Coffee…is it good or bad for us? Our health and well-being expert Denise Kelly finds out…

Coffee Health

It’s nearly Christmas, and life is usually busy enough. Now, on top of that you have endless functions, parties and late nights, let alone working, cooking and ferrying the bambinos around etc! The list never seems to end.

As the festive season continues, maybe your body is becoming more exhausted? Do we reach for the coffee to perk us up or not? This is a question that has been discussed over the years many times and what is the answer? Perhaps you need to decide…

The benefits of coffee are being widely publicised. Many gyms are now promoting coffee and hour before a work out because apparently it improves your performance by 12 per cent due to the increase rush of adrenalin.

Not only is it helping your work out, it is said to help you to stay focused too, which in all life situations is helpful. It is amazing at stimulating the central nervous system, and is claimed to fight depression due to the increased amount of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which helps to elevate your mood.

According to studies two cups of the black stuff can prevent suicide risk by 50 per cent, which is quite staggering. Coffee also protects the brain and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia because it contains anti-oxidants that help fight free radicals. It also causes activity in the part of the brain that is affected by Parkinson’s disease, as well as reducing the risk of stroke and cancer. Prostate cancer in men is reduced by 20 per cent and endometrial and basal cell carcinoma cancer by 25 per cent if you are consuming a couple of cups per day.

The disadvantages are well known facts too, and for me the number one thing is NOT to allow children to have coffee. It can immediately cause anxiety levels to increase and can enhance bed-wetting, which can be distressing for any child.

Personally I think children have enough pressures on them in this day and age, and I see a lot of children in my clinics with anxiety disorders that seriously interfere with their lives as early as 8 years old. My advise is let them wait until they are adults to decide. They should have enough natural energy of their own not to need coffee.

Coffee can also cause insomnia, anxiety and restlessness as it can increase catecholamine’s, a stress hormone that increases cortisol and insulin levels. Not only does this make you feel lousy once the caffeine rush has gone, it also increases inflammation in the body, which can lead to discomfort and, or disease. Coffee can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease due to raised blood sugar levels. This can lead to atrial deterioration and increased risk of mortality.

Not only that it can interfere with some specific drug metabolism and detoxification of the liver, which places unnecessary strain on the body. It can also elevate urinary excretion, which gets rid of vital minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. These are all needed to maintain healthy functions of the body.

However, last but by no means least, we can become addicted to coffee. Anything that we need more than we want is not good. Have you ever seen anyone who consumes regular daily coffees try to stop? They may experience symptoms such as headaches, stomach cramps and nausea, and it’s not a pleasant process.

I would suggest everything in moderation. So if you are a 6 cups a day person, I would seriously be trying to reconsider your lifestyle choices. Support the body with great Nutrition and try getting some natural energy going to get you through the festive season.

About the Author

Denise Kelly
Denise is an experienced nutritionist, writes columns and articles for corporate companies and news outlets, such as Chichester.News, delivers health seminars all over the world and runs two busy health clinics, one in Chichester, and one in Harley Street London.