Coffee, a drink that can be a double-edged sword

Contributed by: Joo Ho Yoon



Ah! How sweet it is.

It is sweeter than a thousand of kisses,

And softer than a glass of Muscat wine.

Coffee, Coffee, I gotta drink coffee.

Johann Sebatian Bach, from Coffee Cantata

Many famous intellectuals of history have praised the awesomeness of coffee. Origin of coffee is traced back to highlands in Ethiopia, where the legend says that a cowboy was inspired to eat coffee seeds after sighting a flock of sheep awake all night after eating the seeds. Later on, coffee was spread to Europe through Osman empire. Coffee engulfed Europe after people came to realize that coffee tasted and worked better as a stimulant. Before the introduction of coffee to Europe, water in Europe was polluted that people drank alcohol to hydrate themselves. Almost every part of Europe was dependent on alcohol and people were unable to stay awake and diligent. Coffee was welcomed as a perfect substitute for alcohol by Europeans, after the pope blessed and approved it to be a holy drink. It didn’t take a long time for coffee to conquer the world. Today, coffee can be found anywhere, in hands of people rushing to their workplace, on a desk at school, at a beach or at a conference. Even in our school, it is easy to spot a group of students holding a cup of coffee. Despite its highly praised aroma, taste and stimulant effect that keeps us awake, coffee can have a negative impact on our body if consumed wrongly. Here are reasons why you should / shouldn’t drink coffee and how to drink it right, if you are a huge fan of coffee.

Why coffee can be good

  • It relieves headache to certain extent.

  • Coffee helps you sober up.

  • 1-3 cups of coffee a day helps reduce the risk of heart attack.

  • 1-3 cups of coffee a day helps reduce the risk of breast cancer by 50%.

  • Prevents depression.

  • A research showed that people who drink 2-3 cups of coffee a day are less likely to commit suicide.

  • Helps recovery after an intense exercise.

  • Coffee works best with carbohydrates. When consumed with carbohydrates(rice,bread), it helps your body to recover 60% of energy store.

  • Prevents Alzheimer’s disease (dementia).

  • Caffeine in coffee prevents cholesterol from destroying brain cells.

Why coffee can destroy you

  • Coffee causes insomnia, thus hindering repair and growth of your bone.

  • Excessive amount of coffee can cause you to get heart attack.

  • Coffee increase heart rate. When excessively consumed, it exerts a huge pressure on your heart.

  • It can make you feel anxious.

  • Coffee is a stimulant that increases heart rate and breathing by increasing adrenaline production in your body. Although this stimulant effect can enhance one’s ability and thus increase productivity, it may cause excitability or anxiousness that can prevent you from concentrating.

  • It leaves your teeth stained.

  • Coffee has dark pigments that can leave yellowing stains on your teeth by being embedded in tiny holes on your teeth.

  • It may cause gastritis.

  • Coffee stimulates production of gastric juice in your stomach. People often get used to drinking coffee after a meal as it helps stomach to digest food faster. However, excessive amount of gastric juice caused by coffee can lead to serious gastritis.

I still can’t resist coffee… what should I do?

The answer is simple. – drink coffee responsibly and beware of what your body’s telling you. The recommended daily intake of coffee for an adult is 2-3 cups a day without sugar and cream.

To start and pursue healthy consumption of coffee, find a way to make up for the loss of nutrients that you may neglect while drinking coffee by adding milk, coconut water, coconut milk, tonic water, butter or even fruits. It is important to know the right time to drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks since you have to switch off your brain for a while sometimes. Most importantly, find your own enjoyable way to drink it ! There is a wide variety of coffee with unique tastes and everyone has a preference, whether it’s hot, cold, sweet or sour. It is entirely up to you !

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