Give up coffee, you say? Are you crazy? Yes, I felt that way, too, but sometimes life sends you curve balls. I wasn't feeling like my normal, happy self and giving up coffee was one of those things that I needed to try to see if it made a difference.
Now, there's a lot of good press on coffee's benefits. Drinking 2-3 cups a day can reduce the chance of early death from 10 to 15 percent. That's a good side effect! It may be beneficial to the cardiovascular system and it keeps the ol' noggin up to speed, too.
Decaf is just as good as the caffeinated stuff according to the biggest study, yet, that looked at 400,000 Americans. Read about it here, "Can Coffee Make You Live Longer?"
But, coffee also has a downside. There are more than 1000 different compounds in coffee. The caffeine can make you jittery and increase your stress level, cause you to lose sleep at night and aggregate acid reflux. And, beware of brewing coffee the French press way. Those unfiltered grounds contain cafestol, a compound that can increase blood levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol. Using a filter does remove this compound, however.
If you drink too much, you just might be putting your body under undo stress to eliminate the offending poison. Our bodies act like it is, anyway, causing us to frequently use the loo. Everyone reacts a little differently to coffee, so if you haven't been feeling like your normal self, do the experiment and try going without coffee for a while. We had an acquaintance tell us recently that he gave up coffee and caffeinated tea because he "discovered what it was like to feel good again."
So, I'm experimenting with caffeine-free teas. And, as I'm sure you know, tea is very good for you, too. On this very hot August day, I started my morning with iced Rooibos tea with almond milk. To demonstrate the benefits, take just this one type - Rooibos. It has a high level of antioxidants, flavonoids, magnesium, calcium, is anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting - the list goes on. Another plus, Starbucks serves it. All teas seem to be beneficial in some way - especially green (although it does have some caffeine).
There are many teas with which to experiment, and I'll let you know how I'm feeling. So far, tea doesn't provide the robust body and satisfaction that coffee does, but for now, I'm coffee-free and learning to love it!
How do you feel with coffee in your diet?