Aging Well Partners
- Oct 12
- 3 min
THE ELIXIR OF GODS…COFFEE!
NEW TO THE GAME
I’ve only been a coffee drinker for the last 10 years. Not a drop had passed my lips before that. I loved the smell but found the taste unsuitable to my palate. One day a friend served me a cappuccino after a delicious meal, and I realized that while I would never be a traditional coffee drinker, espresso and I were bound for a long and blissful relationship. Espresso, where have you been all my life?
My drink of choice is a strong blonde flat white with whole milk, but what counts in coffee consumption is the amount of coffee and that’s about it. The milk, sugar, and all the toppings you may or may not add aren’t what gives you the boost of life that coffee has been discovered to be.
GOLDILOCKS HAD IT RIGHT
Like anything in life, a little goes a long way and a lot can be detrimental. Coffee often gets a bad rap and last night I was reminded of this while attending an excellent lecture on functional medicine. Functional medicine is a biology-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. The key in functional medicine is that it’s a one size fits one approach. I liked it already, because if there is one thing I’ve learned on the almost decade in the senior industry, is what works for one, doesn’t always work for another. I saw coffee on the list of caution and while it elicited a “hmmm” out of me, my next thought was, but it has so many excellent health benefits. The key, like all things, is knowing how much is not enough, too much, and just right for you. As we say at Aging Well Partners, one size fits one.
Coffee is still the popular food on the block, so lots of studies are done on coffee and the science says coffee is chock full of substances that may guard against conditions more common in women, including Alzheimer’s and heart disease. But male friends, do not despair, as there is plenty of health building properties in coffee for you as well.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY CUP OF JOE DO FOR YOU?
• Coffee contains antioxidants and other substances that may reduce inflammation. In fact, coffee has more antioxidant activity than green tea and cocoa.
• Protects again cognitive decline and provides a short-term memory boost. People report that their loved ones with dementia are sharper in the morning than evening; could it be that cup of coffee they start their day with that gives them a bit of extra quality in their day?
• Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes by keeping diabetes at bay in several ways:
1. Helps the body use insulin and protect insulin producing cells
2. Preventing tissue damage
3. Attacks inflammation
**One element of coffee identified as caffeic acid has been discovered to be particularly important in reducing the toxic buildup of abnormal protein deposits (amyloid fibrils) found in people with type 2 diabetes. Interestingly decaffeinated coffee is as valuable, or more so, than caffeinated coffee.
• Supports liver health by reducing blood levels of liver enzymes. Elevated levels suggest inflammation and damage to the liver. In research studies, the more coffee drank the lower the levels of enzymes.
• Individuals who drank 2-4 cups of coffee a day had a 20% lower risk of heart disease compared to light or heavy coffee drinkers.
• Boosts skin health. Coffee beans have polyphenols like chlorogenic acids (CGA) that may have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects and protect from photoaging.
• Men who start their day with a cup of java may be at lower risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. The studies also recognized the connection between regular coffee drinking and lower rates of rectal, breast, colon, and liver cancers. Another win for our friend polyphenols that are in coffee.
• Based on studies coffee consumption reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Women pay head, as we are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease that our male counterparts. However, researchers found that women over the age of 65 who drank two to three cups of coffee a day were less likely to develop dementia in general. I’ll have a second cup please!
YOU’RE THE CAPTAIN
The speaker was fabulous, and I walked away with a plethora of new information to support my aging journey. I was reminded that living healthy is a combination of many factors, most importantly that we are not only in charge of our health journey, but we must be the driving force of it if we want to Age Well.
Jacqui Clark is a Certified Senior Advisor™ (CSA™), consultant with Living Coastal Senior Resources, and co-founder of Aging Well Partners. She is an industry leading living-and-aging well expert, and a respected communications specialist. She’s lived in San Diego for 35 years, much of that in Carlsbad where she and her husband live with their two daughters. Find Jacqui at www.agingwellpartners.com