It has become a part of our culture and a staple of our morning rituals. And yet, coffee still gets a bad rap when it’s part of an anti-aging diet. But it’s not all bad. It often comes as a surprise to a lot of people that coffee is now being hailed by many as a secret weapon in your anti-aging diet. So, don’t chuck your pot of java just yet. We’ve broken down some of the pros and cons of making coffee a part of your anti-aging diet.
The PROs of Coffee in Your Anti-Aging Diet
• Cognitive Function: Adding coffee to your anti-aging diet in moderation can boost your cognitive ability. Several studies have shown that caffeine intake can protect against age-related cognitive decline and can fight against cognitive age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, which damage cognitive abilities in older adults.
• Antioxidants: Antioxidants are always welcome in an anti-aging diet, and coffee is packed with them. It’s actually the leading source of antioxidants for Americans because we drink so much of it. Our food and environment are just some of the ways that our bodies develop harmful free radicals, which destroy our healthy cells, speeding up the natural aging process. The antioxidants in coffee are anti-inflammatory and can help to repair the cell damage wreaked by free radicals. The antioxidants in coffee can also be good for an anti-aging diet because they’re believed to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by affecting your blood sugar levels.
• Alertness: Coffee works as a quick pick-me-up, which can be beneficial for your anti-aging diet. Coffee is a stimulant that gets your brain pumping and encourages your nervous system to release adrenaline. Caffeine in your anti-aging diet also inhibits the neurotransmitter in your brain that promotes sleep. That’s why coffee fights mental fatigue and makes you feel more alert. When you make it part of your anti-aging diet, it can give you the boost you need to get moving and engage in a more active lifestyle. This is vital in anti-aging because you are only as young as you feel.
The CONs of Coffee in Your Anti-Aging Diet
• Addiction: As beneficial as coffee is in your anti-aging diet, it can become addictive. When you’re reliant on something, it can increase the odds of irritability, anxiety, and stress. Also, as alert as coffee can make you feel at first, you will inevitably crash, making you more tired than before. When your anti-aging diet includes too much coffee, it can cause a condition called adrenal fatigue, whereby the excessive adrenaline production puts a strain on the glands that produce the hormone, resulting in exhaustion.
• Upset Stomach and Dehydration: For some people, an anti-aging diet with too much coffee can irritate digestive health, leading to abdominal cramps, bloating, and loose stool. The digestive health effects can be especially pertinent for people who have sensitive stomachs or who aren’t used to regularly drinking coffee. If your anti-aging diet includes four or more cups of coffee a day, you also run the risk of becoming dehydrated. Coffee is a diuretic, meaning it makes you have to urinate more. One or two cups won’t make much difference, but too much coffee without enough water consumption can dry out your system.
• Teeth: Drinking too much coffee in your anti-aging diet can ruin your teeth enamel. The acidity and dark hue of the drink settles into the grooves of your enamel, which can stain it over time, giving your teeth a yellow or even brown tinge. Although it’s a small aesthetic issue that can be corrected with a dental cleaning or teeth whitening product, discolored teeth look unhealthy and can make you appear much older than you really are. One trick for beating this is to rinse your mouth with water after every cup of coffee.
So, what’s the verdict on adding (or keeping) coffee in your anti-aging diet? The key is moderation and self-control. One to two cups a day is sufficient for enjoying the anti-aging benefits of coffee, but any more than that and you might be overdoing it. To make it easier, avoid drinking coffee on an empty stomach, and never use it to replace a healthy meal in your anti-aging diet. People with high blood pressure or gastrointestinal problems may want to steer clear of coffee, as it may exacerbate these issues.
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