Coffee and Your Unique Body
When I think of coffee I think of biochemical individuality.
Lately coffee has been getting a magnificent reputation (this is after years and years of being considered a horrible drug). Researchers have discovered that coffee is packed full of antioxidants and phytonutrients (nutrients contained in foods that are not classified as either macronutrients, i.e. protein, carbs; or micronutrients, i.e. vitamins and minerals). They’ve discovered that coffee has been linked to lower rates of certain cancers and other diseases.
There is also the new trend of drinking Bulletproof coffee (blending together an extremely high quality coffee with grass-fed butter and MCT oil), and also adding anti-stimulants to counterbalance the stimulant effects that caffeine has on the body (anti-stimulants include the superfood macuna and medicinal mushrooms reishi and chaga and sea salt).
What’s my personal opinion on coffee?
Personally, I love coffee. I love the smell, I love the taste, I love the warmth of it…mmmmmm, just thinking about it makes me smile. And sometimes I drink it to wake up in the morning (this is major nutritionist confession time) when I’m really warm and cozy in bed. If I do drink coffee, it’s always a version of the bulletproof coffee or some almond milk latte version. And it’s always made with organic fair-trade beans. Still, there are times that I drink a coffee and think, “I really shouldn’t have done that.” I get jittery and anxious, talk really fast and almost feel my adrenal glands rushing hormones into my torso like there is no tomorrow. Then I compensate by making major superfood smoothies full of anti-stimulants and the entire day is spent trying to counterbalance the damage.
So that’s my story about coffee.
Some people can tolerate coffee really well, but if you have stress or energy level problems, possibly a candida problem, crave sugar, have PMS or strong peri-menopausal symptoms or are pregnant, thinking about getting pregnant or breastfeeding, you probably should avoid coffee.
I just described every single woman, didn’t I?
Let’s review the physiological affect that coffee may have on your body:
- The caffeine in coffee stimulates your adrenal glands (when you think adrenals you should think of stress) to secrete cortisol ( a stress hormones which triggers the liver to convert glycogen to glucose basically increasing your blood sugar level which will wear out your endocrine system over time leading to chronic stress and fatigue), and adrenaline! Your entire endocrine system is thrown out of balance when this happens – this is the body system that secretes hormones and when your hormones are running havoc, your energy levels, stress levels and general vitality will be affected.
- Coffee is one of the world’s most heavily sprayed crops, so if you don’t have the highest quality than you are definitely being exposed to these chemicals which disrupt your hormones and endocrine system in general.
- Drinking 1-2 cups of coffee a day has been linked to estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is a societal plague causing a rise in reproductive cancers all over the world. It also is linked to infertility, PMS, difficult peri-menopause, miscarriage, painful periods, manboobs, etc.
- Coffee is addictive. The more you have, the more you need to get that same stimulating effect. Causing you to drink more and therefore wearing down the body even further.
- Caffeine is a diuretic linked to lowering iron and calcium levels in the blood leading to conditions like low bone-density and eventually osteoporosis.
- Drinking coffee depletes your body of Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc, B vitamins and Vitamin C.
- Coffee places additional stress on your liver.
How do you know if you can drink coffee with no negative effect?
This comes down to getting to know your body very well. Get to know how you feel when you drink coffee. If you feel wired or jittery, can’t sleep at night, get a little tightness in your tummy (mild nervousness or “butterflies”), these are all signs that your body is overstimulated which is not a good sign.
Also, if you feel like you “need” coffee to get going, it’s a pretty good indication that you are addicted and that it’s time to break that habit.
Coffee shouldn’t have a pull on you (neither should sugar or any other highly addictive substances) and as soon as they do, run away in the opposite direction as fast as possible to avoid them. Once you no longer need coffee to feel energized, it’s probably safe to try having a cup or two week. As soon as you start feeling dependent on it, it’s time to get off of it.
Also, when you drink the coffee it should not make you feel jittery, have your heart racing, etc., etc. This is a sign that coffee is still not right for your biochemical individuality.
If you have PMS, painful periods, etc. It’s super important to break the addiction, although there shouldn’t be any harm in having a couple of cups a week if it doesn’t physically effect you in the ways described above.
What are healthy coffee alternatives?
Dandy Blend herbal beverage is the closest thing to coffee that is not coffee. It’s made with roasted dandelion and beet root which make it liver detoxifying at the same time. So it’s a double bonus drink. It has a coffee-like roasted flavour and if I have the option to choose between coffee or Dandy Blend I always go for the Dandy Blend because it’s that good.
Herbal teas are also another option. I don’t recommend black teas because they are extremely high in tannins that block vitamin C absorption and can effect iron levels in the body. They are also high in fluoride which effects thyroid function among handfuls of other things. A great herbal teas for energy is Holy Basil (Tulsi) tea. I like this one.
Decaf should not be considered an option because in order to decaffeinate most coffee, the beans are dunked in a harmful chemical solution. These chemicals are more harmful than the caffeine itself.
Now over to you…why do you drink/avoid coffee? Is it an addiction, for pleasure or something else?
Did any one of those symtpoms listed above ring a bell? You don’t have to live that way. Actually I confidently believe that regardless of where you are at now, you can eventually enjoy a great cup of coffee and it won’t affect your health negatively.