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The Lesser Known Facts about Coffee


To the true coffee aficionado, coffee is not so much a beverage as it is a love affair. The coffee cognoscenti know the beans, the roasts, the most efficient to the most exotic coffee brewing devices, and that when it comes to coffee, “crack” is a good thing. The rich aroma and full-bodied taste of a perfectly brewed cup of coffee is just the beginning of a lifelong romance with the bean.

But what do you really know about the brew that joins you at breakfast every morning and accompanies your dessert every night? Does your beloved beverage have secrets, a hidden past? Is it a drug, a medicine, an aphrodisiac? Here are some facts you just might want to know…

Coffee can turn you on. Some studies show that people who drink a cup a day or more are almost twice as likely to characterize themselves as sexually active, and coffee can help with erections. Have coffee in bed in the morning and see what happens from there. You might find it…stimulating!

A coffee a day keeps the doctor away (11th century). One of the first references to coffee’s medicinal value came from the philosopher and physician Avicenna of Bukhara (980-1037 A.D.). Of coffee, he wrote “It fortifies the members, it cleans the skin, and dries up the humidities that are under it, and gives an excellent smell to all the body.” Recent studies seem to bear out his remarks, as the following demonstrates…

A coffee a day keeps the doctor away (21st century). Harvard researchers and Dutch scientists agree – coffee in large quantities protects men and women against diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and some types of cancer. While one to three cups a day is good, six cups or more per day is better! The data showed that regular coffee drinkers can slash their risk of Parkinson’s and cirrhosis of the liver by 80%. Incidences of colon cancer dropped 25%, and even smokers and heavy drinkers had lower rates of heart disease and liver failure if they drank coffee. The health benefits in some cases are due to the caffeine in coffee, but other benefits seem to be a result of coffee’s high concentration of antioxidants. Antioxidants mop up free radicals that age the body and damage organs. Still, pregnant or nursing women, and women trying to get pregnant, should forgo the coffee. Not everyone tolerates coffee’s stimulant effects well, so use your best judgment when deciding how many cups a day to drink.

A coffee a day keeps the psychiatrist away, even for kids! Brazilian studies have shown that children who drink coffee with milk every day, as is common in some countries, are less likely to be depressed than their counterparts who shun coffee. In fact, despite common concerns, no studies demonstrate that coffee is bad for kids. A study of female nurses demonstrated that those who drank 2-3 cups of coffee a day had a significantly lower rate of suicide than the control group.

Coffee lotion, anyone? Although studies have not yet been done on humans, studies on rats with skin cancer have shown that applying a coffee lotion to their skin kills off cancer cells leaving other cells unharmed. Coffee is hard to absorb into the body from skin, however, so claims that facial masks and soaps made from coffee are beneficial systemically are not supported by science.

People write poetry to coffee. Sure, the benefits are great! But people who drink coffee drink it because they love it. So it’s probably not too surprising that some extol its benefits in verse. Okay, so they can’t live without it. But coffee poetry websites? A coffee prayer? Wow. I think I need a cup of coffee.

Image Source: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=345



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