What’s the deal with coffee?
By Ashley Craft
If just the idea of giving up your organic, fair-trade coffee seems completely unbearable, relax! You don’t have to necessarily abandon your beloved eco-friendly coffee mug in order to enjoy elevated levels of well-being. There are many different varying views and studies, each with their own evidence to validate their findings… coffee is healthy, wait, no it’s not. While studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I learned that there are just about as many benefits as there are not-so-desirable side effects to this favorite morning substance.
As a holistic health coach, my view is this: if you adore your morning Joe and can’t imagine living life without it, then keep enjoying it! Drinking coffee has been associated with positive moods, improved concentration and alertness, and increasing social-ability, among many other benefits. Plus… it’s loaded in antioxidants!
If you don’t already drink coffee, but read somewhere that it was healthy… I would recommend not trying to drink it if you weren’t into it already. A few of the less spectacular side effects include: increased feelings of stress, anxiety, irritability, nutritional deficiencies, adrenal exhaustion, and increasing the acidity of your body.
What is the Ayurvedic perspective?
Ayurveda, which is recognized by the World Health Organization as a complete system of natural healing, encourages natural states of being without the use of mood-altering substances. If you have somewhat of a hot and fiery personality type (the Pitta dosha), then caffeine can be especially aggravating, increasing your chance of becoming out of balance. According to this ancient philosophy, if you decide to drink coffee… it is not recommended to drink it first thing in the morning. Because of its acidity, it can be irritating to an empty stomach. It is generally advised to enjoy a cup after your lunch instead; the reason for this is that it can be beneficial to digestion.
It really comes down to being mindful about when/why you are drinking it, and being aware of the beneficial or not so lovely side effects it may be having on you. And, it may be food-industry cliché to say this… but moderation really is key.
Ashley Craft is a holistic health coach, specializing in supporting women with finding optimal wellness and balance in their modern lives. She received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2011, and is board-certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. In her health coaching practice, she supports busy women with attaining their ideal weight, increasing their energy, and eliminating cravings… naturally!