You know you have a dependency on coffee when you need a cup of coffee to make it from the bed to the coffee maker. You think about coffee. You dream about coffee. You want coffee in bed when you wake up on the weekends. You're a threat to society without it during the week. You crush hard on coffee, but is coffee crushing your healthy lifestyle?
Balance is the secret to life's pleasures. Like everything that makes you happy (ah hem, caffeine, coffee, lattes, espresso, mochas and cappuccinos), moderation is the secret. You're not alone though. More than 90 percent of Americans drink coffee every 24 hours (that's at least once a day), and at least 68 million Americans drink three cups of joe every day, notes MindBodyGreen.com. NPR also supports evidence of a coffee-dependent nation by indicating the average American will drink a cup and a half of coffee per day. A cup and a half? Amateurs.
Although you can develop a physical dependency, perhaps addiction, on the natural caffeine in coffee similar to a drug, the brewed beverage can enhance your life and offers health benefits. Here's how:
In a WebMD interview, Peter Martin, M.D., an expert in psychiatry and pharmacology at the Vanderbilt University of Medicine, shared how drinking coffee can reduce risks of developing type 2 diabetes and lower heart attack mortality. More studies show that coffee consumption can protect the liver from risks of damage and help prevent Alzheimer's disease. According to a study authored by Chuanhai Cao, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at the University of South Florida Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute, evidence revealed that older adults with mild memory impairment who drank about three cups of coffee a day can reduce the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease or at least delay the disease's development. Bottom line: Daily moderate coffee consumption can protect against Alzheimer's disease and even Parkinson's disease.
Coffee contains antioxidants that serve as bodily neutralizers for harmful free radicals, according to FitDay.com. Rich in antioxidants, coffee also can reduce inflammation in the body.
It makes sense that early in the a.m. you can't seem to form a sentence or focus on the words of someone talking without a few sips of coffee. Java can lead to a sharper mind; Oprah.com shares how according to memory research, coffee boosts short-term recall and improves a person's ability to focus. Consuming coffee also can improve a person's attention span, alertness and reflexes.
Sure, coffee has positive effects for the mind and body, but it enriches life too. Not only is coffee a caffeinated beverage, but it's practically a culture. Drinking coffee while watching the morning news can become your beloved morning ritual that starts your day. The local coffee shop is your favorite place to chat with a friend, reboot during the day or get work done. Coffee can connect you to your day, your friends and even your work.
To set up a coffee bar at home, shop at Macy's and browse a selection of Keurig coffee makers. As a home barista though, just make sure to limit the creamer and sugar intake, and go for organic beans for the highest quality coffee. If you go to Starbucks for your caffeine fix, order drip coffee or ask for half the syrup (and no whip!) in your flavored latte or mocha drink. Enjoy, but if you start to feel irritable or nauseated back off on the brew.