I’ve always slightly tainted coffee as an unfavorable drink that cunningly grabs people in with its addictive caffeinated affects. Until relatively recently, I viewed it as a drink for those who are dependent, almost weak, willing to frivolously spend their money on something differing not too far from a pack of cigs.
It’s not that I myself didn’t love the bold taste and the even more delightful smell of the roasted coffee grounds brewing in the morning. I had one too many sips from my daddy’s daily styrofoam cups, luring in my little kid nose with its sweet smell, not to enjoy the taste of coffee as I grew into an adult. Like cigarettes, after enough repeated tastes, it’s hard not too fall in love with coffee.
It’s just that I always viewed coffee as little more than a treat, one that I wasn’t willing to let take a tenacious hold on my wallet or my mind. If I was tired in the morning, I certainly wasn’t one of the 50% of Americans running for coffee to lift my droopy eyes. That’s what sleep was for, and if I missed a few needed hours of shut-eye the night before, I wasn’t going to rely on a drug to cure my energy depletion. Rather, I’d take the”healthy” and free route and make an effort to get a little extra sleep the following night. No morning coffee for me.
That is, until I went to London…and discovered how people could so easily get addicted to caffeine. A few late nights, a coffee shop on every corner, and a handful of friends drinking energy drinks as if they were water, and pretty soon I was beginning to shed my unfavorable views of coffee. A trip to the boot-shaped country specializing in oh-so tasty espresso later, and I was hooked.
No, not in the addictive/dependency kind of way. More like the “nothing’s better than a morning cup of Joe while reading the newspaper” kind of way. Don’t get me wrong, you still won’t find me drinking coffee anywhere close to every morning. I hate getting addicted to things. But I just love the taste, and the slight buzz that comes with it. Yes, coffee is still my little “treat,” but a treat I’ve started to enjoy at least once or twice a week.
And ever since, I’ve been reading all of these studies showing the health benefits of a cup of coffee! For one, coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A study published by the American Association for cancer showed a possible link between coffee and a reduced risk of head and throat cancer. Another study done by Harvard showed that drinking coffee may reduce your chance of getting Parkinson’s disease (esp. if you’re a man) by as much as 80%!
These results surely aren’t because of coffee’s pernicious little ingredient, caffeine. In fact, it’s probably best just to stick with decaf all together. According to Women’s Health magazine, “coffee has more antioxidants than almost any other food,” which is probably the primary reason it has shown some noted health benefits.
The bottom line: A cup of regular coffee won’t kill you, and in fact it might even do you some good with all the anti-inflammatory properties in contains. I certainly won’t be swapping my regular consumption of tea for coffee, but I won’t feel bad about sipping on a morning cup every now and then.