 2 – 8 oz cups per day. Not 2 of each, 2 in total. Any more than that is considered as a addict.
2. If you are currently dependent on a lot of caffeine each day, replace at least 1 of the cups of coffee with green tea instead. Green tea is lower in caffeine than coffee, and will help combat the ugly detox symptoms.
3. Do not jack up your coffee with sugar, milk, syrup and whip cream . Use stevia or xylitol to sweeten and avoid all the empty, harmful calories. A teaspoon of half and half won’t hurt either. Please do not use any of those flavored creamers. They are closer to a students chemistry experiment than they are to real food.
4. Make sure that your food choices are healthy. Avoiding other acidic foods like sugar, artificial sweeteners and processed foods will lighten the acid load on the body.
5. Make sure the coffee you drink is organic. Conventional coffee is contaminated with pesticides and various chemicals and should be avoided.
There is no need to pass on your morning coffee but it is important to drink the right types of coffee, without the added unhealthy extras and, as with most things, in moderation.