Remember when coffee was bad for you? When cutting down on coffee, and particularly caffeine intake, was the best thing you could do for your nerves and your overall health? There used to be a time when coffee was largely seen as a vice, a nasty ritual that spoiled your breath and stained your teeth, and a habitual expressway toward sleeplessness, nervous disorders, gastrointestinal stress and poor health. So much has changed in a few decades, or years. As coffee consumption has become more expensive, more desirable, and more boutique, it has also become more acceptable, if not robustly healthy. This 180 reminds me of Woody Allen’s 1973 film Sleeper, where he wakes up in the future to realize that everything that was deemed bad for you in the 20th century is now considered health food (see video above).
Whether it is a PR conspiracy or an actual awakening to the many virtues of coffee, medical reports, as well as the press, have been singing the praises of moderate (and even not so moderate) coffee consumption for a while now. Moderate coffee consumption has been attributed to warding off type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, as well as certain forms of cancer as well as Alzheimer’s. In addition, coffee is credited as antioxidant rich, a metabolism booster, and a stimulant strong enough to improve both physical and mental function. NPR reported last week that the caffeine in coffee is akin to a “miracle drug” for the fatigued and tired. As a daily coffee drinker, this is received as good news in my household, and provides the much needed justification/rationalization to spend upwards of $16 per lb on premium, shade-grown, organic coffee.
Where do you stand on coffee consumption? Are you skeptical of all the cheers and exaltations singing coffee’s many praises, or is it a miracle substance that has finally gotten its due?
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