September 29th is “National Coffee Day!” As aging in place professionals, we should join in the celebration and feel very good about this special day. It recognizes a beverage that has proven to provide several health benefits and to help ourselves and our aging clientele tremendously.
It turns out that coffee has many medicinal and antioxidant benefits that warrant people drinking it throughout their lifetime, and especially as they age. Over the past few years, there have been several studies on coffee. Likely, the research was an attempt to prove that coffee consumption was harmful and to dissuade people from using it. Nevertheless, the results cited several health benefits from coffee consumption.
A first study was completed, and not long after that, a second and then a third study was conducted. Each time, the results were equally positive about the benefits of coffee drinking.
In a paradigm shift, subsequent studies, of which there have been a few, have decided to point out the health benefits from using coffee. It seems that the scientific community has been moving away from trying to find the harmful effects of drinking coffee (which they have been unable to do so far) to discovering additional positive benefits from using it.
The test results of studying coffee consumption have proved that it does not raise blood pressure (researchers apparently thought that it would) – even when several cups are consumed daily. In fact, additional research suggests that the more cups of coffee per day a person consumes, the better the results. Time was just one or two cups of coffee was considered safe. Then it was raised to no more than three. Now upwards of five is considered fine.
Of course, no one has definitely declared just what constitutes a “cup of coffee.” Fifty years ago, china coffee cups that most people had in their cabinets held about 5 ounces of coffee. Small cups now hold 8 ounces. Larger mugs hold 12, and some hold 16 or 20 ounces, or even more. At the convenience store, sizes range from 8 ounces to 32 or more. Nowhere does there seem to a printed definition – studies simply refer to a “cup.”
Coffee is an anti-oxidant. It helps ward off asthma and other allergies. It is thought to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and can help slow the advancement of other cognitive and progressive ailments.
A study of over 400,000 people found that coffee drinking promoted a longer life, and there is evidence that it can prevent type II diabetes and prostate cancer. It lowers the risk of liver cancer and of cirrhosis. It even repairs some liver damage. It may prevent colorectal cancer. It can stave off MS and help with Parkinson’s symptoms.
Research also shows that the younger a person is when they start drinking coffee – even in their 30s – the better the cumulative health effects.
It’s hard to imagine anything that tastes as good as coffee does as being so good for our health. It appears to be as close to a perfect beverage as any of us will ever see. The health properties are astounding, and more are revealed with each new study.
So, we should drink coffee, and we should encourage our aging in place clients to drink it also. Apparently, the caffeinated type without sugar or milk is the best way to drink it for maximum benefit although coffee in any form seems to be better than not having it at all.
On this National Coffee Day, let’s celebrate the many wonderful properties of coffee and continue the celebration daily. Coffee is big business in this country – and now we have a better idea of why that is.