Healthy Eating Habits – Caffeine

Healthy Eating Habits – Caffeine

When it comes to healthy eating habits there is much debate about whether or not caffeine is good or bad for you. Most of us rely on caffeine from either coffee cola or energy drinks to stay alert. But some recent research is showing that the effects of caffeine, both good and bad, go way beyond just keeping us alert.

Fist the good things.

Parkinson’s disease – Parkinson’s is caused by the loss of dopamine producing brain cells. Recent studies on animals have shown that caffeine can reduce the amount of cell loss. In another meta-analysis that pooled 13 studies, drinkers of regular coffe (not decaf) had a 30 percent lower risk of Parkinson’s than non-drinkers.

Gallstones – The U.S. Nurses’ Health Studey tracked nearly 81,000 women over 20 years, and the U.S. Health Professionals Follow-Up Study tracked 46,000 men for 10 years. Each of these studies showed that people who drank two to three cups of regular coffee a day had a 20% less chance of gallstones than those that did not drink any coffee.

Mental Performance – There is much research to show that caffeine does increase alertness, but has little effect on other mental capacities such as memory or reasoning. That is unless you are sleep deprived, in which case all of your mental capabilities will be enhanced. If you are falling asleep at your desk for example, anything that wakes you up will make you perform better.

Now, some of the not so good for healthy eating habits.

Sleep – Consuming coffee within three to five hours of bedtime will disrupt most people’s sleep. Caffeine is thought to interfere with adenosine which is what many scientists believe is the brain’s natural sleep regulator.

Miscarriage – A recent U.S. study found that among 1,063 women, 24 percent of women who consumed more than 200mg of caffeine daily suffered a miscarriage compared to only 10 percent of those that consumed less than 200mg.

Migraines – While caffeine can provide some temporary relief for headaches, continued use might increase the risk of chronic daily headache syndrome. People who suffer from migraines should avoid caffeine.

Finally, there are some things that it would seem you should not worry about if you drink caffeine. There has been no linkage made, either good or bad, between consuming caffeine and heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, dehydration ( a big misconception that coffee is a diuretic), PMS, weight loss or growth.

As with everything, healthy eating habits often involve moderation. So enjoy your cup of coffee but try to keep it to moderate daily levels.

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 23rd, 2011 at 4:55 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.