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The good, the bad, and the caffeinated

Studies have shown that even if you are not a coffee drinker, the smell of coffee alone releases chemicals in your brain and you feel happier and more alert. Is there such a thing as too much coffee and what benefits does coffee have? Of course the saying “too much of a good thing” comes to mind, especially with coffee being known as a stimulant; it’s kind of a no brainer that too much isn’t good for you. You may experience dehydration, stains on your teeth, or have a jittery feeling. These are just some of the minor negative effects of coffee.

On the other hand, when enjoyed in smaller portions (especially throughout the day) coffee actually has some pretty awesome health benefits.

  1. A study showed that individuals who drank 3-5 cups of coffee per day decreased the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia by 65%.
  2. In a Japanese study more than 76,000 male participants showed that those that drank one or two cups of coffee every day reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 38%
  3. Drinking coffee long-term can decrease the risk of developing type-II diabetes. Remember, however, to limit the amount of sugar in the coffee.
  4. The amount of caffeine in coffee boosts the metabolic rate and helps burn fat, promoting weight loss!
  5. Decreases the risk of developing certain cancers, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and stroke.
  6. Essential vitamins found in a single cup of coffee (by cup I don’t mean a venti from Starbucks) such as: Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium and Niacin.
  7. Coffee promotes longevity; I don’t think it’s quite the same as the fountain of youth, but pretty close.

Summing it up: as long as you aren’t sucking down the overly sugary Starbucks drinks as much or more than one of the Gilmore Girls, a little coffee can do the body good. Drink up and cheers to your health!

Jennifer Roldan, massage therapist at Northwest Wellness in Federal Way