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The Whole Bean: Can Coffee Really Benefit Our Health?

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Do you live for that cup of coffee early in the morning or are you an after dinner drinker? Most people find they cannot live without the stimulant. Coffee can be extremely hard to give up and drinkers can experience actual withdrawal symptoms. Some experience headaches when they try to give up coffee and find they simply need to return to their habit. Numerous studies have been completed on the risks and benefits of the bean, but the results are purely individual at best. Is it too early to tell if coffee is beneficial in preventing major diseases?

According to the article Coffee Fuels Drive for Drugs for Parkinson’s to Dementia – Bloomberg, caffeine is the world’s most widely used drug. It has been linked to improvements in memory as well as protecting brain cells. One study discussed in the article mentions that people who consumed two or more cups of coffee daily had a forty percent lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. This could be tied to the fact that coffee is found in more than sixty plants.

Other studies show that coffee has a profound effect on increasing focus. In the article Coffee and a sweet treat to think better? Caffeine and glucose combined improves the efficiency of brain activity, the author writes, “Our main finding is that the combination of the two substances improves cognitive performance in terms of sustained attention and working memory by increasing the efficiency of the areas of the brain responsible for these two functions. This supports the idea of a synergic effect between two substances, in which one embodies the other”.

Other members of the coffee community have the opposite opinion. Paul Odom, CEO of Fonte Coffee, a Seattle-based microroaster, believes that coffee has no direct impact on health, but does believe that coffee drinking benefits users on a social level. Paul started Fonte Coffee in 1992 when coffee really started gaining momentum, in the coffee capital of the world - Seattle, Washington.

There is no one sure answer as to whether or not coffee does benefit our health or not. It does, however, provide focus for some individuals and can help with concentration. Students also tend to use coffee as their drug of choice to give them an alert feeling while studying, not to mention they reap the benefits of its concentration enhancing properties. Certain psychiatrists also recommend the use of coffee when it comes to helping patients focus when they suffer from anxiety and depression. The benefits differ from person to person.

There are mixed reviews when it comes to the health benefits of coffee and more research is needed to say whether coffee is beneficial to our health.

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