Articles on coffee

Pro-Coffee or Anti-Coffee?

Ms. Silky Mahajan, Dietitian/Nutritionist
What is your usual morning routine? Wake up, have some coffee, open your eyes and let the day begin. Coffee is addictive and how! There are people whose day cant end unless they’re consumed their daily 5 cups of coffee. Its very important to understand when to take coffee & in how much quantity so that, you can benefit rather than health issues. You could be the judge of that after reading these pro’s and cons of the effect of coffee on our healthPROS of Drinking Coffee:Coffee is made from seeds, and like all other seeds it has protective compounds.  Coffee can prevent strokes as well as lower our risk of Parkinson’s and dementia.Coffee boosts our concentration and memoryCoffee lowers the risk of oral cancer. Decaf has a much weaker effect for the same while tea had no effect at all.Studies show that high consumption of caffeine reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.The caffeine in coffee controls many brain functions e.g. mood, energy levels, vigilance and even reaction time.Caffeine can boost ones metabolic rate drastically, which basically means an increase in the burning of fat – weight loss!A single cup of coffee contains vitamin B5, vitamin B2, potassium, manganese and magnesium – all essential and important nutrients.Coffee contains stimulants which can drastically lower the risk of developing depression.CONS of Drinking Coffee:Coffee can disrupt sleep patterns which leads to restless sleep and finally insomnia.Coffee can lead to spinal bone loss in those people who aren’t getting enough calcium on a daily basis.The acidity in coffee can irritate your stomach lining which could eventually lead to ulcers, gastritis and even Crohn’s disease!The over consumption of coffee can lead to headaches, and sometimes even migraines.Caffeine can cause a sharp increase in blood pressure levels – those with blood pressure problems must limit themselves.Regular coffee drinkers are at a risk of dehydration – they must take measures to ensure they’re always hydrated. You’ve got the rundown on its effects, now it’s your turn to choose your side. Pro coffee or anti coffee? 

3 Health Benefits of Coffee You Should Know

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Common knowledge is that caffeine dehydrates you. If you're a coffee lover, we have good news- A recent study shows coffee does not really dehydrate. According to 2 studies, there is no valid scientific evidence suggesting that the consumption of caffeinated beverages in your normal lifestyle leads to fluid loss in excess of the fluid volume consumed, or is associated with poor hydration status.Besides all this, coffee has a number of health benefits, including improved oxygen intake read below:Burn more calories: Caffeine helps speed up your heart rate. The faster your heart beats, the more calories you burn.We already told you how green tea can help you lose weight. Now coffee is good for you, but watch out for those calorie loaded coffee shop drinks.Workout better: Multiple studies have shown a cup of coffee before your workout, helps you workout harder, thus helping you burn more calories. In case you like cold coffee, add some coffee & ice to your whey protein shake- it tastes just delicious, and gives you that kick, like no other. For an extra kick, throw in some coffee with your pre-workout shake.Breathe better: A recent study also showed that consuming caffeine before your workout makes your body consume more oxygen while working out. The more oxygen you consume, the higher your metabolic rate, and the more calories you burn!We're not saying start loading your fluids with caffeine, but there can be benefits of drinking it.

Weight Loss by Green Coffee Bean Extract.

Dr. Naman Ajudiya, Ayurveda
Green coffee bean extract comes from coffee beans (Many people claim that taking green coffee bean extract can help with weight loss.) that haven’t been roasted. Coffee beans contain compounds known as chlorogenic acids. These compounds are believed to have antioxidant activities, help lower blood pressure, and help you lose weight. When coffee is roasted, its chlorogenic acid content is greatly reduced. This is why drinking coffee is not thought to have the same weight-loss effects produced by the unroasted beans. Chlorogenic acids haven’t been widely studied as a weight loss supplement for people. This study shows that green coffee extract may have the potential to help with weight loss. How Does Green Coffee Bean Extract Work… What is The Mechanism?Green coffee bean extract does contain some caffeine.Several studies have shown that caffeine can boost metabolism by up to 3-11% However, the main active ingredient is believed to be the chlorogenic acid.The research so far tends to say  that chlorogenic acid (an extract in green coffee bean) disrupts an enzyme called glucose-6-phosphatase, which is involved in how the body used glucose (sugar). Some human studies suggest that it can reduce the absorption of carbohydrates from the digestive tract, which lowers blood sugar and insulin spikes If this is true, then taking green coffee bean extract would be like eating a slightly lower carbohydrate diet.Other studies (in mice and rats) have shown that chlorogenic acid can reduce body weight, reduce fat absorbed from the diet, reduce fat stored in the liver and improve the function of the fat burning hormone adiponectin. Negative side effects for green coffee extract haven’t been reported

Breaking News: Relationship Between Coffee (Caffeine) & Weightloss Is Exposed!

