It may be the drink that fuels America, but coffee can have some unpleasant side effects:
- 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.
- High consumption can lead to increased heart rate and breathing rate, which can make people irritable as well as being potentially dangerous.
- 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.
- Chronic conditions: there is some evidence that drinking coffee regularly may reduce incidents of gall stones and kidney stones
- 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?
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