It's your morning ritual. Your cozy hug in a mug. There to greet you every morning, smelling delicious. The taste? Intoxicating. It envelops all of your senses, delighting them with every smell, every sip. Lighting up the reward center of your brain. It's the best way to start the day and to some, the only way. What's not to love?
Lots. Your morning (noon, night?) coffee habit could be wrecking your health. You have probably heard that coffee is fantastic for you since it contains antioxidants, improves mental alertness and even provides a mood boost. A study at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania even concluded that, "Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. Nothing else comes close," said study leader Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a chemistry professor at the university. Sounds like the healthiest thing ever, right? But there's a dark side too.
Coming from a holistic point of view, where the entire mind and body is taken into consideration, coffee really kind of sucks. And because I like lists, I'll use one to show you why.
- Coffee can give you a muffin top. Cortisol, the stress hormone responsible for the fight or flight response in your body, is released upon the first sip of coffee. Cortisol is responsible for fat storage in the abdomen... exactly where it is not wanted! The stress response can also make you crave sugar like whoa! leading you to reach for overly-processed, sugar-filled junk.
- It depletes your body of nutrients. Regularly drinking coffee can prevent nutrients from being absorbed by the small intestines causing nutrient deficiencies, specifically B vitamins. Lack of B vitamins can cause you to feel anxious and fatigued. So...
- Coffee makes you moody. Yep, you can feel sweet as pie one moment, ready to take on the world another and then turn into crazy lady the next. It's due to the fluctuations of hormones and sugar crashes, inability to properly absorb key nutrients as well as lowering levels of serotonin -- your body's happy chemical.
Tip: Keep an even keel with a matcha tea latte for a caffeine boost of alertness without the jittery side effects.
- Coffee destroys your beauty. It stresses your adrenals leading to under eye circles and takes precious beauty energy and uses it to try and balance the body back to its preferred alkaline state. As if that's not enough, coffee is extremely dehydrating, sucking the youthful glow right out of your complexion, leaving you looking dull and haggard. Picture: Prune.
- Most coffee is toxic. Yep, it's one of the most heavily pesticide sprayed crops. Many of the coffee beans hailing from Colombia are sprayed with pesticides not even allowed to be used in the US like chlordane, a known carcinogen, which has been shown to cause gastrointestinal distress and neurological symptoms like tremors and convulsions short term and cancer in the longterm.
So there you have it. It's time to give up that cup of beauty-stealing, nutrient inhibiting drink of toxic goo. At least greatly reduce your consumption to a few cups a week and switch to organic. Even cold-pressed coffee is less acidic and easier on your system. Show your body some love today. You're so worth it.