Waking up to that morning cup of Joe is a favorite past time around the world. There is nothing quite like the smell or the unique flavor of coffee, relished by so many. What is the intrigue about this popular beverage? It does have a strangely addictive quality along with its uncanny ability to lift moods, move bowels (let’s face it, you appreciate that too) and wake you up. What part of coffee does all of these magical things? One thing is sure, those who reach for this caffeinated beverage are often times just feeling the need for speed. Though caffeine has had negative associations for some – such as insomnia and adrenal exhaustion, studies are now showing that caffeine may be very healthy after all.
Experts say that over 600 mg per day of caffeine(over 6 cups) can lead to such issues as insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, muscle tremors, fast heartbeat and stomach upset. Taken in moderation, however, caffeine can be a divine addition to your early day. Caffeine has the ability to ward off free radicals, showing itself to be the source of the antioxidant benefits found in other caffeine-rich foods such as green tea.
Recent studies have shown that caffeine boosts memory. How does it do this? According to a Japanese study “just as muscle cells are stimulated by caffeine, brain cells in the hippocampus are stimulated to increase calcium concentration. This improves the cells signal flow, which improves memory.”
Caffeine has also been shown to help cataracts, relieve post-workout pain by up to 48%, increase dopamine in the brain- thereby relieving depression, ward off Alzheimer’s, decrease the risk of suicide and keep those pesky eyelid spasms from happening. So, even if you aren’t ‘feeling the need for speed’, caffeine can be a helpful addition to any diet if taken in moderation.
Drinking caffeine can also inhibit skin cancer, as discovered in another recent study using mice. Personally I hate research such as this – done with any live specimen – but this is what happened: “mice that were fed caffeinated water and exposed to lamps that generated UVB radiation that damaged the DNA in their skin cells were able to kill off a greater percentage of their badly damaged cells and reduce the risk of cells becoming cancerous.”
The point is, all things can be used for ‘good’ or ‘ill’, it all depends upon our intent and the extent to which each thing is pursued. Caffeine can be detrimental, if taken in took great of amounts, and some folks are allergic to the stuff. In moderate quantities, caffeine can be a healer and preventative measure for many possible issues. Rather than drinking it to guard against these things, necessarily, perhaps it is best to drink coffee and other caffeinated beverages for the pure joy of it – letting the ‘side effects’ be the perks of such a decision.
As we ‘study’ each and every food, plant and molecule in the scientific journey of exploration, and discover what elements are present and the possibilities of each one, we are presented with the opportunity to choose knowledge-based living verses that of the intuitive. The more we know, the more we are realizing how much there is we do not know. One of the best sources of true wisdom, for each person, is the impressions offered by the tuned in heart. We can listen to science, and research and results, that is all fine and good. But let us not forget the voice of discernment which exists in our own beings and answer the call of truth – which can sometimes manifest in the ‘need for speed’ and a shot of good old caffeine.
Written by: Stasia Bliss