Many folks, at least as far back as the 13th century, have been on and off the glorious dark elixir made from the coffee bean. I’ve gone for years without it but am currently enjoying it on a daily basis. The so-called experts have at turns touted and derided coffee. These opposing opinions confound my experience such that after I’ve bathed in it’s psychoactive wonder for a few hours and benefitted from some enhanced focus and productivity, I sometimes then endure the subsequent guilt pangs and self-chatter that have me promising myself that I’ll stop consuming it soon enough. [Here, I pause my writing to brew a hot 8 ouncer].
But these opposing didactics and the resultant see-saw experience around health choices is to be expected, right? After all, the information superhighway is chalk full of contradictory nutrition information. So the fact that my self-criticism around food is everpresent is no surprise. But instead of blaming the health professionals or the architects of those insidious marketing campaings (OK, blame them anyway), I choose to do my own research and experimentation — on myself — in addition to reading all the articles I can reasonably get through while life goes on.
Here’s my method:
- Do some reading from — and talking to — trusted resources
- Try something on myself
- Pay attention
- Choose whether to continue or discontinue use or behavior
- Re-evaluate at a reasonable interval
- Be open to changing your position if good health requires it
The jury seems to be forever out on coffee but the current “expert thinking” is that it’s good for most of us in the right dosage. Pay attention; “most of us.” This is where the notion of bio-individuality is relevant. Bio-individuality is the idea that everyone is bio-chemically different to some degree and that we need to assess each individual’s response to the food they eat seperately and within the context of their lives. You may be that person who experinces increased blood pressure or mild insomnia depending on how much coffee you drink. If so, you can decide to change your dose or just don’t drink it at all. Yes, there is a choice.
More to the point though from a health perspective is the stuff you add to the coffee. Avoid the coffee condiment bar unless you are adding a pinch of cinnamon, cardamon or raw cacao. All these are known to have great health benefits; as does good coffee itself. Leave out the candyish baked-goodyish whips, sweeteners and flavor shots. That’s where you get all the extra calories, mostly in the form of sugars.
So, for now, I drink it black with some cinnamon and cardamon once or twice a day. Give it a try and decide for yourself.