The Coffee bean and health

February 18, 2009

Many of you would nod your agreement when I say there is no day without a coffee. No wonder why Starbucks has 16,120 stores in 44 countries. For me, I am an ardent coffee lover. With parents who love tea, I probably inherited my love for the coffee bean from my grandma. I have never seen her drink anything other than coffee. Tragically, I refrain from this beverage and settle in for a hot chocolate because of my acidity which cannot get along with coffee.

The battle of the brews continues even now with many people defending tea as a healthier option. Tea drinkers hold up that it can fight both cancer and heart disease. The polyphenols in the teas prevent cancer by fighting the free radicals and the antioxidants in the green tea can ward off rheumatoid arthritis, cataracts and enhance your immune system. Coffee has its biggest short coming in caffeine which needs no explanation.Caffeine is addictive and too much of it can lead to restlessness, anxiety and headaches. Coffee drinkers also suffer from constipation with its diuretic and dehydrating effects.  Coffee is also accused of worsening pre-menstrual breast pain and insomnia in many. There many other negatives associated with our dear cup of coffee. Yet, there is a long line in front of the coffee shops. And there is no reader at Borders without a tall Latte or Mocha.

But, we still don’t give up. There is some good news for coffee lovers from Finland and Sweden. Caffeine in coffee is found to be capable of warding off the damaging effects of cholesterol, fighting dementia and preventing Alzheimers. Moderate consumption of coffee in the middle age can reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimers in the old age. Coffee also serves to protect your brain and is capable of preventing certain cancers, such as ovarian and liver cancer. Coffee can further provide relief to asthma , tension headaches and inhibit the formation of gallstones. These new findings offer relief and comfort to coffee drinkers who enjoy 4-5 cups of coffee a day.

The good news doesn’t end there. A group of researchers of the Honolulu Heart Program came up with the finding that those who took 28.oz of coffee a day are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. Thanks to Caffeine!
Yet, with all these researches and end results the battle of the brews still continues.  And no study is complete enough to maintain whether coffee or tea is the healthier choice.

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-Aparna K V