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Kate Hawkesby: A new study might change my 24 year attitude to coffee

Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Wed, 2 Aug 2023, 8:50am
Photo / Getty
Photo / Getty

Kate Hawkesby: A new study might change my 24 year attitude to coffee

Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Wed, 2 Aug 2023, 8:50am

I’m amped by this new study on coffee.

I know, I know, everyday a new study telling us something we should or shouldn’t be doing that we thought previously we could or couldn’t do.

Llike chocolate’s bad for you, then it’s good, wine’s bad for you then it’s good, coffee’s the devil and now it’s good.

But still, I love a good bit of research, especially broad spectrum studies and this latest one on coffee was a 15-year-study of more than half a million participants.

It showed ‘people who drank coffee were less vulnerable to a range of chronic illnesses’.

“Drinking coffee is protective for health,” it said.

You can have two to five cups a day and get the cognitive and health benefits. Apparently the cut off is seven, so don’t go more than seven cups a day for goodness sake.

But it can reduce the risk of colorectal cancers, it helps flush toxins through your system, it promotes good gut bacteria for your microbiome, it’s got polyphenols which protect against inflammation apparently - this includes decaf by the way.

It can improve brain function, there’s a link ‘between coffee drinking and better cognition in later life’.  

One researcher was quoted saying she believes ‘the components in coffee may be helpful in maintaining neuronal plasticity and activity.’ It can also help prevent Type 2 diabetes, according to a Swedish professor quoted in the report.

Apparently, all these health benefits stem from ‘the complex mixture of minerals and chemicals within coffee, from magnesium to chlorogenic acid, {which} potentially alters how the body produces and uses insulin.”

Basically it’s full of antioxidants that potentially have anti-inflammatory properties. It can boost your metabolism, increase dopamine, protect against neurodegenerative conditions, the study says, so you know, the list goes on, and it’s sounding pretty bloody promising to get into that morning brew.

There’s a reason our body obviously craves it. But here's the thing, here’s the point of this whole story. I gave up coffee 24 years ago when I was pregnant with my first child.

I was very hippie and dedicated to having a body free of stimulants or caffeine but the upshot is, I never went back.

I kept having babies and then once I’d finished doing all that procreating and breastfeeding I found I’d just lost the taste for it.

Then years later it became cool to stop drinking coffee and I thought wow I’m so far ahead of this trend without even realizing it. So I just kept going, but then I see this study.

On top of all the other studies, saying how good it is for you, so now I’m wondering, do I take back up coffee? Because I’m into the health benefits. And if I do, do I start with decaf and ease back in gently? Or do I go a hardcore double shot?

My husband drinks espressos, black, straight up caffeine. He loves his coffee machine but he’s a purist coffee drinker. I would need to add milk, thankfully the health benefits are not lost when you add milk, they’re only lost when you add sugar. 

So a double shot flat white this arvo for me? Or a slow intro like a decaf latte to begin with? Let me know, coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers, what would you do?

Do I break a 24 year run? This is the big question of the morning.

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