Are you a ‘morning coffee’ person? I am, definitely! My day starts best when pushing my espresso button is the ‘first thing to do’ in the morning! We can call coffee a ‘psycho-delicacy’ – it gives you the amount of caffeine your brain needs after its sleep siesta.
Caffeine acts in the central nervous system and alerts the brain – and it seems that it makes us feel good in general. This is because of its antidepressant and anti-suicidal activity in our brain. Coffee is also rich in antioxidants and fiber. It has also proven that it helps in cancer prevention, especially the prostate, kidney, liver, and oral varieties. Also, it seems that it helps with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
But there are also drawbacks in consuming too much caffeine. Headaches from too much caffeine or caffeine intolerance are common. But on the other side of the coin, small amounts may relieve headaches – for example, those from hangovers. Heartburn is also caused by some caffeine products like coffee or soda. Combining caffeine with products rich in calcium like dairy reduce the absorption of calcium, hence it not so good for the bones. Rapid heartbeat and higher blood pressure can be also issues, but not to the point where it causes health problems – although it is connected with insomnia if it is consumed late in the day. Keep in mind that caffeine is not only in coffee, but also in tea, soda drinks, and chocolate.
An adult must consume less than 400 milligrams of caffeine every day. Kids are better off not consume any caffeine…so even chocolate for toddlers is a big ‘no’.
‘Pan metron ariston’ (all in good measure) was said in Ancient Greece by Kleovoulos. Keep on enjoying your coffee, is good for you – although it is best without cream.
Also, there are many herbal tea beverages you can enjoy that do not have caffeine.
* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.
Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Botany-Biology.