Coffee – To Health or Disaster

 By Deline Tan

Are you a regular coffee drinker? In the past I have always thought that coffee is bad for health, and therefore I abstained from it. However, as I read reports about the benefits of coffee, my thoughts towards coffee change dramatically.

Coffee is known to lower the risk of Type Two Diabetes among regular coffee drinkers. When I read that, I go, whack, I did not know that coffee drinkers can have such a benefit. As I read the report further, I discovered that there are many good benefits that coffee brings and I will show you in a whiles time what these benefits are.

If you are prone to gallstones, moderate coffee drinkers can reduce the risk of developing gallstones. Moderate drinkers mean about two cups a day. Other benefits of coffee include the avoidance of the development of colon cancer. It also reduces the risk of liver disease like cirrhosis. Coffee drinkers are also protected from Parkinson’s disease. The reduced risks are many, as coffee drinkers also protect themselves from the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia.

All these diseases are greatly dreaded by men, and all it takes is for moderate coffee drinkers to avoid them. However, a heavy drinker runs the risk of contacting illnesses like cancer, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety, sleep disorder, bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, bad effects on pregnancy and menopause, iron deficiency like anaemia and coronary artery disease.

For heavy drinkers it would mean between five to eight cups a day. Anything that is excessive is always bad. However, if one is studying, it improves the cognitive function, and caffeine gives you the kick to stay awake and keeps you simulated. This is the reason why people are addicted to coffee. The stimulant gives you energy and keeps you awake and alerted to your surroundings.

I ask a friend, Else Tungland, aged 50 and a Home Maker about her habit in drinking coffee, and she says that when she was working before, when under stress, she can drink between six to eight cups a day. She adds, “I suppose when I am under stress, coffee makes me alerted and perked up my energy. Since I am a housewife now, I have cut down to one to two cups a day. I suppose it is hot here in Singapore, and I do prefer to drink tea and water.”

Else is a Norwegian and stays here with her husband and children for about one and a half years already. She continues, “Sometimes I don’t really feel good while taking coffee, as my stomach feels bad and it makes me feel shaky.”

Else has ever tried the most expensive coffee that she can find in town at Killiney Road, as it costs her $18 after she requested that she has a double scoop for the coffee. However, her favourite coffee stall is at Highlander at Kampong Bahru where she deems that the coffee there is really good and first class.

She explains, “The taste is different from other coffee and it tastes fantastic. It is the way that it is brewed that makes it special.” Else surely knows how to look for special coffee, as she also frequents Jones The Grocer (at Dempsy Hill) and Tully’s, the American brand off Orchard Road.

She adds, “The coffees there are okay as again every different place has their own special tastes.” Else may not know the benefits when she drinks coffee, but like those moments when she was stressed out, the coffee does improve her endurance performance in long duration. It keeps her awake and gives her the energy to work.

Coffee also does give modest cardiovascular effects such as increased heart beat and increased blood pressure. It also increases short term recall and helps memory. Those who have drink coffee in their life time found that they perform significantly better on cognitive tests and work best while under stress.

For those who like sweet stuff, coffee can prevent dental caries. The tannins in the coffee may reduce the carcinogenic potential of foods. It also reduces plague formation. However, excessive drinking can damage the lining of the gastrointestinal organs, causing gastritis and ulcers.

The bad side of coffee is that it causes insomnia. It also, like tea, stains the teeth. It also interferes with the absorption of supplementation iron when consumed excessively.

Joyce Lee, aged 54 and a Sole Proprietor says, “I am a moderate drinker as I consume two cups a day and it makes me more energetic and alert. I like the fresh brewed ones, as it is fresh and gives me more kick. I go to Pacific Coffee once every week but I can go without coffee if I want to.”

Jenny Tan, aged 49 and a Bank Manager adds, “I prefer the local coffee shop black coffee with milk, as the coffee is strong and it tastes really good.” Jenny has since young been drinking coffee but do not consider that she is addicted to it as if she were to go for holidays and coffee is not available, she can do without it.

Different people drinks coffee differently, but bear in mind that all the benefits that I have mentioned about coffee apply to moderate drinkers. Excessive drinkers are heading towards health hazard as it was mentioned earlier, it leads to all kinds of sicknesses.

It is best to drink between one to two cups of coffee everyday, and if you are the excessive drinker, do bear in mind that your health is threatened, and it is best to cut down as you can still do that. Are you a coffee drinker? Drink to health and not to disaster.

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