Coffee – Enjoy or Avoid?
Written By Melonie Jorgenson, Wellness Program Director
Dr. Gala points out that coffee is full of anti-oxidants that are anti-inflammatory. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of coffee in regards to reducing blood glucose levels, prostate cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and many others that are too numerous to mention here. However we can’t ignore the fact that caffeine is a drug. Think of what happens when one tries to stop drinking coffee. Most coffee drinkers experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, energy crashes, and the like. Dr. Gala thinks of it like this, “Coffee is a drug that has health benefits. For me, I would rather find a substance that has health benefits that is not a drug.”
If you are still not convinced that you are willing to give up the one cup a day, Dr. Mercola recommends the following: I want to add also my personal experience; I am pain free, have 10/10 energy, etc., and I do not drink coffee; I never have. In addition I have worked with numerous clients over the years who were suffering from neuropathy, severe foot pain, pain that completely went away when the client stopped drinking coffee. Coffee has been shown to be toxic to the nervous system. When it comes to achieving any therapeutic benefits from coffee, only quality coffee will do. Here are four primary considerations:
Choose Organic: Coffee beans are one of the most heavily sprayed crops with pesticides. So, you should select only coffee beans that are certified organic. Remember, you will obliterate ANY positive effects if you consume coffee that’s been doused in pesticides or other chemicals. Whenever possible, purchase sustainable “shade-grown” coffee to help prevent the continued destruction of our tropical rain forests and the birds that inhabit them. There are many who say shade grown coffee tastes better as well. Whole Bean: You’ll want to purchase whole bean coffee that smells and tastes fresh, not stale; if your coffee does not have a pleasant aroma, it is likely rancid. Grind it yourself to prevent rancidity as pre-ground coffee may be rancid by the time you get it home.
Drink it Black: If you’re interested in the health benefits, drink your coffee black, without sugar or cream or flavorings. Add sugar and you’ll certainly ruin any of the benefits discussed above by spiking your insulin levels, which contributes to insulin resistance. Make sure the water you’re using is pure.
Coffee Filters: If you use a “drip” coffee maker, be sure to use non-bleached filters. The bright white ones are chlorine-bleached, and some of this chlorine will leach from the filter during the brewing process. Bleached filters are also notoriously full of dangerous disinfection byproducts, such as dioxin. Dr. Mercola also discussed the benefits of exercising on an empty stomach. He does acknowledge the following: “Coffee before training allows you fast energy to initiate your workout. For people who train in the morning, having coffee before training is a great advantage. However, coffee is a potent substance and should be used only in moderation—without sugar.” He recommends having just one cup of organic coffee in the morning or before training, and that’s it for the day. If you exercise in the morning, have your coffee prior to your workout, NOT after. Consuming coffee after your workout interferes with your body’s muscle-building mechanism. (Lean protein is best for muscle building when consumed within 30 minutes following a workout.) Again, your body can handle whole, fresh organic coffee because it doesn’t hit your system the way synthetic caffeine does. But you don’t want to go overboard. Dr. Mercola goes on to point out that he, like Dr. Gala, does not drink any coffee. The key points that I want you to get out of this segment regarding coffee is to realize that it is a mixed bag. Dr. Gala recommends that for optimum health make choices that are without the potential negative side effects; he does not recommend its use. If you aren’t ready to give up that one-cup per day be sure to drink organic, freshly ground, black coffee, nothing added.