Drinks of the gods: My Precioussss Cuppa Java

coffeegirl15

There is nothing more amazing than a fresh hot cup of coffee, especially on a cold winter morning.  I wake up early, not because I am a morning person, but because my dogs , the ones that sleep with me, are pawing at my face, whining to be let out into the back garden to run around and enjoy the fresh morning air.

Coffee then, turns into this quiet self-reflective bubble of time that allows me to think about nothing except how amazing it tastes and how happy I am to be alive.  I drink coffee because I love the taste, not because I am worried about my health.  In fact, I would drink it even if it gave me nothing of value, just to have that singular moment in time to reflect on my super cool and abundantly blessed life.

Honestly, throughout my youth, I had been told quite often by my parents that coffee was bad for your health and especially so, since I was a girl.  Heavens forbid, it darkens your skin and makes you less feminine! (gasp) And we know how important it is for girls to be feminine and have pale milky skin!

coffeegirl4Fast forward decades later and I am an addict, a fanatic, and I roast my own green coffee fair trade beans from all over the world.

My favorite is Sumatra and El Salvador green beans, but I also have special fondness of Guatemala and Brazil green beans.  (As an aside, I order green unroasted coffee beans from Sweet Marias.  They have a good selection of green beans and they ship to my house, so that’s a big plus).

Despite the 3 to 4 cup a day habit that I have developed (cultivated?) over the years, I’m still as pale as ever.  I’m so pale I almost glow in the dark.  😀

It’s all good.  Coffee really is not bad for your body.  In fact, it’s quite good, and in this case, it really is true that more is better than less.

Benefits

According to Life Extension Coffee page:

  • Studies have shown a strong association between higher consumption of coffee and a significantly reduced risk of most chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and others.
  • Drinking just one cup of coffee a day – caffeinated or decaffeinated – can decrease the risk of developing diabetes by 13%.24 But at 12 cups a day, the risk of getting diabetes is slashed by 67%.
  • Coffee lowered the risk of kidney stones in women by 9 and 10%, respectively.
  • Caffeinated coffee reduced the incidence of gallstones and gall bladder disease in both men and women.
  • Coffee boosted regular weight loss by 8 pounds and promoted body fat metabolism.
  • For athletes, caffeine reduced muscle pain, increased energy (ergogenic aid), and enhanced endurance.
  • Caffeine, taken 2 hours before exercise, prevented exercise-induced asthma.
  • A 2011 study on over 50,000 women found that 4 cups of coffee daily lowered the risk of depression by 20%, compared to coffee abstainers.
  • Antibacterials in coffee were found to inhibit plaque formation and prevent dental decay.
  • Coffee consumption prevents constipation and – despite the myth that coffee dehydrates the body – contributes to the body’s fluid requirements.
  • Caffeine is believed to boost by 40% the effectiveness of pain relievers against headaches. Caffeine also helps the body absorb headache medications more quickly.
  • People with the highest coffee consumption have a 13% and 18% lower risk, respectively, for basal cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer).

It’s almost like a low-grade elixir of health when splayed out in bullet points like this.  I had known about the benefits of coffee for a very long time, but I didn’t know about the cancer and diabetes benefits.  All it takes is for me to not pay attention to the ongoing research, and I fall behind, until years later, I dig through and I see even more scientific studies that tout the benefits.

I’m silently chuckling to myself, mentally listing all the things I did which went against what my parents told me to do:

  • don’t play guitar or you’ll ruin your beautiful fingers
  • don’t whistle or your mouth will become ugly
  • don’t get tattoos or you will ruin your skin
  • don’t drink coffee or your skin will darken

Notice, all the ‘don’ts’ have nothing to do with my health and everything to do with how it will make me look.  Since I’m a Taobabe and not a Taobum (waves at the taobums), I do pay attention to how I look, but not at the cost of not doing things which make me happy.  For the record, none of these parental fears ever materialized, even though I did them all throughout my life with gusto.

Dosage

Previously, I thought I was on the edge of overdosing myself since I am normally a 4 cup a day type of person, but then, when I read that the recommended dosage was between 4 and 12 cups a day, I was like—You have got to be kidding!  Does that mean I am BARELY meeting the minimum dosage requirement to hit the epidemiological recommended dosage???

annoyed2I was a bit perturbed until I realized that when scientists mean ‘cup’, they literally mean CUP, as in a measuring cup.

So I did what any scientifically inclined Taobabe would do.  I went and measured my coffee cup to see how many cups fit into the cup that I use to drink out of every morning.

As it turns out, my coffee mug holds about 2.5 cups of coffee.  This means if I drink 4 cups a day, I was literally drinking the equivalent of 10 scientifically measured cups.

Now that’s more like it, I said, as I sashayed across the kitchen floor to refill my cup for the second time today.  Of course, this does not include the green tea that I drink during meal times, nor does it include the bitter melon tea that I drink late late at night as I am reading or writing or chilling out while playing video games.  Those also add to the health benefits, but I am not going to go into the details of teas in this post.  This post is just for my beloved coffee.

Drink up y’all.

Life Extension Coffee

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