3 Ugly Truths About Coffee

coffee beans are good for you

It may be the drink that fuels America, but coffee can have some unpleasant side effects:

  1. It can ruin your concentration: The caffeine in coffee can cause insomnia, nervousness and restlessness, which can make it hard to focus on what you’re trying to do. The fatigue from poor sleep can drive people to drink more coffee in an attempt to stay awake, which keeps the vicious cycle going.
  2. High consumption can lead to increased heart rate and breathing rate, which can make people irritable as well as being potentially dangerous.
  3. Digestive problems: even in small amounts, caffeine can be an irritant, especially in people who have sensitive digestive systems. It is also a well-known culprit in cases of acid reflux.

Now for the Good News:

There are also beneficial effects of coffee consumption. In a study carried out by the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, researchers concluded that both regular and decaffeinated coffee had positive effects on cognition and psychomotor behaviour in aging.

The study was carried out on aged rats and showed that they performed better in motor skills testing, and memory when they had been fed coffee. The same beneficial effects were not seen with caffeine alone, leading the researchers to conclude that coffee (not caffeine) delivered the positive performance.

The presence of several bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols and caffeine, implicates coffee as a potential nutritional therapeutic in aging

 

Other studies have also shown the benefits of moderate coffee drinking in humans.

  1. Chronic conditions: there is some evidence that drinking coffee regularly may reduce incidents of gall stones and kidney stones
  2. Healthier liver: coffee lowers fat accumulation in the liver, and appears to be instrumental in lowering the risk of liver cancer, according to another study carried out in Italy.

So if a coffee shop near you is celebrating International Coffee Day today, you can stop in and celebrate with them, knowing that you’re doing yourself some good. After all, a coffee bean is a kind of berry. Roasted fruit, anyone?

 

The information contained on this site is general in nature and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. None of the statements on this site are a recommendation as to how to treat any particular disease or health-related condition. If you suspect you have a disease or health-related condition of any kind, you should contact your health care professional immediately. Please consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise, supplementation or medication program.

Diet Tips To Keep You On Your Feet

It’s not enough to avoid stepping on banana skins. The food you put in your body can make you fall over too. 

An important component of any healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition can also help you improve your balance in both the short- and long-term.

Although the link between nutrition and physical balance is not as clear as the connection between exercise and balance, here are six nutrition-focused tips to help optimize your physical balance and reduce the dangers of falling:

  • Eat regular, well-balanced meals: In one study, researchers found that fasting reduced people’s ability to balance on one leg, along with other declines in common balance measures. Eating at regular intervals can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of other side effects which can lead to falling.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption: While alcohol clearly has a short-term effect on physical ability—stumbling and slower motor skills, to name a few—chronic alcohol consumption can also damage your physical abilities. Ataxia, a loss of balance and coordination, is one condition that can result from nerve damage and vitamin B deficiency after long-term alcohol abuse.
  • Increase calcium levels: Getting enough calcium through eating whole foods or taking supplements can help improve your bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. This can help minimize the likelihood of a debilitating fracture in the case of a fall.
  • Add a vitamin D supplement: Vitamin D improves muscle strength and balance, and some studies have shown it also has a positive effect on neural coordination and the signals in your brain that control muscle movement.
  • Increase protein intake: Do you know the recommended amount of protein you should be consuming for your height, weight, age and activity level? Older adults should be particularly careful in monitoring their protein intake, particularly if your goal is to build muscle through fall prevention exercises. Getting enough protein is important to the muscle-building process, which can in turn help you achieve better balance.
  • Drink water: You know it’s good for you for a number of reasons, but did you know that being dehydrated stresses your body, which makes it more difficult to balance? The National Institute of Health advises adults drink 8-13 glasses of liquid (ideally water, but juice, tea, coffee, soup also count) per day to stay hydrated.