Ms. Ankita Gupta Sehgal, Dietitian/Nutritionist
I am sure losing weight would definitely be on your top priority list. So are you counting calories, working out , or looking for a short cut??Anyone looking for a shortcut to weight loss might be tempted to try one of many supplements that claim to burn fat and boost metabolism.  I have seen many fitness instructors insisting on their clients to have a shot of black coffee several times during the day. The common not so exotic ingredient in all of these is Caffeine.Caffeine has a strong reputation as a weight loss aid. But what does actually caffeine do to your system and is there is any supporting , well-designed studies showing caffeine to be any sort of silver bullet against flab? How Coffee helps in Weight LossAlthough research about the connection between caffeine and weight isn't definitive, there are several theories about how caffeine might affect weight, including:Caffeine act as a diuretic , which means people taking large doses might shed some weight through water loss, which is quite temporary and certainly not the kind of weight loss most users are looking for.Calorie burning. Caffeine may stimulate thermogenesis — one way your body generates heat and energy from digesting food. But this probably isn't enough to produce significant weight loss.Appetite suppression. Caffeine may reduce your desire to eat for a brief time, and actually makes you hog and develop cravings in the later stages of the weight loss program. Without making other changes to your diet and lifestyle caffeine is unlikely to make a significant difference to your weight. Certainly its not going to be as effective as a 30 min of exercise.Use this guide for the amounts of caffeine in products:One mug of instant coffee: 100mgOne mug of filter coffee: 140mgOne mug of tea: 75mgOne can of cola: 40mgOne can of energy drink: 80mgOne 50g bar of plain (dark) chocolate: around 50mgOne 50g bar of milk chocolate: around 25mgCaffeine is found in many beverages, including coffee, tea, energy drinks and colas; in products containing cocoa or chocolate; and in a variety of medications and dietary supplements, including supplements aimed at weight loss.Also too much caffeine could cause jitteriness, anxiety, spikes in blood pressure and rapidheartbeats in some people. So restrict yourself to not more than one cup of coffee a day!

Pass on 'Pick-Me-Up' Snacks - Your Mood Swing Foods

Dr. Hvovi Bhagwagar, Psychologist
Realize how, a few hours after lunch, we reach for the chocolate biscuits lying in our workstation drawer? Or how a steaming cup of coffee becomes mandatory before proceeding with any more work? We crave these foods, called “pick me ups”, because they elevate the mood and energize the body.Pick me ups = mood foodsWe must understand that our body is extremely intelligent. Our brain cells talk to each other via messengers – “happy” messengers to carry “happy news” and vice versa. Our body is always on the lookout for something to boost the happy messengers. Nature has provided a host of substances – caffeine, sugar and chocolate – which can temporarily make one feel better. These substances work by chemically boosting one or more of the happy messenger levels, thus helping to balance the over-stressed brain. Chocolates are some of the most commonly used pick-me-ups. They release endorphins and serotonin – the happy messengers in the brain.Why pick me ups are unhealthyPicking me ups are the wrong way to handle stress for three reasons:1. They work temporarily and you need a fix every few hours.2. They cause addiction. 3. Excessive use leads to increased cholesterol, weight gain and high blood sugar.Healthy habits to reduce dependence on pick me ups.Learn to read your body’s signs.Get medical help for problems which Pick Me Ups won’t be able to solve Focus on a healthy diet. Eating frequent small meals is important as this allows blood sugars to stay stable and prevents the temptation to reach out for a Pick Me Up. Include protein in your main meals. This raises the level of tryptophan- a chemical in your blood- which eventually turns into serotoninSlowly wean out regular pick me ups-  caffeine, sweets and fried snacksMake your life as regular as clockwork. Reset your body clock. This may take 3 weeksStart an enjoyable exercise, walk a flight of stairs if feeling the post lunch slump. This is better than the usual “coffee fix”Learn a simple relaxation technique: deep breathing, for exampleSmile and Laugh more, this automatically releases happy messengersListen to music, it boosts brain chemicalsDiscover the benefits of time management. Learn to be efficient, speed up your work style, cut down unnecessary labor which contributes nothingLighten up your social commitments; avoid unnecessary shopping and mindless pastimes as a fix for stressStress is the number one killer today. Using "pick-me-ups" to handle it only further damages the body. Instead, make simple lifestyle changes to prevent disease and ill health.

