Caffeine--Moderation is Key!

Although it's been discussed for decades, no one has settled the score on our biggest nutritional concern--coffee. News stories don't help the argument, with some hailing coffee as the best thing in the world, while others warn you to stay far, far away. So let's take a moment to settle the discussion.

1) Is coffee good or bad for you? 2) How much is too much?

Caffeine is naturally found in coffee beans, some tea leaves, and cocoa beans. Coffee (which contains caffeine) has been rumored to be a diuretic, which increases how much you urinate and can dehydrate you. Fortunately, that's a myth. Research shows that it takes a lot of caffeine to induce a diuretic effect, and that caffeine is unlikely to dehydrate you (that increased urination is likely due to the extra fluid you are consuming along with the caffeine).

Much research shows there are many positive aspects about coffee as well. Coffee is the seed of the coffee plant, and so it does have natural antioxidants that are good for us. A typical serving of coffee contains more antioxidants than standard servings of grape juice, blueberries, raspberries, and oranges. Not only does coffee have antioxidants, but according to scientific studies gathered on the website Caffeine Informer, it also has many benefits to our health:

May aid in preventing weight gain- 2 to 4 cups of coffee a day help to keep weight steady ● Coffee is helpful for your heart and helps strengthen the heart muscle (if you have a history of heart problems, consult your physician about how much caffeine is safe for you to consume) ● Coffee may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes ● Caffeine may protect against cataracts (a film that develops over the eye) ● Coffee or caffeine naturally boosts your mood and helps you be more alert

Just like anything else, moderation is key. Coffee or caffeine-containing beverages such as tea and soda should be consumed in reasonable amounts. Too much caffeine or coffee can lead to insomnia; overuse can cause headaches and indigestion, among other things. Keep calories low by taking coffee or tea without cream and sugar, and keep soda consumption to a minimum.

So enjoy your morning joe without guilt!

For reliable information on caffeine, including a really cool "caffeine calculator" check out:

#caffiene #coffee #tea #soda #HealthyHabitsLoCo #diabetes #hearthealth #depression

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