The Health Benefits of Coffee

Most of us drink coffee to stay awake. A lot of people cannot survive a day without a cup of brew. Now coffee drinkers have a lot more reasons to keep up their caffeine addiction. Studies have proved that drinking coffee can bring numerous health benefits.

Researchers at Harvard Universities discovered that drinking up to three cups of coffee a day can actually reduce the risk of having diabetes. Those who drink six cups or more daily have it even better – diabetes risk in men can be reduced by 54% and in women can be lessened by 30%.

According to research scientist Tomas DePaulis, PhD from Vanderbilt University’s Institute for Coffee Studies, coffee is far more healthful than harmful. Other studies found out that those who drink coffee regularly are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. Some studies suggest that the more a person consumes coffee, the less chance that will it will develop. Aside from this, it was discovered people who drink two cups of coffee a day can reduce their risk of colon cancer, compared to a person who does not drink coffee at all.

Other scientists have found evidence that coffee can even help asthma under control, alleviate headaches and prevent cavities.

The studies revealed that caffeine is the ingredient responsible for the numerous health benefits of coffee. Because of this, drugs for Parkinson’s disease are being developed with caffeine derivatives. Caffeine is also responsible for enhancing athletic endurance. Recently, it was classified by the Olympic Games Committee as a “controlled substance” and that athletes who are competing in the games can only consume it in small amounts.

The studies also remind people us that coffee drinking is not for everyone.
Excessive doses of caffeine can have negative effects on some people. These effects include trembling of the hands, increased nervousness, and can cause the heart to beat rapidly. Doctors advise that these particular individuals regulate the amount of caffeine that they consume.

I consume coffee more than I do rice

I started drinking coffee when I was in high school but it was more of a breakfast ritual that continued until college. Upon joining the corporate world however, my daily consumption rose to noticeable levels that my boss had an item for it in the grocery list JD's coffee! Being largely uninitiated then, I took coffee with unrestrained enthusiasm that two and a half mugs of espresso after lunch, once caused palpitations and had me going home early.

A few years later, the sudden boom in the Manila’s coffee shop industry introduced me to more varieties. I developed a taste for various brands and hatred for others. I also liked the various concoctions like machiatto and Frappuccino but mostl, it was  a choice between the classic Cappuccino, Americano and the regular brews with the last one being preferred 99% of the time.

I remember that as I was growing up, a lot of people cautioned against coffee due to supposed health concerns. In this period however, the popular scientific thought seems to point to the other direction. Coffee is now said to bring a lot of health benefits to people and that gave me more reason to continue its consumption. Coffee continues to keep me company in my solitary work station and occasional business meetings. And now, I feel less guilty about it.

Philippine coffee should be going through good times, as this article is being written. There are hundreds of new café's in Philippines CoffeeMetro Manila and more scattered over the rest of the Philippines that failing to gain from it will be a great shame for our coffee farmers. An industry expert once lamented that while the Philippines is blessed as the only country to grow all four main varieties (Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa and Liberica), farmers grew all four side by side with each other resulting to mutations, growth of crossbreeds and eventually, inconsistent quality.

Philippine coffee should be on its way past that stage. After all, local demand is growing fast. Here's to the farmers and coffee drinkers all over Cheers!