Sunday,23 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1232, (5 - 11 February 2015)
Sunday,23 September, 2018
Issue 1232, (5 - 11 February 2015)

Ahram Weekly

The bleary bean

Let’s talk about better living! Our new interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers

“Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all” - David Lynch

Talking about coffee is controversial: it is either a super healthy beverage or it is incredibly harmful. But to many people worldwide, coffee is the best thing ever. It has become a daily staple for those who enjoy the smell, taste and the energy and alertness that it brings. Enjoying it can easily be translated into a morning date or even an evening activity.

Statistics say that more than 400 billion cups of coffee are drunk around the world every year. With so many different varieties and options to choose from, it’s not hard to find an option and taste that fits most people’s palate.

Here are some tips about how to enjoy a perfect cup of coffee, as well as some facts about it:

  • Don’t drink coffee when you first wake up. Our body naturally produces a hormone called cortisol that helps us feel alert and awake. It is released according to our circadian rhythm, dictated by the time of day. So, wait a bit longer before drinking your coffee in order not to waste your caffeine during a time when cortisol is at its highest.
  • Coffee isn’t dehydrating. It was once thought to be a significant diuretic, but that’s actually not true. Unless it’s consumed in large quantities (more than 500 to 600 mg a day, or two cups of coffee), there aren’t such negative effects.
  • Caffeine starts working quickly. It only takes ten minutes or so to start feeling the effects of caffeine after you take a sip of coffee.
  • Coffee can help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia. Several studies have shown that coffee drinkers are up to 65 per cent less likely to get Alzheimer’s disease, which is a leading cause of dementia.
  • Coffee’s magical powers were first realised through a crazy goat. According to legend, Ethiopian shepherds first realised the profound caffeinating effects of coffee when they noticed their goats started “dancing” after eating coffee berries.
  • Drinking a cup of coffee improves your performance when working out. Caffeine increases adrenaline levels and releases fatty acids from fat tissues, leading to a better physical performance by those who consume caffeine before working out.Drinking coffee can help you burn fat. Studies have shown that drinking caffeine can increase fat burning in the body and boost the metabolic rate.
  • Drink coffee during pregnancy. Though this falls within the things a lot of women are told they should avoid during pregnancy, the data shows no evidence of causation between coffee drinking and problems below around three cups of coffee per day.
  • Coffee beans are actually a fruit, being the seed that comes from a fruit. They are technically the pit of the coffee berry.  
  • Studies show that women who drink three or more cups of coffee a day are much less likely to develop skin cancer than those who don’t.
  • Caffeine, like any drug, is toxic in large enough doses. But a deadly dose of caffeine would require about 100 cups of coffee. The other risk of over-indulging is caffeinism, an addiction that is defined as needing six or more cups of coffee per day.
  • Coffee can help you feel less tired and increase energy levels, mood and various aspects of brain function.
  • Studies show that coffee is loaded with antioxidants that help the body fight free radicals. As a result, coffee drinkers are at a lower risk of diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, type II diabetes, and heart disease. It also contains important nutrients we need to survive such as vitamins B2 & B6, manganese, potassium and magnesium.
  • Scientists have found that sprinkling coffee grounds in the garden helps deter snails and slugs.
  • In the late 15th century, Ottoman Turkey passed a law making it possible for a woman to divorce her husband if he did not keep the coffee pot full.

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