• Nicola Zaina

Coffee - Part 2

My reason for starting to drink coffee every day was because of the new reports stating the health benefits of coffee. Like the reduced risk of Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s and better cognitive function. The trend of Bulletproof coffee mixing coffee with unsalted butter and MCT oil would fire up your brain and had me hooked.

It’s the caffeine that helps cognitive function and increases metabolism which can lead to weight loss and increased energy. That is why green coffee bean extract was toted for weight loss.

Coffee can be helpful for asthmatics as it helps to dilate the blood vessels making it easier to breathe. It also can elevate depression which is what I found and it gave me the motivation I was lacking.

It’s a plant and having a more plant dense diet is good for you. It does contain some very beneficial anti-oxidants. But the downside is that it is roasted and burnt food is never a good idea as this leads to the creation of harmful chemicals which can increase our toxic load.

Coffee can have a laxative effect which is great if you suffer from constipation but for others, it can cause loose stools and even diarrhoea. If you have that more sluggish body system, prone to weight gain, and struggle to get going then coffee may help to increase your metabolism.

Some may even say coffee is part of the Mediterranean diet and that those that drink coffee live longest. It could be those beneficial anti-oxidants found in coffee. But it may also be that sitting around having coffee is important in feeling part of the community and that we know is linked to longevity.

Coffee helps to create good vibes and in fact, when the first coffee houses were established in Arabia they had a bad reputation as places of gambling and low morals and were eventually forced to shut down as they went against Islamic law.

It’s the good vibes that make coffee such a social and enjoyable drink. And for those who work from home or can work anywhere because their business is internet based the need for them to still feel like part of a community is created by the coffee shop. A place to hang out, look hip as you work on your laptop and sip on a beautiful flat white. A coffee break is also a great way to escape the office and keep yourself going through the workday.

Why it may not be for you

So is it really bad for you? No, not necessarily it depends largely on our own individuality, for some it isn’t a great option. Especially If you have a predisposition to high blood pressure as it may increase it. It can also increase anxiety if you are already anxious and stressed. And it can be a contributing factor for insomnia, even if you have it early in the day.

Coffee has been linked to gout, arthritis and increased bone fractures. While studying it was called an anti-anti-nutrient because it can increase the excretion of important minerals from the body.

If you are stressed and feel wired and anxious and cannot sleep coffee isn’t going to solve any of your problems, in fact, it will probably make them worse. If you are feeling depressed and demotivated it may help you get over the hump.

And if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue then coffee would best be avoided. The caffeine in coffee (tea and some energy drinks) stimulates the brain to release adrenaline and cortisol from the adrenals. These hormones while useful end up putting the body in a continual flight or fight mode. Which is the last thing you want to be doing to your body if your cortisol is already out of whack.

It is hard when you feel so depleted to resist having that coffee in the morning to get your cortisol levels up. With regular consumption of caffeinated drinks, your body can start self-regulate so that you may not experience such a rush.

It really all comes down to the way you metabolise coffee, do you have the right genes? If you don’t metabolise it well you may experience health issues when drinking coffee and if you do metabolise it well then you probably tolerate drinking coffee better.

Now my husband Mike doesn’t do too well on coffee he will have a cup in the morning and have a poor nights sleep. Depending on the blend he may feel a bit detached or anxious. But if he is having a day when he doesn’t feel very motivated a coffee can help get him fired up or it can make him spin out of control, it’s a bit of a roulette wheel for him.

We are all different

The thing that makes it all so confusing is that we are all individuals and have different responses to coffee. We need to figure out what works for us but we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking we do great on coffee. While I do well on coffee compared to Mike and can have it every day. I can become tolerant to it and, so I don't' get any of the benefits and then I am faced with the dreaded withdrawal.

If you are feeling brave and want to try 6 days without coffee as I did, or have even more coffee-free days then here are some things that may help and you can still keep up with the coffee bunnies:

  • I made sure to drink enough water not too much but enough

  • I started the day with some Klamath Blue Green Algae you could have wheat or barley grass

  • I had spirulina in the morning and some more at lunchtime to help keep me going

  • I had a cup of tea because I still wanted something warm and milky in the morning, a strong cup of rooibos would be better.

  • I ate more fruit so I would stay hydrated and feel energised I moved over to green tea, I would make myself a big pot of green tea with mint and drink it as an iced tea throughout the day

  • A drink made with matcha would also be a great option

  • I would have a shot of Kombucha in the afternoon to give me a little lift

  • If I felt tired mid-afternoon I would have a short nap or get some fresh air and do some deep breathing and just close the eyes for 10 minutes.

I did the first few days over the weekend when I knew I could take it easy, starting on Thursday gives you 4 days to get over the worst of withdrawal. I did go back to coffee after 6 days and now have 2 cups a week which feels about right for me.

What to do when you get invited for a coffee and don’t really want one, meet at a place that also offers healthy coffee-free alternative like fresh juices and smoothies. Suggest something else, like going for a walk or meeting on a bench or the beach.

Then lastly think of all that money you will be saving and what you can do with it instead, do the sums and decide how you are going to spend your money. Maybe a treat for your efforts or giving the money to a charity.

Sometimes been accountable to your commitment helps, like I did by posting I was going coffee free. So if you are feeling very brave you can post your decision to be coffee free and for how long on the Facebook page, just for fun.

#coffeeaddict #coffeehealth #coffeeandadrenals

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