Beat Insomnia - Get Your Peace Back

Dr Vikas Khanna, Hypnotherapist
He is looking at the clock repeatedly, feeling more and more frustrated as the time passes as how it is getting late and her effort to sleep is going in vain.Effort? can anyone put an effort for something which is a self programmed function of the body -mind complex?Does one put an effort to breathe, make the heart beat or digest food?Try doing this at home. Try putting a conscious effort to digest your food, be aware of it entering the food pipe and the stomach and then liver metabolizing it. You will end up with indigestion!Effort is interfering instead with something which is automatic!So your struggle to sleep is the biggest reason why you are unable to sleep!Do not try to sleepOne should have courage to wait for the body to tune itself back during a temporary phase of insomnia due to some stressful/emotionally challenging situation.One's continued stressful approach in life or excessive seeking for stimulation all the time may have finally resulted in the overworked nervous system being so stressed that it now has difficulty in tuning itself off.There are people who have not slept at all in their entire lives, but there daily activities are not hampered at all, soGet rid of these conditioning that shortage of sleep will have an ill effect on the body, though difficult, if you let go of this you will be happily surprised to know that this conditioning or belief was creating most of the bodily symptoms!Chronic insomnia which has developed after a traumatic emotional experience may need a help from a professional like counselor or a hypnotherapist.Sedatives decrease the brain activity by depressing the C. N. S, making one lethargic/drowsy with reduced mental efficiency and host of other side effects.The induced sleep is more of non REM type (REM is supposed to be a deeper and more refreshing phase and is characterized by rapid eye movement)Drug resistance develops soon and the dose gradually increases and so does the dependance and its withdrawal symptoms. And finally one must realize that they are not the cureSo it is better to take them as as a one-off thing, at times of acute distress or urgent need to sleep.Some other tips which are of secondary help.1. Do not keep a clock/watch with you in your bed room.2. Avoid heavy dinner or supper, keep your digestion in check.3. Do not immediately go to sleep after dinner.4. Avoid caffeine based drinks esp coffee or if you must have it, take it before evening.5. Try putting off gadgets like mobiles, T. V, games, magazines etc.Lastly in a nutshell, do not get overworked if there is reduced or delayed sleep, that will act as a stressor which will prevents sleep, have the courage so as to not to sleep at all. Do not anticipate tomorrows after-effects. Surrender to the intelligence of your body, it will take care of it.

Green Tea- It's Not as Healthy as You Think!

Dr. Dt. Souvick Dey, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Green tea has been promoted as one of the healthiest beverages around. It is made from the same kind of leaves (camellia sinensis) as generic black tea or oolong tea. The primary difference is that while processing the leaves for green tea, the withering and fermentation procedures are avoided, which helps the leaves retain more nutrients. However, green tea comes with quite a few side effects just like ordinary tea or coffee. They are:1. Digestive problemsSince green tea is not put through the oxidation or fermentation process, the tannins present in the leaves are not removed. Tannins, can cause nausea and constipation by producing more gastric acid. Adding a little milk to your tea might help with this problem.2. Reduced absorption of ironGreen tea contains catechins- antioxidants, which can block the absorption of iron from food. Iron deficiency has a number of negative impacts, the most threatening one being anemia where red blood cell formation is hindered. Anemia causes fatigue because sufficient oxygen is not circulated throughout the body due to low haemoglobin levels.3. Problems with the nervous systemGreen tea contains caffeine, just like tea or coffee, though its caffeine content is lower. Excessive consumption can lead to insomnia-like tendencies, heightened anxiety, frequent urination, irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps etc.4. Risks during pregnancyCaffeine decreases calcium content in the body, leading to weaker bones, which is an alarming symptom in an expecting mother. Also, caffeine, catechins and tannins are individually related to increased risks of miscarriage and other negative effects. Tannins and catechins passed on to breast milk can also block absorption of nutrients like proteins and fats in an infant's system.5. Reactions with medicationSeveral chemical drugs are extremely reactive to the polyphenols in green tea, especially stimulant drugs like nicotine, ephedrin and amphetamine. Green tea reduces the functioning of lithium and dipyridamole. The polyphenols may also block the healing properties of the anti-cancer drug name bortezomib. Any kind of interference with your regular medication may impact your health adversely.6. Negative impact on patients with glaucomaThe disease impairs the optic nerve and green tea increases the pressure on the eye within minutes of drinking it because caffeine accelerates intraocular pressure. The effects take more than an hour to subside.